Baraza Hotel & Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Enjoy incredible game-viewing with a few days safari in the Selous before a relaxing week on the beach in Zanzibar.
4 nights Selous Game Reserve, full board, including safari activities; 7 nights Baraza Resort & Spa, all-inclusive. Includes flights and transfers.
13 days from £4,270pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Baraza Resort & Spa
Chic, stylish and renowned for its excellent service, this beautiful property reflects the architecture and opulence of a Zanzibari sultan's palace. Its spacious beachfront bungalows overlook Bwejuu Beach, where pristine white sand gives way to clear turquoise waters and a superb coral reef.
Set in manicured gardens along one of Zanzibar’s best beaches, Baraza Resort & Spa (part of the Zanzibar Collection) is a small, intimate property surrounding a magnificent pool. Cascades of archways, heavy drapes, and intricate carvings and metalwork give the hotel an Arabic charm and the beautiful antiques and handmade furniture that adorn the rooms were all crafted locally. There are three restaurants serving a menu that reflects Arabic, Indian, Persian, Asian and Swahili influences and guests can take cookery lessons to learn about local spices and cooking techniques. Outside, the beach slopes gently into the water offering safe swimming, excellent diving and the opportunity to take a guided walk along the coral reef. The hotel also offers a variety of other water sports as well as sailing trips on a traditional dhow. Baraza has close ties to the local community and runs a charity which aims to improve the lives of local people and preserve traditional art forms.
Baraza's 30 spacious rooms all have their own private plunge pool as well as luxuriously large soaker baths. The two bedroom villas are particularly good value.
Before the beach - 5 days
Selous Game Reserve
Covering an expanse of nearly 50,000 square kilometres, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa. It is home to a huge diversity of wildlife including large buffalo and lion populations, numerous leopard, and thriving packs of wild dog for you to watch out for on your twice-daily game drives. A boat trip on the Rufiji River will invariably pass pods of hippo wallowing in the shallows and majestic yellow-billed storks nesting in rustling borassus palms; you may encounter baboon at the water’s edge, and white-crowned plovers cleaning the teeth of crocodiles.
The Selous Riverside Safari Camp has ten spacious, comfortably furnished, tented chalets in a wonderful location on the banks of the Rufiji River.
Baraza Resort & Spa
30 rooms, 3 restaurants, 2 pools
Baraza is a beautiful boutique resort built in a distinctive Swahili design. Blending Arabic and Indian influences with Swahili arches, beautiful antiques, handmade furniture and intricate brass lanterns it offers a very high standard of accommodation on Zanzibar.
The resort's villas line the beach which is fringed by palm trees and scattered with perfectly placed beach sunbeds meaning that everyone can enjoy their own little patch of paradise. Although this is a resort style property it is relatively small with only 30 villas in total, which creates a lovely laid back, and intimate feel.
The hotel is part of the Zanzibar Collection which offers a range of high standard resorts along the same beach and we have worked with them for many years. The staff are fantastic and we often get comments on how welcome our clients felt, and how well looked after they were while they were at Baraza.
Baraza has a children's area with lots of toys, games and activities to keep them entertained and plenty of comfy loungers, couches and bean bags to relax and play on. For the older children and young teenagers there is a Wii, a ping pong table, table football and a children’s pool table. There is also an extensive library of children's movies.
Most of the year this children's area is unsupervised and children would need to be accompanied by their parents however in July and August and over Christmas there are supervised activities (children younger than four still need to be accompanied by a parent or a guardian).
Baraza lies on the south-east coast of the island of Zanzibar, along the award-winning Bwejuu Beach.
This is one of the best beaches on the island; with 240 metres of fine, white sand it really is your quintessential tropical paradise beach. The beach shelves gently into the sea and there is a coral reef offshore that runs the length of the east coast of Zanzibar.
