In the past year most of our holiday plans have been completely derailed and cancelled indefinitely. We have been challenged to stay put, refrain from socializing with friends, many of us having to work from home and homeschooling our children. During all this we are having to dig deep within ourselves to stay positive. It’s been tough and we can all relate to this story, but even though things are far from over, there is a small glimmer of hope and an increased confidence, as countries start to roll out vaccination programmes around the world.

Dare we start dreaming of travelling again? We think it is a definite and loud ‘yes’! Of course not just because we can’t think of anything more exciting than spoiling our guests again, but also because it is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself and your happiness. Did you know that research suggests what makes us happy about a holiday is often not just about the holiday itself. Planning a holiday lets you anticipate all of the great times you will have, without the stress of the actual vacation. This is when we dream about all the exciting things we will experience and envision how great we will feel about making memories. This can send some utterly positive vibes your way and lead to an increased happiness.

With that said, we know things are a far cry away from going back to normal and traveling are still challenging, but let us invite you to start dreaming about far off places and thrilling experiences with us. To get those creative juices flowing (and endorphins kick-started) we have listed three of the top bucket list experiences you should not miss out on in the South of Tanzania.

Far away from the maddening crowds there is an incredible and wild place where time stands still. It is here in the South of Tanzania you will experience Africa in all her glory. Combine a superb bush and relaxing beach experience and immerse yourself in this alluring part of the world.

1. Reconnect with nature on a fly camping experience in the Ruaha National Park

If you are seeking an authentic African adventure we highly recommend you book a fly camping experience while staying at our beautiful Jongomero Camp in the remote Ruaha National Park. But what is ‘fly camping’ you may wonder? A fly camp is simply a mobile camp set up in a remote area. It is a private, unique and adventurous experience offered for guests who would like to try something new and spend a night away from the main lodge, under the stars.

Accompanied by an armed walking guide and local ranger, you will spend the afternoon walking to reach your fly camp set up in a beautiful spot not too far away from our main camp. During your walk you will have the opportunity to learn more about the “little five” the fauna and flora in the area, stop to look at spoor and encounter wildlife sightings. Along the way you might pass some of the iconic baobab trees grown here for hundred or more years. It's a lovely time to learn more about the birds found here in the Ruaha. In fact there are upwards of 570 species here, making it one of the continent's premier birding destinations.

Being on foot is a thrilling adventure and you will find all your senses heightened as you get to fully immerse yourself in your immediate surroundings.

As you reach your mobile camp, your dome canvas tent will already be set up with comfortable bedding and crisp white linen. For the ultimate experience your tent's external flysheet can be removed so that you can enjoy the clear night sky view from your bed through the mosquito net. You will have the opportunity to sit under the stars, while you enjoy the campfire and sounds of nature. A dedicated chef will accompany you and will make sure you have a very special dinner, cooked on an open fire. A hot bucket shower all set up in a private location for you to enjoy. Your capable guides will keep a watch over the camp while you drift off to sleep for the night.

The next morning you will have breakfast and then return back to camp by foot getting another opportunity to explore the trails around the camp. If you are after a highly memorable and authentic experience and want to immerse yourself in nature, fly camping is definitely the answer. We have had a number of romantics who have proposed to their loved ones whilst on a fly camping experience and their partners have all said ‘YES!’.

Fly camping can be booked in advance and is only offered during the ‘dry season’ in Tanzania, which is normally from the end of June to the beginning of the short rains in November or early December.

With 'fly camping' guests get to experience the original and authentic way of going on safari. Although we all value our luxury and comforts, we believe that fly camping is the ultimate add-on on a luxury safari as you get to truly experience the wilderness in a magical way.

2. Sundowners or lunch on a pontoon boat on Lake Nzerakera in the Nyerere National Park

Sheltered in a grove of palms on the shores of Lake Nzerakera in the Nyerere National Park lies Siwandu. It is here on Lake Nzerakera you can explore the lake and the waterways of the Rufiji river by boat. But this is no ordinary boat or experience. Expect to be wowed with a mouthwatering lunch during your water based safari. You will certainly be amazed at what our chefs can achieve outside the confines of the kitchen.

With bellies full and drinks in hand you will have an opportunity to get up close to the many interesting wildlife that frequent the waters of the lake. Expect to see some huge crocodiles basking in the sun along the river banks and large numbers of hippos enjoying the cool water. Many animals also head down to the river banks to drink in the afternoon so you can expect some exciting wildlife sightings. There is a wonderful variety of bird life here too.

This experience offers incredible sightings and a range of animals you might normally not have the opportunity to see up close. Our boat is comfortable, sturdy and safe with covered canopies to keep the sun out. This is a must-do activity when staying in Siwandu and will be offered as an inclusive afternoon activity during your stay.

3. Secluded picnic on the remote Fanjove Island

Fanjove is one of the smallest islands in the Songo Songo Archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. It is here in this remote part of Tanzania you will have the chance to completely wind down and relax. With only space for twelve guests at any given time, you will have the freedom to explore the island with minimal disturbance from others. This island boasts a gorgeous protected coral reef which spans for miles and with limited impact from the outside world you will be amazed at the diversity of marine life found here.

In addition to water based activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, swimming and dhow sailing, you can also explore the island on foot, do some bird watching or simply spend some time lazing around the white sandy beach or catching up on some reading. One activity you should however not miss out on during your stay is a private picnic. During low tide we will set up a picnic for you on a secluded sand bank.

From here you can snorkel, swim and watch for dolphins all whilst our chefs prepare delicious freshly-grilled fish right there in front of you. During high tide or when the weather is not playing along we also know many beautiful and private spots on the main island where we can set up your special picnic. Lastly we also offer private sunset dhow sail excursions. It is the perfect chance to take in the magnificent ocean views while you celebrate with a glass of bubbly in hand.

All of our properties in the South of Tanzania are remote and will offer you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself deep into nature. We recommend you spend at least ten days to explore and fully experience the South of Tanzania. Typically this includes spending three nights at Jongomero, three nights at Siwandu and four nights on Fanjove Island.  

To plan your next trip to the South of Tanzania have a look at our suggested itineraries to find out more of what to expect during your stay. For more information or travel advice kindly contact our Reservations Team at reservations@selous.com.

We look forward to welcoming you to our camps!

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