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Mikumi National Park






The mikumi national park is located in morogoro region, in the southern Tourist circuit of Tanzania, It is about 288km, west of commercial city of Dar es salaam. At a normal driving speed, it takes about four hours to get there.

The road is bitumenised all the way through to the park. The park which was gazette in 1964 gets its name from settlement of mikumi, which in turn, gets its name from the spindle – shaped borassus palm trees, which are typical of the area.


The mikumi national park has an area of 3,230sq. km and is the fourth largest park after the Serengeti, ruaha and katavi national parks, in that descending order.

It lies between the villages of doma and mikumi on the dare s salaam – Tunduma highway. Admittedly, Mikumi national park “ falls into a gap in the “ eastern Arc mountains”.


The mountains stretch from Kenya down to southern Tanzania and are seen as isolated ranges. The udzungwa, Rubeho and uluguru mountains are all part of these discontinuous but linked mountain areas.


The park Headquarters lies at an elevation of 549 meters above sea level. A number of management challenges are facing the park authority. These challenges are emanating from internal and external pressures. The internal

pressures include:
The 50 km stretch of the Tanzania – Zambia highway
The Tanzania – Zambia railway line
The central railway line

The TAZAMA pipeline, and the national grid power lines

Apart from the vegetation types, the park has been divided into three zones “ the zones identify areas where similar types and levels of use and management emphasis are applied; based on the  park’s  purpose, its Exceptional Resource values, appropriate park uses, and management objectives”.


Take the High use zone, for instance, this covers mostly the northern part of the park where there is a concentration of visitor activities  and infrastructure. Game viewing, by vehicle, along designated roads, constitutes the principal visitor  activity, of course. On the other hand, the low use zone is confined to the south, where  only a small number of visitors  are welcome to have opportunities for exclusivity and solitude. And lastly, the wilderness zone is concerned with “ walking safaris”, game viewing by vehicles is prohibited.



Like in other parks, the mikumi national park too, has unique ecological features which provide outstanding benefits, not only to locals, but to nationals and international stakeholders as well. These are grouped into four main categories namely:  Natural, scenic, social and cultural.


The Natural attractions in mikumi national park includes

  • The habitat mosaic: forests, woodlands, bushland and grasslands. These are ideal habitats for different species of animals and birds.
  • Migratory birds are another attraction. The park has over 450 species of birds, making it one of the most important bird localities in Tanzania. Migrant species arrive in large flocks, between late October and mid – march. The migratory species seen include: white, European and open – billed storks
    • Elephants and wild dogs which are listed as threatened ( CITIES ) and endangered ( IUCN), are other attractions.





    • And finally, malundwe afro mountain hatitats, can take ones breath away. It is indeed a beautiful site. The mountain forms part of the eastern are mountains

The scenic attractions include:-

  1. The mkata floodplain, which forms a horse – shoe of hills , and are the feeding grounds of large herds of wildebeest, buffalo and wandering groups of elephant. The area has a complex mosaic of vegetation, intermixed with their transitional zones that merge with the major vegetation categories. This diverse habitat range, favours high concentration of plain game and the carnivors which attend them. In mikumi national park, there are two species of giraffe: Maasai giraffe ( giraffe camelopadalis), and Reticulate giraffe ( giraffa reticulate). They are mostly seen in the mkata flood plain, northern slopes of vuma hills, mgoda area and in the southern end of the park. It is estimated that there are over 500 giraffes in the park.






Social values include direct economic benefits to communities in terms of employment, facilities etc. and national economic benefits. However, it has to be noted that, the communities adjacent to the park, are given technical, material and financial assistance to implement community  - based development projects.
Lastly, mikumi has interesting cultural values, the “ Mtambiko” hill, for instance, is an important historical site in the park. It is believed to be an important worship site for the vidunda tribe. The best time to visit the mikumi national park is from june through February.

For visitors who want to break their safari, and stay in the park for an overnight, there are a good number of lodges and camps to choose from. The existing permanent accommodation facilities include:

  1. The mikumi wildlife lodge: this lodge was formely owned by the government through the Tanzania Tourist Corporation. It has now been privatized. This lodge has been built on a spur overlooking a valley at an altitude of 762m above sea level. The existing number of beds is 150 and the double bed rooms are self – contained, and there is also a swimming pool. There is a tented camp overlooking and expanse of plain and low valley in which game is usually seen, this is Mikumi wildlife tented camp. It has forty beds, and plans are underway to increase them to sixty, to meet the approved capacity
  2. On the other hand, the fox safari tented camp with twenty four beds needs improvement to meet  the required standards. Two more existing permanent accommodation is: the vuma hill Tented camp ( 32 beds ) and Live safaris Tented camp ( 40 beds) .