Walking with Giants Tanzania
The ultimate walking adventure. Embark on an exhilarating walking safari in Tanzania’s last wilderness frontier, Ruaha National Park, before flying into Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary, Selous Game Reserve to enjoy game drives and motorboat adventures.
Prices: On request
Duration: 8 nights
Availability: June – mid-March
Destinations: Ruaha National Park, The Selous Game Reserve
i) Embark on one of Africa’s truly great walking safaris
ii) Learn and practice the art of tracking game in wild Africa
iii) Explore rarely visited Ruaha National Park for a truly authentic experience
iv) Track elusive nocturnal creatures on night game drives
v) Visit Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary, the Selous Game Reserve
vi) Experience arguably the finest motorboat safari on the continent at the Selous
An itinerary epitomising the true meaning of an ultimate wildlife adventure. With a vast array of activities offering varied wildlife viewing perspectives and a walking safari to rival the best on the continent, this is a trip for those looking for a true African adventure. By visiting Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve guests are guaranteed exceptional wildlife encounters in vast tracts of unexplored wilderness. Wildlife abundance is exceptional, diversity is vast, and the rarest mammals you will encounter are your fellow human beings.
Best time to visit?
So what is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.
There are many variables to consider such as the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and the height of grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, including temperature and rainfall.
For this reason we present detailed information under each individual destination in the locations section to help you understand what may work better for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.
- Game drives
- Night drives
- Walking safaris
- Motorboat safaris
- Star gazing
- Fly camping
- All domestic flights
- 8 nights’ accommodation as stated
- All meals as stated
- All included activities as listed above
- All relevant taxes and surcharges
- Drinks as stated
- International flight to Tanzania
- Airport transfers in home country
- Meals not stated
- Drinks unless otherwise stated
- Applicable VISAS
- Tips and gratuities
- Health innoculations and medications
- Day 1 Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins
Board your overnight international flight from your chosen airport to Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Day 2 TBC, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Receive a warm welcome to Tanzania as you are greeted by your safari representative. Today is a day of leisure for you to choose to spend it how you wish. You may wish to do a little exploring around Dar es Salaam or alternatively you may choose to take advantage of the hotel’s facilities and rest and recuperate before your adventure begins tomorrow.
- Day 3 Kichaka Frontier Camp, Ruaha National Park (B, L, D)
Today marks the start of your safari adventure. Take an early scenic flight out of Dar es Salaam, arriving at Msembe Airstrip in Ruaha National Park by mid-morning. You will be greeted by and introduced to your attentive hosts before getting down to business. The transfer to camp will indeed be your first game drive and depending on sightings may take up to 5 hours. With a fabulous bush lunch and refreshments en route you will arrive at Kichaka Frontier Camp in the late afternoon or early evening. Relax in camp and reflect on the day as you recharge your batteries for a more energetic day the following day.
- Day 4 Kichaka Frontier Camp, Ruaha National Park (B, L, D)
Awake early to the magical sounds of the bush before invigorating your senses with a steaming tray of coffee. After a quick but nourishing breakfast you depart camp to embark on your first walking experience. The walk will last about 5 hours and cover approximately 10 kilometres. The pace is slow and calculated as the purpose is to allow yourself to fall into nature’s rhythms. Test your senses as you begin to learn and observe the natural world on foot and interpret smells, sounds, and signs which all form part of the addictive walking experience.
The afternoon activity provides an option between learning tracking skills, specialist birding activities, and standard game drives to name but a few.
- Days 5-6 Kichaka Frontier Camp, Ruaha National Park (B, L, D)
These next 2 days see another early morning departure on foot after breakfast as we push further into Ruaha’s wilderness. Armed with your new knowledge from the previous day you have the chance to put it to the test. Hone your tracking skills and pit your wits against some of nature’s mightiest beasts. Every footprint, bent blade of grass, dropping, and urine smell must be analysed in detail to provide clues to the whereabouts of particular wildlife.
After lunch in camp the usual afternoon activities will apply and the evening may be spent viewing the African Milky way with the camp’s high powered microscope or tracking nocturnal game on a night game drive.
- Day 7 Roho Ya Selous, Selous Game Reserve (B, L, D)
This morning brings a welcome leisurely start to the day as you wake in time for breakfast. After breakfast embark on the drive back to Msembe airstrip before boarding the light aircraft for your flight to the Mbuya airstrip in the Selous Game Reserve.
