In Tanzania's most secluded corners, we find the most luxury-focused private safari camps in Africa. Small planes drop you off far from the nearest travelers, ensuring the spectacle that is Tanzania's wildlife can be enjoyed in peace and privacy. This itinerary is truly a privilege for even the most experienced safari traveler.
Soon after we land in Dar es Salaam, local staff will whisk you away to your hotel accommodation for overnight; situated in a quiet part of the city. Rest up after your long travel day.
Dar es Salaam is the bustling commerical capital of Tanzania, situated along a natural harbor on the Indian Ocean. The city is a melting pot of diversity, blending African, Indian and Arab influences to create a unique urban culture.
A morning flight from Dar es Salaam Airport takes us south-west to the Selous Game Reserve. Enter Africa's largest protected area uninhabited by man, where Tanzania's greatest population of elephants wander in an area bigger than Switzerland! The Selous (pronounced “Seloo”) is considered important enough to be a World Heritage Site, in which the lucky few can experience a safari in absolutely wild and unspoiled bush. You will be met at the airstrip for your private guide and open, private vehicle for game drive to camp for a scrumptious lunch. You will enjoy a private afternoon game drive, before returning for sundowners. The tented villas are a haven of rest and relaxation overlooking the tranquil rapids of the Great Ruaha River and our resident hippo. Their unique 'eco-chic' design offers something very different and fresh and feature handmade items from community based projects.
All game drives are in private, custom made 4 x 4 vehicles that have open sides and raised seating, ideal for comfortable game viewing and photography. A private vehicle is ideal so that the whole experience of coming to stay with us is a very intimate one. On arrival you are introduced to your guide who will be showing you the wonderful Selous for the duration of your stay. Due to the hot dry climate of the Selous games drives are best taken early in the morning or at dusk and can be accompanied by a sunrise bush breakfast or sundowner picnic.The park is named after an Englishman, Frederick Courtney Selous - conservationist, hunter, explorer and author, whose adventure books on Africa became best sellers in Victorian England. The park varies from rolling grassy woodlands and plains, to rocky outcrops cut by the Rufiji River - the lifeblood of the park, whose tributaries form a network of lakes, lagoons and channels. Volcanic hot springs even burst forth in places. The Rufiji offers a superb method of game viewing especially during the dry season when animals congregate.
Selous contains about one third of all the wild dogs (often called painted dogs), in the world. Their need to roam vast areas and their formidable hunting skills have caused many to be shot by farmers, but here in Selous they have boundless woodlands and savannahs in which to roam. Along the Rufiji River, an array of grazing antelopes, crocodiles and hippos are commonly seen as well as black and white colobus monkeys in the riverine forests. During the dry season from June to October, the concentration of animals along the river is astonishing. Linked to the Rufii is Lake Tagalala where waterbuck, reedbuck and bushbuck gather at the water's edge. Magnificent sickle-horned sable and curly-horned greater kudu tend to keep to the longer grass and wooded shrubby areas.
We join a mid-morning flight from Sumbazi airstrip and pass other airstrips enroute to Arusha. Soon after we land in Arusha, Legendary Coffee Lodge staff will whisk us away to our lodge; surrounded by lush tropical gardens and a century old coffee estate. There are twelve luxurious, colonial-style cottages with Afro-European architecture and décor. With transporting views of Mt Meru, the cottages are your own personal retreat with a unique combination of amenities and stunning elements. Time for pre-dinner drinks to await the delicious fair that awaits on the dinner table.
Arusha is the gateway to Tanzania's northern circuit, serving as a base for Kilimanjaro treks and safaris into Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater. Transport hub aside, Arusha also offers opportunities for further exploration including day trips to Arusha National Park, canoeing tours on Momella Lake and Meru coffee plantation visits. Alternatively, for those looking to simply rest and recover from jet lag - this is the perfect place to relax and recharge before embarking on your African adventure!
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast and guided walk in the gardens of the lodge. Following an early lunch, we are transported to an afternoon flight from Arusha Airport taking us west to Tarangire National Park.
