Ruaha National Park is the second largest national park in Tanzania, after the Serengeti. It is a remote bastion of spectacular wilderness, undisturbed wildlife, and breath-taking scenery
The Great Ruaha River as other rivers like Mwagusi, Jongomero, and Mzombe save as the lifeline of the park. During the dry season, these rivers become mostly the main source of water for wildlife. There are few natural springs saving the same purpose. In the pick of the dry season, elephants obtain water from dry sand rivers using their front feet and trunks. The remaining water falls along the Great Ruaha River are also important habitat for hippopotamus, fish, and crocodiles. The park history dates back to 1910 when it was gazetted Saba Game Reserve by Germany then the name was changed by the British to Rungwa Game reserve in 1946. In 1964 the southern portion of the Game was gazetted as Ruaha national park and in 1974 a small section of the South-Eastern part of the Great Ruaha River was incorporated into the park. The name “Ruaha” originates from the Hehe word “Ruvaha”, which means “river”. Ruaha National Park is part of the Rungwa-Kizigo –Muhesi ecosystem which covers more than 45000km2. In 2008 Usangu game Reserve and other important wetlands in the Usangu basin have been annexed into the park, making it the largest park in Tanzania and East Africa with an area of about 20226km2.
Ruaha National Park has an incredibly diverse landscape. One of the most outstanding geographical features is the Great Ruaha River, which is the life source for the wildlife in the park. Ruaha National Park has a high diversity of plants and animals; including elephants, buffalos, antelopes, and some rare and endangered species like the African wild dog. There is a considerable population of crocodiles and other reptiles; such as snakes and monitor lizards. Natural springs occur throughout the park, which act as dry season refuges for wildlife in search of water.
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