Mikumi national park
Mikumi national park is one of the most accessible Tanzania parks and a wonderful destination to visit for a Tanzania safari, Mikumi national park is located in Mikumi near Morogoro between Uluguru Mountains and Lumango range. This park is situated along the northern border of Selous game reserve and also borders Udzungwa Mountains national park and Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi national park lies in a distance of 107 kilometers from Morogoro town and288 kilometers west of Dar-es-Salaam.
Mikumi national park is the 4th largest protected area in Tanzania covering an area 3,230 square kilometers with landscape similar to Serengeti national park, the park is traversed by A7 highway running 50 kilometers through the park. Mikumi national park together with Selous game reserve create a unique and great ecosystem in Tanzania, the park consists of a scenic landscape made up of hardwood trees, tamarinds, miombo woodlands, swamps, ravine forests, baobab trees iconic to African continent, rare palm trees, open grass plains and Malundwe mountains. Malundwe mountains is the highest of the belt of hills running through the park from east to west connecting to Uluguru Mountains in the northeast with Uvidunda and Udzungwa mountains. Malundwe Mountain consists of three peaks on a ridge running north to south, the south peak standing at the elevation of 1290 meters creates the highest elevation of Mikumi national park.
Mikumi national park is a great habitat to huge concentration of Tanzania’s wildlife including four of the big five that are lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards, other animals habiting in Mikumi national park include elands, giraffes, impalas, sable antelopes, warthogs, waterbucks, wildebeests, greater kudus, yellow baboons, zebras, hartebeests, wild dogs, hippos and many more. These animals greatly inhabit around the Mkata floodplains north west of the main road, the flood plains are made up of ridges separated by a narrow depression of black cotton soil. Another spot habiting animals in Mikumi national park is the hippo pool situated 5 kilometers northwest of the main entry gate, hippo pool hosts a concentration of hippos and crocodiles.
Mikumi national park is listed among the important birding areas in Tanzania and a great destination for Tanzania birding safari, the park has a bird life consisting of over 400 bird species including migratory bird species. these birds include Common birds in the Mikumi National Park are the Marabou stork, Red-billed Oxpeckers, Black-bellied bustard, Francolin, Cattle egret, Guinea-fowls, Hornbill and Malachite Kingfisher, open-billed storks, Yellow-throated long claw, the Lilac-breasted roller and the Bateleur eagle and many more. Excellent sights of birds in Mikumi national park are offered at around Mkata River most especially African open bills and Mkata flood plains for ground hornbills.
Tourist activities in Mikumi national park
One of the remarkable Tanzania safari activities offered in Mikumi national park is wildlife viewing safaris, this activity is done mainly in Mkata flood plains northwest of the main road in a 4X4 wheel vehicle following numerous circuits running through the plains of the park. Mkata flood plains is usually referred to the little Serengeti because of the huge concentration of animals found there, game viewing activity is offered as day game drive, morning game drive and night game drive for nocturnal animals. One the game viewing experience expect to enjoy sights of beautiful creatures like lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards, other animals habiting in Mikumi national park include elands, giraffes, impalas, sable antelopes, warthogs, waterbucks, wildebeests, greater kudus, yellow baboons, zebras, hartebeests, wild dogs, hippos and many more.
The best time for game viewing in Mikumi national park is in the dry season experienced in the period of June to October, in this season it is very easy to spot animals because of the thinner vegetation cover and animals gather at watering holes to drink water most especially big herds of buffaloes and elephants.
Mikumi national park is one of the best destinations in a Tanzania birding safari, this park is a habitat to over 400 bird species offering excellent sights of birds such as bellied bustard, Francolin, Cattle egret, Guinea-fowls, Hornbill and Malachite Kingfisher, open-billed storks, Yellow-throated long claw, the Lilac-breasted roller and the Bateleur eagle and many more. In Mikumi national park there are both residence and migratory bird species which are spotted in the swamps, hippo pool and many parts of the park.
Mikumi national park is a fine destination for Tanzania walking safaris, the park offers short walking safaris done for about 3-4 hours. Walking safaris are done three walking trails running through the park that are Kikoboga, Vuma Hills and Mikumi wildlife lodge trail. Walking safaris are done with a guidance of a safari guide taking you on a walk through short savannah and Miombo woodland vegetation, walking safaris are best done in dry season when trails are dry and grasslands are shorts.
Picnic and camping
Mikumi national park is an excellent destination for picnic and camping safari activities, the park consists of 3 picnic sites at Mbuyuni, Millennium and Mwanambogo picnic sites. Camping activities offers an opportunity to enjoy mouthwatering meals with beautiful scenic views of nature.
Camping in Mikumi national park is done in public campsites situated in the northern region of the park, camping offers a thrilling adventure for nature lovers and opportunity to enjoy roaring voices of nocturnal animals such as roaring lions. Public campsite comprises of amenities like bathrooms, kitchen, toilets and water. There are also special campsites in Mikumi national park
How to get to Mikumi national park
Mikumi national park is located in Morogoro and crossed by Tanzania’s A7 highway making the park very accessible, Mikumi national park is accessed by road and air transport depending on the most convenient way to the visitor of the park. By road, the park is accessed on a drive from Dar es Salaam connecting to Mikumi via Morogoro. There are also routes connecting to Mikumi national park from Ruaha national and Selous national reserve.
By air transport, scheduled chartered flights are offered from Dar-es-salaam landing at Kikoboga airstrip.
Where to stay in Mikumi national park
In Mikumi national park there are many accommodation establishments used by tourists visiting the park, these accommodation establishments vary in status that is luxury, midrange and budget to meet the financial potential of the tourists. Accommodation in Mikumi national park include Stanley’s kopje, Vuma hills tented camp, Mikumi wildlife camp, Tan-Swiss camp, Mikumi African cottages, camp Bastian Mikumi, vamos hotel Mikumi and many more.