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Serengeti, Selous and Zanzibar
Tanzania - Trip code SSZ Wildlife
Days 11
Price from Call us
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Get off the beaten path and discover the best of Tanzania on this East African adventure. Explore the waterways and channels of Little Okavango on the shores of Lake Victoria and meet fisherman from the Sukuma tribe. Search for the Big Five whilst avoiding the crowds in Serengeti's Western Corridor, an untamed wild area of park. Spend a couple of days game driving and walking around the rivers, lakes and swamps of Selous Game Reserve, the largest reserve in Africa. After so much activity and excitement relax at a boutique hotel on the beach in Zanzibar.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 10

      Lunch: 6

      Dinner: 9

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader

      Explore Representative

      Safari Guide(s)

    • Transport

      4WD

      Flight

      Train

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      Accommodation

      1 nights standard hotel

      4 nights standard lodge

      5 nights premium lodge

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Moderate

    • i

      Group Size:

      8 - 12

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Join trip in Mwanza. Drive to Little Okavango Camp

    Our trip starts at the airport in Mwanza. After meeting we take the two hour transfer to Little Okavango Camp, our home for the next four nights. Situated on a small strip wedged between Lake Victoria and the endless plains of the Serengeti, Little Okavango sits on the edge of a floodplain through which waterways have been cut. Our journey takes us eastwards as we drive close to the shores of Lake Victoria's Speke Bay. After checking in and having our introductory briefing there will be time for a short orientation walk, led by our tour guide. We will have dinner at the camp tonight and meet the team who will be looking after us during our time here.

    Little Okavango Camp

    Little Okavango Camp is connected to Lake Victoria via a network of water channels. It is also only 10 minutes drive from the Ndabaka Gate in the western corridor of the Serengeti. This combination offers excellent birding opportunities around the lake, you will meet the local fishermen and learn about their village life and you also have access to a safari in the Serengeti National park. Activities available include hiking, canoeing and game drives. Accommodation is in spacious wooden cabins with a separate seating area, en suite bathrooms and a private outside deck. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar and free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Lodge

    Meals Provided: Dinner

    Day 2 - Meet the Sukuma tribe, head out on canoes amongst the papyrus grass

    This morning we leave the camp by bus and drive out to meet the Sukuma people, who live by the shores of Lake Victoria. We will take a wander through the daily fish market and watch the local boat builders in one of the nearby villages. Our leader will also explain about the different tribes living in the area before we make the short distance back to camp. After lunch we board a locally made canoe which seats five per boat and head out on the waterways that link the camp to the lake; several channels weave through the grasslands. This area has a huge amount of birdlife and it is easy to spend a few hours floating quietly past the looming papyrus as our guides' spot birds and tell us stories of the local area.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Lodge

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 3 - Full day of game drives in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti

    We are up early this morning for a quick breakfast and hop into game viewing vehicles for a short drive (10 minutes) to Ndabaka gate, the entrance to the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. This part of the park has a more varied landscape than the famous savannahs of the eastern section, with two perennial rivers creating large evergreen forested areas. This gives a safari here more of a feeling of being in the wilderness, it is an area not frequented by most tourists so we should not share our game viewing experiences with many other vehicles. It still however promises the same opportunity to see big game including lion, leopard, elephant and vast numbers of plains grazers. We will often be following the Grumeti River, famed for its massive crocodiles they lie in wait for the annual migration which passes through in June, September and October. We will take a packed lunch today so can spend the whole day on safari in the park, only leaving as the sun sets and gates close for the night. We return for dinner at Little Okavango.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Lodge

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 4 - Take a boat trip on Lake Victoria to see crocodile, hippo and birdlife

    We rise with the sun this morning to board our power boat and cruise down to the Speke Bay area of Lake Victoria. This part of the lake contains hundreds of migratory and resident birds including various species of weaver, the red chested sunbird and the swamp flycatcher. We will also be on the lookout for pods of hippo, though they are normally heard first by their rhythmic grunting. The boat trip will take around 3-4 hours so we will be back at camp for lunch and the boat has a cover so there is a good shaded section on board. This afternoon is at leisure; you may like to join a guide to enjoy the incredible birdlife on foot or paddle through the papyrus grasses to the Victoria Island Restaurant Tower. Or alternatively after this morning's early start you may just want to sit back and relax at our camp.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Lodge

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 5 - Drive back to Mwanza to take a flight and then a train to Selous

    Today is mainly a travelling day as we drive back along the shores of the lake to Mwanza Airport to catch a flight to Dar es Salaam. From here we transfer to the railway station and board an afternoon train to Kisaki in the Selous. Our train is scheduled to depart just before 4pm and the journey should take around 4.5 hours, reaching Kisaki between 8-9pm. It is then a 30 minute drive from the station to our next lodge where dinner will be waiting for us. The lodge is located just outside the northwest gate of the Selous Game Reserve so we may be lucky and spot some animals as we arrive.

