This itinerary is great if you are keen to spend time in the bush enjoying a combination of game drives, bush walks and boat safaris. This trip also includes a stay on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Southern Safari in Ruaha and Selous
Day 1: Depart UK
Depart the UK on board British Airways. Fly to Dar es Salaam overnight.
Day 2: Arrive Tanzania, Safari begins in Selous
Arrive at 0700 into Dar-es-Salaam airport where you will transfer to the Domestic terminal for your 1030 flight to Selous and the start of your magical safari.
On arrival at the airstrip in Selous you will be met by one of the camp vehicles. Your wildlife experience will start straight away on journey to camp. Once settled into your accommodation you will be able to clean up and relax after your long flight, if you are up to it you will be able to go on your first game excursion in the afternoon.
Selous Impala is a camp with a location so fantastic that there is little incentive to go elsewhere for safari action. Built on the banks of the Rufiji River this stylish yet relaxed tented camp offers the discerning traveller the finest setting for a memorable holiday.
The spacious tents set on wooden platforms are open at one side to focus on the ever-changing view across the mighty river. There are just 8 tents, making this one of the most quiet bush camps. Each tent has a veranda looking over the river and all are spaced well apart giving seclusion and privacy.
The dining room is raised for optimum views of Africa’s greatest show. Superb food and a well stocked bar all complement the experience. Bush breakfasts and fine picnics are popularly combined with boating and walking safaris, followed by a cool swim in the clear blue pool.
Day 3-5: Selous Game Reserve- Selous Impala Camp
Spend the next three nights exploring everything the Selous has to offer. As a Game Reserve Selous offers more versatility and you will be able to choose from game drives, walking safaris and boat trips.
Selous game reserve is named after Frederick Courtney Selous, the famous 19th century hunter and explorer whose books were bestsellers in Victorian England.
The Selous is the largest wildlife sanctuary on the African continent covering a staggering 54,600 square kilometres of southern Tanzania. It consists of vast tracts of archetypal east African wilderness containing perhaps the greatest concentration of big game left on earth. Only in its northern extremity in the area of forest set around the mighty Rufiji River, has the Selous suffered the incursion of man, and it is still home to a bewildering array of birds and mammals.
This is the Africa experienced by many of its early explorers – raw and untouched. Your game-drives may take you to the lakes where, in the dry season, the herbivores gather to drink and the carnivores lie in wait. Walks accompanied by an armed guide offer the opportunity to see Cape buffalo, elephant and perhaps a lion. A boat safari provides you with the thrill of getting close to hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Although poaching affected the elephant population in the eighties, careful management and conservation schemes have brought their numbers back to a healthy level. There are also large numbers of wild dog (one of the rarest carnivores in the world), lion, leopard and many other species.
Day 6: Depart Selous – Fly to Ruaha National Park
Following breakfast, check out of your wind your way back through the reserve to the airstrip where you will board the 1130 flight to Ruaha. This flight will take you across some of the most beautiful parts of southern Tanzania including the rugged Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
As before you will be met at the airstrip by one of your new camp vehicles and you will enjoy your first game drive through the park on the way to Kwihala. Settle into your new tent and your new surroundings before your afternoon game drive.
The camp is currently located in the north of the Ruaha National Park about 45 minutes drive from Msembe air strip near to the Mwagusi River. It has been sited on a hillside site away from the main park roads in deepest bush. It enjoys wonderful views and superb sunrises and sunsets.
The camp consists of six individual and privately located tents. The spacious tents (40 sq meters) are fully furnished with comfortable beds, integral bathrooms and flushing toilets. Each tent has a covered veranda area, is mosquito proofed and protected from the elements by a heavy duty ‘fly’ sheet.
The separate dining and relaxing areas create a homely feel, although canvas walls and open sides fill one with the romanticism of the classic ‘Out of Africa’ safari.
The camp has solar power, which provides electric lighting to the mess and to the individual tents during the hours of darkness, but they also use a lot of safari oil lamps. There is also a square pin plug socket (UK 3 pin type) in each tent supplying 240v power to charge batteries etc.
Day 7-9: Ruaha National Park – Kwihala Camp
Spend the next three nights exploring this rugged, rocky and wild part of Africa. Ruaha has everything to offer from slow simmering views over the vast sand rivers to the rocky kopjes of the hills.
Ruaha National Park has recently been extended to make it Tanzania’s largest park, and one of its wildest. Only the area around the Great Ruaha River has been developed for tourism, and because of its remote location even this sees relatively few visitors, thus preserving a massive chunk of raw African wilderness in a totally unspoilt state. Activities centre on the river, which during the dry season is very low, with the remaining rock pools swarming with huge crocodiles and grunting Hippos fighting for space.
The park protects a wide variety of habitats because it is an important transition zone where eastern and southern species of flora and fauna overlap and in all some 1,650 plant species and over 450 bird species have been recorded within the park itself. The birdlife is amazing here and includes: Ibises, herons, stilts, kingfishers and owls which are regularly sighted.
Ruaha is a very special park. It is particularly noted for large numbers of greater kudu – probably more than anywhere else in Tanzania as well as lesser kudu, sable and roan antelope. You can visit Ruaha all year round, even in the rainy season the park is particularly stunning with huge numbers of migrating birds from both hemispheres. The southwest area of Tanzania where Ruaha is located has the lowest rainfall in Tanzania. June to November is driest with the focus of wildlife viewing around the river courses and permanent waterholes.
Dinner and Overnight at Kwihala Tented Camp.
Day 10: Depart Ruaha – Fly to Zanzibar
Today you will say goodbye to the African bush. You will be transferred back to the airstrip for your flight to Zanzibar at 1345. On arrival at the airport in Zanzibar you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will be able to spend the rest of your time relaxing and soaking up the sunshine.
Pongwe is situated on a comparatively secluded beach on the east coast. There are sixteen, white washed beach cottages. It is located on a beautiful beach sandwiched between two coral outcrops making it more private. This beach is scattered with hammocks and loungers for your comfort.
All rooms have en suite facilities, with hot and cold running water. The beds are comfortable and in the beautiful wooden traditional Zanzibari style, with large mosquito nets draped over each bed. The housekeeping staff add sweet touches each day with flowers and towels in different shapes. Pongwe provides straw beach bags to borrow and kangas and kikoi’s to wear during your stay.
Pongwe’s seating, bar and dining area is slightly set back from the beach and is housed under an enormous makuti (palm thatched) roof, there are board games and books dotted about to while away the time. Pongwe has a chilled relaxed atmosphere and one which I would highly recommend.
Days 11-13: Explore Zanzibar – Pongwe Beach Lodge
The island of Zanzibar evokes intrigue, with a long history and a rich cultural heritage, and for some, pure indulgence. Zanzibar is steeped in history and rich in cultural heritage. It is characterised by a labyrinth of narrow streets, busy bazaars, grand merchant houses and intricately carved doors. The name itself conjures up romance, heat and tranquillity. Few countries can equal Zanzibar’s long fine white sandy beaches, blood red sunsets with warm aquamarine waters providing the setting for superb diving and snorkelling.
Day 14: Depart Tanzania
Today is a very early start. You will transfer to the Airport for your flight at 0615. You will arrive in Dar at 0635 in plenty of time for your onward travel arrangements on British Airways.
Costs for this itinerary
£3,850.00 per person sharing a double/twin room.
What is included?
Full board accommodation, two shared game activities per day with an English-speaking guide, all national park and concession fees, internal flights and road transfers
What is not included?
International flights, drinks, visa, extra meals, extra excursions, travel insurance, TIPS and items of a personal nature