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Tanzania Family Safari - Big Cats of the South

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 3 - 10 people
Destination(s): Tanzania  
Specialty Categories: National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2495 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2745 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Encounter a remarkable diversity of wildlife and scenery on this exciting family adventure safari through Southern Tanzania as you travel in a private 4x4 safari vehicle accompanied by an experienced driver-wildlife guide. Enjoy watching Africa's amazing wildlife in Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks. Then stay in log cabins amidst tea plantations, lake and rivers in the cooling highland air at Mufindi in the Southern Highlands. Finally, fly to your final destination, a relaxing tropical beach stay at Fumba Beach on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.

This Specialist Tanzania Family Safari holiday is based on mid-range lodge accommodation and is ideal for discerning families with older children (8+). If you’d prefer more or less time in any of the locations we include, or if you'd like to upgrade our chosen accommodation, please contact us for a tailored quote. The tour can depart on any date during UK, European and US school holiday and vacation periods (subject to availability). Operating on a private departure basis with a minimum of 3 family members enjoying an exclusive Specialist Tanzania Family Safari - Big Cats of the South.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Safari commences in Dar es Salaam with a four hour drive to Mikumi National Park. A lunch stop will be taken en route at the scenic Mbuyuni Farm close to Morogoro. At the farm you are welcome to stroll around and watch the farm activities. Located between the Rubeho Mountains, Udzungwa Mountains and Rift Valley escarpment to the south west and the Uluguru Mountains to the north east, Mikumi is part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve. There's time to make your first game drive after settling in to camp. Accommodation Foxes Safari Camp. Includes: (L, D).

Day 2: Today you can enjoy two game drives in the park. Various trails criss-cross the park offering the best game viewing trails. Visit the Hippos and numerous water birds at the pools close to the main entrance gate or search for giraffe which forage in the isolated acacias that fringe the Mkata River, an area also favoured by Mikumi's elephants. Accommodation Foxes Safari Camp. Includes: (B, L, D).

Day 3: If your family don't mind spending some time traveling, today you will have the opportunity to take a day trip to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in search of primates (1.5 hours drive each way). Alternatively enjoy another day of game viewing in Mikumi. There are six species of primate in the Udzungwa Mountains. The rare Iringa Red Colobus and the Sanje Crested Mangabey can only be found in these mountains. Buffalo, elephant, red-legged sun squirrel, Red duiker, Abbot's duiker, Livingstone's suni, bush pig, bushbuck, tree frogs, spiders and elephant shrew can also be found within the Udzungwas.

The best way to explore this beautiful rain forest is on foot as there are no roads inside the park. With an extensive network of walking trails available Udzungwa is a hiker’s paradise. We recommend taking the trail to the Sanje Waterfalls. A two hour ascent is quite steep in places but once at Sanje there will be time to explore the waterfalls and swim in one of the plunge pools. The trail can be achieved by active, energetic children and porters can be hired for assistance. Accommodation Foxes Safari Camp. Includes: (B, L, D).

Day 4: Leaving Mikumi drive along the main highway to Iringa, a pleasant small town overlooking the Little Ruaha River. Iringa’s streets are quiet and peaceful, and the market offers a colourful scene of traditional African culture. From Iringa you will continue on the main road heading south towards the hills of Tanzania’s Southern Highlands. At an altitude of over 6,700 feet, Mufindi is a combination of dense montane forest, rugged bushland, lakes, rivers and streams together with pristine tea estates.

The cool air of the highlands offers a respite from the dusty heat of the lowlands. Mufindi Highland Lodge is set on a private 2,000 acre estate close to the spectacular 2,000 feet Rift Valley escarpment edge and is surrounded by rainforest and tea estates. Accommodation is in log cabins overlooking a lake and golf course. Accommodation Mufindi Highland Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).

Days 5 and 6: The next two days are spent at leisure at Mufindi. Options from the lodge include fly fishing, horse riding, mountain biking, bird watching, walking, golf, kayaking, tennis, badminton, croquet and scenic drives. It is also possible to arrange a visit to a local tea factory or orphanage. Mufindi estate is a working farm, providing organically produced meats, dairy products, vegetables and coffee.

After a day's exertion, a long hot soak can be enjoyed before a sundowner on the bar balcony before moving inside to sit around a roaring log fire. Meals of wholesome farm cooking including plenty of freshly-picked vegetables are eaten in the octagonal dining room. For those still with energy there is a snooker table in a separate room. Accommodation Mufindi Highland Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).

Day 7: Today you'll make the final leg of your road journey into the Ruaha. En route stop to visit the Isimila Stone Age Site, one of the most interesting ancient sites in East Africa. Here, just 20 km from Iringa, you can see remarkable red stone pillars (20-30 feet high!) formed as a result of natural erosion over thousands of years. Once an ancient lake bed, the site revealed Stone Age tools alongside the skeletons of pre-historic animals in a major discovery in 1951.

