The southern circuit of Tanzania is getting more and more popular. Although it is less frequently visited than the northern circuit it offers a similar variety of wildlife, varied landscapes and culture.
The Selous Game Reserve is huge, approximately the size of Switzerland and is, in the north, where game drives and safari lodges are permitted, a vast open landscape with savanna plains, miombo woodland and many lakes and swamps in the Rufiji Valley. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its diversity of wildlife and undisturbed nature. A guided boat trip on the Rufiji River can be arranged during which you will definitely see many majestic birds, hippos and crocodiles, probably elephants and, if you are lucky a nile monitor or a pride of lions coming down to drink.
Mikumi National Park can be visited in one day from Dar es Salaam but, if you have more time, this charming park is well worth a longer visit. The wide expanses of the Mkata Floodplain is full of wildlife: lions, wildebeest, impala, eland and buffalo migrate across the plains. In the miombo woodland on the foothills of the local mountains greater kudu and sable antelopes can be seen. More than 400 species of bird have been sighted in Mikumi.
Ruaha National Park, west of Mikumi, is an amazing wilderness landscaped by the Rift Valley and a number of rivers such as the Great Ruaha River, the Mwagusi, Jongomero and the Mzombe. In the language of the Hehe tribe the word “Ruvaha” translates to river and from that word Ruaha was named. Ruaha National Park has a high diversity of plants and animals. Over 571 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Several historic and cultural sites in the park offer the visitor a chance to explore the Southern Tanzanian tribes. The early trade routes used by the Arab caravan crossed here, as did Burton and Speke.
There are many more places to visit in the south, such as Saadani National Park where you can see elephants on the beach, and there are many opportunities for trekking and adventure in the Uluguru and Udzungwa mountains and on the Makonde Plateau you can meet the Makonde people who are the original sculptors of the typical East African wood carved statues and animals.
There is much more so check out all the links on the right hand side (below on smaller mobile devices),