Fairend Safaris

Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is located in the southern region of Tanzania, established in 1964 covering an area of 3,230 Km2. This park borders Selous Game Reserve in the south, the Uluguru Mountains to the northeast, and the Uduzungwa Mountains to the west.

The Park has a diverse ecology characterized by broad alluvial plains with more Acacia trees and Baobabs. In addition, it has a wide range of wild species that can be seen in the open grasslands as herbivores graze and predators hunt. These species are lions, buffaloes, zebras, impalas, hippos, baboons, eland, kudu, wildebeests, and black antelope among others.

How to get to Mikumi National Park

Travelers who intend to visit Mikumi can opt to use either road or air means to access the park.

By road, travelers who use Julius Nyerere International Airport as their entry point can get to park by using a car. It takes about 4 to 5 hours because Dar es Salaam is the city you will be traveling from. Importantly, the road is tarmacked and well-maintained hence it is easier and cost effective to use. Travelers from Dodoma take about 6 hours to get to the park.

By air, there are flights organized by Safari Air Link that travelers can use to access Mikumi National Park. Travelers usually get help from tour operators who can help you book such flights.

Top attractions

Wildlife species

There is a wide range of wild species including four of the big five animals; buffalo, elephant, lion, and leopard. The park also boasts an incredible number of zebras, hippos, Greater Kudu, wild dogs, wildebeest, impalas, giraffes, warthogs, waterbucks, Sable antelopes, and baboons, among many others. Mikumi National Park also offers sightings of reptiles such as pythons, crocodiles and monitor lizards.

Birds

Mikumi National Park is a great birding destination with over 400 recorded bird species. The best birding areas in the park are around the Mkata River and floodplains. The bird species to look out for include Black-bellied Bustard, Malachite and Pied kingfishers, Guinea fowls, Bateleur Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Martial Eagle, Superb Starling, Secretary Bird, ox-peckers, Cattle Egret, Francolin, Marabou stork, Long-tailed fiscal, and Lilac-breasted roller, among others

Mountains

The park lies amid mountains, the most frequent and well-known mountains are the Uluguru Mountains. These include the Udzugwa Mountains and the Malundwe Mountains which are which are situated in the heart of the park. They are the biggest and tallest and thus stand out as top attractions found in this area.

Malundwe Mountains are made up of three peaks, the tallest lies in the southern part and rises to 1290 meters. These mountains offer great sceneries and have attracted more travelers who are photographers, researchers, and authors among others.

 

Kinole Waterfall

Kinole waterfall is not located within the park however it is one of the main attractions of the Park. The waterfall is located a few kilometers outside of Morogoro in the Uluguru Mountains. It was named after the town in which it is situated, visitors may swim below the waterfall or trek to the top.

Top activities done in Mikumi National Park

Game drives and animal viewing

Game viewing is a top activity done on a safari in Tanzania. Mikumi National Park offers great game drives which are carried out in 4×4 safari vehicles under the supervision of experienced safari guides.
Travelers get an opportunity to see several wild species including lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, elands, sable antelopes, wildebeests, greater kudus, warthogs, waterbucks, yellow baboons, zebras, hartebeests, and wild dogs, among others.
Game drives are usually conducted in the morning, afternoon, and at night for travelers interested in seeing nocturnal animals.

Birding

Mikumi National Park is home to over 400 bird species among which are migratory, savanna, aquatic birds, and many others. The park offers amazing birding safaris throughout the year and birders should expect to see various birds. Birds such as the Zanzibar red bishop, malachite kingfisher, martial eagle, yellow-throated long claw, purple breasted roller, marabou stork, hornbills, bateleurs eagle, and open billed stork, to mention but a few. Migratory species can be seen in Mikumi from November to April.

Nature walks

Travelers can explore some of the parts of the park on foot, since there are three different trails to use. Among these are Kikoboga, Vuma Hills, and the Mikumi Wildlife Resort trail. Nature walks in Mikumi National Park are usually led by experienced guides and armed rangers.  Besides the walks are usually done in the short savannah and Miombo forest vegetation. During nature walks tourists can have up-close encounters with wild animals, birds, and many more.

Camping

The Park has two camping areas/sites one is a public campsite and the other is a private campsite. The private camping site is located in the Vuma Hills, yet it is also known as Campsite 5, while the public campsite is located in the Nkata Plains. More adventurous travelers can take part in this amazing activity. 

Picnics can also be done in this park since it offers beautiful terrains and sites that are ideal wilderness areas.

Where to stay 

There are several accommodation facilities that travelers can choose to stay in when visiting Mikumi National Park. These vary from luxury to budget safari lodges and camp sites.  Some of these include; Stanley’s Kopje camp, Vuma Hill Tented Lodge, Mikumi Wildlife Camp, Angalia Tented Camp, Ikumi safari lodge, Tan-Swiss lodge and lastly campsites 

When to visit Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park can be visited all year however, the best time to visit is during the dry season, from June to October. During this period, the vegetation is thinner, and animals may be seen gathering around the Mkata River to quench their thirst.