Southern Circuit Destinations


Southern Tanzania has a vast endowment of tourism assets, which include opportunities for wildlife safaris, hiking, cultural tourism, and other activities. Of southern Tanzania’s many attractions, Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, and the Selous Game Reserve are the most popular. These three protected areas account for more than 75% of visitors to the region (excluding islands off the coast), though this number is still just a small fraction of Tanzania’s total visitors

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve and one of favorite game viewing areas in Africa. Covering 50,000 square kilometers, is amongst the largest protected areas in Africa and is relatively undisturbed by human impact.

Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve is one of its most scenic wildlife destinations; the Selous is utterly beautiful. The beauty of the park is matched by the quality of a safari here; boating, walking and fly camping compliment standard game driving in thriving wildlife areas. This is an outrageously good safari park and an essential component of any southern circuit itinerary.

The Selous is a superb safari destination for both family safaris and African honeymoons, all the better for the ease of getting there and the lack of crowds. The park has the widest diversity of safari activities in the country, offering the boating safaris as well as standard game drives, walking safaris and legendary fly camping trips.


Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park is a wilderness area that combines excellent game viewing with spectacular landscapes. The park’s unexplored ecosystem means that safari experiences are more private and authentic than those in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro. The Great Ruaha River, and the Mwagusi, Jongomero, and Mzombe Rivers are the main source of water for wildlife during the dry season. Waterbuck, impala, and Grant’s gazelle risk their lives for water as the shores of the Ruaha are a permanent hunting ground for lion, leopard, cheetah, jackal, hyena and the rare and endangered African wild dog.


Ruaha National Park is renowned for its excellent wildlife-sighting opportunities. Combined with the low number of visitors, this makes it a spectacular destination.  The wider Ruaha area hosts 10% of the world’s lion population and has been a Lion Conservation Unit since 2005. It’s not uncommon to find prides of more than 20 lion in the park. 

Other predators that can be found in the park include; almost 100 endangered wild dog and leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyena and black back jackal. There are more than 570 species of birds, including the eponymous Ruaha red-billed hornbill. Migrant birds from Europe, Asia, Australia and Madagascar arrive during the rainy season between February and April.

ruaha park
Ruaha National Park leopard