Arrive in Dar es Salaam, meaning “Haven of Peace” in Swahili. You’ll be met and transferred to the Holiday Inn. The remainder of the day you are free to rest or explore on your own.
Transfer to the airport for flight to Mikumi National Park, arriving in time for lunch and a siesta before your evening game drive. Mikumi is part of the Selous ecosystem and consists of a plain surrounded by mountains with the Ulugurus and Udzungwas to the south east and north east and the Ruhumero mountains to the west. Four major vegetation zones converge in Mikumi, and there are 60 different mammal species, 400 bird species, and over 1200 plant species. Foxes Safari Camp offers 360 degree panoramic views of the Mwanambogo water hole – a favourite haunt for hippo, water fowl, kingfisher, ibis, goliath heron, giraffe, buffalo and elephant. Using open game viewing vehicles you will also have the chance to see lion, leopard, elephant, crocodile, hippo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and varied antelopes, sable, colobus monkey and blue wildebeest (of the Nyassaland variety) on your drives.
Awake to bird song and early morning tea. Choose from a full day game drive with a packed lunch, exploring the hills and miombo woodland in pursuit of the elusive sable antelope and the endangered wild dog. Or remain on the plains to see lion hunts and leopards. Return to for lunch and a swim then start again in the afternoon. Guides can also tell you about the study of yellow baboons that has been taking place at Mikumi. Overnight at Foxes Safari Camp.
Continue to explore Mikumi with morning and afternoon game drives or venture further afield to the Udzungwa Mountain National Park for trekking in the rainforest. After walking under the rainforest canopy you emerge at the top of Sanje waterfalls to breathtaking views over the rift valley below and the Selous ecosystem beyond. You often hear the calls, shrieks, and whistles, well before seeing the various endemic birds and primates. It is possible to walk from miombo fire maintained sub-climax woodland through the lowland forest of the rift valley floor to submontane and pristine montane forests in one day. You may well see monkeys as you go - blue, vervet, black and white colobus and the red hehe colobus - as well as the endemic Sanje Crested Mangabey also found only at Udzungwa. Overnight at Foxes Safari Camp.
Transfer to airstrip for flight to Ruaha National Park. You will be met in an open game viewing vehicle for the drive up the river to the lodge. Ruaha is the largest national park in Africa, with species associated in both southern and eastern Africa: Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu, striped hyena, greater kudu, Lichenstein’s hartebeest, roan antelope etc. The park has dramatic mountainous scenery and varied topography, ranging from the grassland plains - with cheetah and gazelle; - riverine forests - refuge to the delicate dik dik and bushbuck as well as hippo and crocs; Baobab-covered rocky kopjes - home to elephant, klipspringer and leopard. There are also a staggering 1600 plant species and 526 bird species. Ruaha River Lodge is positioned to give spectacular views up and down the river. Wildlife amasses along this limited water resource and you can you can sit on your private veranda and watch giraffe, impala, greater kudu and warthogs come to drink.
Awaken to a chorus of birds and Egyptian geese by the water’s edge. Take breakfast in the riverside dining room or the main bar and restaurant set amongst the rocks and baobabs at the top of a rocky kopje. Morning and afternoon game drives will explore the river both upstream and downstream allowing you to return to the lodge for lunch. Or you could take a full day game drive onto a plateau of miombo woodland favoured by sable antelope. Or a full day's drive following the Great Ruaha River to the treeless plains, with the chance of spotting cheetah and gazelle. Look out for leopards in the Acacia branches or try to spot the lions resting beneath shaded bushes. Overnight at Ruaha River Lodge.
Accompany guides, and an armed ranger, on an early morning walking safari to the Nyamakuyu rapids or one of the hippo pools along the river. The guide will interpret the night’s dramas from the tracks left along the walk and this will let you experience the thrill of getting up close to game on foot. You'll also see ingenious traps set by ant lions, concealed baboon spiders - and may be pestered by the honey guide. Sundown drinks by a hippo pool watching them submerge for minutes at a time, and seeing monster crocs lie on the sand bars. Overnight at Ruaha River Lodge.
Transfer to Mbegani near Bagamoyo Town on the coast and then take a short boat ride to Lazy Lagoon. Bagamoyo is steeped in history; the 19th century slave trade was rife in this area. Lazy Lagoon island is 3km off shore from the mainland, its sand spit protected by coral and is only accessible by boat. The Lazy Lagoon Lodge has been designed to preserve the fragile ecosystem. The beach allows swimming at all tides and there are kayaks, snorkelling equipment, sailing dinghy and windsurfers.
The transfer in reverse (boat then road) takes you back to Dar es Salaam airport for your check in.
Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration,
Reputedly having the densest population of lions in Tanzania and if so the world, chances of seeing all of the "Big Five" within a single day are as high as they get