Are you looking for the Mikumi National Park fees for 2021? If so, you are in the right place.
In this post, you will find all the fee schedules published by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) between 2019 and 2022.
Let’s get right to it.
Mikumi National Park Fees 2020/2021 (& All Other Tanzania Park Fees Too)
Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is the official body that governs Mikumi National Park.
Evey year, TANAPA publishes an official tariff guide for all the parks it runs.
Here are the current official Mikumi National Park fees as well as the fees for all other TANAPA-run parks starting August 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. (Note: The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where the Ngorongoro Crater is located, is not run by TANAPA.)
Right after that, you will find the new fees that will take effect on July 1, 2021 and that will be valid until June 30, 2022.
Click anywhere on the images below to enlarge them.
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Mikumi National Park Fees 2021/2022 (& All Other TANAPA Park Fees for That Period)
TANAPA Park Fees 2019/2020
If you would like to know what TANAPA Park Fees were like pre-COVID-19, here they are for 2019/2020.
For many people in the word, East Africa and safaris go hand in hand.
It is no wonder, therefore, that when people travel to Tanzania, going on safari is a top priority for many.
Unbeknownst to most people, though, Tanzania is the 31st largest country in the world, so if your business to Tanzania takes you to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, going on safari is not necessarily as easy as a quick day trip out of town, unless of course you opt to visit Mikumi National Park. (To be honest, it would be a rushed day trip but would make for a perfect weekend getaway.)
How Does Mikumi National Park Compare to Other National Parks in Tanzania?
It shares an ecosystem with Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania’s largest game reserve (also one of the largest in the world) and animals travel freely between the two protected areas.
This is how, last September, when looking for a place to take my boyfriend (who had never been on safari) for his birthday, the obvious choice was to take him on a surprise visit to Mikumi National Park. (Mikumi National Park is one of the two closest national parks to Dar es Salaam. Saadani National Park is technically closer but more sparsely populated in terms of wildlife.)
Around the same time, one of my closest childhood friends and her recently-married husband were in Tanzania—it was her first time—so killing two birds with one stone, we decided to make a travel double date of it.
My friend’s husband highly recommended a partially Swiss-owned hotel, Tan-Swiss Lodge (Booking.com Rating: 8.4/10 – Very Good), where he had stayed on a previous visit to Tanzania.
He told us we would be able to book our safari through them.
Following his recommendation, we made our accommodation and safari bookings online, paying for it upfront (which had me a little apprehensive at first) with a bank transfer.
On the appointed date, we left Dar es Salaam using a back route in order to avoid traffic.
Pit Stop in Chalinze
After browsing through the crafts that were on sale next to the restaurant, we got back on the road.
In about two hours, we saw two huge signs straddling the highway announcing that we were entering Mikumi National Park. These signs also warned of the danger of encountering wild animals on the next 50 km stretch of road.
Although we had reached the boundary of the park, we still had a ways to travel: Tan-Swiss Lodge is 2 km past the park when traveling away from Dar es Salaam.
READ ALSO: Lake Mburo National Park
Our Mikumi Safari Begins Unofficially
As soon as we passed the road sign, our safari experience unofficially began.
Without leaving the main road we started to see animals—giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and antelope—that had us squealing with delight.
We drove fairly quickly through the national park, slowing down occasionally to take pictures, because we wanted to get to Tan-Swiss Lodge before dark.
Shortly after we saw road signs telling us that we were leaving the park, we spotted the Tan-Swiss Lodge sign to our left. (Tan-Swiss Lodge is located on the highway so if you travel by public means, your bus driver can drop you off right in front of the hotel).
When we finally got to our destination, we were greeted with a refreshing drink and shown to our rooms.
A Pleasant Budget Travel Surprise
In booking Tan-Swiss Lodge, my friends and I knew that at US$65 a night for a double room, we were budget traveling.
When I got to the lodge though, the infrastructure impressed me. I also appreciated the lodge’s effort to make everything look and feel as pleasant as possible.
Although the infrastructure was basic, the grounds were spacious and the walls were painted with lively safari-inspired patterns and murals.
The rooms, as someone wrote on TripAdvisor, were “of the same standard that you would find at any good hotel in Dar es Salaam."
We freshened up for the evening and regrouped at the restaurant for dinner.
My experience from previous safaris had taught me that unless I was staying somewhere upscale, the last thing to expect on safari was good food.
I was not very hungry that first night.
Against my better judgement, I decided to order a sandwich. I was hoping at the very least that it would be edible.
The sandwich was good by any standards.
Breakfast at Tan-Swiss Lodge
Breakfast included homemade bread (think: pain de campagne), espresso, bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, and believe it or not, when my friend asked if they had any feta cheese (which we both love), surely enough, they gave us complimentary feta cheese.
My travel companions and I had dinner, took advantage of the very well-stocked bar, and then decided to call it a night.
The next morning we would be up at the crack of dawn for a full-day safari.
