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Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is the country’s fourth largest (at 3230 kms²), it forms the northern border of the immense Selous Game Reserve. A fair degree of natural migration occurs between the two conservation zones, making the smaller Mikumi essentially an extension of the Selous Game Reserve. Mikumi is one of the most popular destinations in the area because of its ease of access offered by the Tanzam Highway post-1964. (Although much of the park is inaccessible to tourists.) The majority of operations occur in the north-western sector of the park, and specifically focus around the Mkata River and its associated floodplain – the best game viewing in the area.
The Mkata floodplain is an open grassland with sporadic patches of acacia woodland and baobabs. A good area for lion, the predator can sometimes be seen perched in trees trying to avoid the muddy ground during the wet season. Various man-made observation towers allow visitors to clamber up above the treeline and observe the panoramas of the plains below; complete with strong herds of buffalo, elephant, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest and wildebeest. A 60 kilometre game viewing loop gives easy game viewing from vehicles.
Mikumi National Park is home to various European migrant birds, and reaches about 400 species during the wet months, and it’s worth a visit to the woodland areas if birding is a key interest.
Consistent game viewing and easy access, coupled with well-priced (by national standards), accommodation make Mikumi a popular destination, and being only four hours away from Dar es Salaam by vehicle, it’s a good choice when short on time.