Ruaha National Park is a park where game viewing can begin the moment the plane touches down. A pair of giraffe maym 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 Grant’s Gazelle risk their lives for a sip of water. The shores of the Ruaha are a permanent hunting ground for lion, leopard, jackal, hyena and the rare and endangered African Wild Dog. Ruaha’s 8,000 elephants are recovering strongly from ivory poaching during the 1980s and remain the largest population in East Africa.
Ruaha is the only protected area in which the flora and fauna of eastern and southern Africa overlap, leading to fascinating combinations of wildlife – both
Greater and Lesser Kudu live here, as do Sable and Roan Antelope.
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