Visiting Mikumi National Park in Earnest
The following day for me began with a very hot shower in the neat, clean, spacious bathrooms at Tan-Swiss Lodge (something else that stood out for me), and after a hearty breakfast, off we went in the lodge’s gisty open-air safari vehicle with our guide in tow.
In minutes, we were at the gate of Mikumi National Park. There, we paid the required Mikumi National Park fees.
Mikumi National Park Fees
The Tanzanians in our group paid Tsh. 10,000 each (this was pre-COVID-19), while the non-East Africans paid US$30 per person.
We had all assumed we would be able to pay for our park entrance fees in cash. This was not the case. Instead, we had to pay by credit or debit card.
Luckily, I had my debit card on me so with that quickly sorted, we entered the park.
Our Mikumi Safari
September is dry season in Mikumi National Park, so everything was shades of brown.
Some of the grass had been burned to help it grow better once the rainy season began.
The scenery was beautiful and reminded me a lot of the Serengeti plains.
Although many travel guides say that you can only see lions occasionally in Mikumi National Park, we were lucky! Our first interesting animal sighting of the day was a full-maned lion hiding in the brush.
When Is the Best Time to Go to Mikumi National Park?
You can see game in Mikumi National Park throughout the year. The best time to visit, though, is during the dry season from late June to end-October.
One of the reasons for this is that, in the dry season, animals congregate around two watering holes. This makes them particularly easy to spot in large numbers.
After driving around for a while looking at the scenery and seeing whatever animals we were lucky enough to chance upon, we decided mid-morning to visit one of the watering holes to watch the animals as they drank.
As we approached the watering hole, we found a pride of not 1, not 2, but 7(!) lions lazing around under a tree.
We stopped to watch them, mesmerized, hoping they would do something interesting for us.
Alas, other than one lion that slept on its back, limbs in the air (I didn’t know lions did that), they just kept on lying about languidly.
We went on to the watering hole, where just as we were arriving, a herd of elephants arrived too.
There were other animals around—wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes—but our guide told us that it was the hierarchy of the jungle for elephants to drink first.
We watched them as they slowly and majestically drank their fill.
As they made to leave, something in the corner of our eye caught our attention.
The Lion Chase
Out of nowhere, something whizzed through the herd of animals that were waiting to drink.
Some animals got out of the way, but the rest, most notably the giraffes, stood at attention.
The atmosphere was tense!
We came to realize that a lioness had tried to steal a wildebeest calf from the herd. When she failed, she ran away quickly to hide in the tall grass.
Luckily for us, although the other animals couldn’t see her, we could see her perfectly.
We watched her pant as she tried to catch her breath and hoped she would make another attempt.
I couldn’t believe I had just witnessed a real-life lion hunt!
The lioness did not make a second attempt, so after a while, we decided to break for lunch.
The lunch area at Mikumi National Park was also a surprise.
Out of nowhere came this scene that made me think of the way celebrations in American farm country are depicted in the movies.
It was unlike any lunch area I had ever seen at another park in Tanzania.
Our guide told us that it had been specifically built for a visit to the park by President Obama. Sadly, he never did visit the park.
Amused, we sat down and took advantage of this unusual lunch area. After that, we continued on with our safari.
Half-Day or Full-Day Mikumi Safari?
My friends and I debated for a long time whether we should book a half-day or full-day safari.
In hindsight, we found the full-day safari long and exhausting.
If I were to do it again (and money were not an issue), I’d book two half-day safaris instead. I’d do one in the evening and one the following morning. After all, those are the best times to view game anyhow.
The middle of the afternoon in Tanzania is just too hot! That’s true for animals too. During this time, they often hide away under some shade and can be difficult to see.
Early- to mid-afternoon on a safari can often be a let-down after the excitement of the morning. Also, it can wear you out so that you don’t fully enjoy the evening when the sun begins to set and the animals come out again.
The Trees of Mikumi National Park
Our early afternoon in Mikumi National Park was rather slow even though we took the opportunity to learn about different trees in the park.
We learned that Mikumi National Park got its name from the mikuki tree, and we also got to climb a baobab tree that was over 500 years old!
The safari picked up again late in the afternoon when we began to see lots of elephants and went to the other watering hole, the Hippo Pool, where we saw a beautiful sunset as well as got to watch hippos and crocodiles.
We were out of the park by 7:00 p.m. as the regulation requires for visitors not spending the night in Mikumi National Park. Off we went back to the lodge to enjoy the last evening of our trip.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, which may be why so many people undervalue the Mikumi National Park safari experience.
Having visited 6 other protected areas in Tanzania including the great Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, I truly believe that Mikumi National Park is as authentic a safari experience as any other in the country.
If you are in Dar es Salaam and have only a few days to travel or are on a limited budget (or are looking for something to do over the weekend), I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Have you been to Mikumi National Park? If so, do you agree with me? What would you like to share with others about your travel experiences at this park? Let me know in the comment section below!
Until the next time,
Photo Credits: Valugi