Tanzania's Secret South - African Encounters

Tanzania’s Secret South

(2 Reviews)
20 - 28 February 2023
20 - 28 February 2023
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Why Book With Us?

  • Small group safaris with the personal touch
  • You'll be supporting conservation & community projects
  • We are your independent Africa specialists with 35 years experience
  • 24/7 emergency contact & support

Got a Question?

Give us a call. We are your African specialists and we’re happy to help you plan your dream safari.

(+64) 06 9761118


9 days
Availability : 20 - 28 February 2023
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Max People : 8

Get off the beaten track in Tanzania’s Secret South on guided walks, day and night game drives, boating and fishing in Ruaha and Nyerere parks. Tanzania’s vast southern areas are remote, wild and beautiful. Unlike the popular north, relatively few people venture this far. And yet these superb parks boast some of the richest wildlife in East Africa. Venture off the beaten track for a real wildlife adventure, from our peaceful camp in Ruaha to our beautiful lodge in Nyerere National Park on the banks of the Rufiji River.

From a tented camp in the richest wildlife area of Ruaha to a relaxing lodge on the Rufiji River in Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous) where you can explore on foot, by boat and in vehicles (and even spend a night under the stars), our Ruaha & Selous safari is for those wanting to step off the well-trodden path.

This African Encounters Signature Safari will be personally escorted from Dar es Salaam by company founder and director Karen Platzer for groups of 4 or more participants. For groups smaller than 4 people the tour will be guided by qualified local guides.

Early bookings are ESSENTIAL as these luxury small camps fill up to 12 months in advance!

Optional extensions: End your safari with a few relaxing days on Zanzibar, the spice island, or combine with our Kenya Safari & Lamu Island.

Arrival & Departure

Arrival: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania     

Departure: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Our Ruaha camp is in the best game area in the national park
  • The accommodation in Ruaha is an authentic and very comfortable safari camp built from local materials.
  • In Nyerere we have classic tents with en suite bathrooms, pitched beneath thatched roofs with massive verandas providing views up and down the river.
  • Activities in Ruaha include walking and game drives
  • Activities in Nyerere include walking, game drives, and boat trips on the river.

Price Includes

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Luxury tented camps and chalets, all rooms with private facilities.
  • All meals and drinks (excludes premium brands) on safari.
  • Scheduled flights Dar-Ruaha-Nyerere-Dar
  • Laundry in safari camps
  • Park and concession fees and permits
  • Game drives in customised 4x4 safari vehicles
  • Sundowners, guided bush walks and night game drives.
  • Escorted from Dar es Salaam by qualified and knowledgeable safari guides.

Price Excludes

  • International airfares
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Any Personal Expenses
  • Tips & gratuities

Day 1Ruaha National Park

Morning flight from Dar es Salam to Msembe Airstrip in Ruaha Nationa Park. Here you will be met and driven to camp, arriving in time for a delicious lunch in camp. 

Mwagusi Safari Camp offers a unique and comfortable tented safari experience. The camp is almost entirely built from natural materials such as grass thatch, timber, driftwood, stones, and reeds, and sits perfectly in its surroundings.

Each “banda” consists of a large spacious tent sheltered by a cooling thatch roof and set on a polished red floor. Each banda has en-suite facilities with flushing toilet

After lunch, refresh and unpack before heading out on an afternoon game drive – a taster of what will be an action-packed three days in this stunning park. Return to camp for hot showers, drinks around the campfire, and a three-course dinner.

Day 2Ruaha National Park

Explore the rich offerings of Ruaha – morning and afternoon game drives will be an adventure; while the campfire provides the perfect backdrop to share the day’s wildlife encounters.

Day 3Ruaha National Park

Terrain and wildlife in Ruaha are varied and dramatic. Open plains are filled with iconic baobab trees and purple-tinged hills provide the backdrop to this beautiful scenery. Riverine bush and dry river beds may be a hideout for kudu and elephant while huge herds of buffalo and scores of giraffe are never far away. Big cats are also a-plenty. Ruaha is never short on excitement; and when the big game gets too much, the prolific birdlife here will delight even the most disinterested of twitchers.

Day 4Ruaha National Park

Mwagusi Safari Camp offers our guests superb game drives and walks. There are two daily game drives, one early morning drive, and one late afternoon drive, taking advantage of the cooler temperatures when the animals are most active.

Flexibility is key at Mwagusi and you can choose the time and length of your game drives (from a 6-hour early morning drive, a shorter 2-3 hour drive, or a full-day drive with picnic lunch). You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and an experienced driver.

Our vehicles are specially adapted open-sided 4WD vehicles each with comfortable seats and high shade awning to enable one to stand and still be in the shade whilst game viewing. Each vehicle is equipped with reference books, beanbags for photography, drinks, and all the necessities for a day in the bush. All guides and drivers have direct communication with the camp from the vehicles.

Day 5Nyerere National Park

After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to our lovely camp, and head back to Msembe Airstrip to take a flight to Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve). We’ll be met with another warm welcome and a short drive to camp will see you at Rufiji River Camp for lunch while enjoying the spectacular river view.
If you can tear yourself away from the river, head to your beautiful riverfront room to relax through the heat of the day, gathering back in the mess for tea and cake as the sun starts to cool. Then it’s time to board a small boat for a relaxed meander up the river – a wonderful contrast to the previous days’ game drives.  As the sun sets, drift back to camp in time for sundowners before dinner.

Day 6Nyerere National Park

This morning you’ll have breakfast in camp before heading out on a full day’s game drive which will give you a chance to really explore the varied game viewing this area of the Nyerere has to offer. You might start by following the Rufiji River or heading out onto more open plains… spotting some fresh tracks will lead to a foray on foot to explore further. At lunchtime you’ll arrive at the hot springs – a refreshing dip in these natural plunge pools will work up an appetite for a delicious picnic lunch. Then game drive back to camp for hot showers and pre-dinner drinks around the bar. Your day ends with another dinner of great food and great conversation, and falling to sleep to sounds of the bush – the perfect lullaby.

Day 7Nyerere National Park

Boating safaris in flat bottomed boats are perhaps the most relaxing way to game view.  Sharing the river with pods of hippo and floats of crocodiles giving you the opportunity to view birds nesting in the banks, monitor lizards and many water birds are just some of the highlights. Lunch back at camp and a game drive to a sundowner spot in the afternoon. We enjoy the fact that we’ll generally be the only vehicle roaming around.

Day 8Nyerere National Park

A game walk at Rufiji will really open your eyes to the finer details often missed on game drives – the spore,  footprints, the ‘little five’ representing the insect Kingdom are fascinating when evaluated and explained by your Walking guide. Sundowners and a roaring campfire will be waiting to welcome you; a prelude to an excellent three-course dinner.

Day 9Departure

A leisurely start this morning with a cup of tea as the sun comes up, followed by breakfast with a view of the mile-wide Rufiji River.  A short game drive will find you at the airstrip where you’ll board your flight to Dar es Salaam to connect with your onward international flight or add on a few days of relaxing beach time on the island of Zanzibar.

2 Reviews
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Y. Malcolm

Solo Traveller

If you long for the days when you weren’t sharing a sighting with 14 other trucks, when you could enjoy the sounds of the bush seated by a campfire, when you could be immersed in the experience of being in nature unmarred by the din of CNN International, come to Ruaha and stay at Mwagusi!


Karen de Willimoff & John McIndoe

Couple Traveller

We were constantly amazed by the variety in landscape and wildlife in Selous and Ruaha. Well done Karen, and thank you very much.