Located in the Great Rift Valley System, Tarangire is known for its massive elephant herds, true sense of wilderness and backdrop of baobabs. During our game drives out of our southerly located Swala Camp, we’ll marvel at our first good looks at what is probably one of Africa’s largest population of free-ranging elephants, along with the cape buffaloes, impalas, giraffe, zebras, and wildebeest who— in addition to some big cats and two score or more other mammal species—make their domicile in and around the park.
Tarangire National Park is one of the most diverse in Tanzania, situated in the north-western corner of Tanzania’s Masai Steppe, east of The Great Rift Valley and covering an area of 1,360 sq km. The region boasts large herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as an impressive concentration of big cats. Arguably, Tarangire offers the best bird diversity in East Africa, with more than 500 species. But there’s more to this incredible place than the game and birds. The rugged landscape offers a unique safari backdrop, that transforms from rolling grasslands and vibrant swamps, to forests of enigmatic baobab trees. According to legend, the trees were planted ‘upside down’ for growing too tall and proud.
In the heart of Maasai country and a remote corner of the Tarangire, in total seclusion among giant acacia trees and looking out beyond the flat savannah, Swala Camp offers a very exclusive safari experience. The picturesque landscape is filled with ancient baobab trees, ambling elephants and birds in flight. Built to the highest eco-friendly standards, this camp has a particularly low-carbon footprint. Each of the twelve canvas pavilions is shaded by tall acacia trees and all are within sight of the well frequented water hole. They are unashamedly luxurious and exquisitely furnished but still close enough to nature to permit an exciting night under canvas. The tents feature a spacious open plan arrangement with comfortable king or twin beds, campaign chairs and plush sofas and boasts an en-suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower for that extra bit of luxury. Sip cocktails or enjoy scrumptious dinners on your own private veranda and watch the waterhole which regularly draws lions, leopards and resident bull elephants while your own personal attendant caters for your every need.
After a morning game drive and breakfast you make a memorable flight northwest, to an airstrip on the Manyara Escarpment. From here you will meet your Crater Lodge transfer driver to escort you up the winding road to the fabled Lost World of the Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic bowl abounding with life and beauty, unknown to the outside world until 1892 (which helps account for its wealth of wildlife, everything from a burgeoning lion population to fine stands of flamingos).
Our lodge, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, is perched on the gigantic crater’s rim, allowing us to gaze at the flat, 100-square-mile crater floor hundreds of feet below. Ngorongoro is one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas; Ngorongoro’s floor, down to which we’ll wind our way for a full-day game drive tomorrow, is a mesmerizing, eventful place.
Ngorongoro Crater is one of Tanzania's most amazing sights: a collapsed volcano which forms an incredible natural amphitheater, 25 km (16 mi) across and teeming with all of the African big game. Many of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino can be seen grazing on the open grassland of the crater floor surrounded by some of the 20,000 large animals that occupy the crater, including lion, cheetah, eland, zebra and gazelle. Flamingo, among other bird species can often be seen feeding at Makat soda lake. This is an area of spectacular beauty and superb game viewing, a truly unique safari destination.
We take part in an early morning game drive before returning for lunch and resting. An estimated 25,000 mammals are resident in the Crater, including large herds of resident wildebeest, 16 highly endangered black rhino and around 70 lion. Nomadic cheetah move in and out of the area and leopard are most often encountered in the Lerai Forest. Both golden and black-backed jackal are abundant, while the normally shy and nocturnal serval are frequently spotted during daylight hours. Vast numbers of buffalo, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle also occur. While the grasses are short in winter, it is easy to spot even caracal.
After breakfast, road transfer to Manyara airstrip for our charter flight to a private game reserve, north-western Serengeti.
Only 10 minutes from the airstrip is Singita Sasakwa Lodge. Located in the Grumeti Reserves , the area forms part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. The view from the lodge’s spacious veranda is almost endless over the majestic Serengeti plains below. A sense of grandeur is woven throughout the turn-of-the-century manor house and private cottages through a blend of authentic European style and East African influences. Spanning over 350,000 acres of untouched wilderness, this magnificent conservancy is ideally positioned on the renowned migratory route traversed annually by more than a million wildebeest. Afternoon game driving in open vehicles allows us an introduction to these incredible lands.
