Southern Tanzania

Explore Southern Tanzania's remarkable wildlife places by vehicle, on foot and by boat. Discover the ecosystems and animals of Tanzania's largest park, Ruaha National Park. Walking safaris in Katavi National Park are simply outstanding with the highest concentrations of hippo and crocodiles in Tanzania. Discover Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay at classic safari lodges and camps that recall the wonder of an earlier time.

Country Information

Tanzania including Zanzibar

Southern Tanzania Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Tanzania including Zanzibar

(Interest Type(s))

Sustainable Travel


Safari Tours


Adventure Travel

(Tour Length)

11 Days

Tour Highlights

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  • Explore the ecosystems and animals of Tanzania’s largest park, Ruaha National Park
  • Go on walking safari in Katavi National Park, which boasts the highest concentrations of hippo and crocodiles in Tanzania
  • Savor a safari by boat in Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy stays at classic safari lodges and camps that recall the wonder of an earlier time
  • Stay at safari camps that promote sustainable tourism and support local communities in Tanzania

Day 1: Arrive Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Welcome to Tanzania! After clearing Immigration and Custom formalities, you are met by a member of Foxes Safari Camp staff holding a name board. They will escort you to your hotel, an oasis of luxury in the very heart of Dar es Salaam. The elegant and cosmopolitan Dar es Salaam Serena is encircled by tropical gardens and is just minutes from the broad sweep of Indian Ocean beaches that characterize this vibrant city. The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Dar Es Salaam Serena Hotel  

Please Limit Luggage While On Safari To One (1) Per Person, Max. 32 Lbs. Additional Luggage And / Or Packages May Be Stored At Your Hotel.

Day 2: Dar Es Salaam / Ruaha National Park
After breakfast, return to the domestic terminal at the airport for the flight to Ruaha National Park. Landing at the airstrip, you enjoy a game drive through the park to your lodge, which includes only 24 stone chalets spread along the riverbanks, each with river views, spacious interiors and large verandas. Ruaha National Park supports a remarkable number of birds species – more than 500. You will also spot both southern and eastern animal species here. Ruaha National Park is the largest Park in Tanzania and lies in the center of the country. This beautiful park has an abundance of wildlife in an array of habitats, which gives the park a character all its own. The great Ruaha River is the lifeline of the park because it is the only permanent water source available.  The mid-afternoon break allows you time to relax into the rhythm of the African bush from your veranda at water’s edge, or from one of the two bar areas, where you can enjoy watching the animals come to drink at the river.  Later in the afternoon, drive to the hippo pool to catch the sunset – an incredible end to the day.  Ruaha River Lodge (B,L,D) 

Days 3/4:  Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is not only the largest national park in Tanzania, it also features a well-developed network of roads, which offers a variety of different drives to explore during game drives. A full-day game drive along the river takes you over rocky kopjes, home to the greater kudu, Roan antelope and elephant, and down along the river bank through open plains. On the plains, you find predators such as cheetah and lion, herds of buffalo, families of warthogs, jackals and bat eared fox, among others.  The riverbanks are rich with birdsong, often noisy hippos and intimidating crocodiles. Ruaha claims to have more elephants than any national park in East Africa.  It is also where you track magnificent mammals like kudu (both greater and lesser), sable and roan antelopes can easily be spotted in Miombo woodland. Male kudus have beautiful spiraled horns while male sable antelopes have impressive curved horns. The park is also a habitat for the very endangered African wild dogs. Other animals in the park include leopards, giraffes, zebras, elands, impalas as well as snakes, monitor lizards and frogs.  Ruaha River Lodge (B,L,D) 

