Remote Southern Tanzania and the Swahili Coast

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Tanzania’s Southern National Parks are some of the largest and most remote in all of Africa, and yet rarely appear in the standard itineraries sold by standard travel agents. The lodges we use here are in the much less frequented southern half of the country, where you are more likely to see huge herds of animals than huge numbers of game vehicles.

Despite the fame of the Serengeti, most of Tanzania’s protected areas are in the south of Tanzania.

As a convergence zone between Sub-Saharan Africa’s southern and eastern wildlife areas, these National Parks have the greatest variety of species. While the wildlife is extensive, tourism is not, guaranteeing sights of herds of animals, rather than hordes of people.

You can enjoy wildlife sightings in peace, with no rush to move on.

Not only is there a great variety of species in Southern Tanzania, but also of its terrain and topography. Each national park has its own uniqueness and feeling, ensuring you never bore of your surroundings.

And there is no better way to relax after an unforgettable safari than to spend a few days on a private island  north of Dar es Salaam. A sand spit protected by a coral reef, the island is inaccessible by land at all times, thus maintains its exclusivity to guests of Lazy Lagoon. The coral reef surrounding the island offers a great opportunity for snorkelling off the beach.

The perfect end to your adventure.


Day 1

On arrival att Dar es Salaam Airport, you will be met by a friendly representative from our partners Foxes Safari Camp holding a name board. We will escort you to your hotel in Dar es Salaam hotel and help you check in. The rest of the day is yours – to explore the city or relax after your flight – or both.


Day 2 – 4

The following morning you will be picked up from the hotel at 0900 after breakfast and returned to the airport for the Safari Air Link flight to Ruaha River Lodge.  A guide from Ruaha River Lodge will be at the airstrip waiting to greet you and take you on a game drive you through the park and help you check into Ruaha River Lodge.

In the afternoon you will get to go out and explore the national park, returning at dusk, in time to freshen up before drinks around the camp fire. During your time staying at Ruaha River Lodge you can choose between half day shared game drives or full day adventures with a picnic lunch enabling you to explore further afield in this enormous wilderness.

Game drives are taken in open, adapted 4WD vehicles. The vehicles have tiered seating and roof shading, allowing the guests to enjoy the closeness to nature.

Nature Walks are led by our Maasai, who will pass on some of their in-depth knowledge of the land around them.

Walking safaris can be arranged with TANAPA at the park headquarters.

In the dry season, when the water levels in the park are low, guests can see as much wildlife from their verandas as they can on a game drive.

Early Morning Game Drives—Departing at 06:30 with a picnic breakfast, returning at 11:30

Morning Game Drives—Departing after breakfast at 08:30, returning in time for lunch.

Afternoon Game Drives—Departing at 16:00 and returning at dusk, in time for sundowners.

Full Day Game Drives—Departing after breakfast at 08:30 with a picnic lunch, retuning at 16:00 for afternoon tea.

Private Game vehicles are also on offer (extra charge) providing you with flexible use of a private vehicle and guide between 06:30 and 18:00 9

Ruaha National Park is the largest Park in Tanzania and lies in the centre of the country. This beautiful park has an abundance of wildlife in an array of sceneries which gives it a character all of its own. The Great Ruaha River is the lifeline of the park as it is its only permanent water source.

A full day game drive along the river takes you over rocky kopjes, home to the Greater kudu, Roan antelope and elephant, and winds down along the river bank through open plains, perfect for cheetah and lion, herds of buffalo, warthogs, jackals, bateared Foxes – the list is endless. The river banks are rich with birdlife, hippos and crocs. For the more adventurous, above the escarpment lives the more elusive Sable Antelope.

Ruaha is not only the largest park but can also boast a well developed road network, so there are plenty of different drives to explore for morning game drives returning the lodge for lunch. An afternoon spent on your veranda at the water’s edge, or sitting in one of the 2 bar areas will be an equally enjoyable part of your safari here where the animals wander in front of your room to come down to drink. An afternoon drive to the hippo pool to catch the sunset makes a perfect end to a day.


Day 5 – 8

With an early start to the day, you can have an early morning game drive to the airstrip for your flight to Katavi National Park. A guide from Katavi Wildlife Camp will be at the airstrip waiting to greet you, and take you on a game drive towards Katavi Wildlife Camp for check in and lunch.

After getting settled into your room, head out on an afternoon game drive, departing at 16:00, arriving back at dusk, in time for your sundowners.

Game drives are taken in open, adapted 4WD vehicles. The vehicles have tiered seating and roof shading, allowing the guests to enjoy the closeness to nature. Soft drinks are provided.

Walking safaris can be arranged with TANAPA at the park headquarters.

