Expert Reviews – Mikumi NP

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Mikumi – the ideal stop-over on the Tanzam Highway
Overall rating

Mikumi is my favourite stop-over when driving to Ruaha National Park. The park isn’t very scenic and the highway running through it kills the wilderness appeal, which is the main attraction of the other parks in Southern Tanzania. Having said that, the game viewing is good in Mikumi. Arguably better than in Ruaha. It is easy to find lions and there is always a good number of general game around. The man-made waterhole is a magnet for animals coming to drink including huge herds of buffalo. Reedbuck is very common and unusual antelopes like eland and greater kudu are often spotted as well. The game drive circuit is quite small, so one or two game drives is all you really need here. The park is often visited by rowdy crowds from Dar-es-Salaam which can spoil the experience at crucial points like the waterhole and picnic sites. Therefore, weekends are not the best time to visit.

A stretch of typical savannah with unexpected game-viewing on Tanzania’s Great North Road
Overall rating

Straddling the Morogoro-Iringa highway, Mikumi has typical woodland and grassy plains, and the lush vegetation of the Mkata River floodplain attracts a fair variety of animals and birds throughout the year. I’ve passed through en route between Tanzania and Malawi, and game-viewing is as simple as slowing down to the prescribed speed limit. It’s quite an odd experience to drive through a village, then a pristine wildlife area, then immediately back to farmland and villages on the other side. But just on the 50-kilometre drive through, I’ve seen plains game, elephant, and lion and they seem quite accustomed to the vehicles that rumble past. While I wouldn’t make a special effort to get just here as it’s a fairly long drive from Dar es Salaam, there is a good choice of accommodation and it can be combined with other parks in southern Tanzania.

Average Expert Rating

  • 2.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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