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Ruaha in April?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
35 posts
18 reviews
10 helpful votes
Ruaha in April?

I’m going to be in Iringa for work mid-April and was looking at going to Ruaha. I did some googling and see it’s not the best time to go and lodges tend to close down. If I only have two days, is it worth making the trip anyway? I could fly elsewhere in Tanzania but logistically, Ruaha would be easiest since I’ll already be in Iringa (if I’ll see anything and it’s even worth going at that time of year!)

9 replies to this topic
melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
Level Contributor
13 532 posts
1. Re: Ruaha in April?

You will see plenty and it is worth going also visit Isimila stone age site.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
9 029 posts
2. Re: Ruaha in April?

I've never been at that time of year but I'd give it a go if I had the chance.

Most camps are closed in April and May and the main airline (Coastal) doesn't fly, so not many tourists visit. However, I've been told by people who work in the park that it's a very nice time. Ruaha's rains should be over (or nearly over) by then- being so far south their rainy season is more like southern Africa, starting in Nov, peaking around Jan then tailing off in April (see https://www.safaribookings.com/ruaha/climate). It's only because the rest of Tanzania's tourist season fits in with the northern circuit's rain pattern (April/May being the wettest months) that the camps and airlines shut down at that time.

So I'd go if I were you and enjoy having the park almost to yourself.

If you're looking to stay in the park, I think Ruaha River Lodge (Foxes Safaris) is the only place open.

Hathersage, United...
Level Contributor
119 posts
55 reviews
77 helpful votes
3. Re: Ruaha in April?

Hi,

My husband and I have been to Ruaha many times at various times of the year and went in mid April a few years ago. It was fantastic. We flew with Auric who went via Ruaha if there were a minimum of two people and we stayed, as usual, at Foxes Ruaha River Lodge. We had the lodge pretty much to ourselves for eight days so the service was second to none and we saw very few other vehicles in the park. The flowers and butterflies were amazing, and although there is long grass and plenty of water in the river, we were still lucky enough to see lions and leopard, the usual kudu, impala, zebra, giraffe etc. as well as watching a big herd of elephants playing in the river. I've just gone through my 'photo's and it has brought back fantastic memories. Go for it and enjoy it as much as we did.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
35 posts
18 reviews
10 helpful votes
4. Re: Ruaha in April?

Awesome, thanks so much for the input everyone! I'm definitely going to go and I am excited!!!

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
Level Contributor
13 532 posts
5. Re: Ruaha in April?

I would also stay at Ruaha River Lodge I find it fantastic.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
35 posts
18 reviews
10 helpful votes
6. Re: Ruaha in April?

Does anyone have a recommendation for a taxi/transport company who I could get to drive me to and from the lodge from Iringa?

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
Level Contributor
13 532 posts
7. Re: Ruaha in April?

If your staying at Ruaha River Lodge you could ask them otherwise when your in Iringa you will be able to find a tour operator to do it.

If you book the lodge on a "game drive basis" I would ask them to pick you up, otherwise use a local Tour Operator based in Iringa.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
9 029 posts
8. Re: Ruaha in April?

Just to clarify what noexpert said above, RRL will have 2 options for booking- full board, or game package. The former is just accommodation and food, you will be expected to turn up with your own guide and vehicle to do game drives in. The latter means you will do game drives in the camp's vehicles, maybe sharing with other guests. I don't know which would work out cheaper, but I like using camp vehicles because then you get the open type rather than the more enclosed safari vehicles.

If you choose the full board option, a tour operator from Iringa I've seen quite a lot in the park is Warthog Adventures. Usually, more people tend to fly in and use the game package option, as most of the camps in the park only offer that option. They're the camps that will all be closed in April.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
35 posts
18 reviews
10 helpful votes
9. Re: Ruaha in April?

Great, thanks! I’ve already gotten a quote from the lodge that includes the game drives so looking into transport from Iringa now. I’ll check out Warthog!

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