With the tides pushing out so far on Zanzibar the resort offers reef walks at low tide where you can wander out and see what creatures have been trapped in the rock pools; swimming and other water activities are only possible at high tide. Baraza shares the beach with a number of other resorts but it doesn't feel busy and there is plenty of space for everyone to find a quiet spot.
The resort is located about ten minutes from Bwejuu Village and Baraza has a strong involvement in the village itself so you will most likely receive a very warm welcome from any villagers that you come across.
Baraza offers great facilities and the place looks wonderful when it's lit up at night. We found the food here to be particularly good, the staff very friendly and we warmly recommend it. Please note that Baraza asks all gentlemen to wear long trousers at dinner time.
The resort has 30 decadently furnished villas, split into five different categories. All of the villas are extremely spacious and stylish with luxury interiors, beautiful fabrics and hand carved furniture which all lend themselves beautifully to the island itself. Outside there are spacious and shady terraces, sunloungers and private plunge pools.
All of the villas are air conditioned and have a bedroom, living room, walk-in dressing room, TV, CD player, minibars and en suite bathrooms with free standing baths.
Ocean Front 1 Bedroom Villa
These seven villas line the beach front and offer the most direct access to the beach, with a view over the sea from your veranda and plunge pool. There is a large bedroom and en suite bathroom with free standing bath as well as a comfortable lounge area from which to enjoy the view.
2 Bedroom Garden View Villa
Set in the back part of the resort these ten villas are set within the beautiful gardens and nicely spaced apart so they feel quite private. Access to the beach and main area is through the main reception of the hotel.
There are two bedrooms, one double and one twin, making them ideal for families and each bedroom is en suite. The double bedroom offers a large en suite bathroom with free standing bathtub and shower while the twin room is smaller and just has a shower in the en suite.
Ocean View 1 Bedroom Villa
These seven villas are set in the second row of villas from the beach. Set in mature gardens they feel quite private but also offer interrupted views of the sea from your villa too.
Outside there is a terrace with sun loungers and plunge pool while inside there is a spacious bedroom and bathroom with free-standing bathtub.
Sultans 2 Bedroom Villa
There are five of these villas set in the third row from the beach. They are a great option for families with two bedrooms, one double and one twin and both en suite. The double bedroom is larger and has a spacious en suite bathroom with free-standing bathtub while the twin room is smaller and just has a shower in the en suite. These villas have easy access to the beach and main areas.
Presidential 2 Bedroom Villa
The Presidential Villa occupies the very end of the beachfront and is the largest of the villas here, offering plenty of space and unrivalled privacy at the resort. Both master bedrooms have en suite bathrooms with free standing bathtubs. The large plunge pool out front has beautiful views over the Indian Ocean.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
Facilities at Baraza are extensive and include a swimming pool, spa, tennis court and fitness centre. The water sports centre offers a wide array of activities including sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. As the beach is very tidal, swimming and other water activities are only possible at high tide. At low tide you can walk out to the reef in reef shoes or cycle along the beach.
Diving can be arranged from Baraza using the Rising Sun Dive Centre which is fully PADI certified. Rising Sun are the only PADI 5 Star Gold Palm and National Geographic Dive Centre in Zanzibar and have been operating off the East Coast for 12 years. Diving is available for complete beginners to more experienced divers and all dives are operated in groups of no more than six people. For more information please go to www.risingsun-zanzibar.com
Food & drink
There are three restaurants at Baraza all offering slightly different options, and open at different times of the day. Evening meals are either set menu or buffets.
The Livingstone Terrace is an open air restaurant where breakfast is served daily from 7:30am to 10:00am. Dinner is also served in this venue on certain nights of the week.
The Ocean Lounge Bar & Restaurant Sebule is where delicious fresh lunches are served between 12:30 and 2:00 pm. It is a buffet restaurant which offers a wide selection of light fare, a tandoori oven, salad bar, pizza oven as well as a daily menu featuring the chef's specials.
The Bar and Lounge are open from 10am to 6pm and afternoon tea is served daily from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. Cocktails can be enjoyed from the Dhahabu Bar & Lounge which is open in the evenings. Finally the Sultans Dining Room offers a stunning setting for evening meals.
