Ruaha National Park is the largest in Tanzania (and the closest one to Iringa). Decided that a weekend trip was just the thing to finish off my first visit to this wonderful country.
The promise of elephants was especially alluring. Sadly, Tanzania’s elephant population has declined by over 60% in the past five years alone due to poaching for ivory and increased pressure from asian markets. Ruaha NP has been especially hard hit as reported in the Guardian there were more than 39,000 elephants in 2009- just five years later, in 2014, there were only 8,000! They deeply disturbing and shocking statistics. Despite this, we did see lots of elephants and other wildlife- including an elusive leopard, just as we were about to exit the park.
Ruaha also boasts great government bandas, small rooms with two beds, that can be rented out relatively cheaply compared to the hotels. All in all, this Tanzanian safari cost around USD100 for 2 days of amazing wandering, making it one of the cheapest safari options around (at least if you’re already in the country). I’ll definitely be back!