The southern parks present opportunities for a wide range of different safari experiences. Travel through varying landscapes from savannah to wetlands, using a variety of methods, including walking and boat trips. The national parks and game reserves in the south are remote, visited by few tourists. This means you can sit quietly for as long as you like, taking the time to feel intimately connected with the wilderness around you. Abundant in wildlife, the southern circuit offers fantastic game viewing and bird watching opportunities.
During this safari you will cover the best of the south, visiting Mikumi National Park, The Udzungwa Mountains, Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park, as well as enjoying cultural and historical interludes to your game viewing. Discover the lesser known spots of wild Tanzania with us!
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) you will be met and transferred to your hotel to relax and recover from your journey.
Overnight Dar es Salaam
Days 2 & 3: Selous Game Reserve
You will be collected from your hotel early this morning to drive the approximately 5 hours to Selous, arriving in time for lunch. Dotted with palm trees and crisscrossed by the channels of the Rufiji River, Selous is as unique as it is vast. Spanning an area larger than Switzerland, the reserve is home to one of the most significant concentrations of elephants and lions on the continent. It has an exceptionally high variety of habitats including woodland, grassland and swamps, however only 5% of its area, north of the river, is open to safari goers. This still leaves plenty of territory to explore. You will experience the wonders of the bushveld on foot, by vehicle and on a river cruise. Spend nights out in the wild, sleeping in intimate fly-camps, savouring meals cooked over the hot coals and sleeping with a canopy of stars for a roof.
Day 5: Ifakara
After breakfast, depart for your onwards journey to Ifakara, taking around 5 hours. Arrive in the early afternoon, where you will find your canoe ready and waiting. Sit back and relax as you are punted upstream with a long pole. It’s likely you’ll see hippos, crocodiles, Nile monitor lizards and many birds, including the endemic Kilombero Weaver and if you’re really lucky, a shoebill. Spend a long afternoon out boating, enjoying your picnic lunch on a sandbank. In the late evening, drive to your lodge.
Overnight Udzungwa Mountains
Day 6: Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Today will be spent stretching your legs on a hike through the beautiful forests and landscapes of Udzungwa. Accompanied by a professional guide, on the trail you will learn about various trees used for traditional healing and see and hear a wide variety of different birds. At the top you will be rewarded with an amazing view of the Sanje Waterfalls. From the top of the waterfalls look out over the enormous Kilombero Sugarcane Valley, one of the Tanzania’s biggest sugarcane plantations. Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a magnet for hikers, with an excellent network of forest trails for you to explore.
Days 7, 8 & 9: Ruaha National Park
Journey from Udzungwa to Ruaha National Park this morning, where you will spend the next few days. Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in the country, even bigger than Serengeti. Magnificent mammals such as greater and lesser kudu can be spotted here. The park has a high diversity of plants and animals including elephants, buffalos, antelopes and some rare and endangered species such as wild dogs. A birders paradise, over 570 species of birds can be found here. Experience the wonders of the bush both on foot and by vehicle on game drives.
Days 10 & 11: Mikumi National Park
This morning you will travel from Ruaha to Mikumi with a cultural stop en route at the ‘Isimila Stone Age Historical Site’. This archaeological site yielded very important fossils that provided some enlightenment about the origins of mankind. Mikumi is known for its rich variety of bird species, as well as large numbers of giraffe, buffalo and elephants. You may be able to spot lions, leopards and African wild dogs. Likely to be seen animals include zebras, hippos, hartebeest, wildebeest, impala, warthog, eland and antelope. The Mkata river floodplain is an open expanse where you can easily spot a large number of animals, satisfying your thirst for wildlife before your journey draws to a close.
Day 12: Dar es Salaam
After breakfast, depart for a short game drive in Mikumi, after which you’ll begin your drive back to Dar es Salaam, with lunch break on the way. The drive takes approximately 5 to 6 hours and you’ll arrive at your hotel this evening for a hot shower and comfortable bed, before your journey tomorrow.
Overnight Dar es Salaam
Day 13: Departure
Today you will be transferred back to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in time for your flight.
All game drives; vehicle; park entry fees; accommodation at lodges/tented camps/basic camping; camping equipment; all activities as outlined in itinerary (walking safari, canoe safari & boat safari); English speaking driver/guide; all food; drinking water; 18% VAT tax; Lake Natron volcano climb and activities; at least 1 pair of binoculars; accommodation Dar es Salaam & two airport transfers.
What’s Not Included?