Capturing the wildlife of Tanzania
Audley traveller John Cornish travelled to Tanzania and Zanzibar in January this year. A keen wildlife photographer, John was particularly interested in capturing the abundance of wildlife found on safari in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.
After three nights beneath the shaded canopy at the rustic Lake Manze Tented Camp, in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve, mornings and afternoons spent on game-drives in Ruaha and time to explore Zanzibar’s lush interior at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, John was able to spot hippo, elephant, wild dogs and monkeys, as well as a variety of colourful birdlife.
Some of John’s favourite photos from his trip
A wild dog makes short work of a kill in the Selous Game Reserve
A forest kingfisher looking for insects is disturbed by the elephant in the Selous
A yellow-billed stork successfully catches a small fish in Lake Manze in the Selous
Giraffes are a common sight in Ruaha National Park
A hippo stakes its territorial claim in a pool in Ruaha
A young elephant imitates its mother in Ruaha
On Zanzibar Island endangered Red Colobus monkeys were out for an early morning feed before retreating to the trees for the day
Selous Game Reserve
Not only one of the largest reserves in Africa but also the world, the Selous (pronounced "Seloo") offers all the normal big game. You're likely to spot healthy numbers of lion, leopard, buffalo and the much rarer and endangered wild dog.
The park is in the south east of Tanzania. To get there you'll fly direct to Dar es Salaam, from where you'll take a 30-45 minute light aircraft flight to the park.
The lakes and channels of the Selous make it a popular place for boat trips. Floating quietly along on the water you'll have the opportunity to see crocodile, elephant, giraffe, various types of antelope and a myriad of birdlife. As well as game drives walking safaris are also permitted.
Best time to visit
The best time to safari in the Selous Game Reserve is from late June to October. It's dry season at this time and the wildlife is easier to spot since animals gather at water holes and rivers and the vegetation is thinner.
Ruaha National Park
This is Tanzania's largest park. The Ruaha River is flanked by woodland and tumbles over boulders as it forms the park’s southeastern border.
You'll have every chance to see lion, spotted and striped hyena, wild dog and leopard. They all prey on the impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, giraffe, zebra and buffalo in the park. The birdlife is particularly colourful and it's not unusual to spot many species while you sit in your camp.
Situated in the southern central area of Tanzania, its location is the reason so few visit. The quickest way to get there is by flying direct to Dar es Salaam, from where you'll take a light aircraft to the park.
Activities in Ruaha focus mainly on game drives, although you can also join a walking safari. There are over 500 species of birds in the park so birdwatching is popular with many visitors.
Best time to visit
Like the Selous, the best time to visit Ruaha is during the months of June to October. At this time the climate is hot and dry and consequently the waterholes are busy, making spotting the wildlife easier.
The Zanzibar Archipelago lies just 30 kilometres off the Tanzanian coast and it can be the ideal accompaniment to your safari. The only protected wildlife habitat on the island is Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. Established only relatively recently in 2004, it's home to many animals, most famously the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey.
As well as spending time in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park, the island is perhaps best known as a world-class destination for its white powder sand beaches. Its warm and generally benign tropical waters are the perfect combination if you want to try snorkelling, diving or boat trips. If you hanker after more of a cultural break, you can wander the labyrinth of streets in Stone Town.
Best time to visit
As Zanzibar is near the Equator there is little temperature fluctuation between summer and winter, with temperatures ranging from about 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) all year round.