Msembe Airstrip (ICAO: HTMR) is an airstrip in Tanzania’s Iringa Region that serves Ruaha National Park. Coastal Aviation and Auric Air are two domestic carriers that fly there.
If you’re planning a trip to Tanzania and want to experience the beauty of its natural wonders, then visiting Ruaha National Park should definitely be on your list. Located in the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa, covering an area of over 20,000 square kilometers. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, and hippos, as well as over 500 bird species. One of the best ways to access the park is through Msembe Airstrip, which serves as the main gateway to Ruaha.
We will take a closer look at Msembe Airstrip and its importance for tourists who want to explore the stunning natural beauty of Ruaha National Park. From the history of the airstrip to the services and facilities available for visitors, we’ll cover everything you need to know before planning your trip.
History of Msembe Airstrip
Msembe Airstrip has a long and interesting history. It was originally built by the German colonial administration in the early 1900s to provide access to the area for military and administrative purposes. During World War I, the airstrip was used by the Germans to transport troops and supplies. After the war, the airstrip was abandoned for many years until the Tanzanian government took control of the area and turned it into a national park in 1964.
Location and Access
Msembe Airstrip is located within the Ruaha National Park, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the park. It is situated approximately 130 kilometers west of Iringa, the nearest major town. Visitors can access the park through the airstrip by flying from Dar es Salaam or Arusha, or by driving from Iringa.
Services and Facilities
Msembe Airstrip is equipped with basic facilities such as a small terminal building, toilet facilities, and a parking area. Visitors can hire vehicles from the airport or arrange for a tour operator to provide transportation to and from the park. It is important to note that there are no accommodation facilities at the airstrip, but there are several lodges and campsites located within the park.
Getting around Ruaha National Park
Once you arrive at Msembe Airstrip, there are several ways to explore Ruaha National Park. The most popular option is to hire a safari vehicle with a driver/guide from one of the lodges or tour operators within the park. Alternatively, visitors can bring their own vehicles and hire a guide at the park entrance.
What to Expect at Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is known for its diverse wildlife, including large populations of elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalos. The park is also home to rare and endangered species such as the African wild dog and the sable antelope. In addition to wildlife viewing, visitors can enjoy guided walking safaris, bird watching, and cultural tours to nearby villages.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I drive to Msembe Airstrip? No, Msembe Airstrip is only accessible by air or by driving through Ruaha National Park.
- Are there any accommodation facilities at Msembe Airstrip? No, there are no accommodation facilities at Msembe Airstrip. Visitors can find lodging at lodges and campsites located within Ruaha National Park.
- How long does it take to fly from Dar es Salaam to Msembe Airstrip? The flight time from Dar es Salaam to Msembe Airstrip is approximately 2 hours.