BBC TRAVEL Tanzania Alternative To Serengeti
MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK MIGHT BE ONE OF THE ONLY PLACES IN THE WORLD TO OFFER VIEWS OF WILD ANIMALS AND GRASSY SAVANNAHS FOR THE PRICE OF A BUS TICKET
MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK MIGHT BE ONE OF THE ONLY PLACES IN THE WORLD TO OFFER VIEWS OF WILD ANIMALS AND GRASSY SAVANNAHS FOR THE PRICE OF A BUS TICKET.With a serious multilane main road running through it, Mikumi National park could be one amongst the only places within the world to provide views of untamed animals and grassland savannahs for the value of a bus ticket. In spite of this Mikumi is one amongst the foremost underrated parks in Tanzania.
“What makes Mikumi special is that it’s somewhat forgotten,” John Karen Oakes, manager of Stanley’s luxury camps, a tented camp that opened within the park in 2001. “It is commonly overlooked by tour operators…which mean that it’s form of a hidden gem.”
Mikumi lies on a trade route that has connected the east African coast with vast inland lakes for many years. The style for ivory and different exotic product has lured traders, travelers and explorers on this passageway since the eighteenth Century, once caravans carried artifact and beads, copper and spices, ivory and slaves across identical plains and hills currently visited by tourists.
Connected to Dar es Salaam by a well-paved road, the park will be accessed by a motor vehicle, bus or safari vehicle. Daily charter flights are out there for those loath to traffic jams and long automobile journeys. If you are doing have the time to spare, the nearly five-hour drive is worthwhile for the views. Heading west from Dar es Salaam, the road traverses the Ruvu watercourse, tracks on the bottom of the Uluguru Mountains and meanders through sisal plantations and a string of tiny villages.
Once within the southern Tanzania park, the main road can’t be seen or detected, however it makes Mikumi one amongst the foremost accessible places in Tanzania to visualize lions, buffalo, hippopotamus, gazelles, elands, warthogs and yellow baboons (not to say over four hundred species of birds). “It is a wonderful place for Tanzanians to get their own explanation,” said Oakes, Associate with Australian who has worked within the park for 6 years.
The open savannahs of the Mkata plain, at the center of the park, ar like the far-famed Serengeti plains and a preferred feeding ground for herd animals like elephants, giraffe, equine and wildebeest. however with so much fewer vehicles and guests, Mikumi offers a wilder and additional remote expertise than the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania’s known parks within the north of the country.
At more than 3,000sqkm, Mikumi is the fourth largest park in Tanzania. the world is adjacent to, and a part of, the larger natural system of Selous, one in every of Africa’s largest game reserves. Together, Selous and Mikumi produce a protected system larger than Danmark. even with the protected designation, animals stay at risk of exhibit by humans.
Small animals usually fall prey to the traffic on the road, whereas larger animals face alternative risks. “[Poachers] get the elephants after they roam outside the park,” John Piertte, a guide with Three Peaks Tanzania Safari, WHO has spent seventeen years living and dealing close to the park. pointing to an outsized bull elephant that has no tusks, Zacharias and Innos, “He was lucky, the poachers simply kill them.”
The luxurious Stanley’s Kopjes camp is named after one of the world’s most famous explorers – the Welsh-born, American journalist and adventurer, Henry Morton Stanley.. One of a handful of accommodation options within the park, the camp is made up of eight tented chalets on raised wooden platforms, offering unobstructed views of the Mkata floodplain. From the bar and eating place space, herds of animals is seen grazing within the distance. At night, Oakes same elephants and alternative wild animals often feed among the tents, intake the grass that grows on the rocky outcrop.
Closer to the park’s main gate is that the Mikumi wildlife Camp, a series of basic cottages with thatched roofs that offer close-up views of the animals visiting close watering holes. Rooms are pricey for what they provide, however the quiet and peaceful terrace facing the open plain is that the good place for a post-safari drink.