The Southern Circuit  
While the Serengeti has become synonymous with the Northern Safari Circuit, there is also the less well known, Southern Circuit. The southern safari circuit consists of gazette national parks of Mikumi, Saadani and Ruaha. There are also the game reserves of Selous and Udzungwa mountains. Each of these parks or game reserve is unique in its own right.

The parks are huge in size and diverse in their offerings. Both Mikumi and Selous are larger than some countries of the world. Ruaha National Park has been extended to make its ecosystem the largest national park in Africa in geographical terms. Saadani national park is a true gem that offers both beach and bush experience with game viewing to its visitors. Another unique hotspot is the Udzungwa Mountains that are rainforests formed in an era gone by. The forests are home to some endemic species that include the Sanje Crested Mangabey.

Compared to the Northern Circuit, the Southern Circuit is less busy and gives the visitor a feeling of being alone in the wild. The game concentration in the parks and in the protected reserves is just as good as any other park in the North. One notable point is that the parks are not close to each other as is the case with the North, and the visitor has to be prepared for long drives. Another option is to fly between parks and only drive from the lodge for game viewing.

Below is a list of the national parks and the game reserves that offer varied game experiences:

Selous Game Reserve

The Southern Circuit would be incomplete without the mention of the Selous Game Reserve. The reserve has the largest concentration of elephants in Tanzania, and there are also large herds of buffalos, hippos and wild dogs. Unlike many other parks, Selous still has a good number of rhinos. Along the rivers, one can spot the crocodiles basking in the sun. The Rufiji River is at the centre of where most game is to be found. The river offers diversity in what a visitor can do, as it is only in the Selous that one can combine walks, games drives and boat tours.

There are several options for accommodation in Selous. One can choose between a lodge, luxury tented Camp or in the public camp sites.

For accommodation in Selous please click here.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park

For those who love to walk and hike and explore nature, then there is no other place that surpasses the Udzungwa National Park. There are no roads to the park and the only way to explore this gem is on foot. Having no roads does not mean that there are no animals. The park supports herds of elephants and buffaloes. There are also lions, leopards, different types of antelopes and numerous species of primates. For the bird lovers, this park has the highest number of bird species in the whole of Tanzania.

Unlike other parks, there are accommodation facilities inside the park. Accommodation is offered in Mikumi National Park, and daily visits to Udzungwa are offered from here.

Click here for accommodation in Mikumi National Park.

Mikumi National Park

Just about four hours from the capital Dar Es Salaam, lies this small national park in comparison to the others. Though small in size, it has a high density of game as it borders with Selous game reserve. The park itself is made up of the flood plains from the Mkata River.

Mikumi does not boast in size, but it offers a good safari experience as other well known parks in Tanzania. There are large numbers of giraffes, buffaloes and other mammals. The big cats are also represented by the lions and leopards that can be seen close to the waterholes.

For accommodation in Mikumi please click here.


Ruaha National Park

This park has been recently made the largest park in Africa after Usanga Game Reserve was added on to it. With this comes the great herds of elephants that are concentrated along the Ruaha River. The larger ecosystem of the park is over 45, 000 square km. As the size is extensive so is the combination of different aspects of the park, from the plateau, rocky plains to mountain ranges. There are seasonal rivers too, that dry up, during the dry season.

Apart from the elephants, there are wild dogs, buffaloes, lions, cheetah and different types of antelopes. For those who love to watch birds, they too will not be disappointed as there are numerous species of birds.

There is plentiful of accommodation both within and outside of the park.

For accommodation in Ruaha please click here.