Selous-Zanzibar: An African Adventure
If you’re looking for an African adventure that combines wildlife, nature, and culture, a journey from Selous to Zanzibar is an excellent choice. This itinerary takes you through Tanzania’s largest game reserve, a scenic coastal town, and one of Africa’s most captivating islands. In this article, we’ll provide you with a detailed guide on how to plan a trip from Selous to Zanzibar, including where to stay, what to see, and how to get there.
Getting to Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is located in southern Tanzania, approximately 220 km west of Dar es Salaam. The reserve covers an area of over 50,000 square kilometers and is home to a vast array of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and hippos.
To get to Selous Game Reserve, you can either fly or drive. If you choose to fly, there are regular flights from Dar es Salaam to Selous. The flight takes approximately 45 minutes. If you prefer to drive, it will take you around six hours from Dar es Salaam.
Selous Game Reserve: An Overview
Selous Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in Tanzania and one of the largest in Africa. It was named after Frederick Courtney Selous, a British explorer, and hunter who was killed in the reserve during World War I.
The reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned for its diverse habitats, which include woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. The Rufiji River flows through the reserve, providing a vital water source for the wildlife.
Best Time to Visit Selous Game Reserve
The best time to visit Selous Game Reserve is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes, making them easier to spot. The wet season, which runs from November to May, can make some areas of the reserve inaccessible due to flooding.
What to Do in Selous Game Reserve
There are plenty of activities to do in Selous Game Reserve, including game drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris. Game drives are the most popular activity and can be done either in the morning or afternoon.
A boat safari on the Rufiji River is an excellent way to see hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of birdlife. Walking safaris are also available and provide a unique opportunity to get up close to the wildlife.
Where to Stay in Selous Game Reserve
There are several accommodation options in Selous Game Reserve, ranging from luxury lodges to budget-friendly campsites. Some of the most popular lodges include Selous Serena Camp, Siwandu Camp, and Sand Rivers Selous.
Getting to Mikumi National Park
Mikumi National Park is located approximately 300 km west of Dar es Salaam and is easily accessible by car. The journey from Selous to Mikumi takes approximately 5 hours. You can also take a domestic flight from Dar es Salaam to the nearby town of Iringa, followed by a short drive to the park.
Mikumi National Park: An Overview
Mikumi National Park is one of Tanzania’s most accessible and affordable parks. It covers an area of 3,230 square kilometers and is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, zebras, and giraffes.
The park is situated along the Tanzam Highway, which connects Tanzania and Zambia. The park’s proximity to the highway makes it an ideal stopover for travelers on their way to other parts of Tanzania.
Best Time to Visit Mikumi National Park
The best time to visit Mikumi National Park is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the animals congregate around the waterholes, making them easier to spot. The wet season, which runs from November to May, can make some areas of the park inaccessible due to flooding.
What to Do in Mikumi National Park
Game drives are the most popular activity in Mikumi National Park. The park has several well-maintained tracks that allow visitors to explore the park’s diverse habitats. Walking safaris are also available, but they must be accompanied by an armed ranger.
Where to Stay in Mikumi National Park
There are several accommodation options in and around Mikumi National Park. Some of the most popular lodges include Vuma Hills Tented Camp, Mikumi Wildlife Camp, and Stanley’s Kopje.
Getting to Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an archipelago located off the coast of Tanzania. The easiest way to get to Zanzibar is by air. There are regular flights from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, which take approximately 20 minutes.
Zanzibar: An Overview
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania and is known for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and historic architecture. The island has a rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its food, music, and festivals.
Best Time to Visit Zanzibar
The best time to visit Zanzibar is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. The weather is dry and sunny during this time, making it ideal for beach activities and water sports. The wet season, which runs from November to May, is characterized by short bursts of rain and high humidity.
What to Do in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, culture, or adventure. Some of the most popular activities include:
- Exploring Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its narrow alleys, old buildings, and colorful markets.
- Visiting the Spice Plantations, which produce a variety of spices, including cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Relaxing on the beaches of Nungwi, Kendwa, and Paje.
- Snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters of Mnemba Atoll.
- Taking a dhow cruise to explore the coastline and watch the sunset.
Where to Stay in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Some of the most popular resorts include Zuri Zanzibar, Breezes Beach Club and Spa, and The Residence Zanzibar.
A journey from Selous to Zanzibar is a perfect combination of wildlife adventure and beach relaxation. Mikumi National Park offers visitors the chance to see some of Tanzania’s iconic wildlife, while Zanzibar provides the perfect escape with its pristine beaches and rich cultural heritage.
When planning your trip, it’s important to consider the best time to visit each destination. The dry season, from June to October, is the best time to visit both Mikumi National Park and Zanzibar. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, making it perfect for both wildlife viewing and beach activities.