The beautiful Frangipani Spa at Baraza is the perfect place to escape and enjoy a day of pampering. With a lap room with underwater music, indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms and the Sultans bath you can expect to leave feeling thoroughly rejuvenated and relaxed.
The décor of the spa mixes Swahili influences with the spices of the island and the overall impression is decadent and luxurious. There is a whole host of treatments provided by professional therapists from Thailand, Bali and India all using high quality natural products that make use of the local spices available.
Selous Game Reserve
Location: Selous Game Reserve
The Selous stretches for over 45,000 square kilometres. It is Africa’s largest game park, yet is visited by few travellers. Meandering through the plains and woodlands, the Rufiji River gives rise to a labyrinth of streams, channels and pretty lakes — it’s a delicate water paradise. Skeletal leadwood trees stand in glassy lagoons where terrapins make ripples on the surface. There are perfect pods of hippo, rainbow-coloured birds and flitting butterflies on yellow cassia flowers. It is a vast wilderness area and superb for photography.
There is abundant game in the reserve, with Africa’s largest buffalo and lion populations, good leopard and thriving packs of wild dog. Wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, greater kudu and eland are all common. In the heat of the afternoon, herds of over 50 giraffe drink from the lakes while elephant herds cross the channels to the lush islands.
Boat trips are a speciality in the Selous, and floating idly on the water is magical. You will see yellow-billed storks nesting in borassus palms, baboon at the water’s edge and white-crowned plovers cleaning the teeth of crocodiles.
The riverine forest is perfect for gentle rambles in search of blue samango monkeys and black and white colobus. Driving in open 4x4 safari vehicles, you’ll see plenty of game but few other vehicles. With only a handful of small camps, the Selous is a very peaceful park.
Selous Riverside Safari Camp
Accommodation: Selous Riverside Safari Camp
Selous Riverside Safari Camp comprises 10 tented chalets and is located on the bank of the Rufiji River which flows through the reserve. The tents are spacious and colourfully furnished and are built on raised platforms with thatched roofs. All are en suite with running hot and cold water and flush toilets. Each has a shady veranda which is perfect for relaxing across the heat of the day and watching game down by the river. Four of these tents are deluxe tents which are larger in size and each have a private plungepool at the front, overlooking the river where you can watch the birdlife and occasionally people from the local village fishing from their boats.
The camp's dining deck looks right over the river and breakfast time is great for spotting hippo and crocodile in the water. There is also a shady pool area, again with views over the river, which provides a lovely respite from the heat of the day in between game activities. The camp is situated just outside the Selous Game Reserve, but all activities take place in the reserve which is a 20 minute drive away. Guests can choose from game drives in open 4x4 vehicles, boat trips on the Rufiji River and guided walks.
Day by day
This evening you will take your overnight flight to Dar es Salaam.
On arrival you will be transferred to your light aircraft transfer to the Selous Game Reserve. The flight takes around forty five minutes and you'll get some great views of the Rufiji River and tall borassus palms as you come in to land.
A driver-guide from the camp will meet you at the airstrip and will drive you back to the camp.
Today you can take your pick from game viewing activities from your camp - choose from game-drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris. A game drive is a great way to explore more of the Selous, and see some of the larger animals which live there.
Another day choosing from various game viewing activities from your camp including game-drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris.
Today is your final day of game viewing activities.
This morning you be taken back to the airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Zanzibar.
You will be met on arrival and driven to the beautiful east coast past colourful villages and spice plantations. You will stay at the stunning Baraza Resort and Spa, where you will have ample time to relax following your safari.
A day at leisure to enjoy Baraza. Enjoy some of the many water activities available including Coral Garden walks and snorkelling.
Another day at leisure. Why not explore a little more of Zanzibar by taking a trip to Stone Town or exploring Jozani Forest.
Days 9 - 12
This afternoon you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight home.
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