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The vegetation in Ruaha National Park differs drastically between flat treeless savannahs, Miombo woodlands, dry bushlands, swamps, and riverine forests. Almost 1650 different plant species can be found in the park, creating a one-of-a-kind botanical paradise.
The park is named after the great Ruaha River of which 160 km flows through the park. It is the most distinctive feature of the park and for its residents the most important. Apart from the river, the park is well known for its varied scenery – from large open plains to rolling hills, river systems to wetlands, and kopjes to mountains. The Ruaha National Park marks the transition zone where eastern and southern species of flora and fauna overlap. The Great Rift Valley also runs through the park with escarpment walls rising between 50 and 100 m in height. Natural springs associated with the rift valley are scattered throughout the park.