Ruaha National park gazetted in 1910 when it was gazetted as saba Game reserve by the Germans. The name was changed by the British to Rungwa Game reserve in 1946. In 1964 the southern portion of the game reserve was gazetted as Ruaha national park in 1974 a smaller section of the southeastern part of the great Ruaha River which serves as its lifeline.
The name Ruaha originates from the Hehe word “Luvaha” which means “River”. Ruaha national park is part of Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi ecosystem which covers more than 45,000 square kilometers. In 2008 Usagara game reserve and other important wetlands in usagara basin have been annexed into the park, making in the largest park in Tanzania and East Africa with an area of 20,226 square kilometers.
Wildlife in Ruaha is concentrated along the Great Ruaha River that is the park’s lifeblood. The river is a torrent after the rains, dwindling to a few precious ponds of water surrounded by a sweep of sand in the dry season. Waterbuck, impala and the world’s most southerly lives for a sip of water the shores of Ruaha are a permanent hunting ground for lion, leopard, jackal, hyena and the rare and endangered African Wild Dog Ruaha’s 8,000 elephants are recovering strongly from ivory poaching during the 1980s and remain the largest population in East Africa Ruaha is the only protected area in which the flora and fauna of eastern and southern African overlap leading to fascinating combinations of wildlife both Greater and lesser kudu live here, as do sable and Roan Antelope