The Grand Southern Safari
Ruaha National Park, Selous Game Reserve & Swahili Coast
Day 1: Dar es Salaam – Siwandu, Selous Game Reserve
Welcome To Dar es Salaam! From the international terminal, you will take a transfer to the domestic terminal to catch your flight to the Selous Game Reserve. The scheduled flight departs Dar es Salaam at 08h30 and lands in Selous at approximately 09h15 (45 minute flight) - there might be some stops in between – you will only get off at Siwandu airstrip. Here you will be met by our driver guide and taken back on a short safari to Siwandu in time for lunch.
Selous is Africa’s largest Game Reserve, the size of Switzerland and one of the last great wilderness areas on the continent. You will spend three unforgettable nights here as well as taking full advantage of viewing the abundant wildlife, either by boat, vehicle or on foot.
After lunch and a rest, there will be the opportunity to choose your first activity and begin to explore the Reserve, returning in time for sunset and dinner.
Days 2 - 4: Siwandu, Selous Game Reserve
An early morning tea or coffee will be served in your luxury tent before breakfast and heading out, with a choice of the following activities:
By boat, either by following the course of the mighty Rufiji River or exploring Lake Nzerakera; weave amongst the pods of hippo and crocodile lining the bank and observe game coming down to drink.
Start the day earlier on a game walk, heading out on Selous’ most privileged of experiences. Accompanied by our experienced guide and an armed ranger, walk out into Africa’s largest wilderness, learn about the complex eco-system that it embraces, encounter the thrills and be enthralled at the wonder of being at the heart of nature.
Explore the game in the surrounding areas, from your seat on an open-sided vehicle, a comfortable and privileged journey through the wild African bush. You can expect to see any of the major African mammals, including elephant, giraffes, lions, leopard and even the rare African Wild Dog.
Return to camp for a splendid lunch, then a difficult decision between a siesta or a dip in the swimming pool whilst waiting for the heat of the day to subside. Mid afternoon meet for a cup of tea or cooling lemonade and scrumptious cakes under the Jackel Berry tree, and then move onto your second safari of the day - slowly meandering along the Rufiji River or perhaps tracking a leopard and her cub through the woodland.
Booked in advance, we also offer Walking Safaris in the Selous, to take us back to the original 'Safari Style'. Walk or drive to the camp, set up exclusively for our use on the shores of the lake. Then relax under hot bucket showers and meet by the fire for a sundowner and dinner under the African sky ablaze with stars. Sleep in small domed star gazer tents, each accompanied with a basin and hand towel.
Day 5: Siwandu, Selous Game Reserve – Jongomero, Ruaha National Park
Depart Siwandu after breakfast for your flight to Ruaha National Park. The scheduled flight departs Siwandu airstrip at 09h30 and lands in Ruaha at 11h30 - there might be some stops in between – you will get off at Jongomero airstrip. On arrival you will be met by one of the guides and driven the short distance to Jongomero, in time for a traditional safari communal lunch.
Ruaha has gained a reputation amongst safari connoisseurs for its unique ecological and geographical character, offering a cross-section of species and a climate that is unique to the country. It is the largest National Park in Africa, and the feeling of remoteness and the spirit of adventure are immense. After afternoon tea, set out on a game drive in our open-sided vehicle, following the course of the Great Ruaha River in search of wildlife. Perhaps find elephants digging for water in the dry river bed, or catch a rare sighting of the African Wild Dog. As the sun sets, stop to admire the scenery and sip on a sundowner, before heading back to camp for hot showers and convivial drinks before dinner, discussing the day’s events and swapping safari stories.
Days 5 – 7: Jongomero, Ruaha National Park
Wake up to early morning tea or coffee in your luxury tent and look forward to another wonderful day exploring Ruaha National Park.
Jongomero is situated far to the South of the park and it feels like we have all of Africa to ourselves as we roam the riverine areas and hills. Birding is quite spectacular, with the park boasting some 500 different species of birds, including the Ruaha Red-billed hornbill which is unique to the park. Ruaha is an ecological convergence for Northern and Southern species of mammal and is also one of the few areas where Greater and Lesser Kudu can be seen. Game drives in Ruaha are unique and cater for the safari connoisseur, and with the bush luxury of Jongomero as our base, we can enjoy a most exclusive and rewarding safari experience. Dawn game walks are an absolute must; experience the warmth of the African sun warming your back as you navigate the dry river beds and listen to your expert guide tell you fascinating and often bizarre stories of the local flora, fauna, insects, birds and animals.
Again, as in Selous, there is an opportunity for a Walking Safari; if you are interested please book in advance
Day 8: Jongomero, Ruaha National Park - Ras Kutani, Swahili Coast
Depart at 10h45 for a short game drive to the airstrip for the flight to Dar es Salaam. Flights leave Jongomero at 11h45 and lands Dar at 13h50. On arrival in Dar es Salaam you will be met by a driver, and taken on a road transfer to Ras Kutani. The journey time is approximately 90 minutes, and you will arrive in Ras Kutani in time for a late lunch. If you choose to fly, the flight from Dar to Ras Kutani airstrip is 10 mins, on arrival you will be driven to the shores of a fresh water lagoon and rowed across the water to our camp.
The tranquil Indian Ocean shores of Tanzania - Ras Kutani is a small coastal retreat of castaway luxury, set alone on a pristine beach of white sands, cooled by the Indian Ocean. Immerse yourselves in the spirit of relaxation and indulgence that is Ras Kutani’s specialty. With a choice of walks along the beach, through the coastal forest or visit the local village of Gomvu; the opportunity to boogie board or kayak, or to watch turtles hatch or catch a glimpse of a passing humpback whale, there is always plenty to do between relaxing!
Days 8 – 10: Ras Kutani, Swahili Coast
Truly relax your body after your days on safari by indulging in a massage, facial or beauty treatments available with our onsite spa therapist. For guests more interested in ocean sports, explore our shipwreck just off our shores by snorkeling or kayaking in the lagoon. Snorkel equipment, boogie boards and kayaks are all freely available for guests to use. Nature lovers will find their pleasure close to home. The tropical, coastal forest behind the lodge boasts some 132 different species of trees in many of which one can watch the antics of four species of monkey, including the spectacular black-and-white colobus. Next to this forest walk one can also make a visit to the village nearby to taste Swahili life.
Day 11: Ras Kutani, Swahili Coast - Dar es Salaam
On your final day, pack and enjoy your last few hours of tropical sunshine before transferring back to Dar es Salaam either by road or air to meet your international flight back home – Bon Voyage and Karibu Tena!