Tailormade Safaris - Southern Tanzania

Based in Ruaha, Tanzania

The extremely experienced Foxes family and colleagues will help create your dream safari in lesser-known southern Tanzania
Southern Tanzania has 3 of East Africa’s 4 largest game parks, some of the world’s finest big game viewing and has long been the favoured destination of top zoologists, conservationists and wildlife photographers. Yet the area gets far less press, and far fewer visitors, than both Kenya and the northern Tanzanian circuit. The reason is simple; organising the logistics of a safari to this vast, wild, remote and exquisitely beautiful area is more difficult than to the more easily accessed, better-known northern game parks.

When we decided to team up with a bespoke operator in the south there was only one choice: the Foxes. The family established tea estates in the Mafinga highlands 50 years back and since then have acquired an unrivalled knowledge of the Ruaha, Selous and Katavi National Parks. In the early eighties they were pioneers in establishing camps and lodges in the region’s prime game-viewing locations and have been polishing and perfecting their safari operation ever since. And the addition of Lazy Lagoon to the Foxes portfolio means that the company are also now able to offer a dreamily hedonistic Indian ocean experience which we think dovetails perfectly with their safari operation.

Why we chose this partner

  • The Foxes own and manage some superb lodges in southern Tanzania’s most spectacular game locations, including Ruaha, Stanleys Kopje and Rufiji. They can also help you book the amazing Greystoke Mahale
  • They use expert guides and drivers who ensure that you not only see a lot of game but that you learn a lot about it, too
  • They have a fleet of specially adapted game vehicles with tiered seating, guaranteeing maximum visibility and comfort
  • They own a number of light aircraft and have their own pilots. They can be more flexible in getting you to and from their lodges and adopt schedules to suit prevailing weather conditions and your needs
  • We loved the exceptional food - many ingredients are grown on the estates surrounding their lodges

Please be aware

  • Please be aware that i-escape can only vouch for those properties which are featured and reviewed on our website. For other areas and accommodations, while we do trust our operator to provide the best options for your needs, you should make sure that you are happy with their suggestions before confirming

Best time to go

The best time for most game viewing is from June to September (dry season), as animals start to congregate around shrinking water sources. It's also a great time for walking safaris, for which Selous in particular is famous. The weather is warm but not too humid, though temperatures increase from October, with heavy concentrations of game around lakes and rivers.

From November to May (rainy season), things get increasingly wet and sticky, with April and May having the heaviest rainfall. This is the 'green season' with lush vegetation, full rivers and lakes, and abundant birdlife and wild flowers, as well as baby animals. From March to early May, some roads become impassable.

Our top tips

  • We were heartened by the Fox Family's hands-on approach: you can expect to meet Sarah Fox if you book at Ruaha, and Geoff and Vicky Fox at the Highlands Lodge; and it will be Jane Fox handling your reservation
  • And we’re delighted to recommend an operator with a genuine ethical commitment - they support an orphanage, an HIV outreach programme, a school building project and the training and employment of local Mahehe people
  • The Foxes can book parks and lodges throughout Tanzania, but their specialities are the 3 big parks of the south - Ruaha, Selous, Katavi - plus the smaller parks of Mikumi and Udzungwa near Dar, and the Indian Ocean coast near Bagamoyo.
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Eco
    Family
    Great Outdoors
    Honeymoon
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    Room:

    Lodging

    Most itineraries include stays at some of the Foxes own camps, which we thoroughly recommend. Among our favourites are Ruaha, Stanleys Kopje, Rufiji and Katavi Wildlife Camp, not forgetting their dreamy Lazy Lagoon by the Indian Ocean. They can also help you book the amazing Greystoke Mahale and Sand Rivers Selous. Click on any camp name to read our detailed review.

    Other than that, you can be led by their suggestions on accommodation, or browse our reviews and, if any jump out, request that they include them in your itinerary.

    Activities

    Some of the things we loved...

    • Learning about yellow baboons from scientists at Mikumi
    • Fishing for red snapper from a wooden dhow
    • Fly camping in the remote bush (tents, food, porterage provided)
    • Walking safari with a private guide (great for birdwatchers)
    • Visiting the fish market and slave quarters of Bagamoyo

    Activities include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Kayaking
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Private guided tours
    • Safaris
    • Sailing
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
    • Wildlife
    Activity:
    Kid Friendly:

    With Kids

    Children are welcome on safari, but this is highly dependent on the camps and lodges you wish to stay in and the activities you wish to do. Tailormade Safaris can advise you on this when you make your booking enquiry.

    Best for:

    Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Transport

    Within the camps, Foxes' own specially adapted game vehicles offer tiered seating for improved visibility on game drives. Between camps, given the distances in southern Tanzania, you'll almost certainly fly rather than drive (details in each itinerary): Foxes own a number of light aircraft and have their own pilots, which can help them adapt schedules to suit weather conditions and your needs.

    Transport:

    Our guests' ratings...

    10/
    Rooms
    10/
    Service
    10/
    Value
    10/
    Overall

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    Itineraries