Forming the northern borders of Africa’s biggest game reserve the vast Selous Mikumi is one of the most popular national parks in Tanzania, the most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometer (47,000 square mile) wilderness that stretches almost to the shores of the Indian Ocean.
The main feature of the park is the Mkata flood plain, along with the mountain ranges that border the park on two sides. Open grasslands dominate the flood plain, eventually merging with miombo woodland covering the lower hills. The woodland is the favorite haunt of the lion, sometimes perching high in the trees to keep their feet dry from the sticky black mud of the wet season. Observation towers above the tree line allow panoramic views of the plain laid out below home to formidable herds of buffalo.
Mikumi’s elephants are more compact than those in the rest of the country, but still a formidable sight when viewed close up. The rains swell the parks population of birds to more than 400 species as European migrants seek refuge in Mikumi, joining resident stars like the Lilac-Breasted Roller. Mikumi’s road network provides visitors with easy game viewing drives and there are hippo, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest and wildebeest in abundance. The park is accessible
Wildlife viewing in Mikumi is fine throughout the year, but the best time is from late June to October (the Dry season). At this time vegetation is thinner, and animals gather around predictable water sources.
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