On arrival you will be greeted by your hosts and transferred to Roho ya Selous. The camp is located about a 15-20 minutes’ drive from the airstrip but of course the duration could be significantly extended if you are lucky enough to bump into interesting wildlife sightings en route.
Relax in camp and familiarise yourself with your new home before heading out on your afternoon safari activity. The presence of the Rufiji River bisecting the reserve provides the Selous with the advantage of being able to offer water-based activities. The motorboat safari here is recognised as being possibly the best the continent has to offer.
- Days 8-9 Roho ya Selous, Selous Game Reserve (B, L, D)
Enjoy two full days exploring the mighty Selous Game Reserve, the largest wildlife sanctuary in the whole of Africa. Your days will be divided into morning and afternoon safari activities. These are great times to be out in the bush as the wildlife is at its most active before it gets too hot and after it begins to cool a little. As with the wildlife the middle part of the day is for relaxing, whether that be on the front of your tent with a beverage or even in the swimming pool.
If Ruaha couldn’t tame your insatiable appetite for walking in the bush then you are in luck as it is offered here also. However, if you feel you need to diversify your wildlife viewing perspectives then take to the water on a motorboat adventure or enjoy the benefits of covering a lot of ground on a traditional game drive.
- Day 10 The End Of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure
Today is blighted with sadness as all good things must come to an end, at least for now.
Return to Selous Mbuya airstrip for the short 50 minutes hop back over to Dar es Salaam where you will connect with your international flight back to your chosen international airport.
Kichaka Frontier Camp
Ruaha National Park, Southern Tanzania
Overview: Kichaka Frontier Camp is an authentic and intimate camp located deep inside Ruaha National Park, Southern Tanzania. Its appeal is born from its low key design that blends effortlessly into its wild surroundings. The camp has no permanent fixtures meaning the entire operation can be moved without leaving a sign humans had ever inhabited the area. It stands in complete isolation with no evidence of human habitation in the area. The camp offers one of the most intimate and authentic bush experiences in Africa.
Accommodation: With only 3 spacious and well-appointed tents it has space for only a maximum of 8 guests at any given time. Each tent is well appointed with en-suite bathrooms with bucket showers and short drop toilets.
Facilities & Amenities: Public areas include a large and well-appointed mess tent where guests can relax whilst swapping the day’s stories over a cold beverage and three-course meals while being attended to by the friendly and welcoming team.
Power & communication: The camp operates off solar powered energy and has in-room electricity as standard. There is no WiFi or mobile phone network.
Activities: World class walking safaris. Vehicle safaris, night drives, birding, photography, and star gazing are all activities offered at Kichaka.
Children: Minimum of 12 years or older are welcome. Walking safari is limited to persons of at least 16 years of age. The camp is extremely wild and is open to wildlife passing through at any time of day or night so caution is required if you are considering visiting with children.
Roho Ya Selous
Selous Game Reserve
Overview: Roho Ya Selous is located in the very heart of the photographic sector of the Selous Game Reserve. Set on a small peninsula overlooking the water, the camp sits close to a key waterway which links Lake Manze to Lake Nzerakera. Here, pods of hippopotamus wallow and fish eagles perch on branches in search of their next meal. The camp itself cleverly manages to combine a sense of wilderness with home comforts to provide that rare experience of authentic bush luxury.
Accommodation: The accommodation consists of 8 stretch canvas tents, including 1 family tent, measuring an impressive 60 km². Each is equipped with an en-suite bathroom with hot running water, showers and flushing toilets. There is also an outside shower. Unusually for a camp of this nature each tent is fitted with an over-bed evening breeze cooling system to aid comfort in the hotter months.
Facilities & Amenities: The central areas are open and are designed to provide an authentic experience. The camp fire is located close to the water’s edge for guests to enjoy the magical Selous sunsets. There is also a swimming pool to enhance your enjoyment and relaxation.
Power & communication: The camp is powered by solar power with a back-up generator.
Activities: Roho ya Selous, as with most camps in the Selous Game Reserve, provide guests with a variety of safari perspectives. These include game drives in open-sided vehicles, walking safaris, boating safaris, fishing, and fly camping.
