Safari Secrets of the South

Detailed Itinerary - 15 Days, 14 Nights.

Key: “B”: Breakfast “L”: Lunch “D”: Dinner

Day 1: On arrival in Dar es Salaam you will be met at the airport and drive to your Dar es Salaam hotel for a chance to recouperate before your safari begins. You will get a whirlwind look at this very busy, fast growing commercial city as you cross it on your way to the hotel. After an initial briefing about the trip you’ll have some time to unwind from your flight in your comfortable room at Best Western Plus Colosseum Hotel.

Day 2: After breakfast, you will head to the domestic terminal for your flight South West to Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site and the largest game reserve in Africa.
Selous Game Reserve covers about 5 per cent of the mainland of Tanzania and is home to a huge number of wildlife but still with relatively few visitors compared to the Northern parks, thereby offering the ultimate private safari experience. In the late afternoon you’ll arrive at the small, intimate & extremely friendly Sable Mountain Lodge, your base for the next three nights (B,L,D).

Day 3: After breakfast, head out for your first safari experience in this amazing wildlife reserve. The size of Switzerland, you will likely not see another human soul all day. This extended game drive will pass through beautiful landscapes and will include a thrilling boat safari on Lake Tagalala, full of hippos and crocs. Selous is home to fantastic plains game, elephant, lion, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles and over 400 separate bird species. Selous is famous for its African Hunting Dogs (or wild dogs) and together with Ruaha is one of the best places in Africa to see them as numbers have continued to increase in this reserve (B, packed Lunch, D).

Day 4: Awake before dawn and set off on a guided walking safari from the lodge. The walk of two to three hours will bring you in close contact with nature and allows you to learn a lot about the tracks and droppings of wild animals as well as a chance to spot things which might otherwise be overlooked when out on a game drive. Return to the lodge for breakfast and head out later for an afternoon game drive returning to the lodge just before dinner (B,L,D).

Day 5: After breakfast you’ll take a drive through some very pretty terrain passing local villages en route to Mikumi National Park. Set between the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains, this region provides some really stunning scenery.
By the end of the afternoon you will reach your comfortable mobile camp featuring lovely views over the savannah (B, packed lunch, D).

Day 6: Mikumi has a completely different ecosystem to Selous or Ruaha; this park looks more like the great plains of the Serengeti. You will wake up early for breakfast and begin criss-crossing the savannah plains in search of resident wildebeest, giraffe, lion and elephant. After lunch back at camp, relax for the rest of the day or take an optional game drive in the late afternoon (B,L,D).

Day 7: Today you will drive west through the town of Iringa which is situated over 5,000 feet above sea level and arrive at Ruaha National Park. Ruaha is home to ostrich, cheetah, kudu, and sable antelope, as well as the usual African wildlife plus over 400 different species of birds. For the next few days, you will be based at Ruaha River Lodge (B, packed lunch, D).

Days 8 & 9: Many call Ruaha “the best kept secret in Tanzania” because of its huge size, remote location, and extensive array of wildlife. The lifeline of this park is the great Ruaha River which attracts a lot of species, especially in the dry season. Spend the next two days exploring this vast wildlife park in very different terrain to that of Mikumi & Selous. Return each night to your base at Ruaha River Lodge located right on the Ruaha river where you can watch all manner of wildlife coming down to the river to drink, from your own terrace (B,L,D)

Day 10: Leaving Ruaha behind, today’s journey will take you into the lush, green fertile heart of Tanzania: the Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
Taking in the amazing views en route, you will arrive at the small and friendly Udzungwa Forest Camp located not far from Sanje waterfall. Here you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool and marvel at the formidable views of the surrounding sugar plantations (B,L,D).

Day 11: The tropical green & lush environment of Udzungwa is the natural habitat of several endemic butterflies, birds and Sanje mangabey monkeys.
There are several wonderful hiking routes to take it all in, the most impressive of which is the Sanje route. You can discuss with your guide which hike is best for you (B,L,D).

Day 12: At the end of your amazing and varied safari experience, you will head to the unique Saadani National Park; the only wildlife park in the whole of East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean. After a journey of approximately 7 hours, passing local villages and driving through some beautiful landscape, you shall cross the Wami River into the park.
Travel through the park to the Simply Saadani camp, located on a stunning deserted beach surrounded by national park and coconut palms. Relax before dinner in your robinson crusoe –style rooms with lovely views of the Indian Ocean (B, packed lunch, D).

Day 13 & 14: The next few days are for relaxation on the beach or you may choose to do another safari on offer from the camp (including boat, foot and game drive). Alternatively, remain at the camp and walk one of several nature trails or take a lovely canoe ride down a creek with some stunning birdlife. You can also visit a nearby sandbank for snorkelling (B,L,D).

Day 15: Today you head back to Dar es Salaam by car. You’ll have a last chance to see the flora and fauna on your way out of Saadani National Park to connect with your international flight home. Alternatively, you may wish to connect a visit to Zanzibar to this trip. If so, there are daily schedule flights between Saadani & Zanzibar and the flight takes a mere 20 minutes.

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