Tanzania - Mikumi
photo by Marc Veraart

Mikumi National Park

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Mikumi National Park is in Southern-Central Tanzania.



The park has large open plains of grassland, similar to the Serengeti.

Flora and fauna

Many of the same sort of animals are seen as in Ruaha. The most unusual phenomenon is the "midget" elephants. These look like the normal African elephant but are of a diminish size and with smaller and thinner tusks. Local lore says that this is a survival adaptation to protect the herd from ivory hunters as the lesser tusk makes the animal less desirable to poachers.

Getting there

By Road

Mikumi National Park is about 250km west of Dar es Salaam and is the closest national park to the city. Driving there takes about 4 hours due to the poor conditions of the road.

Travel agents and tour companies can arrange transportation to Mikumi and through the park. You must ensure the vehicle used is a reliable 4x4, e.g. Land Cruiser and Range Rover. No Rav4 and CRVs. Although it's possible to navigate most of the main roads with a sedan, you will not get the best sightseeing experience.

All such issues should be addressed, clarified and agreed to with the tour company before giving a deposit. Ask for pictures of the vehicles, ensure the have a/c. You may want to inspect the vehicles tires before leaving to ensure they are in good condition.

By Air

The two nearest towns are Morogoro and Iringa. There are no scheduled flights from Dar to Iringa, Morogoro or Mikumi.

Traveling around

You require a 4x4 vehicle to travel through the park. The village of Mikumi is at the western entrance to the park, 15km from the park gate.

Things to do

Safaris If you have your own 4x4 vehicle, just ask your lodge for a map of the trails. There aren't many trails in the park and most secondary roads are closed during the rainy season. the hippo pool is always a good spot to see animals. If you spend two days driving in the park you should expect to see lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, hippos, boars, wildebeests, impalas, and copious amounts of birds. When entering the park, ask the guards at the gate which areas are best for viewing that day and if they've seen any lions around. Also, look for circling vultures, which indicates a dead animal, there may also be some lions around snacking on the remains.



There are three places to stay in the park. Two are owned by Foxes Safari and the other is Kikoboga. is the first tented camp site when you enter the park from Dar es Salaam. This camp is almost in the center of the park and offers a great view from the top of the hill where the restaurant and pool are located. The staff is very friendly and the food is good, although not exceptional, especially given the price. At night you can here animals walking around and under the elevated tents. The other Foxes owned lodging is which is about 6km from the main gate. Very nice accommodation and excellent food, but I've never heard any animals at night, which is a cool feature of the previous spot. I've never stayed at Kikoboga, but the huts look nice and there is a watering hole near by which attracts many animals especially during the dry season.


If you plan on hiring a car in Tanzania and driving yourself to Mikumi be prepared in the event of a breakdown or accident. (See the Tanzania main page on the recommendations for driving in developing countries.)

DO NOT enter a national park without a FULL tank of petrol. You should also have an emergency jerry can with at least 20 liters of fuel and a full-sized spare tire in case you damage your tire in a remote area and need to drive through difficult terrain.

Other equipment to bring includes a tow rope, shovel, machete, torch (flashlight), first aid kit and extra drinking water for unexpected delays.

Although it's very unlikely you will have any difficulties if you must change a flat tire in the park, be aware that lions and cheetahs are ambush hunters. Don't stray to far from the vehicle and keep the children inside at all times.

Tsetse flies: They are very abundant in Mikumi. They are somewhat similar to houseflies but sting. In more densely forested parts of the park, keep your windows closed. If one does get in, kill it immediately as they are quick to bite. Tsetse fly bites can potentially be harmful to humans as they are carriers of the sleeping sickness virus.


Park Fees A visitor's permit costs $20US per person and is valid for 24-hours from time of purchase. Be advised that non-residents are expected to pay the park entry fee in US dollars not Tanzanian Shillings. Visitors must enter before 4pm and exit before 7pm. Those staying in one of the park's lodging facilities must be back at camp by 7pm.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Marc Veraart, mwanasimba, Paul Shaffner

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

D. Guillaime, Dagobert29 and Cacahuate.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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