Day 5: Ruaha National Park / Katavi National Park
Start early after breakfast to travel to the airstrip for your onward flight to the far west of Tanzania. (Note: these flights only operate on Mondays and Thursdays and the flight time is around 2 hours.) Katavi National Park has the highest concentrations of hippo and crocodiles in Tanzania. Large numbers of animals and few visitors combine for the perfect safari.  This truly remote wild park has vast herds of animals grazing the plains.  You’ll explore the park located along the rift escarpment in western Tanzania. These open expanses turn to swamp during the long rains, but dry out for six months of the year. The animals are concentrated in increasingly smaller area as the park dries out, which means large herds of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and topi, to name a few. The Katuma River shrinks into small pools that become home to ever more hippos in concentrated areas.  The dwindling river also exposes caves that crocodiles use to store their prey under water. You may have the opportunity to watch them in these caves, a fascinating experience. The plains are surrounded by woodlands, where the predators lie in wait for their prey to return the grazing lands. Katavi offers a spectacular safari experience.  Katavi Wildlife Camp (B,L,D)

Days 6/7: Katavi National Park
Katavi is the third largest national park in Tanzania. It features incredible scenery including immense wetlands, roaring waterfalls and original miombo woodlands, where sable antelopes often hide. During the dry season, huge herds of buffalo, zebras and impalas gather with elephants, waterbucks and duikers around the drying water reserves of Lake Katavi and Lake Chada. You can also observe many animals along the remaining pools of the Katuma River, which are bursting with hippos and crocodiles. Here, at these remaining water sources, the lions, leopards and wild dogs can be found searching for their prey, watched by patiently waiting vultures that share the trees with fish eagles, storks and vervet monkeys.  As soon as the first rains begins, Katavi transforms again into a flowering paradise with enormous swamps, lakes, rivers and waterfalls, attracting an incredible diversity of bird life.  Each season here has its own special opportunities for interacting with the wilderness. Katavi Wildlife Camp (B,L,D)  

Day 8: Katavi National Park / Dar Es Salaam / Selous Game Reserve
Depart after breakfast for the flight back to Dar. This flight will stop in Ruaha for refueling. You will arrive in Selous in the mid-afternoon. Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a third of the Tanzania’s elusive and highly endangered Africa wild dog, and also has the highest number of elephant.  The area north of the sprawling Rufiji River is reserved for photographic safaris. The river encompasses wide-open water, lakes and channels, which means that Selous is the only reserve in Tanzania that offers boating safaris in addition to the more classic vehicle and walking safaris.  The landscape is predominantly flat and covered with miombo trees. Lions and leopards join the wild dogs as prevalent predators in the reserve that hunt a variety of prey animals from wildebeest and buffalo to smaller animals like warthog and impala. The river supports a rich and varied bird life as well. The riverbanks provide a nesting sites for bee eaters and fishing grounds for kingfishers. Rufiji River Camp (B,L,D)

Days 9/10: Selous Game Reserve
Game viewing in the park include boat, vehicle and walking safaris.  In this remarkable park, the only human habitation allowed are limited tourist facilities that are restricted to the top 20% of the reserve. Road access is only possible during the dry season and most visitors fly in from Dar es Salaam by charter aircraft.  In the dry season, an ancient migration of elephants takes place between the Selous and Mozambique's Niassa Game Reserves. This is one of the largest natural trans-boundary eco-systems in Africa and at the last census, it was estimated that 64,400 elephants roam the two parks, with 84% on the Tanzanian side.  Fierce tiger fish and vandu catfish are caught in the rivers. The latter is equipped with primitive lungs allowing it to cross land for short distance in an attempt to find water during the dry season. The park is home to amazing wildlife from leopard and baboon to Nile crocodile and white rhino, and offers a genuine once-in-a-lifetime safari experience.  Rufiji River Camp (B,L,D)

Day 11: Selous Game Reserve / Dar Es Salaam / Depart
The flight back to Dar, arriving late afternoon. You are transferred to the hotel, where a day room has been reserved for your use.  You will enjoy dinner before returning to the airport. After check-in, you have some time for last-minute shopping at the Duty Free Shops near our departure gate. Dar Es Salaam Serena Hotel – Day Room (B,D)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  From US$700 per person per day

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