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Derived from the Hehe linguistics, one of the many ethnic groups of Tanzania, the word ‘Ruvaha’ which translates to river, relates to the Great Ruaha River, which the park has been named after, that cuts through the sanctuary sustaining life by providing nourishment for the diverse fauna and flora. Originally occupied by the indigenous African tribes of hunters and gatherers it later became home to the Hehe people who thrived alongside the abundant wildlife. 

Its dusty and dry earth was sketched out with trails of the African and Arab traders as they made their way from the Tanzanian coast to Kigoma. These same trails were later subsequently used by European explorers. Over the years it became a battleground for the hehe wars. Through all these travesties Ruaha survived and flourished and in 1964 it was officially proclaimed a National Park.

The first thing to pick your interest at Ruaha will be the magnificent landscape. This is where east and South Africa overlap to conjure a nature phenomenon that has birthed unique and breathtaking landscapes sprinkled with a blend of vegetation that harbors a vibrant wildlife scene. The Ruaha ecosystem comprises miombo plains, forested highlands, significant rivers, lakes and wetlands. Together with the influence of the various vegetation communities, these attributes provide a complex and diverse array of flora and fauna including more than 600 species of birds

As the dry season approaches all life at the Ruaha converges at the great Ruaha river and its tributaries, which are home to the largest reptile in Africa; the Nile crocodile. The river is very vital for the survival of the countless wildlife habiting at the park.

Vegetation of the Ruaha National Park can largely be classified into open expansive grasslands, woodlands, swampy vegetation found in the wetlands, dry bush lands and riverine forest vegetation along the Ruaha river bank. The main types of woodland vegetation that dominate these expansive landscapes can be categorized into 4 main parts: brachystegia, combretum, commiphora, miombo with common trees found here being various species of acacias, baobabs, candelabras, duom palms, sausage trees and umbrella trees. The Miombo woodlands is a common vegetation feature in South Africa but Ruaha has encompassed it into its eco system to grace its visitors with a distinctive experience where the greater Kudu and roan antelopes take refuge.

With a vast plain Ruaha is mainly covered by savannah grassland. The rasping of the grass would probably be an indication of a large predator going for a kill or leisurely roaming around. The park is home to some of the largest concentration of lions in Africa. Other predators that find home in the Ruaha include Leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and jackals among others.

 With possibly the largest herds of elephants, Ruaha can almost assure you the sighting of these African giants as they bask and feed under the baobab trees. Ruaha also hosts a great deal of ungulates species including impala, waterbuck and bushbuck. Popular sightings of the Grant’s gazelle and lesser kudu is common at the southern extent of Ruaha ranges. The miombo-associated sable and roan antelope, and the spectacular corkscrew-horned male greater kudu are most visible over breeding season. Herds of buffalos, zebras and resident wildebeest and hartebeest are also common among other grazers and browsers of these vast expanses

Just like it did for chief Mkwawa of the Hehe, Ruaha has done its bit in providing refuge for the endangered African wild dogs, making it one of the few places to actually see these magnificent creatures in their wild habitat. This surely will most certainly be the highlight of your stay at Ruaha.

An ornithologists’ paradise, Ruaha is home to more than 600 species of birds. During the months between November and May, Ruaha plays host to several migratory birds. Some of the various bird found at the park range from the largest flightless birds, the ostriches to the the endemic Ruaha red billed hornbill to the smaller sunbirds, grebes, cormorants, darters, pelicans, herons, hamerkops, storks, spoonbills, ducks, barbets, woodpeckers, rollers, hoopoes kingfishers, eagles and starlings among so many others.  

Ruaha gives you Africa for what it really is

The park generally experiences hot and dry conditions with relative high temperatures throughout the year.

The park experiences a wet season that generally runs from November to May. The dry season runs from May to October. This affects the movements of the wildlife which may also be dependent on the vegetation. With this, guests can gauge the best time to visit the park. We recommended that the park be visited during the dry season since it is the best time to spot wildlife, especially the large mammals and reptiles.


Lodging in Ruaha varies greatly depending on the needs, wants and expectations of your Safari. There are luxurious boutique camps and Lodges inspired by the colonial style traditional safaris with all the modern amenities you need during your premium Tanzanian tour. Guests living areas are constructed from natural materials with some being set upon raised platforms to maximize panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and wildlife. Inside, the décor celebrates the early exploration of Tanzania through artwork, furniture and other design elements. For guests who desire a balance between quality and cost, deluxe accommodations are present with small private patio, en-suite bathrooms, personal safe and housekeeping services. Budget-conscious visitants can also enjoy the many safari experiences and tour activities at Ruaha from the comfort of your private verandahs outside their tented camps.

