12 days

Selous & Zanzibar Escape

Selous & Zanzibar Escape

The beaches, cultural diversity and slave history of the 'spice islands' of Zanzibar

Trip rating
  • Why we love it

    • Selous Game Reserve covers a space of 54,600 kilometres squared, making it one of the largest faunal reserves in the world.
    • Named after Sir Frederick Selous, an English big game hunter and conservationist, the array of wildlife and its untouched nature qualified it for UNESCO World Heritage status in 1982.
    • There are absolutely no human inhabitants living in the reserve.
    • Zanzibar is a fascinating place steeped with history and an abundance of wondeful spices
    • The beautiful beaches of Zanzibar are the perfect place to unwind at the end of your trip


    Day 1 - Dar es Salaam

    • Upon arrival at Dar es Salaam airport, you will find your own way to the joining accomodation. There will be a group meeting at 6pm in the hotel reception, where you will meet your group leader and travel companions.
    • The rest of the day will be free to explore your surrounds and relax after your journey. You might enjoy taking a boat trip to Bongoyo Island, where you can snorkel, swim and relax on the beach.
    Hotel Slipway or similar

    Day 2 - Selous Game Reserve

    • Today you will be taken to Dar's Tazara Station, where you will catch a 13:50am train to Selous. The train journey will take around 4.5hrs and will pass through rural Tanzania. If you're lucky you may catch a glimpse of some game on the way.
    • You will be driven to Sable Mountain Lodge upon arrival at the train station, where you will be based for the next four nights. We should arrive at the lodge in time to check-in before dinner. The lodge is made up of stone cottages, tented bandas, a swimming pool, solar power an its own supply of spring water. It also has a waterhole nearby, meaning you can sit back and relax at the lodge while watching game drink of an evening. Elephant, buffalo, zebra and, if the season permits, the rare sable antelope (November and December only) are regular visitors to the local waterhole.
    • Selous is the largest game reserve on the continent (it takes up 5% of Tanzania's total land area), and is home to the largest populations of elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and wild dog in Africa. You will also find an abundance of giraffe, zebra and various antelope here along with over 400 bird species, including an array of bee-eaters, rollers, sunbirds and kingfishers.
    • Despite its myriad of species and vast size, Selous is one of the less frequented reserves in Africa, meaning you are less likely to run in to other tours. The landscape is beautiful and diverse, from deciduous hard woodland to rocky hills, sandy rivers, swamps, riverine forest and open plains.
    • The reserve's ecological diversity has rendered it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Sable Mountain Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - Selous Game Reserve

    • You will explore the reserve on foot this morning, the perfect way to enjoy this peaceful wilderness and search out game without the interruption of vehicle noise. It is rare to have the opportunity to walk through a reserve, this is one of the few reserve's in Tanzania that allows it. Your guide will help to uncover the secrets of this beautiful landscpae.
    • You will return to the lodge for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon wallowing in the pool and looking out for visitors at the waterhole. As the day cools, you will head off on your first game drive. Stopping at a dry riverbed to watch elephants digging for water is an especially magical experience. You will also see wild dogs today, a rare treat and perhaps some giraffes browsing the tops of trees.
    • You willd ine back at the lodge this evening, before enjoying a nightcap on the terrace - a great place to gaze at the stars and absorb the wild sounds of the African night.
    Sable Mountain Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Selous Game Reserve

    • You will have a full day game drive ahead of you today, including a boat safari. This will give you the opportunity to see the local water dwelling creatures as well as the land roamers. Basking crocs and wallowing hippos are a sight to behold. The bird life is also prolific, there are pelicans, African skimmers, fish eagles, ibis, kingfisher and goliath herons to name a few. While you're on the river, you may also see buffalo, waterbuck and impala coming down for a drink, and if you're lucky, elephant, lion and leopard.
    • You'll return to the camp after dark.
    Sable Mountain Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Selous Game Reserve

    • You will have a free day today, to relax at the lodge, enjoy a swim or go on an optional safari.
    • NB: The day to day Selous Game Reserve activities will be dependent upon weather and the location of the wildlife at the time.
    Sable Mountain Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Stone Town

    • Enjoy one last swim before breakfast this morning. Breakfast will be followed by a game drive through the reserve that will end at the Selous airstrip, where you'll take a spectacular flight to Zanzibar.
    • The exotic island of Zanzibar is known for its trade in spices, and in bygone days, slaves. Your hotel is situated in the atmospheric and historic centre of Stone Town. Only 40 kilometres off the mainland coast of Tanzania lies this beautiful spice island, known to the locals as Ungudya. It has an area of 1400 square kilometres and a population of about 100,000, of whom more than half reside in the capital, Stone Town.
    • This section of the trip will be unaccompanied by a guide.
    Dhow Palace or similar

    Day 7 - Stone Town

    • Today you will have the chance to explore Stone Town. Steeped in history, this old town is a maze of narrow streets with whitewashed houses and magnificently carved, brass studded teak doors, quaint shops and bazaars.
    • The market and bazaars are fascinating and are the ideal place to top up your spice collection at home or do some souvenir shopping.
    Dhow Palace or similar

    Day 8 - Eastern Beach Resort

    • You will start the day with a 1.5 to 2 hour 'spice tour', which will take you to the many ruins that make up the history of this region, as well as to the extensive spice plantations for which the area is known. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamon and pepper, along with tropical fruits and herbs all thrive here.
    • After the tour, you will be taken to a beach hotel about a one hour drive away.
    Ras Michamvi or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 9-12 - Zanzibar Eastern Beach Resort

    • The Eastern Beaches of Zanzibar are beautiful and palm-fringed.
    • During your time on the East Coast you can enjoy safe swimming, excellent snorkelling, diving and other water sports plus windsurfing and water skiing.
    • Simply relaxing on the beach is also a wonderful way to wile away your time here. You can also hire bicycles to explore the area.
    • Your tour will come to an end on Day 12.
    • Please note that transfer to Stone Town airport will need to be arranged separately, unless pre-booked with us.
    Ras Michamvi or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • English-speaking local leader & guides (except in Zanzibar where tour is unescorted)
    • All accommodation and transportation throughout the tour (including flight to Zanzibar)
    • Entry fees

    Not Included

    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip.
    • Personal items

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.

    Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or putting it on the ground and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PFSE
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: Dar Es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
End City: Northern Beaches, Zanzibar
Style: Independent

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