Ugalla River National Park

Ugalla River National Park : It is situated between the Tabora and Rukwa areas in western Tanzania. The Ugalla National Park, which is located to the west of the Ugalla River Game Reserve, is made up of a broken plateau that resembles a table and connects to the Masito Hills to the west. It also has a few small, steep valleys. It was created in 1965 as the Ugalla Game Reserve, and in 2019 it was designated as a national park (after the Tanzanian parliament separated part of the Ugalla River Game Reserve to form a national park). Its neighbors include the Ipole Game Reserve, the Ngongwa, the Iyonga, the Mpembapazi, and the Hulu Hill Forest Reserves.

The wide, meandering river, which runs straight through the center of the wide floodplains, is the reserve’s wildlife stronghold. In the dry season, the river disappears but leaves behind permanent pans of water that draw a wide variety of animals. Game watching and walking safaris are best during this season.

The distinctive landscapes and high predator densities of Ugalla are its claims to fame. The reserve’s more inland areas are defined by the Miombo forests, which are farther away. The river is flanked by grassy floodplains with fan palms as accents. Predators have adequate vantage locations from which to locate prey thanks to the small, steep termite mounds that break up the flat landscape. In this complex habitat, wild dogs, lions, and elephants thrive.


Temperature: Depending on the elevation, the temperature might range from 130 C to 410 C.


Rainfall at Ugalla River is Between January and April. Despite the fact that most roads are impassable due to the severe rains, this is a great time for bird watching.

The Ugalla River’s wildlife.

Elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, and the largest herds of sable and roan antelope to be seen in Tanzania live in the Miombo forests and tall grass savannas that drain a huge terrain of shallow hills and valleys. The Sitatunga antelope, Cape clawless otters, and a variety of fascinating water birds, including shoebill storks, wattled cranes, and pygmy geese, can be found in the swampy areas to the west.

Ugalla River National Park
Ugalla River

These creatures focus more and more on the Ugalla River during the dry season, which lasts from June to October, and it develops into a region where interesting species can be found virtually everywhere.

The Ugalla River is home to several hippos and crocodiles, including some of the biggest crocodiles ever seen in Africa. They eat catfish and other fish during the rainy season, but as the dry season wears on, they begin to supplement their diet with animals that come down to drink. These animals can grow to be more than 21 feet long.

The river itself, with all of its stunning overlooks and countless loops and twists, is the main subject of game viewing especially during the dry season. Groves of enormous trees are strewn along the banks, making for ideal camping spots or perhaps just peaceful places to unwind for a mid-day picnic or coffee break while taking in the wildlife surrounding you.

Beyond the confines of the national park, the Ugalla River gently flows westward into the intricate network of canals and marshes of the Moyowosi Swamps, which finally empty into Lake Tanganyika. Undoubtedly, this huge and inaccessible region contains some of Africa’s finest undiscovered natural treasures.

Accommodations: Private camping is available and is organized via TANAPA’s Arusha office. There are many different types of accommodation (guest houses in the nearby towns of Sikonge and Inyonga).

Things to do: Activities include game drives along the river’s banks, through its oxbows, and along its sandbanks, as well as walking and birding safaris. The other unique activity in ugalla river national park is harvesting and the purpose of honey harvesting as a tourist attraction is to draw people who are interested in beekeeping and honey safaris through the natural woodlands.

Ugalla River National Park
Bird watching

Getting there

The park can be accessed via 100 kilometers via Sikonge Town, Ipole, and Inyonga District on a well-paved road from Tabora Town. To get to the park by air transport, the Ugalla, Muhuba, and Siri airstrips are used by small aircraft to land.

 Ugalla river national park safari

The Ugalla National Park is situated in the middle of the Kigosi, Mahale, Katavi, and Ruaha National Parks. It is wild and uninhabited, and it is a wonderful addition to itineraries that include national parks in the southern circuit.

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