Southern Tanzania & Mafia Island Group Trip (26 October – 10 November 2025)

Southern Tanzania Overview & Itinerary

26 October – 10 November 2025

Want to get off the beaten track in Tanzania?

Everybody does the Northern Circuit in Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro etc) but why not go somewhere a bit different, less visited (but just as amazing) and more… ‘wild’?

Then join me and some fellow intrepid travellers on a Southern Circuit safari and visit incredible Mafia Island.

We’ll go on safari in three incredible national parks – Nyerere National Park (formerly called The Selous Game Reserve – famous for boat safaris and having the highest concentration of wild dogs in Africa), Ruaha National Park (which holds 10% of the world’s lion population) and Mikumi National Park (a beautiful park with an abundance of wildlife).

We’ll also visit a Hehe tribe village, hike to waterfalls in the Udzungwa Mountains and visit Apopo Tanzania, an amazing project that saves lives by tackling landmines and TB using scent-detection animals.

We’ll end the trip on Mafia Island, where you will experience authentic Swahili culture and it’s also one of the best places in the world to swim with the gentle giants of the sea – whale sharks.

See the full itinerary on the Rock My Adventure website here.

This trip can be combined with the Rock My Kenya & Tanzania Adventure (October 2025 departure).

Safari in Masai Mara, Kenya

Day 1: Dar es Salaam

Arrive in the exciting city of Dar es Salaam and transfer to your beachfront accommodation for the night.

Relax, have a swim in the pool or sea and get to know your fellow travellers during a welcome meal and a beer or two!

Your Rock My Southern Tanzania & Mafia Island Adventure starts here. Karibu Tanzania!

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: None
Chobe National Park, Botswana

Day 2: Nyerere National Park (Selous)

Today we’ll make our way to Tanzania’s largest game reserve, Nyerere (previously named the Selous Game Reserve), which is famed for it’s natural beauty and is home to a diverse array of wildlife that is relatively undisturbed by human impact – you might call it an untouched wilderness. 

This park is wild, rugged and far removed from the busy Northern Tanzanian Safari Circuit. It’s also a birder’s paradise, with over 450 known species.

When we arrive we’ll have lunch at the lodge, followed by a boating safari on the Rufiji River.

Nyerere is one of the few places in Tanzania that allows for both traditional game drives and water-based safaris, so it’s an excellent place for spotting hippos, crocodiles and birdlife up close.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Nyerere NP Boat Safari
Okavango Delta Botswana

Day 3: Nyerere National Park (Selous)

Today we’ll spend the majority of the day in beautiful Nyerere National Park, famous for elephants, as well as sightings of lion and some of the last black rhinos left in this region.

Nyerere has the highest concentration of wild dogs in Africa and we’re told it’s quite common to see a lion kill here. So let’s keep our fingers crossed!

We’ll enjoy lunch in the park before we head back to the lodge for a dip in the swimming pool, followed by sundowner drinks overlooking the river.

We’ll then have dinner at our beautiful lodge, nestled in woodland, overlooking the magnificent Rufiji River. After dinner we can relax around the campfire (the ‘bush tv’) and listen to the hippos and hyenas call.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Nyerere Full-Day Safari
Walking Safari - Okavango Delta - Botswana

Day 4: Morogoro

We’ll wake up early in the morning to go on a walking safari. This is an amazing opportunity to explore the wilderness on foot with experienced guides, get a closer look at the bush, gain a deeper understanding of the ecosystem and feel immersed in nature.

We’ll return to the hotel for breakfast before we make our way to the town of Morogoro which lies at the base of Mt. Uluguru. Morogoro has historical significance as a key location during Tanzania’s struggle for independence. 

In the afternooon, there will be some time to relax or enjoy the onsite spa at the hotel before we enjoy dinner together. And those who want to can enjoy the city’s nightlife and shake what your mama gave you in the local bars!

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Walking Safari

Day 5: Mikumi National Park

We’ll be up early in the morning to visit Apopo, an amazing project that saves lives by tackling landmines and tuberculosis using trained African giant pouched rats and other scent-detection animals to sniff them out.

