Africa's ultra-luxury safari company

10 DAY TANZANIA SOUTHERN CIRCUIT SAFARI

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Baby elephant drinking

You wake to the thunderous sound of hooves in full gallop and sit up with a start, then cock your head to listen. It sounds like a whole lot of something is going on outside. The morning has a chill as you grab a jacket, unlace the tent fly and peek out.

The water hole is loaded with lions asleep on rock outcroppings above the ground fog to receive the sun’s first rays. A movement in the distance catches your eye. You glass the area as the lions instinctively wake up.

A dust cloud rises behind a herd of elephants trekking toward your water hole. The stragglers at the end are blinded by dust and trumpet to communicate in the poor visibility. The herd quickly approaches the water. They are safe for the moment as the lions focus on a small bull with a limp.

Lightning flashes in quick succession in the gathering dusk and lights up the water hole as the air brims with trumpeting and electricity.

Ten lions warily circle the bull, ready to leap onto his back. The bull charges and with one swipe of his trunk, cuffs a lioness into the side of a tree with a sickening thud. She dies before her body slumps to the ground. The predators briefly scatter and regroup.

Are you prepared for the circle of life?

Exclusive Use Bush Plane Safari

Only 1% of safari tourists travel to Tanzania’s “southern circuit,” Africa’s most untrammeled safari location

Formerly called Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is bisected by Tanzania’s largest river, the Rufiji, the centerpiece of the “southern circuit,” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most people come away from it, acknowledging it is Africa’s best.

Birders will enjoy the rich variety of 400 different bird species, including the Malagasy squacco heron.

Frederick Courteney Selous was a British explorer,  officer,  professional hunter, and conservationist famous for his exploits in Southeast Africa. (1851 to 1917).
Frederick Selous

Itinerary in Detail

Day One

Legendary Lodge, Arusha

Fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha (JRO) and be met by one of our specialist guides. They will handle your luggage and escort you to Legendary Lodge, an Arusha luxury boutique hotel.

Your adventure begins in this timeless sanctuary within the tropical gardens of a historic coffee plantation in the foothills of Mt. Meru. Your garden cottage offers a secluded haven for readjusting from long international flights and multiple time zones.

Luxuriate in a 1-hour massage per person and relax fully into your African surroundings.

(1 night)
You have “exclusive use” of a bush plane within your safari’s itinerary.

Your pilot, Ryan Outram with Rift Valley Aviation, is at your beck and call. His extensive knowledge of the bush will take you to extraordinary places that only an African bush pilot can deliver.

Sand River Selous Lodge

After breakfast, your scenic flight with Captain Ryan is over the Maasai Steppes, a dry plateau of 7,400,000 acres. The landscape is dominated by small isolated mountains and kopjes with extensive stands of Acacia trees, woodlands on high plateaus, and seasonal swamps.  Many elephants wintering in Tarangire National Park move into the Maasai Steppes during the rains.

Your flight destination is Sand River Selous Lodge. Situated on the banks of the Rufiji River in Selous Game Reserve, you have “exclusive use” of this lodge.

When Richard Bonham built Sand Rivers, he was offered any area in the Northern Selous. There were good reasons why he chose this site on the mile-wide Rufiji River; it was the only place he wanted to be.

At the heart of an intricate network of sand river channels, oxbow lakes, and open plains, Sand River opens a window into the private lives of Africa’s big mammals. The property has exceptional food, a luxurious pool, Wi-Fi, and stunning river views from your chalet.

(4 nights)
Selous is 4x larger than the Serengeti and twice the size of Denmark

Day Two

Scenic Flight to Selous Game Reserve

Day Three

Boat Safari & Sundowner Flight

Kudu

Boat safaris on the Rufiji River are unique to this Park and cannot be done in the Serengeti or the rest of the “northern circuit.” Float by hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, carnivores, rare birds, and watch elephants cool off, drink, and play in the water.

Afternoon game drives get you close to wildlife congregating along the river system.

An early evening flight is over the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania’s largest and longest river. Enjoy sundowners from above as the sun sets below the distant, extraordinary horizon.
The endangered African wild dog
dens in the “southern circuit” between June through August.

After these dates, are the puppies!
Wild dogs resting
Fishing at Selous

An armed guide escorts you on a bush walk, where you may see the “big 5,” elephants, leopards, lions, Cape buffalos, and rhinos. This is a thrilling experience. If you’re an avid angler, your guide will accompany your fishing trip.

A sundowner flight is over Rufiji’s wetlands, and an hour massage per person will be welcomed after a busy day in the bush.

