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The Southern Circuit, The sheer vastness of southern Tanzania makes for some spectacular game viewing and superb African vistas. An additional benefit of a visit to the southern circuit is the remoteness of the location, which means that most visitors rarely see another car during their long game drives. Whereas wildlife and big game are the focus of the northern circuit, a trip to the parks of southern Tanzania allows visitors to learn in-depth knowledge about complex ecosystems and diverse living creatures that are usually skimmed over in more crowded areas. A visit to the southern circuit is a trip into an unexplored and wild Africa.


On the southern Swahili Coast, the little-visited old town Mikindani is a good base for diving explorations and trips to the abandoned ruins of the ancient Swahili trading post. The old German boma in Mikindani is also a historical site of interest.


SELOUS GAME RESERVE

Selous named after Sir. Frederick Selous, the Englishman famous big game hunter and conservationist. Selous Game reserve is the one of the largest faunal reserves of the world located in the south of Tanzania. Number of wild dog population and probably its largest buffalo, hippo, crocodile and lion prides are all inhabit.


SEASONS

Dry Season: The dry season sets in during June to November and is the best time for game viewing along the rivers. Elephants come out of the bush at that time and predators are more commonly seen.


Rainy Season: January to April is wonderful for birdlife ad lush scenery but many roads become impassable after heavy rains. December to February is still good for game viewing but can be rather hot and humid. The safari lodges are usually closed from March to May.


SELOUS SPECIALITIES

• Rare and endangered Wild Dog

• Boat game viewing

• Fishing

• Thousands of migrating elephants

• Walking safaris

• Huge wilderness


FACTS

This massive stretch of land is the second largest game reserve in Africa. At over 21,000 miles² (55,000 km²) it is almost four times the size of the Serengeti.

The only human habitations allowed are limited tourist facilities.

Road access is only possible during the dry season and most visitors fly in from Dar es Salaam by charter aircraft.

Safari lodges are restricted to the top 20% of the reserve.

This is a malarial area.


MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK

Is the fourth largest park in Tanzania, its landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of Serengeti. The park covers an area of 3,230sq km west of Dar es Salaam 283 km. The blue wildebeest , a large number of big cats (lion, cheeter, leopards), buffalo, giraffe, elephant  and antelope present. The attraction of the pools situated north of the park headquarters are its resident hippo usually supported by a varied cast of waterbirds.


About Mikumi National Park

Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve.


Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi.


How to get there

A good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4 hour drive.

Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only) Selous.

Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.


What to do

Game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to Selous or Ruaha.


When to go

Accessible year round.


Accommodation

Two lodges, three luxury tented camps, three campsites.

Guest houses in Mikumi town on the park border. One lodge is proposed at Mahondo and one permanent tented camp at Lumaaga.


RUAHA NATIONAL PARK

The second Tanzania largest national park, a vast block protected areas that supports one of the largest elephant population on the continent. Ruaha is one of the few  African parks where casual visitors regularly encounter all three of African’s large cats (lion, cheetah, and leopards) also is a good location for African wild dogs which is mostly often seen around mwagusi river. An estimated population of 12000 excelent elephant centered upon the Great Ruaha ecosystem.


About Ruaha National Park

Size: 10,300 sq km (3,980 sq miles), Tanzania's 2nd biggest park.


Location: Central Tanzania, 128km (80 miles) west of Iringa.


Getting there

Scheduled and/or charter flights from Dar es Salaam, Selous, Serengeti, Arusha, Iringa and Mbeya.

Year-round road access through Iringa from Dar es Salaam (about 10 hours) via Mikumi or from Arusha via Dodoma.


What to do

Day walks or hiking safaris through untouched bush.

Stone age ruins at Isimila, near Iringa, 120 km (75 miles) away, one of Africa's most important historical sites .


Best time

For predators and large mammals, dry season (mid-May-December) :

bird-watching, lush scenery and wildflowers, wet season (January-April).

The male greater kudu is most visible in June, the breeding season.


Accommodation

Riverside lodge

three dry season tented camps, self-catering bandas, two campsites Ruaha Hill Top Lodge


The Southern Circuit Safaris