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13  Days

The wild of Southern Circuit - Self Drive

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Tour Overview

This road trip begins and ends in Dar es Salaam and takes you to the less visited national parks of south east Tanzania. Ideal for those that want to get off the tourist trail at friendly prices. Go on world class safaris in Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve, experience local village life in traditional Tanzanian highland villages, and go birding and chimp trekking in the Udzungwa Mountains.

These are the recommendation lodges we like to stay in when we are roadtripping ourselves; small-scale, good price-quality ratio and owner-managed when possible.

Day 1

Arrival Dar Es Salaam

  • Slipway Hotel or CBD Hotel

Day 2

Start: Dar Es Salaam

Destination: Mikumi National Park

Drive 300 km approximately 5 hours

  • Camp Bastian Lodge or Tan-Swiss Lodge

Day 3

Enjoy: Mikumi National Park

  • Camp Bastian Lodge or Tan-Swiss Lodge

Day 4

Start: Mikumi National Park

Destination: Iringa

Drive: 193 km approximately 3 hours

  • Iringa Sunset Hotel or Neema Craft Guest House

Day 5

Start: Iringa

Destination: Ruaha National Park

Drive: 100 km approximately 2 hours

  • Ruaha Hilltop Lodge or Mdonya Old River Camp or Ruaha River Lodge

Day 6-7

Enjoy: Ruaha National Park

  • Ruaha Hilltop Lodge or Mdonya Old River Camp or Ruaha River Lodge

Day 8

Start: Ruaha National Park

Destination: Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Drive: 350 km approximately 5.5 hours

  • Udzungwa Forest Lodge or Udzungwa Falls Lodge

Day 9

Enjoy: Udzungwa Mountains National Park

  • Udzungwa Forest Lodge or Udzungwa Falls Lodge

Day 10

Start: Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Destination: Morogoro

  • Simbamwenni Lodge or Mbuyuni Farm Retreat

Drive: 154 km approximately 2.5 hours

Day 11

Start: Morogoro

Destination: Nyerere National Park ex Selous

Drive: 140 km approximately 5 hours

  • Nyerere Tented Camp or Selous Tented Camp or Lake Manze Tented Camp

Day 12

Enjoy: Nyerere National Park ex Selous

  • Nyerere Tented Camp or Selous Tented Camp or Lake Manze Tented Camp

Day 13

Start: Nyerere National Park

Destination: Dar Es Salaam

Drive: 190 km approximately 5 hours

  • Hotel Slipway or CBD Hotel

Price from US$ 1950 per car – max 4 people in a car

Price includes: 13 days Toyota Hilux double cabin rental, airport pick up, delivery & drop off in Dar es Salaam.

Price excludes: fuels, accommodations, park fees, drinks, driver guides, travel insurance and items of a personal nature

  • NOTE: We can arrange accommodation, park fees and driver guide if you require.

Travel time and road conditions in south east Tanzania

13 days / 11 car rental days is the minimum to follow this route.

The Tanzam Highway – the inland road from Dar es Salaam to Iringa – is asphalted and in good condition. The park entrance of Ruaha lies 100 km west of Iringa along a dirt road that takes about 2.5 hours to drive and requires a 4×4 vehicle. As for Selous Game Reserve, you will enter the park from the west coming from Morogoro. It’s 140 km on a dirt road. Exploring Selous Game Reserve requires a Landcruiser due to river flooding and deep sandy tracks.

Best time to visit the south east of Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve is a highly seasonal safari destination and it tends to be hotter than any other park in Tanzania due to its low altitude. The optimum time to visit Selous is during the dry season (June to September). Game viewing is good through October and early November, but it becomes extremely hot. Wildlife spotting is a bit less reliable from November to February, but the scenery is lovely and green, and birdwatching is at its finest. Roads become very challenging and many camps close during April and May.

Ruaha is best visited between July and November.

 

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