Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is one of the smaller Tanzanian national parks, certainly when compared to the apparently limitless Selous on its southern border, nonetheless Mikumi is well worth a visit.
The Mikumi floodplains make up the main part of the park, but the landscape is dominated by the splendidly brooding mountains and foothills that edge two sides of the park. The grassy floodplain becomes the scrubby miombo woodland as it reaches the lower foothills of the mountain ranges. In this woodland there are observation towers that offer panoramic views of the floodplain and perhaps a family of the elephant, smaller here than elsewhere in Tanzania, that inhabit the park. However, there is nothing small about the buffalo here and the herds may be very large.
The river provides the necessary waters for the park and buffalo, giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, and the rare wild dog may all be found. The lions here sometimes climb trees, perhaps for a better view of potential prey, perhaps to get the breezes or, possibly, to keep their feet dry in the rainy season when the 'black cotton soil' is soaked!
Tranquil and lovely, Mikumi has a good road network and provides visitors with some very easy game drives - the hippo pools, for example, are only five kilometres from the main entrance!
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