If going on safari is all about getting away from it all, then a luxury safari in southern Tanzanian raises this to an art form. In contrast to the northern part of the country, southern Tanzania receives relatively little attention – which is a shame, as it certainly merits being noticed. This does, however, mean a more intense wilderness experience, far from the madding crowd. And remote needn’t equate to roughing it; although you’ll leave the beaten track far behind, there are some wonderful luxury lodges and camps where you’ll be more than comfortable.
I’ve always loved spending time in this region’s two great wildlife areas: the immense Selous Game Reserve (almost the size of Croatia) and Ruaha National Park. The Selous is the place in all of Africa where I’ve had the most luck spotting wild dog. And if you still have a hankering after treehouses, you can experience sleeping in one in the Selous.
The Rufiji River loops through the Selous, winding its way between sand bars festooned with Nile crocodile. Exploring the river’s delta by boat is a great way to see these reptiles, as well as the many hippo that live here. Birders are in for a real treat, with many jewel-like species flitting in and out of the mangroves.
Ruaha promises prime elephant viewing, especially when the seasonal Ruaha River is low. Fly camping offers the chance to really get under the skin of the place – nothing beats sitting around a campfire after a game drive, before sleeping under canvas and a million stars.