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Luxury Camping at Masai Mara
Wildbeest Migration at Mara
Crossing Serengeti Bridge
Mount Kenya
Meru Game Reserve Game Drive
Lions in Mara
Elephants at Masai Mara
14 Days Tanzania safari and beach family holiday
14 Days Tanzania safari and beach family holiday

The south of Tanzania offers a natural and cultural richness which is guaranteed to stir the inquisitive traveller. Big game, comfortable lodges and the true African bush - this trip gives you the best of all worlds. Your first sights of the immense unspoiled wilderness of the Selous Game Reserve will be from the window of a train as you journey from Dar Es Salaam.

Day 1: Fly to Dar Es Salaam Overnight flight to Dar Es Salaam.

Day 2: Bagamoyo From Dar es Salaam airport you travel (approximately 1.5 hours) to your accommodation and check in. Your group leader will get your group together for a briefing, so that you can all meet each other and discuss any optional excursions and what will happen over the next few days. The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from your journey and to explore Bagamoyo. Hotel (AAA) – 2 nights

Day 3: Bagamoyo, free day Bagamoyo was the unofficial capital of East Africa in the 19th century. Today is free for you to do as you like, which may be to just relax on the beach or explore the town. For those who want to get out and start their search for wildlife, there is the option of going on a game drive in Saadani National Park. Alternatively, you can simply kick back and settle into the Tanzanian pace of life. (B)

Day 4: Selous Game Reserve, train ride This morning is at leisure. Transfer in the afternoon to Dar’s Tazara Station and board the train to Selous. The four and a quarter hour journey shows an interesting view of rural Tanzanian life. You arrive at Kisaki station; the village is home to many Masai. From here it’s a 20 minute drive to Sable Mountain Lodge. Your home for the next four nights is set high above riparian forest at the north-west corner of the reserve, in an area of considerable elephant activity. It consists of eight delightful stone cottages and five tented bandas, with a swimming pool (great for cooling off in between safaris!), en suite facilities, solar power, and its own supply of spring water. Its high elevation provides wonderful views over the surrounding hills and forest with magnificent views of the Uluguru Mountains beyond. The lodge also has its own waterhole where you can watch the animals come down to drink in the evening. Regular visitors include elephant, buffalo, zebra and in November and December, the rare sable antelope. Selous, at 55,000 square km; (about 5% of Tanzania’s total land area) is the largest wildlife preserve in the whole of Africa and contains the largest populations of elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and wild dog on the continent, as well as large populations of giraffe, zebra and various antelope species. However, as it receives fewer visitors than some of Africa’s more famous reserves, you can benefit from more relaxed game viewing experiences; the north-west sector in particular is away from the busier routes and it isn’t unusual for you not to see any other vehicles during your game drives here. There are over 400 recorded bird species, including a dazzling array of bee-eaters, rollers, sunbirds and kingfishers, and a marvellous landscape which changes dramatically across the reserve. The reserve has an incredible diversity of habitats from deciduous hard woodland (miombo), open grassland, rocky hills scattered with thorny acacia, palm woodland, sand rivers (only channelling water in the wet season), riverine forest, swamps, lakes and rivers. Its ecological importance lead to the reserve being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. This is one of the last great African wildernesses where it is still possible to watch lions stalking their prey without worrying about another vehicle interrupting the show. Private stone and thatch cottages (AAAA) with en suite facilities - 4 nights - Swimming Pool (BD)Our stone cottages are well spaced and located midway up a small hill which allows for lovely views of the surrounding hills and distant Uluguru mountains.

Day 5: Selous; safaris by foot and 4WD With such a vast area of bush at your disposal, your first full day in Selous is spent exploring firstly on foot as you make an exciting early morning walking safari – a great way to really get in tune with the beauty, peace and tranquillity of the wilderness. Selous is one of the few parks and reserves in Tanzania where foot safaris are permitted; there is nothing to beat the thrill of going in search of big game without the confines or noise of a vehicle. Travelling on foot also allows you to take a closer look at the vegetation and follow animal spoor; your guide will be on hand to highlight points of interest and answer your questions. You may come across some of the park’s smaller, though no less interesting residents, such as birds and insects. Look out for dung beetles rolling elephant dung; their ability to move dung balls many times their size is amazing – especially as they may also have to fight off other beetles trying to steal their prize! You return to the lodge for lunch and have the afternoon to relax by the pool or check to see if there are any visitors at the waterhole. After the heat of the day subsides you embark on your first game drive. Using an open-sided 4WD vehicle you travel deeper into the reserve in search of more game. Selous Game Reserve is a vast wilderness and there are numerous routes to take. A stop at one of the many dry sand river beds may reveal elephants digging for water – a truly thrilling experience. You may also spot wild dog; unlike many other parks, Selous has a thriving population. The park is also home to a large population of giraffe and it is not uncommon to see large groups of them browsing the tops of trees and shrubs.After dinner back at the lodge, the perfect way to cap the day’s activity is to gaze up at the stars from the hill-top ‘snug’ and soak up the night sounds. The constant sound of cicadas chirping is quite soporific while the sound of a hyena laughing or a lion roaring has a more spine-chilling effect! (BLD)

