Tanzania’s Secret South

Two lions in dry riverbed, Ruaha, Tanzania

Get off the beaten track in stunning southern Tanzania on guided walks, day and night game drives, boating and fishing in Ruaha and Selous 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 Selous on the banks of the Rufiji River.

From a tented camp in the richest wildlife area of Ruaha to a relaxing lodge on the Selous’ Rufiji River 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.

Our Ruaha camp is in the best game area in the national park

The itinerary combines a simple but comfortable tented camp in Ruaha with a stylish permanent lodge in the Selous

Activities in Ruaha include walking and game drives

Activities in Selous include walking, game drives, boat trips, fly camping

Starts: Dar es Salaam    Ends: Dar es Salaam

This safari is escorted from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, by local guides

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


Day 1: 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.

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 three course dinner.

Day 2: Explore the rich offerings of Ruaha – morning and afternoon game drives will be an adventure; while the comforts of camp provide the perfect backdrop to recount and savor the day’s wildlife encounters.

Day 3: Terrain and wildlife in Ruaha is varied and dramatic. Open plains are filled with baobab and iconic purple-tinged hills provide the backdrop to this beautiful scenery. Riverine bush and dry river beds can prove the 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 4: After breakfast in camp, say goodbye to Kigelia, and head back to Msembe Airstrip to take a flight to the Selous. On landing at Kiba Airstrip, another warm welcome and short drive to camp will see you at Sand Rivers Selous 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 at 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 5: This morning you’ll have breakfast in camp before heading out on a full day’s game drive which will give you chance to really explore the varied game viewing this area of the Selous 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 6: Make the most of all that’s on offer here today.  Back on the water for an early morning boat trip where you’ll find a sandbar in the scenic Stiegler’s Gorge to have a picnic breakfast and stick a rod in the water.  After lunch back at camp and little relax, you’ll meet for tea and then set out on foot, ultimately arriving a stunning lakeside site spend the night fly-camping (optional at additional cost). Iced sundowners and a roaring camp fire will be waiting to welcome you; prelude to a surprisingly excellent three course dinner.

Day 7: Wake up in your netting tent for a delicious camp-cooked breakfast (if you’re flycamping) or in your open-fronted room if at the lodge.  Set out for a morning game drive to explore the wildlife and birds of Lake Tagalala and the surrounding areas.  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 8: 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.  And that’s the end of the safari – in Dar es Salaam you can either connect to onward international flights or take some beach time on the island of Zanzibar.

Tour includes

  • Scheduled flights Dar-Ruaha-Selous-Dar
  • Quality accommodation in luxury tented camps.
  • Meals and drinks as per itinerary
  • All transport as per itinerary
  • Laundry in safari camps
  • All park fees and conservancy fees.
  • All game drives in open 4×4 vehicles.
  • Sundowners, guided bush walks and night game drives included.
  • Qualified and knowledgeable safari guides.

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Tips & gratuities

Extensions available

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Zanzibar, the Spice Island

Zanzibar, the Spice Island

Zanzibar is a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean Located off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar consists of three main islands, Unguja, Pemba and Mafia Islands. It is home to...

What our clients have to say...

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

John McIndoe & Karen de Willimoff – Tanzania

At a glance

  • Destination(s)

  • Tour Pricing

    Priced from: NZD7,115.00 per person
  • Tour Length

    8 days
  • Travel Dates Available

    Daily departures (minimum 2 people)
    Camps are closed during the rainy season mid March - early June
  • Tour Highlights

    • Ruaha national Park
    • Selous Game Reserve

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