Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is reported to be the last frontier of the enchanting Africa of the past century, with twenty-five percent of the land set aside for protected areas. There are currently 14 National Parks, with one new one in the works, and 30 game reserves.
According to Mr. Bigurube, Director General, TANAPA, “Tanzania is constantly working on upgrading its game reserves to National Parks. In a National Park there is no consumptive use of resources and this allows for the multiplicity of species, increasing the wildlife in the parks” One of the aims of the government in annexing Usangu to Ruaha is in part to save the biodiversity of that area as well as to increase tourism to the region. This can best be accomplished if the area is administered and marketed by TANAPA”
Ruaha, which boasts 10,000 elephants, the largest population of any East African national park, protects a vast tract of the rugged semi-arid bush country that characterizes central Tanzania. Its lifeblood is the Great Ruaha River which courses along the Eastern boundary of the park. A fine network of game-viewing roads follows the Great Ruaha and its seasonal tributaries, where, during the dry season, impala, waterbuck and other antelopes risk their life for a sip of life sustaining water. The risk is considerable with prides of 20 plus lions lording over the savannah, the cheetahs that stalk the open grassland and the leopards that lurk in tangled riverside thickets.
Usangu Game Reserve with it's mountains, valleys, grassland and Miombo woodlands where you will find elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and plains game such as greater kudu, waterbuck, bushbuck, topi, oribi and many more. It includes the Ihefu Wetland, the natural water reservoir for the Great Ruaha River.