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Such is the quality of Tanzania's northern safari circuit that the country's other reserves are often overlooked by the tourist industry. Nevertheless, its under-publicized southern safari circuit ranks among the finest in Africa. There's Selous, the world's biggest game reserve (about the size of Switzerland), home to the largest surviving populations of elephant, buffalo, sable antelope and African wild dog, alongside substantial numbers of lion, black rhino, giraffe, zebra and puku. A highlight of Selous is the hippo's-eye view of proceedings afforded on a boat excursion along the mighty Rufiji River, while guided game walks frequently ...

Such is the quality of Tanzania's northern safari circuit that the country's other reserves are often overlooked by the tourist industry. Nevertheless, its under-publicized southern safari circuit ranks among the finest in Africa. There's Selous, the world's biggest game reserve (about the size of Switzerland), home to the largest surviving populations of elephant, buffalo, sable antelope and African wild dog, alongside substantial numbers of lion, black rhino, giraffe, zebra and puku. A highlight of Selous is the hippo's-eye view of proceedings afforded on a boat excursion along the mighty Rufiji River, while guided game walks frequently entail thrilling close-up encounters with elephant and buffalo. Two other savannah reserves can be visited as add-ons to Selous, namely the baobab-strewn Ruaha National Park, with its rich variety of predators and antelope, and the fabulously untrammeled and underrated Katavi National Park, which until recently received fewer than 100 tourists annually. West of Katavi, chimpanzee tracking is the main attraction of Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream, which lie on the forested shore of Lake Tanganyika and host a variety of typical central African forest species.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The wettest months of March-May should be avoided. Sept.-Oct. is best for game viewing.