Tanzania Selous safari holiday & Zanzibar

“A combined safari and island break, taking in one of Tanzania’s least-visited reserves, followed by a week on Zanzibar. A luxurious mix of game drives and beach relaxation!”

Highlights

Dar es Salaam | Selous Game Reserve | three nights on safari | Zanzibar beaches | optional trips including to Stone Town or Jozani Forest | option to include Mafia Island and Pemba Island

Description of Tanzania Selous safari holiday & Zanzibar

Enjoy an off-the-beaten track safari experience in the Selous Game Reserve, then explore the idyllic island of Zanzibar.

This 10-day tailor-made holiday offers an off-the-beaten track safari experience in Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania where you can enjoy game drives with expert guides, plus bush walks and boat safaris. You can expect to see large herds of elephants, plus buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, wildebeest, baboon, hyena, lion and leopard, as well as the endangered African wild dog.

From Selous, you'll fly to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar where you can relax on the palm-fringed sandy beaches, enjoy activities such as diving and snorkel on the colourful coral reefs, kite-surfing, mountain biking or hiking or join excursions to discover the mangrove forests, spice plantations and local villages, or the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive Dar es Salaam & Fly to Selous Game Reserve - Upon arrival at Dar es Salaam Airport, you’ll be met by a representative who will transfer you to the domestic terminal, where you’ll board a scheduled light aircraft flight to an airstrip in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. At the airstrip, you’ll be met by a representative and driven to your luxury lodge or camp, where you’ll stay for the next four nights.
Day 2-4:Explore Selous Game Reserve - 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 is twice the size of the Serengeti, yet it is one of Tanzania’s least known safari destinations and the numbers of visitors to Selous are 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 where you’re guide is restricted to the roads. In addition to your morning and afternoon game drives in 4WD safari vehicles, you can also enjoy bush walks and boat safaris in this incredible off-the-beaten track reserve.
Day 5:Fly from Selous to Zanzibar - This morning you can enjoy one final game drive in the Selous before being transferred back to the airstrip for your scheduled light aircraft flight to Zanzibar. You will be met on arrival in Zanzibar and driven to your accommodation, where you will stay for the next four nights.
Day 6-9:Explore Zanzibar - With its beautiful sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and colourful coral reefs, Zanzibar is the perfect destination for post-safari relaxation. The islands best beaches include Bwejuu on the southeast coast, Michamvi which is a peninsular on the central east coast, Nungwi Beach on the northwest coast, and Matemwe on the northeast of Zanzibar. Relax on one of Zanzibar's palm-fringed beaches, or if you prefer to be active there are a wide choice of adventure activities that you can participate in, including mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, wind surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking and sailing, plus the island has fantastic coral reefs which are perfect for diving and snorkelling - and you may even be lucky enough to see dolphins, green turtles and, at certain times of the year, whale sharks. Should you wish to discover the island there are plenty of excursions that you can join, including visits to historic Stone Town, Jozani Forest, Prison Island, the spice plantations and cultural tours to local villages. You may wish to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town where you can learn about Zanzibar’s Swahili culture and history. You can discover the Old Town with its colourful bazaars, winding alleyways and ancient stone houses and you can explore the old Dhow Port, the Old Slave Market, the Sultan's Palace, the Portuguese Fort, the House of Wonders, Livingstone House, the Hamamni Baths and the Persian Baths of Kidichi.
Day 10:Depart from Zanzibar - Your Selous and Zanzibar holiday comes to an end. After breakfast, you’ll check out of your accommodation and be driven back to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Tanzania Selous safari holiday & Zanzibar

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

During your time on safari, you can rest assured that your visit will positively impact the environment in two key ways. Firstly, the conservation fees paid to the Selous Game Reserve will be directly invested into projects that enhance quality of life for wildlife, reduce poaching, and support the diverse activities that go on to ensure the Game Reserves remain a safe and abundant environment for its residents. Secondly, the accommodations chosen have been selected for their attention to their own ecological footprint, for instance paying attention to how they source energy and dispose of waste, as well as employing guides who are proactive and conscientious in ensuring that the highest standards are upheld whilst out exploring.

When you arrive in Zanzibar, our properties take a similarly conscientious approach to their operations, and further offer activities which are mindful of wildlife and respectful of their wellbeing. You can find readily available advice about which activities to avoid (for instance, some independent activity companies on the island offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins, which we strongly object to owing to its stressful and disorienting impact on the dolphins themselves), as well as which activities offer a great opportunity to learn about marine life in an ethical manner.

Our offices in the UK and in Bangkok take a leading role in setting the standard for an environmentally friendly work environment. Alongside ensuring that our waste is appropriately recycled, we have instituted a paperless work system, in which paper usage is kept to a bare minimum. We have also implemented a plastic ban in our offices, starting with coffee cups and single-use plastic drinks bottles, and expanding to encompass food packaging as far as possible. Each office has a designated ‘sustainability officer’, who helps to implement programmes and answer questions, whilst all team members are able to set the environmental agenda by highlighting their ideas on a specific sustainability channel in our internal communications network.

