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Ruaha Budget Safari Tours

4.6/5  –  73 Ruaha Reviews

Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s largest and least-known parks. It’s also one of the country’s best, thanks to its combination of incredible landscapes and the wildlife that inhabit them. This is a true wilderness area, and a terrific place to see predators such as lion and African wild dog, as well as elephant, giraffe, zebra, and all manner of different antelope species. It’s never crowded because few people make it out to this corner of Tanzania. There are also relatively few accommodation options which helps to keep numbers down. The park’s miombo woodlands, baobabs and mighty Great Ruaha River all provide a stirring backdrop to the animals you’ll see.

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1-20 of 36 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Ruaha National Park

4 Questions About Ruaha Budget Safaris


4 Questions About Ruaha Budget Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

What is usually included in a budget safari to Ruaha NP?

“What’s included and what’s not included in a Ruaha National Park budget safari will vary from one safari operator to the next. But there are some general rules that apply to most tours and packages. Most budget safaris here will involve camping, and the cost of your safari should include camping equipment, food and water, a guide, game drives within the park, a driver and a vehicle. While you’re camping on a cheap safari, you might be expected to help out around camp with tasks that could include setting up and taking down tents, cooking and washing up. What may not be included are transfers and park fees (US$35/15/40 per adult/child/vehicle per day), although you’ll have to pay these whether they’re included in the quoted safari price or not. Extra activities (such as an expensive balloon safari) will be considered an optional extra.”


Which other parks should I visit on a budget safari to Ruaha NP?

“The answer to this question depends on how long you have for your safari holiday in Tanzania. Assuming you have time to visit Ruaha National Park and spend a few days getting to know it well, any extra time you have on your trip could include the forest hiking trails of Udzungwa Mountains National Park, the Serengeti-like plains and wildlife of Mikumi National Park, and even Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve). Most of these parks are also in Tanzania’s southeast, so shouldn’t involve too much travel by road. You could, of course, go further afield to other national parks – west to Katavi, Gombe Stream or Mahale Mountains, or north to the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and/or Tarangire – if you’re willing to fly or add numerous long days on the road. On a long safari, an occasional flight might be OK, but flights are expensive and can raise the price of a safari beyond the budget level.”


What type of accommodation can I expect?

“Ruaha National Park has the usual accommodation which is maintained by the park authorities in all Tanzanian parks: these include bandas and campsites. The bandas are like simple bungalows, with walled rooms and basic (and usually shared) bathroom facilities. There is a handful of campsites spread out across the park. These usually occupy shaded areas, with communal shower and toilet facilities (men and women have separate facilities), as well as shared cooking and dining areas. There’s a particularly appealing campsite right by the Msembe park headquarters. Although the park’s campsites can get busy, they attract both locals (during Tanzanian holiday periods) and international visitors, which can make for a fun atmosphere in camp. You might also find some cheap and simple privately run campsites outside the park boundaries.”


How much does a Ruaha NP budget trip cost?

“The cost of a Ruaha National Park budget safari varies considerably from one operator to the next. But some tours and packages start at a relatively affordable US$150 per person per day. Included in this estimate are, in addition to the costs incurred by your operator, the national park fees (US$35/15 per adult/child per day). For a really cheap safari, you may be expected to help out around camp with some of the chores. High season in Ruaha runs from June to October. If you travel outside of these months, things can be a little cheaper, although it won’t make much difference to the cost of a budget safari, and you’re more likely to encounter unfavorable weather conditions. There will also be differences in price between a budget group safari and a budget self-drive safari.”


Ruaha Reviews

4.6/5 73 Reviews
Gemma Pitcher  –  
Australia AU

Gemma authored several Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

A southern wilderness well worth the trek

I love Tanzania’s southern circuit – less tourists than the north and so many excellent camps and lodges. The Ruaha National Park is up there with the Selous amongst my favourites, and I reckon the two parks combined make an excellent...

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Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Ruaha National Park

Visitors are often surprised to learn that Ruaha is bigger than the Serengeti. At more than 20,000km2/7,700mi2, this is Tanzania’s second-largest national park (after Nyerere) and one of those safari destinations that tends to attract the...

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Markus Stephan  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Aug 1, 2019

Ruaha NP is very big and it changes his look. Mountains, grass, trees and ... , you get every scene you have in your mind how a NP can Look like.
Amazing nature with great count of animals!
Defently a Tessin to come back to Tansania!

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Sam Nicholls  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Mar 16, 2019

Excellent birding in a beautiful National Park with very varied scenery. Wonderful wildlife, particularly of large numbers of elephants. We had 2 very good leopard sightings and numerous other mammals. Lions were heard but not seen other...

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nordiclady  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Nov 14, 2018
Great safari with a wealth of animals to see, especially elephants, giraffes and buffalos.

Ruaha National park is a beautiful park, full of scenery and stunning views even without animals. Plenty of baobap trees and other trees and bushes to see. The weather was good, warm and mainly sunny which is nice on a jeep where you can...

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Laurent Sabourin  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Oct 19, 2018

If you want to feel what wild Africa is, here's the place! You will see a lot of wildlife and a few humans. But be aware that it is not an easy park, besause you don't get tips as in other places to find animals, you have to find them by...

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