Swirls of opaque mist hide advancing down. The first shafts of sun colour the fluffy grass heads rippling across the plain in a russet halo. A heard of zebras, confident in their camouflage at this predatory hour, pose like ballerinas, heads aligned and stripes merging in flowing motion.

Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa's biggest game reserve - the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometre (47,000 square mile) tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.Size: 3,230 sq km

Location: 238 km west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, an en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.

Getting there: a good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4 hours drive. Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only) Selous. Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.

What to do: game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to Selous or Ruaha.

When to go: Accessible year around.

Accommodation: lodges, luxury tented camps, campsites, Guest houses in Mikumi town to the park border

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