15 Days Tanzania South
– Mikumi, Katavi, Ruaha & Coast
Welcome to Our 15 Days TZ Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Dar es Salaam
Arrive in Dar es Salaam, meaning “Haven of Peace” in Swahili. You’ll be met and transferred to the Holiday Inn. The remainder of the day you are free to rest or explore on your own.
Day 2: Mikumi National Park
Transfer to the airport for flight to Mikumi National Park, arriving in time for lunch and a siesta before your evening game drive. Mikumi is part of the Selous ecosystem and consists of a plain surrounded by mountains with the Ulugurus and Udzungwas to the south east and north east and the Ruhumero mountains to the west. Four major vegetation zones converge in Mikumi, and there are 60 different mammal species, 400 bird species, and over 1200 plant species. Stanley’s Kopje offers 360 degree panoramic views of the Mwanambogo water hole – a favourite haunt for hippo, water fowl, kingfisher, ibis, goliath heron, giraffe, buffalo and elephant. Using open game viewing vehicles you will also have the chance to see lion, leopard, elephant, crocodile, hippo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and varied antelopes, sable, colobus monkey and blue wildebeest (of the Nyassaland variety) on your drives. Overnight at the camp.
Day 3: Mikumi National Park
Awake to bird song and early morning tea. Choose from a full day game drive with a packed lunch, exploring the hills and miombo woodland in pursuit of the elusive sable antelope and the endangered wild dog. Or remain on the plains to see lion hunts and leopards. Return to for lunch and a swim then start again in the afternoon. Guides can also tell you about the study of yellow baboons that has been taking place at Mikumi. Overnight at Stanley’s Kopje.
Day 4: Mikumi & Udzungwa Mountains
Continue to explore Mikumi with morning and afternoon game drives or venture further afield to the Udzungwa Mountain National Park for trekking in the rainforest. After walking under the rainforest canopy you emerge at the top of Sanje water falls to breathtaking views over the rift valley below and the Selous ecosystem beyond. You often hear the calls, shrieks, and whistles, well before seeing the various endemic birds and primates. It is possible to walk from miombo fire maintained sub-climax woodland through the lowland forest of the rift valley floor to submontane and pristine montane forests in one day. You may well see monkeys as you go – black and yellow baboons, blue, vervet, black and white colobus and the red hehe colobus – as well as the endemic Sanje Crested Mangabey also found only at Udzungwa. Overnight at Stanley’s Kopje.
Day 5: Mikumi – Ruaha National Park
Transfer to airstrip for flight to Ruaha National Park. You will be met in an open game viewing vehicle for the drive up the river to the lodge. Ruaha is the largest national park in Africa, with species associated in both southern and eastern Africa: Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu, striped hyena, greater kudu, Lichenstein’s hartebeest, roan antelope etc. The park has dramatic mountainous scenery and varied topography, ranging from the grassland plains – with cheetah and gazelle; – riverine forests – refuge to the delicate dik dik and bushbuck as well as hippo and crocs; Baobab-covered rocky kopjes – home to elephant, klipspringer, and leopard. There are also a staggering 1600 plant species and 526 bird species. Ruaha River Lodge is positioned to give spectacular views up and down the river. Wildlife amasses along this limited water resource and you can you can sit on your private veranda and watch giraffe, impala, greater kudu and warthogs. Stay at the lodge.
Day 6-7: Ruaha National Park
Awaken to a chorus of birds and Egyptian geese by the water’s edge. Take breakfast in the riverside dining room or the main bar and restaurant set amongst the rocks and baobabs at the top of a rocky kopje. Morning and afternoon game drives will explore the river both upstream and downstream allowing you to return to the lodge for lunch. Or you could take a full day game drive onto a plateau of miombo woodland favoured by sable antelope. Or a full day’s drive following the Great Ruaha River to the treeless plains, with the chance of spotting cheetah and gazelle. Look out for leopards in the Acacia branches or try to spot the lions resting beneath shaded bushes. Overnight at Ruaha River Lodge.
Day 8: Ruaha – Katavi National Park
An early start sees you on your way via Cessna to Katavi National Park (N.B. this flight does not operate every day). From the air you soon realise the mass of black dots on the plains are huge herds of buffalo, zebra, topi and giraffe. Once on the ground, your guide takes you across the Katuma river where you will be astonished by up to 600 hippo and monster crocs. You may also see otters, various snakes and mongeese. From here you skirt round the Katisunga floodplain, and its thundering herds, to arrive at Katavi Wildlife Camp, which has been carefully sited for a continuous parade of animals wander past your private verandah. Also from this vantage point the golden Katisunga floodplain sprawls before you offering panoramic views over one of the wildest places on earth and the last great herds of buffalo in East Africa. A resident pride of lion have also discovered this spot. Overnight in Foxes accommodation.
Day 9-12: Katavi National Park – Dar
Over the next couple of days you will explore the central Katisunga plain, the Katuma river, and Chada plain with morning and afternoon game drives in your open vehicle or full day game drives with a packed lunch. You can also head in the opposite direction through the miombo woodland to an area locally referred to as Paradise in search of rare roan and sable antelope. Overnight in Foxes accommodation.
Day 13-14: Katavi – Lazy Lagoon
Your stay here, one of the most secluded beach locations in Tanzania, is a chance to relax and enjoy the fresh seafish bought from the passing fisherman on their way back from the fishing grounds. The beach allows swimming at all tides and there are kayaks, snorkelling equipment, sailing dinghy and windsurfers to borrow. You may choose to take a mornings guided excursion to Bagamoyo town to visit the Catholic Museum and other relics of the past. Alternatively, you can request to experience sailing local style in a hand built ‘ngalawa’ sailing boat. Stay at Lazy Lagoon.
Day 15: Lazy Lagoon – Dar Es Salaam
The transfer in reverse (boat then road) takes you back to Dar es Salaam airport for your check in.