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South And West Tanzania

South and west Tanzania are often overlooked by those intent on visiting the more famous northern parks, yet the merits of these regions are highly regarded among passionate safari-goers. The southern parks of Selous and Ruaha offer seriously good wildlife, plus a wider choice of activities and much better value for money than can be found in the north.  The remote western parks of Mahale and Katavi are expensive to get to, but offer a unique safari and African wilderness experience. 

Southern Tanzania


This region includes the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.  A great favouite of ours, the Selous is Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve, with a stunning, riverine landscape and huge quantities of wildlife. The boating safaris and guided walks here are some of the best. While Selous is essentially green, with dense bush, lakes and rivers, Ruaha by contrast is dry, red-earth, ancient plains. Here, buffalo from vast herds duel with lion prides, and elephant concentrations are among the highest on this incredible continent.  Both parks offer superb accommodation options.

Western Tanzania


Ruaha might be wild, but Katavi National Park takes it to a completely different level. Often referred to as one of the few remaining areas of pristine wilderness, this is a destination  for passionate safari-goers; no fancy honeymoon stuff here! Katavi is all about Africa’s big game, with options for camping, walking and experiencing the wild side.  Mahale Mountains National Park, on the banks of Lake Tanganyika, is stunning in its location, wildlife and also the incredible accommodation available at luxurious Greystoke Camp. Here is the best chimpanzee viewing in Africa.



South and West, or the Serengeti?


You will have a fantastic safari experience wherever you go in Tanzania.  The Serengeti and the Northern Circuit are popular for a reason; they are outstanding parks, and the Great Migration is an awesome spectacle to witness.  But if the Serengeti and the Great Migration are not your main focus, and you just want to experience some fantastic African wildlife, then you should consider the southern parks – especially between July and October. 

All things considered, we prefer the south and west of Tanzania, for various reasons.  Firstly, these areas are quieter and more personal, it is genuinely possible not to see another vehicle while out on a game drive. Secondly, the parks in the south and west offer a range of activities such as boating, walking and fly camping, which are not available in the north. These parks also offer much better value for money than their more famous northern counterparts, and finally the guiding tends to be of a higher standard, as the guides here live in their camps.  All in all, a winning combination!
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