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Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park

At 13000 square kilometers, this massive and relatively new park is one of Tanzania's largest elephant sanctuaries. The wildlife is rich and varied but interestingly lacks in certain plains game such as Thomson's gazelle. The Great Ruaha River flows along the eastern part of the park and supports river wildlife such as crocodile, hippo and fish.


Ruaha's unusually high diversity of antelope is a function of its location, which is transitional to the acacia savannah of East Africa and the miombo woodland belt of Southern Africa. Grant's gazelle occur here at the very south of their range, alongside the miombo-associated sable and roan antelope, and one of East Africas largest populations of greater kudu.
Brief History of Ruaha National Park
Its lifeblood is the Great Ruaha River, which courses along the eastern boundary in a flooded torrent during the height of the rains, but dwindling thereafter to a scattering of precious pools surrounded by a blinding sweep of sand and rock. A fine network of game-viewing roads follows the Great Ruaha and its seasonal tributaries, where , during the dry season, impala, waterbuck and other antelopes risk their life for a sip of life-sustaining water.

A similar duality is noted in the checklist of 450 birds: the likes of crested barbet, an attractive yellow-and-black bird whose persistent trilling is a characteristic sound of the southern bush, occur in Ruaha alongside central Tanzanian endemics such as the yellow-collared lovebird and ashy starling.
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