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The Secrets of Southern Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park

The Selous and Ruaha are two vast wildernesses in southern Tanzania. Beautiful, wild places, providing a safari experience of incredible depth and diversity. Zanzibar is a paradise of white-sand beaches and culture. This is Africa the way it once was!

At a Glance

  • Slalom through hippo covered sandbanks on the mighty Rufiji River

  • Immerse yourself in the politics of Ruaha's enormous elephant herds

  • Explore the dive sites around Zanzibar in search of large shoals of tropical fish and maybe even turtles

  • Sleep-out under the stars on a Selous sandbank

Adventure, Off the beaten track, Wildlife, Couples

Insider's View

Take advantage of the full range of activities in the Selous and Ruaha, each day offers a different experience.

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

Spend some time in Zanzibar either relaxing or explore the island learning more about its interesting history

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

The logistics of this itinerary are excellent, access via Dar es Salaam and it's just one-hour flights between the bush and beach.

Scott Dunn team


Southern Tanzania is rarely on the tip of most traveler's tongue's, but for those in the know it is a secret treasure! This is true wild Africa, somewhere that will be enjoyed by first time visitors and never fail to surprise the old hands.

The Selous Game Reserve is the largest wilderness area in Africa, a vast expanse of scrub acacia bush, mopane thickets, open savannah, palm forests, rocky outcrops, lakes and mighty rivers. During the rains, the Rufiji stretches up to a kilometer wide at Sand Rivers. Its waters are thick with hippo and crocodile, underwater you'll find huge catfish and the elusive, hard-fighting tiger fish. The birding is out of this world. On the river banks, elephant, buffalo, herds of antelope and elegant giraffe move through the great shade trees. Ever present are the predators, the elusive leopard, battle scarred lion and if you're lucky you might bump into the fascinating wild dog: the Selous has one of the healthiest populations of this critically endangered species in Africa.

You'll, reluctantly, depart the Selous by light aircraft for the short flight to the heart of Ruaha. Here begins a surprisingly different but equally memorable safari experience.

High on a rocky kopje looking out over a landscape scattered with baobab trees sits the stunning Jabali Ridge. This is a quiet but game rich corner of the Ruaha National Park, Asilia's newly opened lodge takes you to the heart of the action whilst maintaining a truly luxurious environment. Explore on foot or by vehicle in search of the rare and elusive sable and lesser kudu. Spend the heat of the day lounging in the impressive infinity pool which looks out over the savanna.

The Ruaha and Selous have the added bonus of being a mere 1-hour flight to Dar es Salaam, making the travel to Zanzibar easy. Matemwe  is relaxed, un-complicated island life at its best. Unspoiled white sand, a relaxed island atmosphere and a whole host of fantastic ocean activities to experience such as diving, fishing and snorkeling.





Fly to Dar es Salaam (Via Nairobi)
Dar es Salaam - Selous Game Reserve
3 nights

Selous, Tanzania

Roho ya Selous
Selous Game Reserve - Ruaha National Park
4 nights

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Jabali Ridge
Ruaha National Park - Zanzibar
5 nights

Matemwe, East Coast Zanzibar, Tanzania

Matemwe Lodge
Fly home from Zanzibar (via Nairobi)

Location & Directions

Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park

When to go

Selous and Ruaha are closed in April and May.

Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

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