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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

Greater Kudu in Ruaha National Park, TanzaniaRuaha is good for large predators, elephant herds and localized 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.

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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 travelers. 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

    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.

    • Mdonya Old River Camp, Ruaha National Park

      Mdonya Old River Camp


      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.

    • Tent interior at Kwihala


      First Class

      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.

    • View from your tent at Jongomero Camp, Ruaha National Park

      Jongomero Camp


      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.

    • Kichaka tent

      Kichaka Frontier Camp

      First Class

      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, Ruaha National Park

      Ruaha River Lodge


      Ruaha River Lodge is pretty, friendly and has a superb location. It is an ideal base from which to explore the Ruaha.

    • Mwagusi Camp lounge area

      Mwagusi Camp

      First Class

      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.

    • Sand Rivers, Selous Game Reserve

      Sand Rivers


      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.

    • Tent at Lake Manze Camp

      Lake Manze Camp


      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, Selous Game Reserve



      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.

    • Deluxe tent at Selous Kulinda

      Selous Kulinda Camp


      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, Selous Game Reserve

      Selous Impala Camp

      First Class

      Selous Impala Camp enjoys an excellent location within Selous Game Reserve, set on the banks of the Rafiji River.

    • Rufiji River Camp, standard tent

      Rufiji River Camp


      Set on the banks of its namesake, Rufiji River Camp is a perennial favorite 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.

    • Kiba Point, Selous Game Reserve

      Kiba Point


      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.

    • Selous Impala Fly Camping, Selous Game Reserve

      Selous Impala Fly Camping


      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.

    • Private plunge pool at your Beho Beho banda

      Beho Beho


      Beho Beho Camp is a top safari camp and one of our favorites in the country. There are stunning views from everywhere in the lodge and the food and service are excellent.