Our 10-day Tanzania Selous And Pemba Safari goes first to the majestic Selous Game Reserve based on the banks of the Rufiji River and then to the white sandy beaches of Pemba Island, which boasts some of the best diving in the world.
Both of these areas are beautiful and remote, and the accommodations you will stay at do justice to them. Te luxurious hideaways of Sand Rivers Selous and Fundu Lagoon make for an off-the-beaten-track safari that you will remember for many years to come.
On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met and transferred to Onsea House in Arusha, just 30 minutes away. Onsea House is the perfect setting to start your honeymoon and get acquainted with the enchanting Tanzanian culture.
After breakfast we will depart from Onsea House with a picnic and transfer to Sand Rivers Selous in the Selous Game Reserve via road and internal flight.
Selous Game Reserve was named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist. The Selous was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature.
Days at Sand Rivers can be spent exploring the bush around the nearby lakes, or the wide sandbanks of the river itself. Set off on foot, by vehicle, or by boat – the choice is yours. The lodge offers trips to nearby Stiegler’s Gorge, a well-known spot for leopard sightings, as well as some nearby hot springs.
Despite such incredible wildlife, surprisingly, and rather pleasingly, the Selous gets few visitors. The lodge is perfectly situated for exploring the surrounding area with game drives in 4 wheel drive open-sided vehicles and daily walking safaris accompanied by an experienced bush guide and armed scout. Bush lunches are served on request – dining beneath the shade of a large acacia tree in the middle of the African savannah is the perfect way to while away the heat of the day.
One of the most exciting opportunities at Sand Rivers is ‘flycamping’. (Highly recommended but at a small extra cost – book before arrival to avoid disappointment). Sleeping out in the wild, with an armed guard, flycamping will give you an entirely authentic safari experience away from modernities.
The Selous is best known for its sense of remote wilderness and vast populations of wildlife – elephants, hippo, buffalo and crocodile can be found here in larger numbers than anywhere else on the continent. It is also one of the last remaining strongholds for the rare and endangered African Wild Dog.
After breakfast, we will transfer by air from Kiba airstrip to the peaceful island of Pemba and our accommodation for the next five nights, the award winning Fundu Lagoon. Once on Pemba Island, Funda Lagoon is only accessible by speed boat – all part of the experience.
Arrive for lunch and then relax with a romantic stroll along the peaceful shores of the Indian Ocean. Enjoy the first night here sharing in a sumptuous dinner, watching the sun set over the water, perhaps even on a dhow sunset cruise.
Fundu Lagoon offers the chance to unwind after the last few days of safari and travel. The Fusion Spa has a range of exclusive treatments using specially formulated blends of local spices.
This fabulous resort consists of just 18 canvas and thatch rooms, and is the epitome of the Swahili chic that characterises the East African coast. Sparkling white sandy beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean lead to some of the best diving and snorkelling opportunities in the world.
Pemba Island is also known as The Green Island and there are 988 square kilometres of luscious green to explore at your leisure. As well as this, and for an additional cost, it is possible to travel to the protected Misali Island on a day trip from Pemba Island. Depending on the time of year you visit you can sometimes find turtles nesting on this island.
From Fundu Lagoon it is possible to enjoy an idyllic dinner on the beach or in the day time, take a picnic down to the white sands.
As well as incredible diving and snorkelling opportunities to explore the marine life on the surrounding coral reefs, Fundu Lagoon also offers the chance to kayak, windsurf and wakeboard in the Indian Ocean.
Following what will prove to be one of the most incredible holidays we will enjoy a final breakfast before departing to Pemba airstrip where you board the scheduled flight to Dar es Salaam. You will be met by our representative and transferred to the international terminal for your flight home.
Onsea House Country Inn and Guest Cottage is a true oasis only 30 minutes from Kilimanjaro Airport and just a few minutes from the heart of Arusha.
This boutique hotel situated on Namasi Hill will leave you feeling relaxed and at home. Onsea is owned and managed by delightful Belgian couple Dirk and Inneke. Fine french brasserie style dining awaits you from Michelin trained chef Axel Janssens. At Onsea you really are spoilt for choice; laze by the pool in the African sun, enjoy the lawn bar and banda, or unwind in the hippo pool jacuzzi. Relaxing massages and aromatherapy can be arranged for an additional cost.
The manicured palm garden provides unparalleled views across the Maasai steppe, the Monduli Mountains and the unrivalled spectacle of Mount Meru. If you are staying for a longer period of time you can indulge in the many activities that Onsea has to offer, including hiking, bird watching, ballooning, mountain biking, canoeing and horse riding.
Sand Rivers is the most isolated lodge in Selous. Overlooking a wide, sandy bend of the Rufiji River, this luxury safari lodge is situated in the wild southwest of the reserve.
Sand Rivers has been called the ‘Vogue magazine’ of lodges. Eight stone and makuti rooms, each with their own private verandah overlooking the river, offer airy and elegant relaxation after an early morning bush walk. Each room is comfortably furnished, with large beds and luxurious bathrooms, but all make the most of their panoramic aspects and cooling breezes which come off the river. The excellent food and friendly staff only serve to make guests feel even more privileged to have stumbled across this hidden gem in Tanzania’s southern circuit.
Your days at Sand Rivers will be spent exploring the bush around the nearby lakes, or the wide sandbanks of the river itself. Set off on foot, by vehicle, or by boat – the choice is yours. The lodge offers trips to nearby Stiegler’s Gorge, a well-known spot for leopard sightings, as well as some nearby hot springs. The reserve is an important sanctuary for the African wild dog, and spotting a roaming pack of these highly endangered predators is a highlight for any Selous based safari. But make sure you take time out from your safari activities to while away some hours on your private verandah, enjoying the sights and sounds of the river, as this can be just as rewarding as time out in the bush.
The charming Fundu Lagoon nestles on a private beach on the south west coast of Pemba Island, exuding shipwreck chic and providing the perfect haven to wind down after a dusty safari on the Tanzania mainland.
Combining style and comfort with the rustic simplicity of local materials and a beach setting, Fundu Lagoon blends seamlessly into its natural environment. Eighteen makuti thatch cottages are spread out across the forested hillside or along the beachfront, each with an excellent view of the lagoon. Wooden walkways wind through indigenous forest to the white tropical sand below.
Accessible only by speedboat transfer, Fundu Lagoon provides the perfect escape from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a romantic meal under the stars on the white sandy beach, spend your days gazing out over the the turquoise bay, or get active with a choice of activities from wind-surfing or kayaking on the crystal waters of the Indian Ocean to enjoying sundowners on a traditional dhow cruise.