​Overview – Mikumi NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Underrated Mikumi National Park is known for its open horizons and abundant wildlife, especially across the Serengeti-like expanses of the Mkata Floodplain. The hippo pool and Millennium area are particularly popular, with good reason. The Dar–Ruaha road bisects Mikumi and it can get busy during the Dry season. To escape the crowds, the park’s south has a wild, wilderness feel, and is known for its elephants and lions.

Best Time To Go Late June to October (Animals are attracted to the waterholes)
High Season June to October
Size 3,230km² / 1,247mi²
Altitude 201-1,143m / 659-3,750ft

Pros & Cons

  • Good general wildlife viewing, including lion, buffalo, elephant and giraffe
  • Home to unusual antelope species like eland, greater kudu and sable
  • Guided walks available
  • Excellent well-priced mid-range lodges
  • Convenient stopover between Dar es Salaam and Ruaha National Park
  • The park’s south promises quieter, wildlife-rich expeditions
  • The Tanzam Highway runs straight through the park
  • Animals are scattered and more difficult to see during the Wet season
  • Some lodges close from March to May
  • The park can get busy at weekends

Mikumi NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The grasslands of Mikumi support large herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and impala. Giraffe and elephant are also common. Large predators such as lion, leopard and spotted hyena are less conspicuous, but still possible. Watch also for eland, greater kudu, sable and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. Troops of yellow baboon and vervet monkey are found throughout the park. The planned reintroduction of rhino to Mikumi will only increase the park’s appeal.

Scenery

The main 60km/37mi tourist road circuit on the Mkata River floodplain comprises open grassland interspersed with acacia woodland, patches of borassus palms, black hardwood trees and the odd baobab. The park sits in a basin partly encircled by mountains, which provide a pretty backdrop. Around 80% of Mikumi lies south of the Tanzam Highway and is only for well-equipped expeditions.

Activities

The main activity in Mikumi is game drives along the excellent network of wildlife-viewing roads that crisscross the Mkata Floodplain northeast of the Tanzam Highway. These roads and the waterholes they pass are perfect for birding and general wildlife viewing; the waterholes in particular often reward those who park alongside them and wait patiently. Other activities include guided walks and guided night drives.

Weather & Climate

Mikumi enjoys almost uniform temperatures throughout the year because of its equatorial location. The months of the Dry season (June to October) are among the coolest. The Wet season (November to May) is humid and hot, especially in the closing months of the year.

Best Time To Visit

The Dry season runs from June to October and from late June to October is the best time for viewing wildlife. This is when Mikumi’s vegetation thins out, animals are easy to spot and you can expect lots of sunshine. In September and October in particular, there’s a constant stream of animals coming to drink at the waterholes. Animals are more difficult to see in the wetter months, although the birding is good from November to February.

Want To Visit Mikumi NP?

236 Mikumi Safaris

Mikumi NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

An Underrated Gem
4/5

Little-known Mikumi, an extension of the vast Selous ecosystem, is the country’s fifth-largest national park, and a popular goal for weekend breaks out of the port city Dar es Salaam, or as an initial pit stop on a more extensive safari...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Carl Hagen  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Feb 19, 2024
3/5

We were lucky and saw many animals!

Full Review