Southern Tanzania Safaris
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the national parks and reserves of southern Tanzania – especially the Selous and Ruaha, and to a lesser extent Sadaani. For decades these areas have been overshadowed by their more famous northern counterparts (Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti), but today the secret is out, and southern Tanzania is a favourite amongst safari aficionados as well as first-time visitors who are put off by the crowds which so often mar the northern parks.
Zanzibar is barely 200km from the Selous, the largest of all Tanzania's (and indeed Africa's) game reserves, and easily reached by air. Ruaha is further – about 400km from Zanzibar – while Sadaani is just a 25km hop away, directly across the channel separating Unguja (Zanzibar Island) from the mainland.
Gradually a 'southern circuit' has developed, with many individuals and small groups flying to Selous (and sometimes also Ruaha) before finishing their trip with time on the islands. These flight links are now daily, even to Ruaha, making this an increasingly straightforward option. If you want to include the parks of southern Tanzania in your travels, then this chapter aims to help you plan your trip, and enjoy it to the full.