Tanzania Safari and beach holiday

Description of Tanzania Safari and beach holiday

Enjoy an off-the-beaten track safari experience in the Selous Game Reserve, spot an abundance of wildlife in the remote and wild Ruaha National Park, then enjoy the laidback atmosphere of Mafia Island.

This fantastic 12-day itinerary offers an off-the-beaten track safari experience in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. You’ll stay at luxury lodges or camps in excellent locations and you’ll enjoy incredible game-viewing in remote areas with expert local guides.

You'll then fly to Mafia Island, located approximately 48 kilometres off the Tanzanian coast. This tropical island in the Indian Ocean remains almost untouched by tourism, and whilst it may not be a suitable destination for travellers who like to stay in conventional luxury resorts, it is ideal for those who are looking for a remote, unique and adventurous travel experience.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Dar es Salaam & Fly to Selous Game Reserve - Upon arrival at Dar es Salaam Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the domestic terminal. You will then board your scheduled light aircraft flight to the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. A representative will meet you at the airstrip and drive you to your camp or lodge where you’ll stay for three nights.
Day 2-3:Safari in Selous - Covering an area of more than 50,000 square kilometres, which equates to 5% of Tanzania’s land, Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve. It's twice the size of the Serengeti, yet it is one of Tanzania’s least known safari destinations and the number of visitors to Selous is significantly lower than the northern parks. The Rufiji River runs through vast areas of Selous and sprawls out to endless lakes and deltas, which fill and empty with the seasonal rains. At these water sources, you might see crocodiles and hippo, and along the banks of the Rufiji River you’re likely to see large herds of elephants, especially in the dry season from June to November. The reserve is also home to buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, wildebeest, baboon, hyena, lion, leopard and endangered African wild dog. As Selous is a game reserve, your guide can go off road in your safari vehicle, which means that you’re likely to experience much closer wildlife encounters than in Tanzania’s national parks. You can also enjoy bush walks and boat safaris in this incredible off-the-beaten track reserve.
Day 4:Fly to Ruaha National Park - This morning, you’ll have time to enjoy one final game drive in the Selous Game Reserve before returning to your lodge or camp for lunch. This afternoon, you will be transferred back to the airstrip for a scheduled light aircraft flight to the remote and wild Ruaha National Park. You will be met on arrival at the Msembe airstrip in Ruaha and driven to your accommodation, where you’ll spend the next three nights.
Day 5-6:Safari in Ruaha National Park - Covering an area of approximately 13,000 square kilometres, Ruaha is the largest national park in Tanzania. Named after the Great Ruaha River, which forms the spine of this vast park. Ruaha has a phenomenal concentration and diversity of wildlife, making it the country’s most significant national park outside of the Serengeti. The Ruaha River attracts an abundance of wildlife, particularly in the dry season from June to October, when there is a lack of water elsewhere in the park. On your game drives, you can expect to see large herds of elephants, huge prides of lion, and packs of endangered African wild dog, plus leopard, cheetah, jackal, giraffe, zebra, eland, impala and bat-eared foxes. The park is also home to some lesser-known animals, such as the kudu, roan and sable antelope that enjoy the dry, open woodland areas, and it is a birders paradise with more than 570 species found here.
Day 7:Fly to Mafia Island - Today, you can enjoy a morning safari activity and then after lunch you’ll be driven back to the airstrip for your scheduled light aircraft flight to Mafia Island. On arrival at Kilindoni on Mafia Island, you’ll be met by a driver and taken to your chosen accommodation where you’ll spend the next five nights.
Day 8-11:Explore Mafia Island - Relax and enjoy Mafia Island at your leisure. On this small island, you’ll find a slow pace of life, friendly locals and beautiful beaches. There’s a wide range of activities and excursions to enjoy on Mafia Island - including diving and snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing trips with local fishermen, sunset cruises on traditional dhows, cycling, walking, bird watching, cultural tours, visits to local villages, and excursions to Mafia Island Marine Park, Mrora Forest and the lighthouse at Ras Mkumbi. The warm, safe waters of Mafia Island's inland bays and lagoons are fantastic for scuba diving and snorkelling. Bottlenose and spinner dolphins are often seen on the surface of the water, while guitarfish and reef sharks lurk in caves beneath. Hammerhead shark and giant eagle ray sightings are possible and whale shark encounters are likely from October to March. Depending on the season that you visit you may be able to see turtles nesting, swim with whale sharks and spot humpback whales. (Humpback whales pass by Mafia Island on their migration route between July and October and during these months it may be possible to see them on an organised whale watching trip or during other boat-based activities. If you’re visiting from June to September you can join a turtle-hatching trip and witness hundreds of baby turtles scramble from the sandy beaches to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean).
Day 12:Depart Mafia Island - After breakfast, you’ll check out of your accommodation and then you will be driven back to Kilondoni Airport for your flight to Dar es Salaam. A driver will meet you at the domestic airport to transfer you to the international airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tanzania Safari and beach holiday

Environment

We work with selected safari accommodations, featured in this itinerary such as Lake Manze Camp in the Selous Reserve, which are committed to local conservation efforts which reflects our company ethos. We highly favour, and like to promote, low impact safari camps with an emphasis on small carbon footprints, making the minimum possible impact on their environments.

We promote smaller islands, like Mafia on this itinerary, where we can spread the benefits of tourism beyond the mainstream, and over commercialised, areas such as Zanzibar. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of over tourism on the more popular islands and lessens the impact of people on wildlife and marine parks.

We've also got great recommendations of responsible local wildlife encounter operators, which act responsibly towards local marine life on Mafia Island in particular. This includes local outfits which use responsible policies towards swimming with whale sharks, which can be a problematic encounter for the whale sharks if mismanaged.

To ensure that we are offering ground-breaking itineraries and are always keeping up-to-date with the latest developments abroad, our UK staff travel regularly to our destinations. This ‘work’ also leaves a carbon footprint and we compensate for all our staff travel by donating carbon-mitigating funds to our charity partners.

Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener.

Community

We encourage you to be proactive and respectful when engaging in activities such as local village visits. We also remind you to always ask permission before taking photographs: this is a sign of respect.

We employ local guides and support staff in Tanzania whom we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.

Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.

We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.

In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children’s education in pursuit of this opportunity.

Talk to us about packing for a purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Tanzania and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.

1 Reviews of Tanzania Safari and beach holiday

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 08 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the great migration, thousands of wildebeest crossing a river while making a "snoring" sound. We stayed their watching them for several hours. Wonderful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Think about the fact that you want to go camping or prefer staying in a lodge. The bathroom-facilities on the camping sites are basic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our guide was really concerned with respecting the natural habits and behaviours of the animals and he always put this before trying to fulfil the wishes of the tourists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a fantastic safari in Tanzania (Northern circuit). We came back home with beautiful memories of the country, his wildlife and his people.

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