The Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park are the principal stopping points on Tanzania's less celebrated Southern Safari Circuit. The route is increasing in popularity, especially with seasoned safari goers who are looking for a more wild experience off the beaten track, which these two definitely offer. The Selous is Africa's largest game reserve and has few lodges, and the low number of flights to Ruaha means that you will find far fewer visitors in these parks compared to those further north giving a true feeling of getting away from it all. The game viewing in both is extraordinary and the Selous, in particular, offers a fantastic variety of activities such as walking and boat trips, where Ruaha offers the chance for extended walking and fly camping safaris.
Despite their isolated locations, both parks offer a fantastic range of luxury accommodation to rival the choices in the more popular parks to the North. In the Selous, you can enjoy the splendour of Beho Beho with its wonderfully spacious, open-fronted rooms, lovely swimming pool area and fantastic views from its hillside location. Siwandu has a more traditional safari feel to it and the large lounge area with a thatched roof is the perfect place to relax in the afternoons. It also boasts a smaller private camp which can be taken on an exclusive basis for families or small groups. In the Ruaha, Jongomero offers one of the premier safari experiences in the park and also has its own walking and fly camping operation. This means you can explore the park on foot before setting up camp for the evening and enjoying dinner under the stars.
In the Selous, you will be able to see elephants, buffalos, leopards and large prides of lions as well as wild dogs. As the Selous is a game reserve as opposed to a National Park, you are able to enjoy day and night drives, as well as walking safaris and boat trips along the river so you get real diversity in how you enjoy your game viewing. In the Ruaha, you get similarly strong numbers of predators and the reserve has large numbers of hyenas as well. The really interesting thing about Ruaha is that it has many of the animals that you would more commonly associate with Southern Africa, including rare roans and sable antelopes. Whilst night drives are not permitted in the Ruaha, some camps offer walking safaris and Jongomero has the aforementioned fly camping safaris for you to enjoy.
Ruaha is a really great option if you are looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy one of Africa's most scenic parks.
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