Community

The safari accommodations we promote all have a strong focus on recruiting staff form within their local communities: many aim for at least 75% of their staff coming from their immediate local community. This provides jobs and skills and is one of the most direct ways of positively affecting community development.

In Tanzania where we employ staff directly, we take great pride in paying 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.

7 Reviews of Tanzania Selous safari holiday & Zanzibar

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Reviewed on 04 Sep 2019 by

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


The safari element and because it’s possible to go off road in Selous we got really close to the animals.The beach element was Mafia not Zanzibar and was beautiful and we snorkelled with the whale sharks which had made an earlier than normal appearance.

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


Make sure you take a lot of insect repellent, the tense flies were relentless and plenty of dollars for tipping.

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


We were told by locals that if Selous can attract enough tourists it will eventually phase out trophy hunting so I really hope we’ve supported conservation. On Mafia all the people working at the hotel were local so hopefully.

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


It was a very memorable holiday and we wouldn’t have changed anything.

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019 by

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


The lagoon that surrounds the island is spectacular for making for the best sea
holiday ever. All the staff and teams throughout our holiday experience have been absolutely exemplar.


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


Check climates and locations as you may need to bring anything from bikinis to
trekking gear. Try everything!!

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


Yes, we were very aware of the environmental issues and the careful approach to tourism to conserve the beautiful island. We were continually educated by Mauritian people who are so proud of dignified and respectful of their environment.

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


Best holiday we have ever had.

Reviewed on 13 Apr 2019 by

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


We loved every part of our holiday! Seeing all of the animals in The Naboisho Conservancy was incredible. Learning about Masai culture around the campfire from our guides was very meaningful. Ending our vacation at a small boutique resort on the coast was perfect.

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


We would recommend going on safari for at least 3 days. We stayed at Basecamp Wilderness Camp. Basecamp has multiple sites so it would be fun to
stay at a couple different locations next time. Pinewood Beach Resort is not in
the main area of Diani Beach, a bit off the beaten trail. We recommend it for
folks who want to stay at the hotel an relax by the pool and beach all day!

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


Basecamp, the company we stayed with in the Naboisho Conservancy, is doing a
great job in their conservation efforts and work to benefit the local community.

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


Amazing! Felt well organized and supported by the tour operator's staff.

Reviewed on 28 Oct 2018 by

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


There were so many; the people were so friendly helpful and could not do enough for you, seeing the animals in their habitat was amazing, the quality of the accommodation was out of this world. To my partner who adores elephants was me seeing the smile on her face when we drove past an opening in the trees and there infront of us stood 5 or 6 elephants including a couple of babies.

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


Do it and don't worry about anything both in Selous and Zanzibar the service provided and flexibility with it by the staff was second to none.

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


Most definitely and that was most definitely reciprocated in their approach to us.

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


A holiday of a lifetime...............I want to live twice so I can go again!

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2017 by

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


The safari in Selous was wonderful. Every day there was a surprise. The staff and guides are so friendly and the camp is perfect.

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


Don't trust Kenya Airways not to lose your bags, take a little of everything in your hand luggage just in case. The Rock restaurant near Paje is worth going to,
unique location and delicious food.

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


I think so. I don't think Selou gets as much press as some other reserves so it was definitely good for our guides. We went on a Blue safari which was run by a
local group of gentlemen who were keen to stress that a lot of the blue safari tours are not locally owned businesses (while the trip had a variety of things to
do, each of them was pretty crowded so I'm not sure we'd do it again).

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


It was amazing. Selou was great. We stayed in the Hakuna Majwe which was perfect for kitesurfing at Paje. Then we went to the Pongwe Beach hotel which is probably our favourite of all time, so relaxing.

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2017 by

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


Lake manze camp was the most memorable and exciting part of the holiday. It was absolutely perfect in every way. The variety and sheer number of animals and birds was beyond expectation, and all the staff we met, our drivers, the managers of the camp etc really went out of their way to do everything to delight us. It was a joy to be there, I only wish we could have stayed longer.

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


You don't need a fleece in Selous. It's warm, at least, in September! US dollars accepted everywhere. Don't bother exchanging for tanzanian schillings. Lake manze camp does not take credit cards. Nowhere takes travellers cheques. Lightweight trainers are fine for this holiday. Towels provided. Breezes hotel splendid, beach towels provided. Reef shoes useful but can hire for £1 a day. Excellent food and cocktails! Excellent massage at the spa facility.

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


Certainly of benefit to local people both in Selous and in Zanzibar. Lake manze staff all local and ditto Breezes, who told me the hotel was a good employer. Not sure about environmental impact, although both locations showed evidence of attempts to reduce effects by e.g. not renewing towels except when requested.

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


It simply could not have been better. Even Air France failing to get our luggage back from Paris to Heathrow on our return could not detract from the superb experience. (It was delivered to our house the next day).

Reviewed on 15 Jun 2017 by

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


The elephant walking past my tent most mornings. The friendly staff, the amazing views.

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


Budget for cab fares from pongwe beach hotel to do some activities.

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


Yes

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


Overall my holiday was amazing and I would recommend this trip to anyone.

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