Yellow webs of roads are criss-crossing the plains of Mikumi, the northwest of the park is occupied by the river basin, where all the wildlife congregates in order to live in proximity to water. The savannah is dotted with acacias, baobabs, tamarinds, and occasional palm trees, and Mikumi is one the few places in Tanzania where you can see tree-climbing lions and rare subspecies of giraffes, along with the more common cheetahs, zebras, impalas, antelopes, elephants, wildebeests and baboons. Mikumi is bordering Selous Game Reserve, and they share their biological diversity. Mikumi’s proximity to Dar-es-Salaam makes it an ideal choice for a safari trip if you are in Dar and looking for a weekend getaway.
In the north of the park you can find a couple of artificial ponds inhabited by hippos. These gigantic animals, despite their ridiculously short legs and huge body mass, are able to walk very long distances away from the water in search of new pastures. Wait till they yawn and look into their enormous jaws! The ponds are also a real birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 400 species of birds, including bateleur eagle and seasonal migrant birds from the North.
Two days on the plains of Mikumi give you enough time to search for elusive leopards – these fascinating felines hunt during the night and finish eating their prey early in the morning before retreating to their hiding spot.
If you are ready to sleep in the wild, choose one of the tented camps where the bonfires will keep the wilderness and darkness away at night. You can also find thatched cottages as a more luxurious option.
Mikumi National Park would be a great stopover on your way to Udzungwa Mountains