Children: Those aged 5 and above are welcome but only those aged 16 years or older are permitted on a walking safari. Having a family tent makes it an appealing camp for families. However, caution should be exercised as the open nature of the camp encourages wildlife to pass through making it potentially hazardous for younger children.
Kichaka Frontier Camp
Ruaha National Park, Southern Tanzania
Roho Ya Selous
Selous Game Reserve
- Special Status: N/A
- Location: Southern Tanzania
- Land mass: 20,226 km²
- Mammal species: Unrecorded
- Bird species: 575
- Big 5 reserve: No (Rhino are absent)
- Game drives
- Night drives
- Premium walking safari
- Fly camping
- Heart-pounding walking safaris approaching large and potentially dangerous game
- Observing rare and elusive nocturnal species on night game drives
- Revel in a truly authentic wild tract of Africa
- Outstanding guiding and tracking
Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in Tanzania and indeed East Africa. With a total land mass of 22,226 km² it is equal in size to the country of Israel. It is also 1.5 times larger than the more illustrious Serengeti National Park in the north of the country but receives only 1% of the smaller park’s annual visitors.
It is located in the south of the country and is one of the southern circuit reserves alongside the Selous Game Reserve. Its remote location and poor accessibility ensure it is predominantly used as a fly-in safari location. The aviation infrastructure serves Ruaha well and it is easily connected to the Selous Game Reserve and the islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago, via Dar Es Salaam. Flights to the northern circuit are also possible, as are twice weekly connections to the western reserves of Mahale Mountains National Park and Katavi National Park.
Although Ruaha is a national park it does benefit from relaxed regulations with usually restricted activities such as night drives, walking safaris, and off-road driving being permitted here.
Ruaha National Park is renowned for its biodiversity due to it being seen as a somewhat ecological transition zone between the archetypal open plains of East Africa and the quintessential miombo woodland of Southern Africa. This ensures the park provides perfect habitat for species suited to both types of ecosystems. The park has solid predator numbers. The famous Ruaha lion prides exceed 20 individuals and specialise in taking down ungulates as large as giraffes. Other well-represented cats include leopard, cheetah, caracal, serval, and African wildcat. The dogs are represented by the presence of bat-eared fox, side-striped jackal and black-backed jackal, as well as one of Tanzania’s densest populations of the critically endangered African wild dog. Three of the four hyena species are present. Spotted hyena are the most abundant but you may get lucky and see striped hyena and the aardwolf. Do not expect to see a brown hyena as their natural range does not extend this far north.
Smaller carnivores present include African civet, blotched genet, common genet, as well as 5 species of mongoose.
Ruaha is renowned for its huge numbers of elephants, the largest populations in Tanzania. Specialist antelope species such as roan and sable are present in the park, as are the largest antelope species, eland. The park also supports smaller antelope such as klipspringer, impala, and Grant’s gazelle. It is the only park to support both lesser kudu and greater kudu. Large ungulates include hippopotamus, giraffe, and Cape buffalo. Despite its huge biodiversity, Ruaha National Park unfortunately isn’t a Big 5 reserve due to the absence of the black rhinoceros.
Best Time To Visit
The climate of Ruaha National Park can be divided into the dry season, wet season, and green season. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.
The dry season runs from June to November, the wet season from December to March, and the green season from April to May. Ruaha is located close to the equator, ensuring temperatures remain pretty consistent throughout the year. Temperatures are ever so slightly cooler from June to August with the warmer months occurring between October and March. However, these slight fluctuations won’t impact your safari either way. Rainfall is at its highest from December to March with scattered showers still being a feature in April and May. However, the persistent heavy rains have passed by this time so rainfall should not impact your enjoyment. June to November is the dry season and there is little chance of rain or even clouds at this time of year.
Wildlife viewing, as with most locations, is more prolific in the dry season and this improves month on month as the season wears on. The dry landscape exposes wildlife and their behaviour becomes predictable as they congregate around permanent water sources. Ruaha National Park is considered to be a dry area with relatively low annual precipitation, therefore wildlife are often not too far from permanent water sources at any time of year.
Unfortunately, the best time to view wildlife coincides with the highest prices of the season. The low season is generally considered to be January to March, some camps then close April and May while others stay open. July to October is the high season with some camps even including the months of June, November and December.
