Swirls of opaque mist hide the advancing dawn. The first shafts of sun colour the fluffy grass heads rippling across the plain in a russet halo. A herd of zebras, confident in their camouflage at this predatory hour, pose like ballerinas, heads aligned and stripes merging in flowing motion.
Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa’s biggest game reserve – the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometre (47,000 square mile) tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.
The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centrepiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.
Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by Mikumi’s elephants.
Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.
More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.
Mikumi Safari itenerary
A Mikumi safari takes you around a park with the highest game density of the entire conservation area. The Mikumi National Park obtains a good impression of the African animal world and is suitable very well for a short visit.
Day 1: Dar es Salaam – Mikumi
Pick up from your hotel in Dar es Salaam or at Dar Es Salaam Airport by your guide and leave for Mikumi national park (transfer some 4-5 hours from Dar Es Salaam outskirts), being nestled between the Uruguru Mountains to the East and the Rift Valley Escarpments to the Southwest.
As it is close to the Selous ecosystem and therefore part of it, it benefits from the highest game density of the entire conservation area. The Mikumi National Park obtains a good impression of the African animal world and is suitable very well for a short visit.
After arrival at Mikumi National Park you go on safari around the park.
Overnight at Tan Swiss Lodge outside the park Lunch and dinner included.
Day 2: Mikumi National Park
Full day of game drives around Mikumi. There is a rich variety bird species as well as large numbers of giraffes, buffaloes and elephants and close to the water holes also lions, leopards and hippos. Furthermore you can see zebras, lions, wild dogs, pythons, hartebeest, wildebeest, elephants, impala, warthog, eland and other antelopes.
Several observation towers enable you to overview the park in its entirety. Mikumi National Park is mostly miombo woodland with gently rolling hills.
Overnight at Tan Swiss Lodge outside the Park All meals included.
Day 3: Mikumi – Dar Es Salaam
After breakfast proceed with your safari activities at Mikumi before you return to Dar Es Salaam with arrival in the late afternoon/early evening. Breakfast and lunch included.