Mikumi National Park Safari Tours & Holidays
Mikumi National Park is one of the circle of three major parks in what we call the Southern Safari Circuit of Tanzania (otherwise known as “the southern circuit”. Mikumi is blessed or cursed with being relatively close to Dar Es Salam, but it should not be discounted – it is a first class safari park in Tanzania. It is an intrinsic part of the Selous-Mikumi Game Corridor which runs from the plains of central Tanzania well into Mozambique. Mikumi falls into place when planning a tailor made Tanzania safari holiday; or as an add on to the Selous and Ruaha National Park when you want to experience the real Tanzania by overland travel from Dar es Salaam to Ruaha. Even if only as a short add on to your scuba dive holiday on the beaches of Zanzibar, Mikumi is unique in that it has animals active all year round.
SAFARI GAME VIEWING IN MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 square kilometres and is well known for its populations of elephants, giraffes, zebras, elands, kudu, wildebeest, and antelope. A number of huge interconnected waterpools have resident families of hippo’s living in them. We always recommend taking time to sit and watch these amazing creatures frolic and fight, swim, huddle and muddle along with each other all day long . Every now and then a silent crocodile glides into the middle of the hippos to sun itself on the banks. Our tailor made Mikumi safari tours only use first class safari guides from the best safari companies in Tanzania. You will have a first class private guided safari in Mikumi National Park.
The larger mammals, like zebra and elephant, giraffe and buffalo wander over the verdant undulating grasslands and are hunted upon by large numbers of prides of lion, solo moving leopards, wild dogs, and the saddle-backed jackal. Most areas of the Park are easily accessible and distances are shorter then in other parks – making it a perfect park when aiming for specific species on your game drives.
Lately, the elusive leopard has been gaining ground again inside the park and more and more sightings of this elegant but shy predator are becoming prevalent. The sightings of leopard is what makes Mikumi National Park such a special safari tour option in Tanzania. Mikumi is a cheaper park to access, and easier to enter than some of the northern big names. It is only 5 hours drive from Dar es Salaam. This means that you can fly into Dar es Salaam, arriving in the early hours and be in your safari vehicle and arriving in camp by 10 am. After a short nap and lunch you can start game driving immediately.
Conversely, you can finish a day’s safari game viewing in Mikumi National Park, and still make your evening international flight from Dar Es Salaam back to Europe.
BIRDING IN MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
Mikumi National Park is well known for its’ high variety of birds, with over 400 species making it their home. These colourful specimens include the red-billed ox pecker, marabou stork, and lilac breasted roller and all these are easily spotted when cruising the park on the network of tracks laid out.
In the Southern part of the park, with its miombo woodland the dominant flora, you can encounter exotic species like Shelley’s double collared sunbird, the pale billed hornbill, and the violet-crested turaco. Again the shorter distances make it a bird watchers’ paradise.
For photographers especially, the lighting of the area is superb with photogenic iconic acacia trees in all the right spots!
Though rare in the past, leopards are also commonly seen nowadays.
WHERE TO STAY IN MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK WHEN ON SAFARI
There are two places to stay inside Mikumi National Park. We recommend the Mikumi Wildlife Lodge, which is a great value for money option. It allows you to see the animals up close and personal, while still keeping your budget in tact. The Mikumi Wildlife Lodge is inside the savannah area, in the middle of the park. It is close to the road, but that does not stop the lions from crossing in front of the breakfast table. It is also possible to do walking safaris with a wildlife service ranger here.
The second place we recommend is the Foxes’ Safaris camp on the hill that overlooks the plains. This place is quite special, small and with a stunning view. You are away from anywhere here, in a remote location, but you only have a short drive to access the plains game locations.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK
Mikumi National park was established in 1964 and extended again in 1975. While the highway to Zambia runs through the middle of this park, this has hardly any effect on your safari tour, as all holidays are tailor made and all of our safaris take you to where the animals are. The road actually makes the Mikumi National Park easily accessible on a first or last day and the Park is an excellent addition to your safari adventure!
Mikumi National Park shares a similar eco-system with the Selous Game Reserve and the Kilombero Game Controlled Area. Further to the north Mikumi National Park is bordered by the Uluguru Mountains, and the southeast is fringed by the Rubeho Mountains. The Mkata River Flood Plain is the main feature of this park that is essentially almost a bowl-like landscape with mountains surrounding it.
The Mkata floodplain, part of the Mikumi National Park enclosure, is an important water source for animals in the dry season. The remainder of the park is mostly miombo and riverine woodland interspersed with semi-arid savannah land.