Criss-crossed with forested river valleys, and vast plains, the Serengeti plays home to millions of Africa’s large mammals, making this one of the world’s most famous wildlife destinations. In addition, since the Ndutu region is not part of the actual Serengeti National park boundaries, the rules and regulations regarding game driving are much more flexible. Get up close and personal with the wildlife here like no where else in Tanzania.
Daily game drives with professional guides and trackers provide the perfect opportunity to get up close to Africa’s incredible animals, while spot lit nighttime drives reveal the elusive magic of nocturnal Africa. During your stay, you are likely to spot a great variety of wildlife including cheetah, bearded wildebeest, bat eared fox, black rhino, Maasai giraffe, lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and zebra. Spanning over 350,000 acres of untouched wilderness, Grumeti Reserve demonstrates high quality game viewing while staying in a lodge that is ideally positioned on the renowned migratory route traversed annually by more than one million wildebeest.
At Sasakwa, there are many other activities to partake in: equestrian center, environmental education center, shopping in the boutique & gallery, premier wine tasting, spa, gym & swimming. Split your day with game driving and be sure to enjoy the lodge's alternate activities.
As for the migration, it is difficult to predict exactly where the wildebeest herds will be any given time because the movement depends so much upon the weather patterns that occur naturally throughout the year. But generally over the year, herds move from the greener and wetter southern and eastern plains from November to March and to the drier northern areas of the parks (north and south of the Mara River) from May to October.
The Grumeti Reserve was established in 1994 by the Tanzanian government in order to preserve the direct pathway of the famous Wildebeest Migration, the indigenous flora and fauna species and the vast, important eco-system. In 2002, The Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund was granted 350,000 acres for the purpose of preservation and creating low-impact tourism opportunities to be able to maintain the area for the future of Tanzania. The area is home to the big cats and many other large mammal species, along with smaller mammals and excellent birding opportunities. It is hard to leave this African wilderness paradise.
After breakfast, road transfer to Singita airstrip for our charter flight to the Tanzanian coast, north of Dar es Salaam. This is one of Tanzania’s new national parks but allows for some varied game viewing and experiences.
The lodge itself is located in a pocket of lush rainforest, bordering the Wami River. Our suite is a private villa with its own infinity pool , two bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room and dining room. Saadani National Park begins from the ocean and moves into the salty mangroves of temporary dams and waterholes. The park is the only place north of Dar es Salaam where Green Sea Turtles arrive to lay eggs in their historical rookery. End your day with a cruise up the tidal Wami River and sundowners among the incredible birdlife like kingfishers, fish eagles and wading birds (and crocs!)
Saadani village once was an important harbor-town and slave trading center in east Africa. Now it is a small Swahili fishing village with about 800 inhabitants whose livelihood is mostly fishing. Other villages adjacent to the park make their living through farming, especially coconut growing. After periods of Portuguese and Arab domination, the region gained importance in 18th and 19th centuries following a rising international demand for ivory and slaves. Saadani's and Bagamoyo's caravan trade declined at the end of the 19th century while Dar es Salaam rose to be the most important trading center of the coastal region. Commercial production along the coast, such as rice, sugar and copra, which were exported to Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean, disappeared after the German invasion. These were replaced by cash crops such as coffee, cotton and sisal for the European market.
The location of the accommodation allows for exploration from east to west, the open ocean with coral reefs changes to brackish water ecosystem characterized by mangrove forest, salt pans and bare saline areas. The Wami River is the most important fresh water source beside numerous temporary rivers and dams and cruising by boat demonstrates the vast array of wildlife species to view.
Wake to the sounds of extraordinary birdlife. Early morning game driving into the heart of the park—explore endemic bird species, large mammals and a unique habitat not seen in other national parks in Tanzania. Even the walk from your suite to the main dining areas will offer a wonderful look into the high number of unique species that are found at Saadani.
After lunch, transfer to airstrip for flight to Dar es Salaam and assisted transfer to departing international flight.