Day Four

Bush Walk & Sundowner Flight

On the morning of 4 January 1917 during WW I, Selous fought a bush war with his unit on the banks of the Rufiji River against German Colonial Schutztruppen. The men were outnumbered five-to-one. During combat, Selous crept forward, and while using binoculars to locate the enemy, he was shot in the head by a sniper and died instantly. We can visit his grave, as he was buried in the bush country he loved and valiantly fought to protect.
Selous' grave

Day Five

Boat Safari & Mountain Flight

Udzungwa Mountains

An early morning boat safari on the Rufiji includes a picnic breakfast.

After lunch and a rest, the Captain planned a sightseeing flight around the Udzungwa mountains, an extensive, diverse range with enormous mountains covered with dark forests and magnificent waterfalls. It’s known as the Eastern Arch Mountains, the African Galapagos, for its treasures of rare plants and animals.

After dinner, a nighttime game drive shows a different side of safari. When a carnivore’s eyes sparkle in the headlights, your adrenaline spikes with each sighting.

Asanja Ndembo Luxury Camp

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania and rarely visited due to its remoteness. The scenery is spectacular as the great Ruaha River courses through it, which draws a high density of predators, elephants, and Cape buffalos to her bosom. This is serious bush country!

Ruaha is also home to 10% of the world’s lion population. As for bird watching, it is one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets, with over 500 species of birds thriving in this protected area. Ruaha was originally part of the Saba Game Reserve, formed in 1910.

Take a scenic flight to your next “exclusive use” camp, Asanja Ndembo Luxury Camp, overlooking the Great Ruaha River within Ruaha National Park. Their Chef will delight you with exceptional cuisine, and their service is outstanding!

The camp is set in a miombo forest surrounded by magnificent ancient Baobab trees that Ruaha is famous for. The luxury guest suites and private plunge pools were designed by renowned safari camp architect Neil Rocherm, and no expense was spared to ensure your utmost comfort and privacy.

A late afternoon/early evening game drive is planned with sundowners in the bush.

(4 nights)

Day Six

Ruaha National Park

Day Seven

Special Scenic Flight

Lion by spotlight

Captain Ryan planned a special flight along the shores of Lake Tanganyika and over the mountainous Katavi game park and Mahali Reserve’s plains and forests.

He’ll land at a scenic airstrip for a picnic lunch before returning to camp by a different route.

After dinner, a nighttime game drive will surprise you with what the darkness reveals…
Balloon safari in the Serengeti

An early morning balloon flight with Serengeti Balloon Safaris in Ruaha includes sparkling wine and a full English breakfast in the bush. If you spot some cool wildlife action from the air, let us know, and we’ll head that way.

Ruaha is one of the best parks for foot safaris, which will get you close to elephants or other big game. A picnic lunch follows.

Your game drive along the Ruaha river is loaded with wildlife coming to its life-giving waters.

Day Eight

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Day Nine

Dawn Flight & Game Drives

Bush walk, Little Ongava

A dawn flight along the shores of Lake Rukwa flies over the Rukwa and Lukwati Game Reserves. You will get some good wildlife photos from above, and when the Captain lands at an airstrip, it’s time for morning high tea or coffee with Amarula.

Your last game drive hunts for that perfect photographic light before dusk when the other half of the bush awakens. Hopefully, the most extraordinary sunset will occur to toast it with sundowners.

We planned a special bush breakfast for your last morning. Afterward, Captain Ryan has a surprise location he’s flying over on your way to Kilimanjaro International for your return flight home.*

* If you want to finish your holiday on Zanzibar Island in the Indian Ocean, we can arrange it with Captain Ryan.

Day Ten

Bush Breakfast & Scenic Flight 

Included

  • Exclusive use of chartered bush plane based on the itinerary.
  • Exclusive use of both safari camps. If you don’t want exclusive use, let us know when inquiring.
  • Everything on the itinerary.
  • Premium sundowners during game drives.
  • Healthy snacks during game drives and bottled water.
  • Private game drives.
  • Park & concession fees.
  • Full board with house beer, wines, and spirits.
  • Wi-Fi
  • A specialist guide or our safari nurse/guide.

Excluded

  • International flights, visas, covid tests, tips, incidentals, etc.
  • A helicopter is available upon request.
  • The safari nurse's professional fee is based on a sliding scale.
Solo and groups of any size are encouraged to enquire.
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The Southern Circuit Safaris are from June Through October

Tanzania’s southern circuit goes into its denning mode during the long rains, which means the roads are impassable, and most lodges are inaccessible and closed.

Seasons

June to September, when the days are warm with cool nights, and the best time of year for walking safaris, including elephant and Cape buffalo sightings.
October to November has heavy concentrations of game around the inland lakes, the rivers, and the wetlands when the weather is hot and dry.
Goliath heron

Our Safari Team are Professionals with 145 Years of Combined Safari Experience

Kenya Wildlife Service logoKAT bondedKenya Tourism BoardKenya Professional Safari Guide Association logo
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