Southern Tanzania is redolent with the romantic history of a bygone age. Pioneers, missionaries, hunters and adventurers littered the landscape with legends. To those who know and love the African bush, the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park are two of Africa’s best kept secrets.
Overview of the regions
Embracing 54,000 square kilometres of south-western Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected wilderness reserve on the continent, three times larger than the Serengeti and twice the size of Belgium. Named after the legendary 19th century explorer and hunter Frederick Courtenay Selous, the reserve was founded by the German colonial administration in 1905. It was later expanded to include traditional elephant migration routes and accommodate the vast herds of buffalo that roam this remote, untouched corner of Africa.
Here one can explore the sheer diversity of the landscape; from hot volcanic springs, placid lagoons and the many channels from the Great Ruaha and Rufiji Rivers which bisect the reserve, making the Selous a unique area in which to observe the full panoply of African wildlife. Most of Africa’s mammal species, from the largest to the smallest to the rarest, thrive here. In addition there are some 440 species of birds and more than 2,000 recorded varieties of plants (with many more still to be discovered.) There is no other region in which visitors can experience the pristine splendour and beauty – as well as the sense of adventure in Africa – than those like Selous enjoyed. The Selous Game Reserve has been declared a World Heritage Site, one of three in Tanzania.
For anyone seeking a true African wilderness experience, a visit to Ruaha National Park is essential. Although the second largest in Tanzania, the reserve is perhaps the least well-known and yet to connoisseurs it is without doubt one of the most spectacular in Africa. Covering a conservation area of 10,300 square kilometers in the south-west of the country, Ruaha sprawls within and along the Great Rift Valley, covering a unique transition zone where the Eastern and Southern species of both fauna and flora meet against a dramatic topographical backdrop. This is also one of the few Tanzanian parks where sightings of the rarer antelope, such as the Sable, the Roan and both Lesser & Greater Kudu, are a probability rather than a possibility. The proliferation of plains game in the park also ensures that the larger predators – leopard and large prides of lion – are unusually active. The bird life, too, is unparalleled with some 530 species recorded.
Day 1: Arrive in Dar-es-Salaam where you will be met by our guide and transferred to your hotel for overnight and breakfast.
Day 2: After breakfast you will be met by your driver for the transfer to Dar-es-Salaam Airport for your domestic flight to Selous Game Reserve. The flight will take approximately 45 minutes. On arrival at the airstrip, your camp representative and vehicle will be waiting for you to transfer you to your camp for your check in. Depending on the camp you choose, as well as the game you see en route, this transfer can take between 10 to 45 minutes. On reaching the camp the friendly staff will show you to your room. After lunch, a range of various activities will be offered to you to be able to enjoy that afternoon and throughout your stay at your camp of choice in the Selous Game Reserve. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 3: After an early breakfast you will choose what activities you wish to carry out that day; ranging from open vehicle 4×4 photographic safaris, boat cruise or a more energetic walking safari. Full board accommodation and overnight at the camp.
Day 4: Coffee or tea and cookies will be delivered to your tent this morning and will serve as a welcoming wake up call. Depart the lodge at 06.00 hrs for an early morning game drive. Alternatively, you may choose a more leisurely morning with breakfast at the camp and just relax there. Once again, you will choose what activities you wish to carry out that day; ranging from open vehicle 4×4 photographic safaris, boat cruise or a more energetic walking safari. Full board accommodation and overnight at the camp.
Day 5: Today we leave the Selous Game Reserve and head for the adventurous Ruaha National Park. After a delicious breakfast, your camp representative will drive you to the airstrip for your flight to Ruaha. This flight takes approximately 1½ hours. On arrival at your airstrip in Ruaha, you will be met by your camp vehicle and transferred to your luxurious accommodation. Depending on the game you see en route, this can take between 10 to 45 minutes. Once checked into your tent and had lunch, a range of various activities will be offered to you to be able to enjoy that afternoon and throughout your stay in Ruaha National Park.
Day 6: After and early breakfast you will choose what activities you wish to carry out that day; ranging from open vehicle 4×4 photographic safaris or a more energetic walking safari. Full board accommodation and overnight at the camp.
Day 7: After and early breakfast you will choose what activities you wish to carry out that day; ranging from open vehicle 4×4 photographic safaris or a more energetic walking safari. Full board accommodation and overnight at the camp.
Day 8: Your safari experience in Southern Tanzania has sadly come to its final day. After breakfast you will be transferred to the airstrip for your return flight to Dar-es-Salaam. This takes approximately 2 hours.
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