3 Days Ruaha Safari From Iringa

Experience the Wild Heart of Tanzania: A 3-Day Ruaha Safari from Iringa

Tanzania, a country renowned for its vast wilderness areas and spectacular wildlife, offers an array of experiences for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Among its hidden gems is Ruaha National Park, a pristine and less-traveled destination that promises an intimate and authentic African safari experience. 

This 3-day Ruaha safari from Iringa is a budget adventure that touches the soul, offering up-close encounters with wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and a deep connection to nature. This off-the-beaten-path destination provides an authentic and uncrowded safari experience, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the untamed beauty of Africa. Ruaha park with no doubt is the best due to the presence of abundant wildlife and constant changing landscapes which add a magical touch to the whole experience.

What To See on a 3 Days Ruaha Safari

This 3-day Ruaha safari from Iringa is a budget adventure that touches the soul, offering up-close encounters with wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and a deep connection to nature. This off-the-beaten-path destination provides an authentic and uncrowded safari experience, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the untamed beauty of Africa. Ruaha park with no doubt is the best due to the presence of abundant wildlife and constant changing landscapes which add a magical touch to the whole experience.

Common animals that you can see on a 3 day Ruaha Safari include large herds of elephants and buffalo gathering at the riverbanks to drink and cool off, while predators such as lions and leopards lurk nearby, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Another must-see in Ruaha safari is the impressive baobab trees that dot the landscape. These ancient, majestic trees are a signature feature of the park and provide a unique backdrop for visitors exploring the area. The park is also home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Ruaha safari Visitors can spot colorful species such as kingfishers, hornbills, and sunbirds while exploring the park’s diverse habitats.

Where to Stay in a 3 Days Ruaha Safari

While on Ruaha safari visitors can stay at Ruaha Tanapa Cottages which offer a unique and immersive experience for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The cottages are nestled within the untamed wilderness of the park, providing a peaceful and serene setting for guests to relax and unwind. Each cottage is beautifully designed with traditional African decor and modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

For guest who prefer luxury accommodation yet Ruaha has something to offer. There are number of luxury lodges and tented camps designed to blend in with the natural surroundings and offer a comfortable and peaceful stay.

Getting to Ruaha National Park

For travelers intend to come for Ruaha safari are suppose to travel to Iringa town which is accessible by tarmac road from Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Morogoro and Dodoam and in the following day embark on the tour. 

 Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or on your first safari, Ruaha National Park is sure to leave a lasting impression and a yearning to return to the wilds of Tanzania.

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Detail Ruaha Safari Itinerary


Day 1: Journey to the Untamed Wilderness

Morning: Departure from Iringa

Our Ruaha Safari adventure begins in the charming town of Iringa, nestled in the heart of Tanzania’s southern highlands. After enjoying a hearty breakfast at one of the local guesthouses or hotels, we set out on the road to Ruaha National Park, which is approximately a 2-hour drive away. The journey itself is a scenic delight, with the landscapes transitioning from the rolling hills of the highlands to the vast open savannas that Ruaha is famous for.


Afternoon: Arrival and First Game Drive

Upon arriving at the park in the early afternoon, we’re immediately struck by the raw beauty of Ruaha. With over 20,000 square kilometers of diverse ecosystems, it’s Tanzania’s second largest national park and a vital refuge for an impressive array of wildlife. After checking into our chosen budget accommodation, we waste no time in embarking on our Ruaha safari first game drive.

The park’s semi-arid type vegetation, coupled with the Great Ruaha River, provides the perfect backdrop for our wildlife viewing. We’re likely to spot herds of elephants, as Ruaha is home to one of the largest elephant populations in East Africa. Giraffes, zebras, and impalas are also common sights. As the sun begins to dip lower in the sky, we’re on the lookout for predators like lions and cheetahs that start to become more active in the cooler temperatures.


Ruaha Safari Sundowners and Night Under the Stars

As the day winds down, we find a picturesque spot to enjoy a traditional ‘sundowner’ – a refreshing drink enjoyed while watching the sunset. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the day’s sightings and the serene beauty of the African bush. Dinner is usually served back at the lodge, where we can savor local cuisine under a canopy of stars. The sounds of the night, from the distant roar of lions to the chirping of crickets, lull us into a restful sleep, excited for what the next day will bring.