Katavi National Park is a truly remote wild park with vast herds grazing the plains that characterize the park. Shown as ‘Lakes’ on the map, these open expanses become swampy during the long rains, but dry out for 6 months of the year. The animals are concentrated on a smaller and smaller area as the park dries out thus the large herds of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and topi to name a few.

The Katuma River shrinks into small pools which becomes home to ever more hippos, resulting in the highest concentrations of hippos found in Tanzania. The dwindling river also exposes the caves that the crocs use to store their prey under water, watching them in these caves is a fascinating experience.

The plains are surrounded with woodland, where the predators lie in wait for the return of their prey from the grazing land. With such abundant food sources, the lions are some of the most regal seen in Tanzania.

The accommodation tents are positioned under the shade of trees on the edge of the Kigasunga plain, close to the Katuma river. The tents have lovely shaded verandas and are often visited by elephants passing through to feast on the fruit of the pod mahogany trees. We have plenty of animal sightings from the camp itself as the animals come off the plain in the evening to come and drink at the river; herds of Topi, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo are daily visitors. Katavi also has Hunting dog, Leopard as well as many lion. Most importantly, it does not have many other guests.

Plenty of game can be seen from the camp. At least once a year, guests have watched a lion kill from their veranda or the bar lounge.


Day 9 – 11

After breakfast you will have the chance to enjoy one final game drive, or if you prefer you can lounge at the lodge until it is time to leave. In the late morning you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight on to the Selous.

A member of Foxes Safari Camps staff from Rufiju River Camp will meet you at the airstrip and drive you to the lodge.

Rufiji River Camp enjoys the most fabulous position looking over the wide, sprawling waterway. As the first camp in the park, it gained access to the best location, a promontory jutting out into the Rufiji River.

The camp has 14 tents individually sited with the length of the tent alongside the river bank. Each tent has an extended and shaded veranda, where guests can relax between game excursions and enjoy the activity always present in and along the river.

The double story dining area is positioned perfectly for guests to enjoy meals, drinks, dips in the pool and lounging while watching the stunning sunsets descend over the river.

Game drives are taken in open, adapted 4WD vehicles, which have tiered seating and roof shading. The camp has 2 types of vehicle, with comfortable individual seating for either 4/5 or 6/7.

Rufiji River Camp further offers boating safaris, which are taken meandering along the river and lakes of the Rufiji River in flat bottom boats with roof shading.

Walking safaris are also enjoyed early in the morning, where you learn about the more detailed flora and fauna of the park.


Day 12 – 14

After breakfast you will have the chance to enjoy a last game drive before swapping the bush for the beach. Or just relax and take it easy, practicing for the next few days! You will then be driven to the airstrip for your flight to Dar es Salaam. One of Foxes Safari Camps’ staff will be there to meet you at the airport and begin your 1.5 hour journey to Lazy Lagoon Island. On arrival at the beach, a boat will be waiting to ferry you across to Lazy Lagoon Island Lodge for check in, just in time for cocktails and dinner.

This idyllic island is 2km off the shore of mainland Tanzania, opposite the historical town of Bagamoyo, north of Dar es Salaam. A sand spit protected by a coral reef, the island is inaccessible by land at all times, thus maintaining its exclusivity to guests of Lazy Lagoon.

The coral reef surrounding the island offers a great opportunity for snorkelling off the beach. Unlike most of the East African coast, the ocean never leaves the beach, allowing guests to swim and snorkel at all tides. The island has an interesting ecosystem, with many small mammals such as bush babies, suni antelope and bush pig, plus birds and butterflies.

Low tide washes up a plethora or exotically coloured star fish, seas urchins and crabs. A perfect ending to a safari adventure.

Lazy Lagoon is a 9km long island and this is shared with only 12 rooms, ensuring an opportunity to unwind in peace. Each banda has beach frontage and is built in rustic fashion with a thatched roof, veranda and balcony providing views over the turquoise Indian Ocean as far as the eye can see.

A winding path leads guests though mangrove forest, from the swimming pool at the island tip, to their rooms along the beach. Guests can watch the sunrise from their rooms as the fishermen bring their catch to the island to be prepared for the days meals.

At Lazy Lagoon Island you can escape and relax, whether you prefer sunbathing on the beach or a rather more active stay. You can spend your time kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding, or snorkelling around the island’s coral .

Day excursions can be arranged to Bagamoyo town. The history of the town is similar to Stone Town on Zanzibar, with a slave market, old Arabic style buildings and the oldest Catholic mission on mainland Tanzania. Guided tours are available around the town and surroundings.

Guests can also  enjoy interesting walks on the island with its combination of beach and mangrove.

Best of all, Lazy Lagoon’s exclusivity contrasts to the busy shared beaches of Zanzibar.


Day 15

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Depending on the departure time of your international flight, a boat and car will be ready for your transfer from the Island to Dar es Salaam.