The Selous and Ruaha on Tanzania’s southern safari circuit are true hidden gems. Less commercial than the Serengeti, you can really lose yourself in the wilderness and get away from the crowds. Both parks have just a scattering of lodges and camps, so it’s not uncommon to be on safari without seeing another vehicle.
The Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve. Covering a vast 50,000 square kilometres, it is remote, raw, rugged and teeming with wildlife. Rivers are crammed with hippos; large pride of lions roam the grasslands; while packs of wild dog are constantly on the hunt. It is also home to the rare sable antelope.
Stretching between Eastern and Southern Africa, Ruaha National Park has an equal abundance of flora and fauna as the Selous. The varied eco-systems in both parks attract a large range of bird species - including the African spoonbill and Pel’s fishing owl.
The wildlife in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park is prolific, and safaris can be done in a variety of ways. Morning, afternoon and night game drives will take you on an unforgettable exploration of the parks, whilst a walking safari will give you a greater insight into the wonderful smaller species. There is also the opportunity to explore the wilderness by boat, on the Rufiji River or Lake Tagalala.
Reignite your senses on a walking safari. Accompanied by armed guides and trackers, you will focus on the smaller flora and fauna of the parks. No two walks are the same and you never know what you may encounter; perhaps a family herd of elephants, rhinos grazing, or a sleeping leopard in a tree.
A boat cruise on Lake Tagalala or the Rufiji River gives a different perspective to your safari adventure. Look out for hippos, crocodiles and the vast herds of elephant that are attracted to the water.
The climate in this region is warm and humid, due to its close proximity to the equator. Nights remain warm, unlike the northern Tanzanian parks, while temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year. These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for the Selous and Ruaha.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.
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Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Visas are required prior to arrival and can be obtained from the Tanzanian High Commission at www.immigration.go.tz for approximately USD$50 per person. NB: Five passport photos are required for the application.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
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Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
Please be advised that a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate will be required for travel (in any direction) between South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide. You should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. Sources of information include: www.fco.gov.uk.