    Sable Mountain lodge

    Sable Mountain Lodge is set in the Beho Beho hills just outside Selous Game Reserve. The canvas and thatch bandas are comfortable, with wonderful views and outdoor baths. The main lodge has a relaxed and informal atmosphere, there is a small shaded swimming pool and the Landrover's Return bar is the perfect place to enjoy a gin and tonic after your safari.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Lodge

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 6 - Explore Selous on a game drive and take a boat safari on Lake Tagalala

    As we got in late last night, there is a more leisurely start to the day with a relaxed breakfast before heading into the park on a game drive. Selous Game Reserve is Africa's largest game reserve and with its rivers, lakes and swamps is Tanzania's most remote and wild game viewing area. The park has over 4,000 lion and strong numbers of African wild dog and today on our game drive we hope to see some of these animals as well as the vast herds of buffalo and large number of hippo. We have a packed lunch so can stay out all day as we head out across the wonderful changing landscape through the wildlife rich reserve as far as Lake Tagalala where our boat is waiting. We board for a couple of hours boat safari and should see hundreds of crocodile and hippo, and anything from elephants and lions to impala and waterbuck drinking at the water's edge. A fabulous array of birds can also be found here. We then return back to our game vehicle & continue with our drive, it is common to see large number s of giraffe, hunting lions and wild dogs. We leave the park before night fall and return to our lodge for dinner.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Lodge

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 7 - Early morning game drive, afternoon visit to a Maasai village

    An early wake up with a cup of tea and a light snack and we are off on safari as the dawn breaks, the perfect time to be out on a game drive as the temperature is still cool and the animals active. As well as a strong lion population the park also has good numbers of rarely seen antelope such as sable, with their long curved horns and white undercarriages. After 3 -4 hours (depending on sightings) we will head back to the lodge and have a late breakfast. There will now be some downtime, either to catch up on sleep, have a dip in the pool or walk to the tree house which offers incredible views across the reserve. Later this afternoon we visit a local Masai boma (small village); Sable Lodge has built a strong relationship with the Maasai in the area and we will meet with a family who will talk to us about their customs and way of life. They will take us on a short walk and point out medicinal plants and other important aspects of life in the bush before we return to our lodge for the evening.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Lodge

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 8 - Search for wildlife on a walking safari and then fly to Zanzibar

    This morning we head out on a walking safari around the local area with an armed ranger. There is something primeval about getting out on foot and exploring the bush, the sounds and smells seem richer and your senses are more alert which heighten the experience. Our ranger will talk us through the tracks we see, and teach us how to listen to the bush. It is rare for a walking safari to provide such vast numbers of animals to see, whilst being on foot also allows you to appreciate the plant and insect life otherwise passed by when sitting in a vehicle. During the walk we'll drop in at the Sable Mountain treehouse to check for any interesting guests at the waterhole. After returning to the lodge we must bid farewell to our safari crew before taking a short drive to the airstrip for our flight to the spice island of Zanzibar. Our home for the next two nights is the Zanzibari, a beach hotel in the northeast of the island, just outside Nungwi. It will take around an hour and a half to transfer there from the airport and the rest of the afternoon is free at the beach or by the pool.

    The Zanzibari

    Located on a cliff above the beach at the northern tip of Zanzibar island, The Zanzibari is a small boutique property offering guests an ideal retreat to relax after a busy trip. The hotel prides itself on providing high levels of service and is set within peaceful, landscaped gardens. Guests may enjoy stunning ocean vistas from the seafront swimming pool, walk along the sandy beaches or try a spa treatment before dining in the hotel's Dhow restaurant and bar. A range of activities are also offered, including sea kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving, plus a Zanzibar spice tour, forest treks and sunset dhow cruises. Rooms are spacious and airy with stone and wood features, combining modern amenities with a natural feel.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Lodge

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 9 - Explore Nungwi village on a guided walk, visit a dhow yard and relax on the beach

    Waking up to the sounds of the ocean our day starts with a leisurely breakfast and then we take a 20 minute walk to Nungwi Village. Nungwi is a popular tourist destination but we are going to walk around the area where local people live to understand how Zanzibaris go about their day. A resident will take us around the village, starting at the fish market and then moving on to meet a dhow ship maker. Zanzibar's history as a trading post for Arab traders is clear to see in many parts of the island and the use of dhows, traditionally found in the Middle East reflect this. After meeting a family and being welcomed to their home we find a place for lunch and make our way back to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon by the sea or the pool.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Lodge

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 10 - Walk through the winding alleys of Stone Town

    This morning we will leave Nungwi and head to the capital Stone Town, for a walking tour around the historic centre. Stone Town is a maze of winding alleys with beautifully decorated ornate doors and children running between houses made of stone. As we wander the labyrinth of streets we will stop at the site of slave market, the large food market and the former Sultan's Palace. A real highlight of this tour is the incredible mix of cultures evident in the town, as we will see mosques, churches and temples side by side in the narrow streets. This evening we will stay in Stone Town. The hotel has a swimming pool and restaurant and is a good base for those who would like to explore more of the town, or just relax by the pool. Many international flights depart in the very early hours of tomorrow morning so depending on our flights we may transfer to the airport this evening.

