Southern Tanzania with Selous Safari Company
July 01, 2011
In June 2011, Enchanting-Africa travel consultants spent two weeks visiting the Southern part of Tanzania. On invitation from the Selous Safari Company, the owner of Selous Safari Camp in the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha Camp in Ruaha National Park and the boutique Ras Kutani Lodge, located a few kilometers south of the countries capital city Dar es Salaam.
Imagine being all by yourself by the beach, completely relaxed, lazing about, soaking in the sun….with not a care in the world. That's exactly what happens at Ras Kutani. Blessed with long stretches of wide open beaches ….and very few people, for our brief stay at Ras Kutani we got to experience just that.
The lodge itself has a great location by the beach with a nearby lagoon in a forested area. We enjoyed walking around the lodge bare foot and feeling the white sand get in between your toes. we're already feeling relaxed.
Besides trying out the swimming pool, of course there was the ocean water beckoning to us and long stretches of beach, just begging to be walked….of course we obliged and enjoyed at least an hour of leisurely walking along the beach
Result: relaxation! What a great way to start our Southern Tanzania adventure.
Selous is the 2nd largest game reserve in Africa . Almost twice the size of Belgium and four times larger than the Serengeti, covering 5% of Tanzania's land area. ( 55,000km2).
It was designated a World heritage site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature. Our visit of the Selous was a kin to stepping into a whole different world. Located in the more remote southern parts of Tanzania it is somewhat indeed a different world.
Our visit of the Selous was a kin to stepping into a whole different world. Located in the more remote southern parts of Tanzania it is somewhat indeed a different world.
What strikes you at first is the wildness, hardly any human activity besides the few camps and lodges…that's about all. The rest - pristine wildness.
It's hard to describe how the landscapes in the Selous change quite frequently and almost effortlessly. At one moment you're in grasslands, before it changes to the typical savanna , thereafter extensive miombo woodlands and of course there's the Rufiji River, the largest river in East Africa which drains most of South Western Tanzania's water. It is the lifeblood of the park, whose tributaries form a network of lakes, lagoons and channels……creating a water world. Over the course of 4 days we had a chance to experience each of these landscape diversities that make up the Selous.
Complimenting the beautiful landscapes is the variety of wildlife. This wonderfully diverse, vast and well watered habitat allows the land to hold an unusually high number of animals of all shapes and sizes . On land we had a chance to see lots of giraffe, elephants, buffalo, lions, bush buck, water buck amongst other wildlife while in the water there was always hippos, crocodiles and a rich birdlife…..with over 350 species of birds! The Selous is also home to an estimated 1,300 of the worlds' approximately 4,000 remaining rare wild dogs….probably when you visit you'll get a chance to catch them.
Having had a our fill of the Selous our next stop was Ruaha. Similar in some ways to Selous yet different and unique in its own special way. Lowly bushes and lots of baobab dotted the landscape, quite different from the Selous in this way….yet they had their similarities by the riverside with the ever present hippo pods and lazing crocs. The birdlife again was quite rich and we had a crash course on bird species and their habits……including having an opportunity to see the Ruaha Red billed Horn bill – a newly discovered species unique to the Ruaha!
On game drives we were surprised to see quite a rich variety of game from lions, giraffe , elephants, greater kudu, impala, dik dik , jackels….quite impressive! It was interesting to note that wherever we were the wildlife stopped to watch us! Mmmm…….so who's being watched here? Us or them?
One of our highlights was a very engaging safari walk we took with Moli the Manager of Jongomero, he has the ability of bringing the nature around us to life with his vivid descriptions of the intricate and interesting behaviors of the wildlife and plants. We got into the world of elephants, learning how to interpret their the foot prints, immersed ourselves in the vast empire of termites and discovered the intricacies of courtship and land ownership among dik diks……it's complicated!
Who could have imagined that the little known Southern Tanzania is so alive! You have to discover it for yourself……
Talk to an Enchanting-Africa travel consultant today and before you know it, you too could be discovering these unique and untrodden part of the planet.