Mikumi National Park
This is Tanzania’s fourth-largest national park, and the most accessible from Dar es Salaam. With almost guaranteed year-round wildlife sightings, Mikumi makes an ideal safari destination for those without much time. Within its 3230 sq km – set between the Uluguru Mountains to the northeast, the Rubeho Mountains to the northwest and the Lumango Mountains to the southeast – Mikumi hosts buffaloes, wildebeest, giraffes, elephants, lions, zebras, leopards, crocodiles and more, and chances are high that you’ll see a respectable sampling of these within a short time of enteringthe park.
The most reliable wildlife watching is around the Mkata floodplain, to the north-west of the main road, with the open vistas of the small but lovely Millennium (‘Little Serengeti’) area a highlight. This area is especially good for spotting buffaloes – often quite near the roadside – as well as giraffes, elephants and zebras. Another attraction: the Hippo Pools, just northwest of the main entry gate, where you can watch hippos wallowing and snorting at close range, plus do some fine birding.
Mikumi is an important educational and research centre. Among the various projects being carried out is an ongoing field study of yellow baboons, which is one of just a handful of such long-term primate studies on the continent. To the south, Mikumi is contiguous with Nyerere National Park.