A further 2 hour drive will take you into Ruaha National Park. As soon as you’ve passed through the entrance gate there’s a chance of spotting wildlife en route to your uniquely located accommodation, the Ruaha River Lodge. Occupying a privileged position along the banks of the Great Ruaha River, the lodge offers natural stone and thatch-built bandas, with private verandas perfect for game watching as animals descend to the river from the nearby hills to drink. Accommodation Ruaha River Lodge. Included Meals Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Days 8-10: Your next three days in the Ruaha National Park will be spent enjoying morning and afternoon game drives with the option of joining a guided walking safari (this should be requested at check-in, age restrictions apply). Ruaha, the size of Belgium, is a special park due its remoteness, rivers, rocky kopjes and plains - a vast range of habitats with a correspondingly diverse number of wildlife species.

Big game is abundant in Ruaha National Park. During the long dry season wildlife concentrates along the Great Ruaha River, the lifeline of the Park, attracting a whole host of predators including Lion, Leopard, Striped and Spotted Hyena, Side-striped Jackal, Black-backed Jackal and Hunting Dog can be found. Numerous other species, including Cheetah, may be seen on the plains.

Sable and Roan antelope, Greater Kudu, Lichtenstein hartebeest can all be found in the park – all of which are rarely seen in Tanzania's northern parks. Lesser Kudu and Grant's gazelle can also be found – both uncommon in parks further to the south. From a wildlife enthusiast’s perspective, Ruaha National Park offers an outstanding glimpse of the natural world. Accommodation Ruaha River Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).

Day 11: Enjoy a leisurely morning at Ruaha River Lodge before transferring after lunch to Msembe airstrip for a scenic 3 hour flight to the island of Zanzibar. Located on the pristine Fumba Peninsula, Fumba Beach Lodge is just a thirty minute drive from the airport and Stone Town. Situated on one of Zanzibar’s most beautiful and secluded beaches, Fumba Beach Lodge offers a perfect blend of casual elegance and friendly service with peace and tranquility in a truly tropical paradise setting. Three naturally formed coves protect the beaches around the lodge.

The open air restaurant serves fresh seafood alongside an inviting array of international and local dishes. For day time excitement the dive centre offers diving and dive courses, with snorkeling, windsurfing and kayak rentals also available. Or just relax at the swimming pool or on the beach under the branches of the baobab trees and do nothing. At the Zanzibar-style ‘Baobab Spa’ parents can pamper themselves with a massage, feet or hand beauty treatments, a Jacuzzi or henna painting. Accommodation Fumba Beach Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).

Days 12-14: The next three days can be spent at leisure at the resort or enjoying some of the nearby attractions or optional activities. Stone Town is a fascinating place to spend a day soaking up local attractions and watching daily life unfold. You also have time to enjoy an optional half day ‘Spice Tour’ of the island. Spices have been at the very heart of Zanzibari commerce since the abolition of the slave trade. The huge variety of different spices highlights Zanzibar’s important strategic location as well as the depth of cultural interaction. Another popular option is a boat ride to the infamous Prison Island - now a retreat for a hideaway lodge and the home of some very old residents - a family of giant tortoises.

One of the most popular activities from the lodge is to explore the Menai Bay Conservation Area and enjoy Zanzibar’s breathtaking coastline and aquamarine waters on an all day dhow safari. A voyage across Menai Bay is very much a relaxed affair with a stop for snorkeling off sandbanks and a traditional Zanzibari lunch on a desert island (often including a selection of grilled fish, slipper lobster, squid and rice with a coconut sauce). Menai Bay was designated as a conservation area in 1998 due to its outstanding natural beauty. The bay has a number of beautiful uninhabited islands and sandbanks and is frequented by humpback and bottle nose dolphins. Accommodation Fumba Beach Lodge. Includes: (B).

Day 15: Fly to Dar es Salaam where holiday ends. Your Specialist Tanzania holiday will end today after check-out from the lodge and a short early morning flight to Dar es Salaam. If your international flight departs from Zanzibar, your holiday ends at Zanzibar airport. Includes: (B).

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- En-suite accommodation as stated in the itinerary
- Meals as stated in the itinerary
- Game drives in Mikumi N. Park and Ruaha N. Park
- Choice of activities at Mufindi Highland Lodge
- Park entrance/concession fees in Mikumi and Ruaha
- Entrance fee to Isimila Stone Age site
- Services of experienced private safari guide/driver from day 1 until day 11
- 11 days private hire of fully equipped 4x4 safari land rover or land cruiser
- Light aircraft flight between Ruaha and Zanzibar and Zanzibar to Dar
- Transfers on Zanzibar.

Price Excludes:
- International flights
- Any meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
- Laundry, souvenirs, gratuities and items of a personal nature
- Optional activities and excursions
- Personal travel insurance
- Tanzanian visa.