• Suggested Trip
    Suggested Trip

All-in-one Safari, Coast and Highlands

Experience the diverse landscapes and wildlife of Tanzania with this 14-day tour itinerary taking you from National Parks to the Highlands, ending with a beach break on the Swahili Coast.

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Itinerary

Day 1

The flight to Mikumi departs at 10:30 and arrives at approximately 12:00 (times may vary with schedule requirements).  The guide from Stanleys Kopje will be at the airstrip waiting to greet you and game drive you through the park stopping for a picnic lunch.  Accommodation at Stanleys Kopje is in large furnished tents with extensive platform veranda and en suite bathroom.

Mikumi National Park nestles between the Uluguru Mountains, the Mikumi Hills and protected land.  The result is a plains area with a beautiful orangey light perfect for photography.  The park has a significant variety of wildlife to view, from the lion, leopard and hunting dog to herds of the antelope from the largest Eland down to the smallest DikDik.  The landscape is a mix of Miombo woodland, arid bushland, coastal landscape all with the mountains forming a scenic backdrop.

Day 2

Enjoy an afternoon game drive which will have been arranged prior to your arrival by the manager.  Game drives are on a shared basis, with groups of 4 or 6 in vehicles..  Larger groups may be accommodated in a single vehicle up to 8.  The afternoon activity departs at 16:00 and returns at dusk in time to freshen up before drinks around the fire.  Alternatively, you can spend the day visiting the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and hike the 600m Sanje waterfall.  Udzungwa is home to 10 primate species, 4 of which are endemic. 

Day 3

The night before the manager will have discussed the options for todays safaris, so you may have chosen an early morning drive (0630-1130) or else have a bit of a lie in and go out after breakfast at 0830 until lunch.  A full day game drive option is also available departing 0830 and returning at 1600 for afternoon tea.

Days 4 - 6

Depart after breakfast to  game drive through Mikumi  to the airstrip for the onward flight to the Southern Highlands.

Arriving at the airstrip at the Southern Highlands you will notice the change in temperature as soon as you step out of the plane.  At this higher altitude of 2000m the air is cool and refreshing after the dusty and more humid low lands.  From the airstrip there is a drive of around 1 hour to the Highland Lodge, this takes you through planted pine forests to the village of Sawala the highest point in the Southern Highlands at 7000ft.  From here, you wind up and down through tea fields and natural montane forest which create patchwork effects of light and dark green.  The tea is still plucked manually in most areas as the slopes are very steep.

Mufindi is a place to relax, enjoy your surroundings or take some high altitude exercise.  Walks are varied, or try horse riding, fishing, golf or tennis; (also croquet, badminton, boules, snooker, canoeing).  A highlight for many is a trip around Igoda village, which is cultural experience unlike any other.  There is no other tourism in this area, and the development of many community projects in these villages has created a strong relationship between the Foxes and the villagers.  The Igoda Children’s Village is a very happy place to visit where children orphaned by HIV/AIDS are cared for; the primary school are always very welcoming to visitors and the children enjoy nothing more than challenging guests to a game of the ubiquitous footie!  Being a largely subsistence economy, many traditional methods are still practiced – pit sawing, brick making, basket weaving.  The witch doctor is also still an influential member of the community using plants and herbs from the forest for many treatments.

Days at Mufindi are at leisure to enjoy the activities or visit the village projects.

Day 7

Depart after breakfast to the airstrip for the onward flight to Ruaha National Park.

Ruaha National Park is the largest Park in Tanzania and lies in the centre of the country.  This beautiful park has an abundance of wildlife in an array of sceneries which gives it a character all of its own.  The Great Ruaha River is the lifeline of the park as it is the only permanent water source in the park.  A full day game drive along the river takes you over rocky kopjes, home to the Greater kudu, Roan antelope and elephant, and winds down along the river bank through open plains, perfect for cheetah and lion, herds of buffalo, warthogs, jackals, bateared Foxes – the list is endless.  The river banks are rich with birdlife, hippos and crocs.  For the more adventurous, above the escarpment lives the more elusive Sable Antelope.

Ruaha is not only the largest park but can also boast a welldeveloped road network, so there are plenty of different drives to explore for morning game drives returning the lodge for lunch.  An afternoon spent on your veranda at the water’s edge, or sitting in one of the 2 bar areas will be an equally enjoyable part of your safari here where the animals wander in front of your room to come down to drink.   An afternoon drive to the hippo pool to catch the sunset makes a perfect end to a day.

Day 8 - 9

During your time staying at Ruaha River Lodge you can choose between half day shared game drives or full day with picnic lunch enabling you to explore further afield in this enormous wilderness.  Game drives are on a shared basis with either 4 or 6/7 in a vehicle.  Private activities are available for a supplement.

Accommodation at Ruaha River Lodge is along the river bank in stone and thatch ‘bandas’ with veranda and en suite bathroom.

Day 10

After breakfast you will depart on a final game drive on your way to the airstrip for the flight from Ruaha to the Swahili Coast.  You land on the mainland, take a short drive down to the beach for the boat crossing over to the island.

Tanzania is blessed with miles of coastline bathed by the Indian Ocean.  Lazy Lagoon Island is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand.  Being a private island 2km out to sea, you are not affected by the long low tide periods that affect the mainland coastline. 

The island is 9km long and the lodge is the only habitation on the island.  We do share the island with some wildlife, notably suni antelope, bush pigs, monkeys and bush babies.  At low tide there is a wonderful display of brightly coloured star fish on the exposed rocks in vivid red, orange and green.  Being offshore the low tide does not leave you miles from the water’s edge, and sea swimming is possible at all tides from the inward side of the island.  There is also a small swimming pool.

For the more active you can explore the island on foot (we are still waiting for someone to get to the other end and back!) or try your hand at kayaking around the Mangroves. Bagamoyo town on the mainland opposite the island was the original port for Tanzania and saw all the Explorers off on their expeditions and the Slave caravans return from the interior.  The history of the town is similar to Stone Town on Zanzibar, with slave market, old Arabic style buildings and the oldest Catholic mission on mainland Tanzania. Guided tours are available around the town and surroundings.

Day 11-13

Lazy Lagoon Island, full board accommodation, boat transfers, use of equipment. Excursions to Bagamoyo and environs can be booked at the Lodge.

Day 14

Transfers back to Dar will be arranged for your convenience.