Ruaha National Park is the destination where wildlife game-viewing begins the moment visitor’s plane touches down on its airstrip. A pair of giraffe may race beside the airstrip, with a line of zebra parading across the runway in their wake as nearby protective elephant mothers guard their young under the shade of a baobab tree.
Wildlife in Ruaha is concentrated along the great Ruaha River that is the park’s lifeblood. The river is a torrent after the rains, dwindling to a few precious pools of water surrounded by a sweep of sand in the dry season. Waterbuck, Impala and the world’s most southerly Grants Gazelle risk their lives for a sip of water. The shores of Ruaha are a permanent hunting ground for lion, leopard, jackal, hyena and the rare and endangered African Wild Dog.
Ruaha’s 8,00 elephants are recovering strongly from ivory poaching during the 1980 and remain the largest population in East Africa.