Mikumi National Park Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, and tips for traveling to Mikumi National Park in Tanzania. Get ready for an adventure-filled trip with this comprehensive guide.

Introduction to Mikumi National Park

Located in central Tanzania, Mikumi National Park is one of the most popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The 3,230 square kilometer park, nestled between the Uluguru Mountains to the northeast and the Lumango Mountains to its southeast, is home to a diverse array of African wildlife species including lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and impalas.

Visitors to Mikumi National Park can expect to witness incredible natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna, and have the opportunity to explore a rich cultural heritage.

List of Places to Visit in Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park offers a variety of cultural and natural attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you’re interested in learning about local history or experiencing outdoor adventures, you’ll find plenty to see and do in Mikumi.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Mikumi Museum and Visitor Center: The museum is a great place to start your visit as it provides an overview of the park’s history, culture, and wildlife species. You can also learn about the local tribes and their traditional customs.

  • Old Mikumi Railway Bridge: The bridge was constructed in 1912 during the German colonial period and is an important cultural landmark in the region.

Natural Attractions of Mikumi National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mikumi National Park Wildlife Safari: Join a wildlife safari tour to observe some of Tanzania’s most majestic animals, including lions, leopards, and elephants.

  • Hiking in Uluguru Mountains: Take a hike in the Uluguru Mountains for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

  • Mikumi Hippo Pool: Visit the Hippo Pool in the park for an up-close view of hippos bathing and playing.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Mikumi National Park

If you’re a hiking or biking enthusiast, Mikumi National Park has a variety of routes to explore.

  • Uluguru Mountains-Hiking Trail: This trail takes you on a trek through the Uluguru Mountains where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the park and its wildlife. You can choose from short, medium or long-distance hikes depending on your fitness levels.

  • Biking Route: If you prefer to bike rather than hike, the park offers a biking route covering a total of 22 km.

Best Things to Do in Mikumi National Park: Activities and Tours

Mikumi National Park offers a variety of activities and tours to suit your interests. Here are some of the best things to do during your visit:

  • Wildlife Safari: The wildlife safari is a must-do activity during your visit to Mikumi. Join a guided tour or hire a vehicle and explore the park on your own.

  • Hot Air Balloon Safari: For an unforgettable aerial view of the park’s wildlife and landscapes, take a hot air balloon safari tour.

  • Cultural Tour: Learn about the local tribes and their traditional customs by joining a guided cultural tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Mikumi National Park

If you’re planning to spend a week or longer in Mikumi National Park, here’s a sample itinerary:

Day Itinerary
1 Arrive at Mikumi National Park and visit the Mikumi Museum and Visitor Center.
2 Wildlife Safari in the park.
3 Hiking in the Uluguru Mountains.
4 Visit the Mikumi Hippo Pool followed by a cultural tour.
5 Bike through the park’s biking route.
6 Take a hot air balloon safari tour.
7 Depart from Mikumi National Park.

Food and Drink Scene of Mikumi National Park

When it comes to food in Mikumi National Park, visitors can expect to experience a range of Tanzanian and African cuisine. Here are some dishes and beverages to try during your visit:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pilau Rice: Rice that has been cooked in a flavorful broth with spices and meat.

  • Chapati: A traditional African bread that can be eaten with stews or curries.

  • Nyama Choma: Roasted meat, typically served with Kenyan-style coleslaw.

Local Beverages

  • Tanzanian Coffee: Tanzanian coffee is known for its unique, earthy flavor and is a must-try for coffee lovers.

  • Tanzanian Tea: Tanzania produces some of the finest teas in Africa, and you can sample them in many of the local cafes and restaurants.

Where to Stay in Mikumi National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Mikumi National Park offers visitors a variety of accommodation options, including lodges, hostels, and guesthouses. Whether you’re looking for luxury or budget-friendly accommodation, you’ll find a suitable option within close proximity to the park.

Some of the popular accommodations include:

  • Kikoboga Lodge: A budget-friendly option, Kikoboga Lodge offers affordable accommodation and a garden for relaxing.

  • Mikumi Wildlife Camp: A luxurious option, the camp is located within the park and provides a serene environment for guests who are looking for comfort and exclusivity.

What to Buy in Mikumi National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

There are several souvenirs and local products to buy in Mikumi National Park. Here are some recommended items:

  • Batik Textiles: The colorful fabric is made through a traditional Indonesian technique and popular in Tanzania.

  • Handmade Wooden Carvings: The carvings are made from indigenous trees and are often decorated with intricate designs.

  • Curios from Local Markets: Local markets in Mikumi National Park offer an opportunity to purchase memorabilia and curios from your visit to the park.

Local Culture and Customs of Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is home to several tribes with unique customs, cultures and traditional practices. The two main tribes are:

  • The Wandamba: Known for their traditional dance known as “wagogo”, the Wandamba tribe is known for their intricate beadwork and weaving.

  • The Tunu: Also known for their unique dances and traditional music. the Tunu tribe is known for its strong spiritual beliefs.

Visitors are advised to respect the local customs and traditions during their visit.

Best Time to Visit Mikumi National Park

The ideal time to visit Mikumi National Park is between June and October, during the dry season. The temperatures at this time of year are mild and the animals are easier to spot as they gather around the waterholes. The rainy season, from March to May, is not optimal for wildlife viewing due to the increased vegetation and animals’ movements.

Do’s and Don’ts of Mikumi National Park


  • Respect the wildlife and its natural habitat by keeping a safe distance and avoiding any disruptive behavior.

  • Leave no trace by not littering in the park and preserving its natural beauty.

  • Respect local customs and traditions.


  • Feed the wildlife as it can be dangerous for both you and the animals.

  • Get off the designated trails while hiking or biking.

Safety and Health

Safety in Mikumi National Park

Mikumi National Park is generally a safe place for tourists. However, visitors are advised to always exercise caution and follow the park regulations that ensure their safety.

Health in Mikumi National Park

It’s recommended to take an anti-malaria prophylaxis medication before your trip to prevent contracting malaria, which is prevalent in the area. Be sure to also get vaccinated or updated on routine immunizations according to the CDC.

Getting to Mikumi National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Mikumi National Park

  • Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR): Located in Dar Es Salaam, this is the closest international airport to Mikumi National Park at a distance of 283 km (~5-hour drive).

Bus Stations Near Mikumi National Park

Buses to Mikumi National Park depart from Dar Es Salaam and nearby cities. Some of the reputable bus companies include Dar Express and Kilimanjaro Express among others.

Getting Around in Mikumi National Park

Exploring Mikumi National Park requires a 4WD vehicle, and you can hire one within the park or from nearby rental agencies.

Where to Go Next from Mikumi National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

After exploring Mikumi National Park, you may be interested in exploring nearby attractions:

  • Ruaha National Park: Located approximately 160 km west of Mikumi, Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s largest park and offers visitors diverse wildlife and landscapes.

  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park: Located approximately 100 km southeast of Mikumi, Udzungwa Mountains National Park is perfect for hiking enthusiasts.


Mikumi National Park is one of Tanzania’s most beloved and revered nature reserves, offering an incredible range of natural and cultural attractions. With its extensive range of outdoor activities, museums, and cultural tours, Mikumi National Park is an excellent destination to add to your travel itinerary in Tanzania.