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Mikumi National Park


3,230 km² (1,250mi²)


1964 (National Park)

Best time to visit

June to October

The Serengeti of the South

During the dry season, the Mkata River and the surrounding waterholes attract a tremendous amount of wildlife from an enormous ecosystem, making this park a popular stop on the Southern Circuit. Mikumi is beautiful, with its extensive open savannahs, tamarind treelined river and a stunning mountain backdrop. Large numbers of elephants, buffalo, and hippos, plus lions, leopards, and hyenas, are some of the wildlife seen here. Moreover, this park has unique species like the sable antelope, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and wild dogs. Excellent bird spotting, with 400 recorded bird species, can be also experienced here.

Buffalo herd in Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park: A huge catchment of wildlife

Mikumi National Park is the fourth-largest National Park in Tanzania, offering excellent wildlife viewing year-round. The landscapes in Mikumi National Park are picturesque and resemble those of the Serengeti National Park, as acacias, baobabs and tamarinds dot the savannah.

During the dry season, the Mkata River attracts large numbers of wildlife from the expansive Mkata plains. Consequently, large populations of elephants and buffaloes can be spotted along the river as they seek water and shade, and feed on the seasonal fruit from the tamarind trees.

The Ruhebo and Uluguru mountains, on the northern boundary of Mikumi National Park, are stunning and offer exceptional guided walks.


Highlights of Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is part of the enormous Ruaha and Nyerere ecosystems, making it exceptional wildlife viewing. It is home to lions, leopards, hyena and even rare African wild dogs.

Two artificial pools are famous for Mikumi’s hippos, and they attract an array of wildlife, including large numbers of elephants and buffalos.

Unique antelopes, such as the eland, greater kudus, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and sable antelopes can be seen around the Miombo woodlands and the Vuma hills.

Mikumi National Park is an excellent place for birdwatching in Tanzania, as 400 bird species reside here. The black-bellied bustards, guinea fowl, marabou storks, bateleur eagles, ox peckers, lilac-breasted rollers, and yellow-throated long claws are a few of the many species you can see. Additionally, from November to April, migrating birds return to the park.

Mikumi National Park map location
vast land

Tanzania's fourth-largest park

Large already, this park forms part of the enormous Ruaha and Nyerere ecosystem, making it home to numerous animals and great wildlife spotting.

bird life

Home to 400 bird species

Mikumi National Park is a birdwatchers’ paradise, thanks to its 400 resident bird species and numerous migratory birds that visit from November to April.

wild hunting dogs

A Rare Sight

In Mikumi, you can see rare species such as sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, and wild hunting dogs.

Elephants in Mikumi National Park

You can see four of the Big Five in Mikumi. Only the rhino is absent. Look out for large elephant herds!

Swimming pool at Stanley's Kopje Camp

Personal camps like Stanley's Kopje offer great service and hospitality in Mikumi National Park.

bush dinner at Vuma Hills Lodge Mikumi

It's a large national park and a visit will not feel crowded. Enjoy a bush breakfast with Vuma Hills Lodge.


Best time to go to Mikumi National Park

You can travel to this park all year round. However, the best time to go to Mikumi National Park is during the dry season, from June to October. During this period, the wildlife congregates near water sources, such as the Mkata River and hippo pools. High concentrations of animals make for excellent wildlife spotting and increase the possibility of seeing predators hunting. The dry season is also the best period to hike in the mountains and arrive at Kinole waterfall to swim in the plunge pool.

dry season

Dry Season

June to October

Ideal for wildlife viewing and guided treks in the Ruhebo and Uluguru Mountains.

rainy season

Green Season

March to May

Best for spotting migratory birds returning to Africa.

Why to go

Great wildlife viewing on the southern circuit

Mikumi National Park, only 218 km from Dar es Salam, is highly accessible. It suits people who want to avoid the crowds during Tanzania’s peak season. Like the other parks on the Southern Circuit, Mikumi is an enormous and less visited park, offering exceptional wildlife spotting in seclusion. During the dry season, you can see many species, including four out of the Big Five, with rhinos missing. Two highlights include seeing lions along the river as they wait for the perfect hunting opportunity and spotting numerous birds.

Female lion in Mikumi National Park Tanzania
"Thank you for an amazing and super well organized safari trip during the last week. Finn and I are very grateful to have experienced the wonderful nature of Tanzania, the different lodges and camps and most importantly the fantastic animals. This perfect experience, which we will never forget, is first and foremost thanks to our fantastic guide Max. The way he navigated and drove us safely across the various national parks, his impressive knowledge and insights of the landscape and all species of animals as well as his friendliness and flexibility are exemplary and truly deserve a big thank you."
Christian | Germany

Experience Mikumi National Park

Classic game drives with Stanley's Kopje Camp
Classic Game Drives

Escape the crowds for exceptional wildlife viewing in Mikumi.

Colourful birds Mikumi National Park

Spot colourful birds in the diverse vegetation.

Hippo out of water
Hippo Pools

Visit the hippo pools in the north of the park.

Things to do

Classic safaris on the Southern Circuit

Mikumi National Park is for you if you enjoy wildlife sightings without other visitors nearby. Since Mikumi is so large and located on the less visited Southern Circuit, fewer people are in the park, even during peak season. However, that doesn’t mean you will have less exciting wildlife sightings – on the contrary.

Three giraffes bush land

Elegant giraffes walk between savannahs and woodlands.

Large buffalo herd in Mikumi National Park

This member of the Big Five lives in large herds in Mikumi National Park.

Zebra herd in Mikumi National Park

You can’t miss this iconic safari animal on a game drive.

Elephant herd road side

Elephants crisscross the vast expanse of Mikumi National Park.


Excellent wildlife viewing in a beautiful landscape

The landscape at Mikumi National Park has everything: vast open savannahs interspersed by acacia trees, Miombo woodlands, tamarind tree lined rivers, and beautiful mountain ranges. Bordering two enormous national parks, Mikumi National Park forms part of a massive ecosystem, and consequently, animal and bird spotting is fantastic. Finally, rare Borassus Palms and Baobab trees add to the park’s charm.

Where to stay in Mikumi National Park

Stanley's Kopje Foxes

Stanley’s Kopje

Mbuyuni Farm Rertreat

Mbuyuni Farm Retreat

Vuma Hills Lodge Foxes

Vuma Hills Lodge


Mikumi National Park is located on the Southern Circuit, only 218km, an approximate four-hour drive from Dar es Salaam, which has an international airport. Most people on a Southern Circuit experience stop at Mikumi National Park first before continuing their safari to the better-known Ruaha National Park, Nyerere National Park, and Selous Game Reserve further south. If you start or finish your experience with a beach holiday, you can conveniently fly to Mikumi National Park from Zanzibar and vice versa.

Lion paws closeup
Arno Snellenberg Tanzania Travel Expert
Tanzania-Experience safari vehicle

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