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Tanzania Southern Circuit

Tanzania Southern Circuit

Explore The Best Of Southern Circuit National Parks

Explore the wildlife-rich and unspoilt wilderness areas of southern Tanzania’s game reserves on safari, before hopping by plane to the island of Zanzibar for days spent snorkelling on tropical reefs and enjoying sandbank picnics. Explore the waterways and plains of Nyerere National Park by boat, vehicle and on foot, before searching for big cats in Ruaha National Park, home to 10 percent of Africa’s lion population.

Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National Park, located in the Kitulo plateau above 2600 meters above sea level is truly enough beautiful to make you skip a beat of your heart. Nestled between the rugged peaks of the Kipengere, Poroto and Livingstone mountains the national park has covered itself in green grassland and multicolor flower bed. Covering 412.9 square kilometers area, the Kitulo National Park is lying in Mbeya Region and Njombe Region and is administrated by Tanzania National Parks Authority.
This is one of the very few protected places of the earth that is blessed with truly natural wonders. Every step you keep inside the national park you will get introduced to a new species of flower and plant.
Kitulo was designated as a national park in 2005 by President Benjamin Mkapa. The flora life of the region was invented by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The fact that makes it unique from other national parks of East Africa is, it is the first tropical forest of Africa that was initiated to protect the flora life.

The local people of the place call Kitulo as Bustani ya Mungu (garden of god). Mostly the national park is called Serengeti of flowers by the botanists. The park was especially initiated to protect the orchids from the international trade in orchid tubers.
Kitulo is a small park; it acquires a 14th position in between the 16 national parks of the country. The Kitulo National Park doesn’t showcase much of wildlife; however numerous orchids compensate for the loss. The national park is home to more than 350 plant species. You can spot mostly Afroalpine plants, geophytes, and ground orchids as well you can enjoy lilies, irises, aloes, proteas, giant lobelias, and daisies too.
The Kitulo national park is home to a few endangered bird species and primates as well. You can spot some mountain animals too like; Reed bucks, zebras, elands. It is also home to 25 endangered primate species including Kipunji monkeys.

Mikumi National Park

Established in 1964 Mikumi national park is another notable national park of Southern Circuit of Tanzania. The closest city to the national park is Dar es Salaam. You can reach to Mikumi from Dar es Salaam directly through Morogoro. It will take you almost 4 hours of drive. You can also reach the place from Arusha or Selous.
The national park is adjacent to the Selous Game reserve in the south hence both the reserved places share the same eco-system. The vegetation of the Mikumi National Park is dominated mostly by grassy plains covered with baobab and black hardwood trees. Covering 3,230 km² it is the 4th largest national park in the country. Due to its vegetation and size, the national park mostly gets compared with Serengeti plains.

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha is a massive 10,300 sq km after being gazetted in 1964 and extended in 1974. It is the second largest park after the Serengeti and is home to 456 bird species, 1600 plant species, 50 amphibian species and a myriad of other inhabitants. The actual eco-system embraced by Ruaha, with neighbouring game reserves contains four vegetation zones and almost 40,000 sq km of land. One of the most memorable sightings in Ruaha, is the solitary greater kudu – the spiral horns and does of lateral white stripes, allowing the kudu to blend in with its bush surroundings in time of fright.
Elephants are en-masse in Ruaha, as well are giraffe, with over 8000 in population. The elusive and endangered African Hunting Dog is also found in Ruaha, threatened to almost extinction by hunters with the incorrect view that the dogs drove wildlife out of the area and threatened domestic stock. The base rock of Ruaha is estimated to be 450-600 million years old and faulting made the earth’s crust buckle and created mountains, and the Great Rift Valley, through which the Great Ruaha River is an extension. The flow of the river in recent times has diminished due to damming for Tanzanian electricity consumers and the rice schemes upriver.

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is a vast, 48,000-sq-km wilderness area lying at the heart of southern Tanzania. It is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, and home to large herds of elephants, plus buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, many bird species and some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos. Bisecting it is the Rufiji River, which cuts a path past woodlands, grasslands and stands of borassus palm, and provides unparalleled water-based wildlife watching.

Udzungwa National Park

A paradise for bird watchers, flower lovers and the primate seeking visitors. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is perhaps Tanzania's most important sanctuary of terrestrial biodiversity. Udzungwe has many other mammals and maybe safari is not typical safari game you'd expect of Tanzanian National Parks. Is an esoteric safari destination for true nature lovers. Its mountains are fascinating to bird watchers, with at least 400 recorded species, 25 endemic.