Swirls of opaque mist hide from the advancing dawn. The first shafts of sun colour the fluffy grass heads rippling across the plain in a russet halo. Confident in the camouflage of their stripes at this predatory hour, zebras pose for our pleasure, like ballerinas on stage, heads aligned, stripes merging, flowing motion.


Forming the northern border of Africa’s biggest game reserve the vast Selous – Mikumi is one of the most popular of Tanzania’s national parks, the most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometre (about 47,000 square miles) wilderness that stretches almost to the shores of the Indian Ocean. The main feature of the park is the Mikumi flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate in the flood plain, eventually merging with the miombo woodland covering the lower hills.


Here, lions survey their kingdom, sometimes from a perch high in the trees to keep their feet dry when the rains soak the plain’s sticky black soil. Many other animals retreat to the miombo woodlands in the wet season, where observation towers above the treeline offer panoramic views of the plain laid out below, home to formidable herds of buffalo. Mikumi’s elephants are more compact than the rest of their Tanzanian cousins, but still a lot bigger than any Land Rover. The rains swell the park’s  bird population to more than 300 species as Eurasian migrants seek refuge in Mikumi, joining resident stars like the lilac breasted roller.


The park’s road network provide visitors with a variety of easy game drives. Hippo inhabit pool 5 km north of the main entrance and zebra, giraffe, hartebeest and wildebeest abound.



Size 3230 sq km (about 2000 sq miles) for Mikumi park, but it forms a part of the Selous ecosystem, the world’s largest game reserve.
Location 283 km west of Dar es Salaam, north of the Selous Game Reserve and en route to both Ruaha and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks.

Getting there

By Private Safari Vehicle, Udzungwa, Ruaha or (dry season only by road from ) Selous; charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous.
What to do Combine with a visit to nearby Udzungwa, the Selous Game Reserve or continue on the Ruaha, Walking, Game Viewing.
Best Time Accessible year round


Two lodges, one luxury tented camp with plans for a second, 3 camp sites. Guest houses in Mikumi town on the park border

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