Southern Tanzania is still relatively unknown on the safari circuit, yet it offers some of the very best safari country and game viewing on the African continent. The Selous Reserve and Ruaha National Park are large and fairly wild – perfect if you don’t want the many other safari vehicles that you’re likely to see in the more popular north. Here, you can expect remote, private and game rich areas that are a photographer’s dream. In true modern-day safari tradition, you will finish with a few days along the coast, Tanzanian-style. Lapping up the sun at a beach lodge is the ideal end to this African adventure.
Ruaha National Park is the largest National Park in Tanzania and this is where you will begin your safari adventure after your flight from Dar es Salaam. Offering a genuine African wilderness experience, the park will be your home for three nights where you’re likely to stay on the banks of the seasonal Jongomero River in the remote south-west sector of Ruaha.
Ruaha National Park is one of the largest parks in Africa, with an area covering 20,000 square kilometres. Despite its size it’s still relatively unknown, with an amazing variety of both plant and animal life - the diversity of wildlife here is truly astounding. The park provides a more or less untouched wilderness experience and is a remarkably rewarding place to safari. The rivers, rugged gorges, natural springs and rolling landscapes are striking, while the remoteness of the location brings you a very different experience from the well-travelled roads of Kruger.
After three nights in Ruaha, you'll head to the mighty Selous Game Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) by light aircraft for your three night camp stay, more than likely on the banks of Lake Nzerakera. At approximately 50,000 square kilometres, Selous is almost twice the size of Belgium and is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. As a result, it remains largely undisturbed by human impact. It also boasts some of the highest concentrations of species such as elephant, black rhinoceros, giraffe, cheetah, crocodile and hippopotamus.
The Selous is one of the few big game reserves to allow hiking, allowing you the chance to explore Tanzania’s pristine landscapes on foot. The Rufiji River cuts a path straight through the middle of the reserve, past woodlands, grasslands and borassus palm trees, providing unparalleled water-based wildlife watching. A real highlight of the Selous is the number of safari activities available, so that each day is completely different from the one before. Enjoy a traditional game drive, take a boat safaris to get up close to the hippos or meander along on a walking safaris to learn about the flora and tiny fauna indigineous to the region.
After six days on adrenaline-filled safari, it’s time to relax on ome balmy beaches. You'll spend three nights at Ras Kutani on the Tanzanian Swahili coast, where long stretches of deserted sand are interspersed with sleepy Swahili towns and tiny fishing villages. Rus Katani, a tranquil coastal town 35 km south of Dar es Salaam, is surrounded by miles of deserted beaches with snow-white sand and duck-egg-blue sea. Behind the beach is a coastal forest dotted with pretty villages and well-appointed bandas (posh beach huts), where you'll spend time getting some serious R&R.
The town is flanked by a fresh water lagoon adjoining the forest, and here you can spend unwinding as you watch kingfishers darting across the water and listen to the blue monkeys chattering in the trees. Casual yet stylish accommodation is constructed of natural, local materials and furnishings, while the food is fresh from the ocean. Indulge in an excess of fresh seafood during your stay, prepared by the talented onsite chefs.
It’s easy to add on any of the magical islands off the coast of Tanzania like Zanzibar, Pemba or Mafia - all great beach extensions. We'll help you put together a perfect combination - be sure to let us know if you have a specific one in mind.