The Ruaha National Park is a large mansion in central Tanzania National Park. It covers an area of 10,300 km ² and is only surpassed in size by the Serengeti National Park. The park is located 128 km west of Iringa and is part of a broader ecosystem that includes the approximately equal Rungwa and the Usangu Wildlife Reserve and other protected areas.

The park's name derives from the River Ruaha, which forms the southeastern boundary park and run along which the best roads through the reserve. The park itself can be reached by car from the best of Iringa or by air; in Msembe, the base camp of the park, there is an airstrip.


The establishment of a national park in this area was first in 1949 by the most senior game warden in Mbeya, George Rushby, addressed. 1951 then gave the British administration of the then Tanganyika known to extend the subsequent in northwestern Rungwa Game Reserve on the present territory of the park. As a result, the ancestral population of the newly protected area was forced to leave their homeland. Since its separation from Rungwa Game Reserve in 1964, the current park has held the status of a national park.


Terrain and flora

A part of the Ruaha National Park is part of the Great Rift grave breach. The park is divided by a 200 to 300 m high breaking edge, especially shooting down of the streams during the rainy season. In the south, accessible part is a valley in the north is a plateau with high mountains up to 1,800 m. In the north- west of the river Mzombe forms the park boundary. The flora of the park is well worth protecting, because growing in Ruaha National Park to the 1,400 plant species, such as the genera Brachystegia, Combretum and Commiphora. This figure is significantly higher than for example in the Serengeti National Park, where only 600 plant species occur. Along the river are sometimes very large Ana trees whose seeds are eaten by elephants. The Ruaha National Park consists mainly of the Tanzania characteristic, harsh, semi -arid scrubland. It lies on the border between East African acacia savannah and miombo woodland belt of Southern Africa; This fact owes Ruaha also the wide variety of antelope. Due to forest fires, which are often caused by poachers, and the activities of the elephants, which reduce the holdings of the baobab tree, the vegetation change is subject to a constant.

Wild stocks

Ruaha is known for its very large elephant population; currently about 10,000 animals roam the park. The behavior of the elephant is influenced by the changing climatic conditions. The groups formed at the beginning of the rainy season from several families dissolve during the dry season when the animals move in search of food throughout the National Park. By restricting the tourist use on the southeastern part of the park grand country and fodder reserves for elephants are available. The Ruaha National Park is of size, vegetation and water resources fro a good elephant sanctuary, but because of poaching decreased their number of 26.625 in 1977 to 14,579 in 1983, only a year later there were 9280 copies. Throughout the Ruaha Rungwa - Kizigo area of the stock of 43 685 elephants fell in 1977 to 21 986 ten years later and 21,000 the following year. Under the aspect of the elephant protection you can count this area together with the Katavi - Rukwa Region to an even larger ecosystem.

Similarly, the Ruaha National Park is a paradise for ornithologists: Of an estimated 475 species of birds living there so far 436 have been identified. Among the resident birds, there are different types of hornbills, kingfishers and sunbirds. Many migratory birds wintering in the park, such as the white stork.

In addition to the sable antelope and the endangered African wild dog live here, many other mammals and reptiles such as crocodiles, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, buffalo in great numbers, antelope, big and small kudu, zebra and giraffe. The distribution area of ​​Grant 's gazelles, its southern edge here. Rhinos were the last time you spotted here in 1982; in the park they are probably extinct due to poaching.

There are many tsetse flies in the territory of the national park.

Climate and hazards

The annual precipitation is 500 to 800 mm. From June to September it almost never rains.

The water levels of the Ruaha go back continuously. Formerly, the flow proceeds to run the water all year round, but since 1993 occurred in the dry season regularly for periods when the river dries out completely. These droughts are becoming longer. Are suspected as causes irrigation intensive rice farming upstream and the increase in livestock ( intensive cattle farming ) in Usangu - wetland that feeds the Ruaha.

1990 poaching has been considered as a major problem for the elephant stock because there were already large losses. The set by poachers forest fires endangered vegetation.