Tanzania Bush and Beach Adventure
Experience some of the world's greatest wildlife encounters on this two-week African adventure. Spot the Big Five and more in the Selous Game Reserve before swimming with whale sharks off the paradise beaches of Mafia Island and diving the vibrant, marine-rich reefs of Mafia Island Marine Park.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Discover where the wild things are in the Selous Game Reserve, whether by 4x4 game drive, boat safari or walking adventure (or by all)
- Become blissfully marooned on the paradise beaches of Mafia Island
- Dive in Tanzania's first marine reserve, Mafia Island Marine Park
- Swim with the gentle giant whale shark off Mafia Island (between October and March)
Why Book with Original Diving?
When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Your overnight flight leaves London for Tanzania, most likely transitioning through East Africa en route. The flight takes around 14 hours, more than enough time to rest up ahead of your adventure.
Day 2: Arrive in Tanzania
Your flight lands in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania just after lunchtime. Once you have passed through customs head to the domestic terminal for your flight to Selous.
The flight takes a mere one hour fifteen minutes, seeing you land in the bush in no time. Once you have landed, you will be met at the airstrip and transferred towards your tented camp. Keep your eyes peeled as you experience your first game drive on the scenic journey. Once you have checked into your luxurious tent, spend the afternoon at leisure, lazily spotting game from the camp as you toast to the next three nights in the bush.
Days 3–4: Selous Game Reserve
There's no time for a lie-in here; rise and shine alongside the wild animals for a sunrise game drive.
The Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa and its wild, rugged plains are home to an astonishing amount of wildlife, including hippos, wildebeest, wild dogs, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes and impalas, to name but a few. With so much game there is plenty of predator action - look out for the Selous lions' grizzly daylight hunting techniques.
Head back to camp to refuel on a delicious meal alfresco before spending the afternoon at leisure, whether fishing or heading back out to the bush on a walking safari. In the evening, dine under the stars as you listen to the bush come alive as nocturnal creatures rise from their slumber.
- Head out on a boat safari to get up close and personal with the diverse wildlife along the Rufiji River
Day 5: Mafia Island
This morning after breakfast it's time to depart for the next leg of your adventure. You will be transferred to the airstrip in plenty of time for your flight to Mafia Island.
The flight takes one and a half hours, touching down just before lunch. Once you have cleared customs and paid your marine park fee ($24 per day) you will be met by your driver and privately transferred to your resort. Once you have checked into your room, coconut-fringed beaches and turquoise lagoons await.
Spend the afternoon getting better acquainted with your surroundings, whether snorkelling from the shore or taking a leisurely stroll down the beach before sipping on sundowners back at the hotel, it doesn't get much better than this. You will be spending the next eight nights in this paradise.
Day 6: Mafia Island
After a leisurely breakfast, it's time to hit the seas to dive the surrounding reefs.
Mafia Island enjoys a prime location at the doorstop of Mafia Island Marine Park which, as Tanzania's first marine park, offers some excellent underwater encounters. Home to over 460 species of fish and over 50 genera of corals, there is certainly enough variety to keep drawing divers back underwater. Visit between October and March and you'll also have the unique opportunity to swim alongside the world's largest fish, the gentle giant whale shark.
After enjoying lunch on a deserted sandbank, head back under the sea to explore a different dive site before getting two feet back on dry land for a delicious fresh seafood dinner on the beach as the sun sets.
Days 7–12: Mafia Island
Spend the next few days experiencing everything this beautiful island has to offer; from riding along the beach to marooning yourselves on deserted sandbanks while island hopping (picnic in hand, of course); to snorkelling Kitutia Reef; witnessing the humpback whale migration (if travelling between August and September) and enjoying picturesque sunset dhow cruises. There is also, of course, the option to spend your days blissfully underwater exploring the archipelago's different dive sites.
Day 13: Home Time
Today, sadly it's time to leave paradise to head home.
After a leisurely morning you will be met at your resort and privately transferred to the airstrip in good time for your charter back to Dar es Salaam. The flight should take around 30 minutes.
Once you have landed, check into your indirect international flight back to London Heathrow.
Day 15: Arrive Home
Your flight arrives at London Heathrow airport in the morning.
Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.