Day 2: Full Day Ruaha Safari Exploring Rich Biodiversity

Morning: Guided Walking Safari

An early start to the day rewards us with fresh, cool air and the opportunity to witness the savanna waking up. Today, we opt for a guided walking safari, a thrilling chance to experience the African bush on foot. Accompanied by an experienced guide and armed ranger, we learn about the smaller wonders of the ecosystem – the plants, insects, and birds that are just as integral to the park’s biodiversity as the larger mammals.

The walking safari also offers a chance to encounter wildlife in a more intimate setting. While maintaining a safe distance, we may come across antelopes, warthogs, and even elephants. The thrill of being at eye level with these majestic creatures is an unmatched experience.


Afternoon: Extended Game Drive

After lunch and perhaps a short rest at our accommodation, we set out again in a 4×4 vehicle for an extended game drive. The afternoon session provides an opportunity to venture further into the park, exploring different territories and habitats. Ruaha is known for its high concentration of predators, and with luck, we might witness the intense drama of a hunt or catch a glimpse of the elusive leopard lounging in a baobab tree.

Birdwatchers are also in for a treat, as Ruaha boasts over 570 bird species, making it a paradise for ornithologists. From the colorful lilac-breasted roller to the large ground hornbill, the variety is astounding.


Ruaha Safari Cultural Experience and Night Drive

In the evening, we can choose to engage with the local Barabaig and Maasai communities who live around the park. Learning about their traditional ways of life, customs, and coexistence with wildlife adds a rich cultural dimension to the Ruaha safari experience.

For the more adventurous, a night game drive is an option. This unique activity allows us to observe nocturnal animals that are rarely seen during the day. The eerie glow of eyes in the headlights and the sounds of the African night make for an exciting and unforgettable experience.


Day 3: Final Game Drive and Farewell to Ruaha

Last Ruaha Safari Game Drive and Breakfast in the Bush

The final day of our Ruaha safari begins with an early morning game drive, a last chance to catch the animals in their natural habitat. The morning hours are often the best for viewing as the animals are more active and the light is perfect for photography.

Midway through the drive, we stop for a special treat – breakfast in the bush. Surrounded by the vast wilderness, we savor a delicious meal prepared by the camp’s staff, a fitting farewell to our time in Ruaha.

Afternoon: Return to Iringa

After packing up and checking out of our accommodation, we begin the journey back to Iringa. The drive allows us to reflect on the memories made and the sights witnessed over the past three days. The landscapes once again transform as we ascend into the highlands, marking the end of our 3 day Ruaha safari adventure.

Evening: Reflections and Departure

Back in Iringa, you have the evening to relax and perhaps enjoy a final dinner and sharing stories from our safari. If you prefer to depart on the same day back to Dar there are buses which departs Iringa in the evening and arrive Dar es Salaam in the early morning where you can catch a boat to Zanzibar for your beach holiday.

End of the Ruaha Budget Safari.

 Budget Ruaha Safari Price:

Number of Pax 2 pax 3 pax  4 pax 5 pax
Price Per Person US $ 850 US $ 780 US $ 700 US $ 680

For Solo traveler US $ 1200

Ruaha Safari Cost Includes

  • Return transfer from Iringa to Ruaha on 4×4 private safari vehicle
  • Game viewing in an open roof safari vehicle.
  • Park entrance fees as it is explained on the itinerary
  • Full board accommodation in Tanapa Cottages
  • Fee for professional driver guide
  • A bottle of pure drinking water 1 liter per person daily


Ruaha Safari Cost Excludes

  • Accommodation on the arrival and last day in Iringa
  • Breakfast and lunch in Iringa
  • Tips/Gratuity for the driver guide
  • Travellers’ medical insurance
  • Items of the personal nature
  • Entrance fee to the Maasai Cultural tour ( $ 50 per group)

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Frequent Asked Question About Ruaha

Why Visit Ruaha National Park?