    Dhow Palace Hotel

    Located only 2 minutes' walk from the beach, the Dhow Palace Hotel is ideal for sun worshippers. The hotel is a restored Omani-style villa that has been beautifully modernised, whilst still keeping some traditional décor. The hotel also has its own restaurant, a courtyard with an outdoor pool, and a rooftop terrace with views of Stone Town.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 11 - Trip ends in Zanzibar

    For those not flying out in the early hours of the morning the trip ends after breakfast in Stone Town.

    If you wish to spend longer on the Spice Island you can book additional nights with us, either in Stone Town or on the beach in Nungwi. Please contact the Reservations team to arrange this.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Tanzania

    Climate

    The climate is tropical but varies greatly with altitude. Coastal areas and islands are hot and humid, while the central plateau is dry and arid. Tanzania can be visited all year round and its seasons can be defined as green and dry. The dry season is generally from June to October and January to February, with most days being fine and sunny weather with temperatures and humidity rising throughout the day. It can be cold at night, particularly in June & July. The green season includes the rains of March to May (with the peak in April – generally during the afternoon) and November to early December. This pattern can be unpredictable. The weather system during these periods refreshes the landscape creating luscious green scenery which is not witnessed during the dry season. The Zanzibar archipelago is a year-round destination but does have dry and rainy seasons. The dry season is between June to October and January to February. The ‘short rains’ are between November to December, when a short, afternoon rainstorm can be a daily occurrence. The ‘long rains’ occur between March to May, when days can be humid and rainy, however, sunshine is still often frequent. The changing weather patterns does mean the ‘rainy’ season is becoming less predictable. Weather at altitude can vary to the above seasons, with the evenings being cold. Kilimanjaro features its own array of climates and biomes; between 1,800 to 2,800 metres is a rainforest climate (humid and hot), from 2,800 to 4,000 metres is dry mountain vegetation – please note night time temperatures can fall to below 0 degrees from this level. A cold desert climate with a strong equatorial sun during the day but cold nights is found between 4,000 to 5,000 metres. The summit generally has clear days though the evenings can be very cold featuring snow. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed at http://www.explore.co.uk/ weather. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Up-to-date information on the weather worldwide can be found by following the BBC weather link on this page.

    Time difference to GMT

    +3

    Plugs

    3 Pin (as per the UK), best to travel with an adapter as some lodges have 2 pin sockets.

    Religion

    Christian, Islam

    Language

    Swahili, English

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Lake Victoria:
    Canoe trip along the waterways leading to Lake Victoria US$25 per person.
    Nature Walk US$10 per person.

    Footwear

    Comfortable shoes, trainers or sandals.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    A flexible holdall (suitcases are not suitable for vehicle luggage racks) and a daysac.

    Equipment

    Bring a small torch, sunglasses, sunhat and sunblock . We also recommend you bring binoculars.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    Tour Leader: At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
    Local crew
    Local Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
    Accordingly, you should allow approx US$65 per person.

    Tanzania

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Dinner price
    £13
    Beer price
    £1.6
    Water price
    £0.7
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Tanzanian Shilling.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    US Dollars are preferable. Please be aware that any notes issued before 2006 will not be accepted
    Where To Exchange
    Banks or 'Forex' offices only in main towns/cities. Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
    ATM Availability
    Major towns and cities will have ATMs available.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are generally not accepted.
    Travellers Cheques
    Take some to act as reserve funds.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    4WD, Flight, Train

    Accommodation notes

    On this trip we are staying in small intimate lodges that are full of character. On Lake Victoria our accommodation is Little Okavango Camp, where we stay in spacious wooden cabins and will have the camp to ourselves. Sable Mountain Lodge is set in the Beho Beho hills of Selous and we stay in comfortable wooden bandas (an African cottage), the lodge has a swimming pool and the Landrover's Return bar. In Zanzibar we stay in the boutique Zanzibari Hotel, located on the beachfront with a swimming pool and air conditioned rooms.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Tanzania: A single visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens. Visas can be arranged on arrival, but due to queues at immigration we recommend visas are arranged in advance.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Tanzania

    Vaccinations

    We strongly recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and yellow fever. Please note you are required to produce a valid yellow fever certificate on arrival in Tanzania if you have spent 10 hours or more transiting through an endemic country. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Travellers may also wish to take immunisation against meningococcal meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Additional Information

    Why book this trip

    Explore are the only UK operator offering this itinerary combining the western corridor of the Serengeti with Selous and Zanzibar and staying at premium and intimate lodges. This trip will take you away from the crowds of 4WDs in the Eastern Serengeti and take you on a journey into the wilderness, where Africa comes alive with the sounds of the bush.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Award Winning Explore Leaders
    Find out more
    Price Guarantee Promise
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    Airport Transfers
    Find out more
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