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Mikumi National Park

Size

3,230 km² (1,250mi²)

Founded

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 huge amount of wildlife from an enormous ecosystem, making this park a very popular stop on the southern-safari-circuit. Mikumi is beautiful, with its large open savannahs, tamarind tree-lined river and a stunning mountain backdrop. Large numbers of elephant, buffalo, and hippo, plus, lions, leopards, and hyenas are some of the wildlife seen here. What’s more, unique species like the sable antelope, Lichtenstein's hartebeest and wild dog reside in this park. Amazing 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

The fourth largest National Park in Tanzania offers great game viewing all year around. The landscapes in Mikumi National Park can be compared to 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. Healthy populations of elephants and buffaloes can be spotted along the river as they seek water, shade, and the fruit from the tamarind trees.

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

 

Highlights of Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is part of the enormous Ruaha and Nyerere ecosystems making for exceptional game viewing. It is home to lions, leopards, hyena and even the 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 a great place for bird spotting 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. 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 is part of the enormous Ruaha and Nyerere ecosystem, making it home to vast numbers of animals and great game-spotting.

bird life

Home to 400 bird species

Mikumi National Park is a bird-spotters paradise with 400 bird species residing here. It also hosts numerous migratory birds that visit from November to April.

wild hunting dogs

A Rare Sight

You can see unique species like the sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and wild hunting dogs in Mikumi.

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.

WHEN TO GO

Best time to go to Mikumi National Park

You can travel to this park all year around, however the best time to go to Mikumi National Park is during the dry season from June to October. During this period the wildlife congregate near to water sources, such as the Mkata river and hippo pools. Dense numbers of wildlife make for great game-spotting and the possibility of seeing predators in action. The dry season is also the best period to hike in the mountains, plains and to Kinole waterfall for a swim in the plunge pool.

dry season

Dry Season

June to October

Ideal for game 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 game viewing on the southern circuit

The southern circuit offers exceptional game-viewing. If you are hoping to avoid the crowds during Tanzania’s peak season, then the parks on the southern circuit are for you. During the cool dry-season, you can expect to see 4 out of the big five, with only the rhino missing. Lions can be seen along the river as they wait for an opportunity to hunt. The birdlife is excellent here. What is more, the park is highly accessible being only 218 km away from Dar es Salam.

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 game-viewing in Mikumi.

Colourful birds Mikumi National Park
Birding

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

If you don’t like sharing sightings with other visitors, Mikumi National Park is for you. Since it’s so large and on the less visited Southern Circuit, there are fewer visitors 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
Giraffes

Elegant giraffes walk between savannahs and woodlands.

Large buffalo herd in Mikumi National Park
Buffaloes

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

Zebra herd in Mikumi National Park
Zebras

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

Elephant herd road side
Elephants

Elephants crisscross the vast expanse of Mikumi National Park.

WILDLIFE IN MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK

Great game-viewing in a beautiful landscape

The landscape at Mikumi National Park has everything. Wide-open savannahs that are interspersed by acacia trees, Miombo woodlands, tamarind tree-lined rivers and beautiful mountain ranges. Neighbouring two enormous national parks, Mikumi National Park is part of a huge ecosystem and consequently game-spotting is fantastic. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the park. Plus, rare Borassus Palms and Baobab trees are some of the unique trees found here.

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

Location

Mikumi is on the southern safari circuit and conveniently located only 218km – or a roughly four-hour drive – from Dar es Salaam (which has an international airport). Most visitors start their southern circuit safari in Mikumi and continue on to the better-known Ruaha National Park, as well as Nyerere National Park and Selous Game Reserve. If you are on a beach holiday, you can also fly-in to Mikumi from Zanzibar.

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

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