Ruaha safari offers a range of different game viewing experiences include guided walking safaris, ordinary game drives and night game drives. The night game drives provide visitors great opportunity to see nocturnal animals such as African genet, bat eared foxes, bush babies, porcupines and many more which cannot be seen during day game drive.

Ruaha is the best destination for honeymoon safaris in Tanzania due to the fact that it is not congested with large number of tourist despites of the fact that it is extremely scenic with large number of game animals and predators. Presence of luxury accommodations also make it to be among the top spots for honeymoon in Tanzania competing with Selous game reserve and Ngorongoro Crater.

What is Ruaha Famous for?

Ruaha Safari is famous for its outstanding game sighting experiences. In addition to that the park receives less number of visitors in a year compared to parks such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro which makes it an amazing destination. Due to various researches it was found that the park hosts about 10% of the entire world’s lion population. To prove this during safari in Ruaha, visitors can happen to spot large prides of lions comprises of up 25 adults lions. Normally the pride of this size tends to hunt large game such as giraffe and buffalo.

While on Safari in Ruaha national park you can see largest herds of elephants since the park has the highest concentration of elephants in East Africa. Rare antelope species such as greater and lesser kudu, roan sable antelope can found here. lichtenstein’s hartebeest, topi, southern and bohor reedbuck are also found here.

Generally the common animals of Ruaha National park includes elephants, zebra, lion, giraffe, hunting dogs, greater and lesser kudu, gazelles, striped hyenas, sable and roan antelopes, ostrichs, crocodiles and hippos. There are also about 540 species of birds in Ruaha.

Which Animals will you see in Ruaha National Park?

During Ruaha Safari you can see a combination of vegetation zones which offer habitats to different and unique animal species which rarely found in other parks such as Sable and Roan antelopes. The park is also the best spot to see Greater and Lesser Kudu. Ruaha national park is recorded to have the largest population of elephants and huge pride of lions up to 30 individuals. It is quite possible to see one of the magnificent black-mane males that dominate some of the prides. If lucky you can also spot them stalking, chasing and killing their prey. These large prides are mostly prefer to kill buffaloes and giraffes for their dinner

The common animals in Ruaha national park includes zebra, elephant, lion, hunting dogs, giraffe, grants gazelles, striped hyena, crocodile and hippos mainly in Ruaha River. The park has over 540 species of birds recorded which some are residents and others are migratory. Some resident birds of the Ruaha National Park includes the Dickinson’s kestrel, crested barbet, Pale-billed hornbill, Racket-tailed roller, Violet-crested turaco, Plovers, Hornbills, Kingfishers, Green-wood hoopoes, Bee-eaters, Sunbirds, and Egrets.

When is the Best Time to Visit Ruaha National Park?

The best time to visit Ruaha is during the long dry season which last from June to October. The dry season provides great opportunity for game viewing because most animals tend to gather to the remaining water sources and the grass is too short for them to hide. From December to April is the best time to visit for bird watching since several migratory bird species from Europe are in Ruaha national park?

In long rainy season which from March to May game sighting experience isn’t good due t o tall grass and accessibility to some areas of the park become impossible due to road condition. According to that the numbers of visitors become low which make also some lodges and camps to be closed until the beginning of the long dry season (June).

How to get to Ruaha National Park?

Ruaha national park can be accessed on the following ways .

By Flight

For visitors from abroad can board flights to Dar es Salaam International Airport and connect a domestic flight to Nduli Airport in Iringa town where we will pick you and drive to Ruaha National park. There are also chartered and scheduled light air craft which operates between Ruaha national park and Dar es Salaam and other destinations within the country.

By Road

Visitors who prefer to go to Ruaha Safari by road; there is a paved road from Dar es Salaam to Iringa town which is the nearest town to Ruaha National Park. From Iringa will follow the dirty road for about 2 to 3 hours to Ruaha National park to make the total of 10 hours journey from Dar es Salaam.

To reduce the long driving distance for the Ruaha Safari it can then combined by Mikumi national park which is just along the way where the drive from Dar takes about 5 hours. 

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