Day 6: Selous; safaris by boat and 4WD Today you make a full day game drive including a boat safari and a chance to spot pods of partially-submerged hippo, crocodile and other waterside dwellers at close quarters. Hearing hippo laugh is an experience which will delight everyone but only the brave will dare to look a crocodile right in the eye! Bird life is prolific; you are likely to see pelican, African skimmer, goliath heron, fish eagle, ibis and various species of kingfisher including the aptly named giant kingfisher – the largest in the world. The area is also home to Pel’s fishing owl but you would be very lucky indeed to see one. You may also spot other game at the water’s edge coming down for a welcome drink, especially during the dry season (mid-June – mid-November). Buffalo, waterbuck and impala are the most likely candidates but elephant, lion and leopard need to quench their thirst too. On returning to the camp after dark, look out for some of the area’s nocturnal species at the waterhole. (BLD)

Day 7: Selous;free day for optional safaris Today is free to relax at the camp, enjoy the swimming pool, spot game visiting the water hole or make your choice of optional safaris. (BLD)NB: The day by day activities described for the Selous Game Reserve may vary due to weather conditions and also the location of wildlife in the reserve.

Day 8: Stonetown; Zanzibar This morning there is a last chance to wallow by the pool before breakfast. A final short game drive ends at the Selous airstrip by mid-morning where you board the aircraft for a stunning flight across savannah grassland and shrub before crossing the Straits of Zanzibar to Zanzibar Island. As a result of its trade in slaves and spices, Zanzibar was for many years the most important town on the East African coast. The Sultans of Oman, who introduced the clove tree to its fertile soil at the start of the last century, moved their court here from Muscat in the Gulf and ruled until independence in the early 1960s. As a major trading centre, the 'Spice Island' is also reputed to be the birthplace of Swahili, the simple lingua franca that developed to allow trade between people of different languages. In the heart of the original merchant city the baleful cry of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer resonates though the narrow stone streets. Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights (B)Please note that the Zanzibar section is unaccompanied by a Group Leader although transfers are organised for you.

Day 9: Zanzibar Town You have the morning to explore the atmospheric, faded splendour of Stone Town. It's fun to wander unhurriedly through the narrow, whitewashed streets and make chance discoveries. The bustle of the old fish market, the vibrant colours of the stalls in the fruit market, the curious mix of black Africa and Islam - veiled women, men with white pillar-box hats, and traces of Arabic origins in the faces of merchants. (B)

Day 10: Beach resort Today you can take a half-day ‘spice tour’ (optional), which brings to life the story of the island by visiting its many ruins, and the extensive plantations which produce cloves, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom as well as fruit and herbs. Those who do not wish to do a Spice Tour can stay back for some extra time exploring or shopping in Stone Town. You will then be transferred by car at a time later in the day to meet up with the rest of the group after they finish the Spice Tour, so that you all drive together for the remainder of the journey to the beach hotel (about one hour’s drive). Hotel (AAA) - 3 nights (BD)

Day 11-12: Indian Ocean Beach The beautiful coastline with its palm-fringed beaches creates an image of a forgotten paradise. Most are protected by coral reefs and are made of white coral sand. Here you can relax on the balmy, tropical shores of the Indian Ocean. In the morning it may be possible to see some of the local fishermen, in their traditional dhows, bringing in their catch. Spend the days relaxing or snorkelling of the beach in crystal-clear water. There are bicycles for hire or several other optional excursions can be arranged through your hotel, such as scuba diving, boat excursions, fishing trips or a spice tour of the island. You could also opt to visit the nearby turtle sanctuary where injured turtles and other marine animals are cared for until they are well enough to be returned to the wild. (Bx2, Dx2)

Day 13: Fly home The trip ends for Land Only clients in Zanzibar. Those on group flights transfer from the beach directly to the airport (about one hour drive) and fly home. (B)

Day 14: Arrive home


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