The National Parks and game reserves of the southern circuit are arguably the hidden treasures of Tanzania’s authentic Africa. These parks are enormous, with some of the highest concentrations of animals anywhere in Africa and a spectacular diversity of wildlife including roan antelope, sable antelope, big herds of elephants, Africa wild dogs (cape hunting dogs) and a multitude of colorful birdlife.
Day 1: Dar es Salaam - Mikumi National Park
Pick-up from Dar es Salaam airport, hotel or ferry and leave for Mikumi National Park, which takes approximately 6 hours: Stop for lunch and then head off for a late afternoon game drive to Visada, Kisungura circuit, Mkata drive, Obama circuit. Birdlife in this woodland savannah is spectacular from both the Lilac breasted-rollers, Hadeda ibises and saddle-billed storks, which are often spotted in nearby hippo pools. Animals such as hippos can be seen for 3 hours until sunset that will be followed by dinner and overnight stay at Mikumi Safari lodge.
Day 2: Full day safari in Mikumi National Park
Your day this morning is going to start with the sunrise game drive along Mchangambuga to Zebra bridge for breakfast then a further drive to Sabasaba circuit and the Millennium until lunch. Furthermore drives along Mwanambogo dam where your expectation for big game such as elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras are highly seen also wildebeests and buffaloes can be easily spotted here as much as any reserve in Tanzania. This will leave you feeling amazed at the wonders of the reserve and take you through until sunset before driving back to enjoy your dinner and overnight stay in the campsite or lodge.
Day 3: Udzungwa Mountains Hike
Leave the lodge after breakfast then transfer to Udzungwa mountains National Park which takes about 45 minutes, check in at the gate and head out to the Sanje waterfalls, which is a 3 to 4 hour trek through the green forest. Expect to see monkeys, including rare indigenous Iringa red colabus, and some ancient trees some of them 200 years old! Explore tropical forests until the late afternoon for driving back to Mikumi for dinner and overnight stay at the lodge or campsite.
Day 4: Mikumi and Iringa Town tours
Morning breakfast, pack up from your room then drive to Iringa town centre for check in to your new hotel. Town tours to the Gangilonga Rock, ‘Hehe word for the talking stone’ to enjoy a view of Iringa town and nearby streets and map location of the city centre. This will be followed by a tour to the Rock paintings in Igeleke hills for an orientation on the GPS’s, African technology with Hehe beliefs from 40,000 years ago to the present. Then drive back for lunch at the restaurant. Afterwards, a short drives to Isimila Stone Age Site and Earth pillars where you will hear the origin of Homo erectus between 300,000 and 400,000 years ago B.C then drive back for dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 5: Transfer to Ruaha National Park
Pick up from the hotel, breakfast, and then departure for Ruaha National Park, followed by lunch upon arrival. Afterwards, a game drives until late sunset. Dinner and overnight stay in the government Bandas or cottages.
Day 6: Ruaha National Park
Full day safari in Ruaha National Park, your activities will basically concentrate along the great Ruaha River, Mwagusi Sand River and Mdonya River. Lunch in the middle of nowhere followed by more drive to the homes of buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, antelopes, colorful birds and plants until 6.30pm for the beautiful sunset in the East African Great Rift Valley.
Day 7: Transfer to Iringa Airport and departure
Early morning game drives in the park then we drive to Iringa airport for departure to Zanzibar.