Ruaha is blessed with extremely low tourist numbers throughout the year, therefore crowding around sightings is unheard of. Even sightings of other vehicles is a rarity.
The bush is at its most lush during and soon after the rains. This is usually the best time of year for those wanting to see a large abundance of migratory birds. As the dry season wears on the vegetation dies off and the land takes on a parched appearance.
- Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Location: Tanzania
- Land mass: 54,600 km²
- Mammal species: Unrecorded
- Bird species: 440+
- Big 5 reserve: Yes
- Game drives
- Walking safaris
- Boating safaris
- Fly camping
- World-leading motorboat safari
- Exceptional camps
- A variety of guided activities
- Good wild dog populations
- The largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa with low visitor numbers
The enormous Selous Game Reserve is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. With a land mass of more than 50,000 km² it is larger than the European nation of Switzerland. It dwarfs its more illustrious contemporaries, being four times larger than the Serengeti National Park and almost 3 times larger than Kruger National Park.
It is situated in the southern part of Tanzania. Its geographical proximity to and relatively short flight duration from Dar es Salaam, and therefore the Zanzibar Archipelago ensures it is an ideal destination when designing a safari and beach combination package. It also forms the so-called southern circuit with little visited but mightily impressive Ruaha National Park.
The Selous Game Reserve, although immense in size, only offers a relatively small amount of its land to photographic safaris. The area north of the Rufiji River is known as the photographic area and is open to tourists for regular safari activities. A much larger area of the reserve south of the river remains divided up into hunting concessions. This is something we do not support or feel comfortable about.
The Selous is an excellent choice for those wanting an authentic safari without the throngs of tourists that blight some of the more famous parks across the continent. It supports large numbers of wildlife, however due to its sheer size the densities may not appear as impressive as the parks in the north of the country, namely the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The experience here is more about diversity than abundance, although you certainly won’t be disappointed with the numbers you do manage to see. The reserve is a Big 5 destination and also has all the usual suspects present such as cheetah, giraffe, and the antelope species. The reserve’s real draw is its reputation as being one of the best places on the continent to see African wild dogs. Their densities are greater here than in many other reserves. It is recognised as arguably having the greatest diversity of any other reserve in Africa. This is likely due to its position in an ecological transition zone where the vast open plains of Northern Tanzania and Kenya meet the more woodland type habitats of Zambia. This attracts rarer species such as roan , sable, puku, lesser kudu, and greater kudu.
The presence of the Rufiji River bisecting the reserve lends itself well to water-based activities. The Selous arguably does motorboat safari better than anywhere in Africa. It is this perspective that brings guests up close to huge pods of hippopotamus and Nile crocodiles.
Although geographically close to the international airport at Dar es Salaam guests overwhelmingly elect to fly-in to the Selous due to poor road infrastructure.
Best Time To Visit
The climate of the Selous Game Reserve can be simplified by dividing it into the dry season and wet season. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.
The dry season runs from June to October with the wet season beginning in November and lasting until May. Selous is located close to the equator ensuring temperatures and humidity remain consistently high throughout the year. There is a slight variation leaning towards cooler temperatures and less humidity from June to August with the warmer and stickier months occurring between November and April.
Rainfall is at its highest from December to May with a significant peak in March and April. There is a sharp reduction of rainfall in May before the rains give way to sun and clear skies to mark the dry season in June. The dry season lasts through October until the weather breaks in November. However, this month will often only see short, sharp showers and won’t disrupt your safari in any way.
Wildlife viewing, as with most locations, is more prolific in the dry season and this improves month on month as the season wears on. The dry landscape exposes wildlife and their behaviour becomes predictable as they congregate around water sources.
Unfortunately, the best time to view wildlife coincides with the highest prices of the season. The high season is generally considered to be July to October with the remaining months being considered the low season. All camps close in the wettest part of the year, usually from mid-March through May.
Selous is blessed with extremely low tourist numbers throughout the year, therefore crowding around sightings is unheard of. Even encountering other safari vehicles is a rarity.
The bush is at its most lush during and soon after the rains. This time is usually the best time of year to visit for those wanting to see a large abundance of migratory birds. As the dry season wears on the vegetation dies off and the land takes on a parched appearance.