Expert Reviews – Mikumi NP

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Wildlife Watching Just off the Highway
Overall rating
3/5

Mikumi's highlights are its ease of access (it's an easy four-hour drive from Dar es Salaam along the main highway), its reasonably-priced lodges and the chance it offers to see a good array of wildlife within a short amount of time. Every time I've visited the park, I've been lucky enough to see elephants, zebras, giraffe, buffalo and plenty of baboons, plus some more elusive nocturnals, including the honey badger. The down sides are the lack of a wilderness feel (due to the location bisected by the highway), and the relative 'ordinariness' of the safari experience in comparison with Tanzania's other protected areas. I don't recommend Mikumi as a destination in itself, especially for first-time safari goers. However, it makes an enjoyable destination as a stopover if you are travelling along the Tanzam highway, or as an easy weekend getaway from Dar es Salaam.

A road runs through it
Overall rating
3/5

Mikumi’s relative proximity to Dar es Salaam makes the park the perfect weekend getaway, so you'll generally find a few more tourists here than in the Southern Circuit’s more remote Ruaha National Park. With the Tanzam Highway running straight through the centre of the park, it doesn’t have the same wilderness feel as Ruaha. It’s certainly a little disconcerting hearing trucks race along a highway when you’re tucked away in your campsite or when you’re quietly trying to watch the animals. On the positive side, you don't even need to enter it to start your game viewing. After spending two days driving around the park hoping to spy a lion, we finally found one casually crossing the main highway just as we'd given up and left. While only a small section of the park has been developed for tourism, a typical game drive will reveal elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, warthog, wildebeest and impala all in impressive numbers. We certainly saw an abundance of wildlife during our short stay – watching hippos lurch and snap at each other as the sunset over the dam was a highlight – which overall made it a worthy stop on way to Ruaha.

Average Expert Rating

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

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