Ultimate Southern Tanzania

16 days, 15 nights
Price Range: $20,394 – $33,243
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)

Start Planning Your Custom Safari
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Perhaps you’ve been on a classic African safari before and are yearning to explore more. Or you’re the seasoned adventurer who gravitates to the planet’s undiscovered treasures. Look no further for your epic safari! Many of Tanzania’s most amazing wildlife sanctuaries are names you’ve never heard of: Selous, four times larger than the Serengeti, with one third of Tanzania's elephant population. Ruaha and Katavi—remote, wild and home to a stunning diversity of animals. The Mahale Mountains, where chimpanzees will enchant you. Visitors here are rare—you should be among them.

Photo of Rick Guthke

Our Expert Says

This safari is the ultimate way to discover the best of the Tanzania that few travelers ever get to see. With most of the attention on the Serengeti, these jewels are still quite undiscovered. The wildlife is fantastic and the landscapes expansive -- from the famous chimps in the dense rainforest to classic big game on the savanna.

– Rick Guthke

Photo: Arusha view image gallery

Day 1: Arusha

Arusha is the safari capital of the world, the jumping-off point for the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro. In the shadow of Mount Meru, where lush forest intersects grassy savanna, Arusha sits within an agricultural region famed for coffee and tea. Originally a German settlement, Arusha today is a lively city with an international flair. Arusha is noted for handcrafts, and the Cultural Heritage Center boasts an array of carvings, paintings, batiks and baskets.

Photo: Katavi Nat'l Park view image gallery

Days 2-4: Katavi Nat'l Park

Isolated in Tanzania's far southwest corner, this little-visited park offers a genuine wilderness experience. The main focus for wildlife viewing is the Katuma River and floodplains. Seasonal lakes draw myriad waterbirds and Tanzania’s densest concentrations of hippo and crocodile. During the dry season, staggering numbers of animals converge on the shrunken river, with thousands of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and impala providing easy pickings for lion and hyena.

Photo: Mahale Mountains view image gallery

Days 5-8: Mahale Mountains

Deep in the African interior, accessible only by boat, lies a range of jungle-cloaked peaks overlooking Lake Tanganyika. These mountains shelter about 800 of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees. Some have been habituated to human contact, providing one of Africa’s most magical wildlife adventures — tracking and watching chimps in their natural habitat. The rainforest is also home to easily observed troops of monkeys and a kaleidoscopic array of birds.

Photo: Ruaha Nat'l Park view image gallery

Days 9-11: Ruaha Nat'l Park

Ruaha may be the most dramatic national park in Tanzania for its combination of spectacular vistas and variety of animals, including 400 bird species. The great Ruaha River is the lifeline supporting vast concentrations of buffalo, gazelle, kudu, roan and sable antelope, and thousands of elephant. The river harbors plentiful hippo and crocodile. Predators include lion, leopard, cheetah and African wild dog. Rarely, however, does one meet other vehicles on game drives in this little-explored landscape.

Photo: Selous Game Reserve view image gallery

Days 12-14: Selous Game Reserve

Four times the size of the Serengeti, little-known Selous is Africa’s largest expanse of uninhabited land. In the languid habitat of this immense coastal plateau, Masaai lions and massive herds of buffalo reside alongside some of the last black rhino in the region and a third of Tanzania's elephants. A raucous array of birdlife animates the hippo and croc-filled marshes of the Rufiji Delta.

Photo: Dar es Salaam view image gallery

Day 15: Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam—"haven of peace" in Arabic—is Tanzania’s largest city, commercial capital and East Africa’s most important port. Founded as a fishing village in 1862 by a sultan from Zanzibar, Dar today reflects a succession of Arab, German, British and Indian influences coloring its native African heritage. Travelers will enjoy its scenic harbor, sandy beaches, historic buildings and, for the adventurous, a visit to frenzied Kariakoo Market.

Photo: Dar es Salaam/Home view image gallery

Day 16: Dar es Salaam/Home

Your safari adventure ends today in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


  • iSafari.com's Africa safari planner cannot precisely calculate the costs of air and land transfers to all camps and lodges as the locations and travel distances vary slightly. With this in mind, your final quote may increase or decrease by a small amount.
  • The estimated rates given for these itineraries are adult rates, but many properties offer reduced rates for children. Please contact our office for more information.
  • Holiday surcharges may apply for travel in late December and early January, and occasionally over the Easter holiday.
  • The authorities at Mahale are considering the implementation of a permit system for chimp trekking. Whether or not the system will be implemented is currently unconfirmed, but trekking permits are estimated to cost $150 per person per trek. The cost of permits has not been included in estimated pricing.
  • Flights between Arusha and Katavi operate every Monday and Thursday only, so this trip must begin on a Sunday or Wednesday in Arusha.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 25% of the trip fee per person is required upon booking to confirm your reservation.


  • All accommodation on a double occupancy basis
  • Meals at camps and lodges
  • Excursions and transfers unless listed as optional
  • Services of the lodge guides and staff unless a NHA Safari Expedition Leader is booked
  • Relevant park fees
  • Alcoholic and soft drink beverages are included at some camps and lodges
  • Laundry service is available at most permanent camps/lodges and hotels; in some cases this service is included in the tariff quoted
  • Air transfers within countries as specified
  • Accommodation taxes, the applicable Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax (VAT) or Government Sales Tax (GST)


  • Travel to the start and end point of the route
  • Generally lunch and dinner in city hotels
  • Alcoholic and soft drink beverages at some camps and lodges
  • Cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
  • Staff gratuities
  • Any newly-implemented government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control
  • Visa fees where relevant
  • International airport departure taxes applicable from manned airports only, which is to be paid in US$ cash on departure unless included in your ticket cost
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Chimp trekking permits if necessary (approximately $150 per person per trek) - please see notes for more details
  • Optional fishing excursion in Mahale $50 per person per excursion