Visit Southern Tanzania, Tanzania
Southern Tanzania is vast and wild and has two large parks: the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park.
It has two smaller parks as well, the Udzungwa Mountains and Mikumi National Park, but all of these parks receive a fraction of the visitors that their counterparts in the north do and offer untouched wilderness and an exciting safari experience.
Selous Game Reserve
The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest reserves in Africa and has beautiful wetland scenery with abundant hippo, crocodile and birdlife. It has Africa’s highest population of wild dog and buffalo as well as lion, elephant, leopard and giraffe.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha is good for large predators, elephant herds and localised antelope species such as sable, roan and greater and lesser kudu. In the dry season Ruaha has some of the best game viewing Africa has to offer.
The Selous and Ruaha are always accessed by light aircraft and combine well on a week long fly-in safari. The two smaller parks of Mikumi and Udzungwa are smaller and only accessible on a guided 4x4 safari.
Mikumi National Park and Udzungwa Mountains
Mikumi is a good place to stop for a couple of nights at the start of your safari and is very family friendly. The Udzungwa Mountains are a place for keen walkers with steep trails leading up the mountains to waterfalls and lookout points. A large number of the animals are endemic with Sanje crested mangabes, uhehe red colobus and Matunda galagos of particular interest.
Places to visit in Southern Tanzania
Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Southern Tanzania, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travellers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Suggested itinerary featuring Southern Tanzania
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Southern Tanzania, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Southern Tanzania
Places & hotels on the map
Places in and around Southern Tanzania
- Mikumi National Park Southern Tanzania
- Ruaha National Park Southern Tanzania
- Selous Game Reserve Southern Tanzania
- Bagamoyo 201 miles away
- Saadani 210 miles away
- Dar es Salaam 211 miles away
- Songo Songo Archipelago 211 miles away
- Ras Kutani 222 miles away
- Tanzania's Swahili Coast 245 miles away
- Pangani 251 miles away
- Tarangire National Park 281 miles away
Photos of Southern Tanzania
Accommodation choices for Southern Tanzania
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Southern Tanzania. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
This small, simple and very authentic safari camp allows for excellent game viewing opportunities, with a variety of wildlife regularly passing through the camp. Situated in the west of Ruaha National Park, a stay here will allow you to immerse yourself in the bush lifestyle.
Set in the heart of wild Ruaha National Park, Kwihala is an intimate tented camp that offers exceptional service and guiding. Simple but extremely comfortable, it makes a fantastic base from which to explore the park.
Out in the wilderness of Ruaha National Park and on the banks of the Jongomero River, the luxurious Jongomero Camp is a great option for those on safari in Ruaha.
The emphasis on your stay at Kichaka will be the superb guiding and the experience out on foot exploring Ruaha. The camp itself is a back to basics base for your explorations, but has enough creature comforts to offer you a relaxing stay.
Ruaha River Lodge is pretty, friendly and has a superb location. It is an ideal base from which to explore the Ruaha.
Mwagusi is an excellent camp for photographers and real wildlife enthusiasts. The emphasis is put firmly on the wildlife, not luxury frills, although the camp is superbly comfortable nonetheless.
Lake Manze is a simple but very authentic option for safari in Selous. With no electricity, evening meals are enjoyed by fire and candlelight for a truly atmospheric safari experience.
Siwandu Camp is located on the banks of Lake Nzerakera, part of the criss-cross of waterways from the Rufiji River, allowing for fantastic views out over the water from the main area.
Selous Kulinda Camp is situated on the banks of the Rufiji River, about 20 minutes from the border of Selous Game Reserve. With fantastic views overlooking the river, it's a great value option for exploring the remarkable wildlife in Selous.
Selous Impala Camp enjoys an excellent location within Selous Game Reserve, set on the banks of the Rafiji River.
Set on the banks of its namesake, Rufiji River Camp is a perennial favourite in the Selous. Its prime location offers a great variety of animals, and views from the camp itself may afford viewing of crocodile and hippo in the waters below.
Hidden from view on a bend of the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers has spectacular views over the water and the unspoiled wilderness beyond. Its luxurious rooms are a great place to return after a day exploring Selous Game Reserve.
This is a fantastic option for groups who want a really private, personal experience in the heart of the Selous. The rooms have so many little luxurious touches and have sweeping views of the Rufiji River.
These days fly-camping provides the same intimate experience of sleeping out in the bush away from distractions, but on a slightly grander scale. At Selous Impala fly camp, guests are provided with simple yet comfortable accommodation.
Beho Beho Camp is a top safari camp and one of our favourites in the country. There are stunning views from everywhere in the lodge and the food and service are excellent.