Tanzania is enchanting. It is one of Africa’s top wildlife safari destinations. Wildlife lovers have a choice of two very different safari routes- referred to as the Northern and Southern circuits. The contrast is most obvious in the topography, habitat and climate. On the Northern Tanzania safari circuit, you visit such renowned wildlife havens as Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. The Southern safari route is anchored on Dar es Salaam, and covers Ruaha National Park, Mikumi, Udzungwa Mountains National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve. 10 Days of the best of Southern Tanzania safari covering the largest game reserve of Selous, Mikumi National Park and the remote Ruaha National Park.
Day 1: Arrival at Dar es salaam International Aiport
Those on the group flights will be met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel located in an upmarket neighbourhood of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean. The rest of the day is free to relax after the flight or explore the city.
Day 2: Dar es salaam – Selous Game Reserve
We depart after a leisurely breakfast for a 6-7hr drive to Selous Game Reserve stopping for a packed lunch en route. We drive for about 150kms on tarmac roads to the village of Kibiti before turning off onto a gravel road and for the remaining 100kms as we head deeper into the African wilderness. With a bit of luck we will see our first animals on the drive to the reserve. After settling into our permanent tented camp situated on the banks of the Rufiji River, where we stay in small en suite huts, we embark on a boat-safari in the late afternoon. We normally see plenty of hippos and crocodiles as well as fantastic birdlife.
Day 3 – 4: Selous Game Reserve
We now have two full days in Selous. Each day after breakfast, we will depart for a full day game drive with a packed lunch. We will get to see a variety of game and drive through different terrain, bush, savannah and miombo woodland. Selous, Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary with an area of 54,600 sq.km, is bigger than the Netherlands and 4 times the size of the Serengeti. It has the world’s largest number of big game – elephant, buffalo, rhino, Sable antelope. Selous is also home to wildebeest, eland, giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, impala, hippo, leopard, lion and Wild dog. There are also about 350 species of birds. We will return to our camp in the evening for a hot dinner.
Day 5: Selous Game Reserve – Uluguru Mountains – Mikumi National Park
After breakfast we head on an ‘expedition’ through the Uluguru Mountains towards Morongo and Mikumi National Park. This is a beautiful drive past small villages, across rivers, over small bridges, and through tropical forests. Much of our journey today is on dirt and gravel roads and will take between 8 and 9 hours depending on the river conditions.
Day 6: Ruaha National Park
After breakfast, we depart for Ruaha with our packed lunch. The drive should take us 5-6 hrs. Arriving this afternoon we have some well-deserved time to relax. Ruaha, with an area of 10,300sq.km, is the second largest park, and second largest elephant sanctuary in Tanzania. The great Ruaha River, which flows along its entire eastern border, creating spectacular gorges and scenery, features a large number of hippos and crocodiles. The wide variety of animals in this park includes Greater and Lesser Kudu, and Roan and Sable antelope. Birdlife is also rich, with over 370 species recorded.
Day 7 – 8: Ruaha National Park
We spend the next two days exploring the diversity of Ruaha National Park and searching for its wonderful wildlife. The first day starts with a game drive in the morning whilst, in the afternoon, we leave our 4WD behind and head out on foot to search for local game. The second day is another exciting full-day game-drive in the park.
Day 9: Ruaha National Park – Mikumi National Park
Leaving the Ruaha area, we head east again back into Mikumi National Park. The drive takes another 6hrs but we will arrive in time for an afternoon game drive inside the park.
Day 10: Mikumi National Park – Dar es salaam
We enjoy our final game drive this morning before heading back to Dar es Salaam. The drive takes about 5hrs and the trip ends upon arrival in Dar es Salaam. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport for the overnight flight. Dar es Salaam is the main gateway to Zanzibar and an extension to the Spice Island can easily be organised.