The Oyster Bay is like staying with friends; a beautiful large home and garden with eight luxurious ocean facing guest suites, spacious in the extreme (70 sqm) with luxurious bathrooms, air-conditioned, fabulously furnished in contemporary African style, the suites reflect modern day Africa in a timeless setting – balmy, equatorial, coastal, Dar es Salaam. You will feel that you are staying somewhere special and that your ‘enforced’ stay in Dar es Salaam becomes yet another highlight of your holiday. Extensive lounges and terraces overlooking mature gardens, swimming pool and within secure walking distance of the Oyster Bay shopping center.
If you are looking for an authentic African safari that is stylish, personal and filled with lots of wow factor then Azura Selous is exactly what you are looking for. There is nothing like Azura Selous in terms of style or concept in southern Tanzania, the Selous really is the best kept secret waiting to be discovered. The design of the lodge offers wow factor on every level. There is a stunning infinity pool overlooking the river rapids at the uniquely designed main camp area, and its 12 air conditioned tented villas offer every creature comfort as well as opulent stone bathrooms and private plunge pools. Guests here love the location which feels like a private concession as you are unlikely to see another car during your entire stay. The whole beauty of being 4 / 5 hours drive away from most of the other Selous lodges gives Azura Selous a competitive advantage to offer guests a truly authentic and special safari experience.
Lying on the gentling rolling foothills that cascade down from the ever-present Mount Meru is the bustling and vibrant town of Arusha. It is here on the outskirts of this town, hidden among one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations, that you will find Arusha Coffee Lodge, a perfect haven for relaxation either before or after any safari. Comprised of 30 Plantation Houses – including 12 Plantation Suites – that radiate out into the evergreen coffee fields, Arusha Coffee Lodge has been designed around the original landowner’s home that dates back to the early 1900’s.
In the heart of Maasai country and a remote corner of the Tarangire, in total seclusion among giant acacia trees and looking out beyond the flat savannah, Sanctuary Swala offers a very exclusive safari experience. The picturesque landscape is filled with ancient baobab trees, ambling elephants and birds in flight. Built to the highest eco-friendly standards, this camp has a particularly low-carbon footprint. Sanctuary Swala is actively involved with the community through a unique beekeeping project and a special needs school situated in Arusha.
Guests can be forgiven for losing track of which era, or even continent, they are experiencing at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Divided into three camps, 30 stilted suites with banana leaf ceilings and grass roofs provide an intimate and exclusive Crater experience. Each camp has its own sitting and dining areas, with private butlers who provide warm, personal service. Brocade sofas and Persian rugs invite you to re-live the day’s experiences around a roaring fire. The domed dining room, where sparkling silver and crystal vie for attention with the huge windows and awe-inspiring views. Nowhere else on earth can you wake up among all the trappings of an elegant baroque chateau - brocade sofas, gilt mirrors, beaded chandeliers and panelled walls - and be instantly transported into one of the most famous African landscapes with just one glance out the window of the lodge. In this place of dramatic contrasts, where Versailles meets Maasai, anything is possible and the natural beauty of the setting ensures the dramatic interior of your suite blends perfectly with its stilted thatch architecture.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge is located in the Grumeti Reserves in northern Tanzania, and forms part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. The view from the lodge’s spacious veranda is almost endless over the majestic Serengeti plains below. A sense of grandeur is woven throughout the turn-of-the-century manor house and private cottages through a blend of authentic European style and East African influences. Sasakwa Lodge holds special appeal for those with a passion for refined splendor, ensconcing its guests in comfort, luxury and old-world elegance. From this superb vantage point, one can become absorbed in the marvel of an abundance of wildlife, including the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest, widely known as the greatest natural spectacle on earth.
The 17 stilted suites of Sanctuary Saadani River Lodge are the epitome of ‘luxury, naturally’, built for rest and relaxation on the southern shore of the Wami River close to the Saadani National Park. The guest tree houses blend into the natural scenery on their stilts with traditional thatched roofs. The lodge offers guests a range of activities including game drives and river excursions. The in-house spa provides indulgent massages to enjoy between activities.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.