Experience a classic African safari experience at Ruaha with a possibility of unique sightings of the greater and lesser Kudu. Ruaha is also home to the endangered African wild dogs which adds to the overall magnificent game drive experience at the park.

Other activities in the park may include walking safaris, fly camping experiences and balloon safaris. Being a paradise for birds, the birding experience in the park is second to none. 

By Air: 

  • Flight time from / to Dar es salaam Airport to / from Ruaha Msembe airstrip: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Flight time from / to central Serengeti to / from Ruaha Msembe airstrip: 2 hours 05 minutes
  • Flight time from / to Arusha Airport to / from Ruaha Msembe airstrip: 1 hour 50 minutes

COVID – 19: Nisimulie Africa SOP’s

In light of the world opening up slowly amidst the current pandemic, we have been preparing to welcome tourists back to Tanzania by making changes to the way we provide our services. New SOPs are in place for every touch point and guest experience that characterizes your stay with us as your esteemed hosts. Our SOPs will be updated in line with the Government of Tanzania’s instructions to the tourism and hospitality industry. Our priority is to ensure that we provide the safest possible environment for our guests while providing top-notch safari experiences.


Standard Operating Procedures

1.     To keep social distancing, safari vehicles with 6-window seats will be redesigned to take only 4 people in the passenger cabin. Safari vehicles with 6-window seats will still be available for families wishing to travel together in one vehicle

2.   The driver-guide will be at hand to oversee guests observe the recommended physical distancing at park entry gates, museums, picnic sites, and while checking in at accommodation facilities.

3.   City transfer and safari vehicles will be regularly disinfected before picking up clients, especially the high-touch surfaces and seats

4.   Sanitizers (anti-microbial agents) will be provided in the vehicle for guests' use

5.   The driver-guide will take necessary personal protection precautions at all times. Guests are encouraged to come with their own masks; packaged masks will be available at an extra cost.

6.   Health condition of driver-guides will be monitored for not less than a week before being assigned to take clients on safari, including measuring body oxygen level (recommended 95% and above) and body temperature not exceeding 37.5 degrees centigrade.

7.   There will be three health centers dedicated to COVID-19 rapid response and support network; one center will be in Arusha town (Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre), one in Karatu near Ngorongoro, and the third in central Serengeti at Seronera. Ambulances will be on standby.

8.   For clients needing more medical attention, Nisimulie Africa Tours and Travel will arrange evacuation by Flying Doctors. The Flying Doctors package covers evacuation to a hospital in Nairobi. We can also arrange evacuation to Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, a fine facility with high rate of recovery for COVID-19 patients. The evacuation to Dar es Salaam will involve some extra charges to be met by the patient. Clients are required to have medical insurance to cover hospitalization expenses. 

9.   The welcome briefing to guests will include details of our safety and hygiene measures in place and what is required of guests during their stay (including the use of masks and gloves and keeping safe distances from other guests).

10. Not limiting these procedures to ourselves, we work with other third-party suppliers who ensure and adhere to the set international standards of travel as defined by the Ministry of Tourism and WHO.


Game drives 

·      A maximum of four people will be permitted per vehicle with the exception of groups that   are travelling together.

·      Guides will wear face masks and gloves on arrival at the airstrip, when in the main area of the airstrip and when handling guests’ luggage.

·      Guests must also wear facemasks at the airstrip; however, this is optional while on the game drive.

·      Once the group has left the airstrip, the guide will remove the face mask and gloves to speak with guests, as the safety risk is greatly reduced outside of the airstrip.

·      Game drives will take place in safari vehicles, as usual, which will be disinfected after each game drive.

·      Hand sanitizer will be available for guests and guides and is to be used on arrival at the airstrip, on boarding the vehicle and throughout the game drive.

·      Guests are asked to sensibly practice social distancing throughout the game drive and if meals are served.


Communal Areas:

·      Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the camps and soap and individual hand towels will always be available in public bathrooms.

·      At the Bar: The barmen will wear facemask and gloves to handle drinks and snacks and serve on a tray. 

·      A staff member is assigned to regular sanitization duties of surfaces (including door handles, metallic surfaces, counters, etc).

·      Social distancing rules apply, and seating will be arranged to ensure at least one-meter distance between guests.

·      Dining:  All surfaces will be disinfected after each meal.

·      Pool water (where available) will be monitored to maintain a chlorine level between 1 to 3 parts per million and a pH level between 6.8 and 7.4 in order to provide a virus free experience.

·      In sitting areas and on sofas:

·      Guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing.

·      Around campfire: guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing.

·      Disposable towels and bins will be placed in strategic areas.

·      In harmony with our vision, our team has had a lot of fun working hard together to put our SOPs in place to ensure the safety of our guests. We are now ready to warmly welcome our guests back to Tanzania.


“Nature took a rest from the usual and is now more exquisite”

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