You will get to learn about the work they do, visit the mine detection rat training field and get to meet some of the hero rats!

We’ll then head back to the hotel for breakfast before we travel to Mikumi National Park, renowned for having an abundance of wildlife and spectacular landscapes. On the way, we’ll stop at a local market.

After lunch we’ll head out on a sunset game drive in the park to see if we can spot some of Mikumi’s incredible animals, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, lions, leopards, and African wild dogs.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Apopo, Local Market, Mikumi NP Safari
Elephants in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Day 6: Mikumi National Park

Today, our adventure takes us on a thrilling safari expedition through Mikumi National Park, Tanzania’s fourth-largest national park renowned for its impressive array of wildlife.

On our safari, we’ll search for lions, elephants and eelusive leopards, as well as other animals. In the middle of the day, we’ll pause for a picnic lunch within the park, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the wilderness.

After our safari, we’ll return to the comfort of our lodge, where we can relax and unwind, perhaps taking a leisurely swim in the pool to refresh ourselves after our exhilarating safari experience.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Mikumi NP Safari
Lion in the Masai Mara

Day 7: Ruaha National Park

Following breakfast, our journey leads us to the historic Kalenga village, where we’ll have the privilege of meeting and immersing ourselves in the culture of the Hehe tribe. Kalenga holds significance as the former residence of Chief Mtwa Mkwawa, a legendary figure known for his courageous resistance against German colonization.

We’ll then continue on to wonderfully wild Ruaha National Park, an enchanting off the beaten track safari destination, which is famous for its abundance of baobab trees, vast elephant herds, and formidable predators, Ruaha promises an unforgettable wildlife experience.

In the afternoon, we’ll relax at our hilltop lodge, offering sweeping views of the savannah from its elevated deck.Here, we’ll come together for a leisurely dinner, relishing in the tranquility and beauty of our surroundings.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Hehe Tribe Village

Day 8: Ruaha National Park

We’re diving into a full day of safari adventures in Ruaha National Park which has a wide variety of animal species, including hyena, lion, cheetah, elephant, striped hyena, shy roan and sable antelope.

The wider Ruaha area holds 10% of the world’s lion population and has one of the highest concentrations of predators in all of Africa. This should make for an exciting safari!

As the sun sets, we’ll gather under the ancient baobab tree for a traditional Maasai bush dinner, complete with lively singing and dancing. Feel free to join in the fun for an evening you won’t soon forget!

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Ruaha NP Safari, Bush Dinner

Day 9: Udzungwa Mountains

Rise and shine for an early morning game drive, our final adventure in Ruaha National Park. Then, we’ll journey to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, known for its rich biodiversity, including 13 species of primates.

The Udzungwa Mountains form part of the ‘Eastern Arc’ mountain chain, stretching from Kenya’s Taita Hills to Southern Tanzania.

The afternoon is free to relax at the lodge or opt for an bike tour through the surrounding countryside, exploring rural villages and lush plantations. Alternatively, visit the Magombera Monkey Forest for a memorable experience.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Ruaha NP Safari

Day 10: Udzungwa Mountains

Today’s adventure takes us on a hike through the lush rainforest of the Udzungwa Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We’ll walk along the rugged escarpment, and to the majestic Sanje Waterfalls, a gem of Tanzania known for its mesmerizing beauty and verdant surroundings.

As we ascend, keep an eye out for the Udzungwa red colobus monkey and the Angolan black and white colobus monkey, along with the playful vervet monkeys and baboons that inhabit the area.

Before our return to the lodge, we can take a refreshing swim in the cool mountain waters, before we head back to the lodge for dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Sanje Waterfalls Hike
Traditional Dhow, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Day 11: Dar es Salaam

We bid farewell to the tranquil Udzungwa Mountains and make our way back to the vibrant port city of Dar es Salaam, to wash off the safari dust, regroup and get ready for the next leg of our Tanzanian adventure.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Mafia, a small island in the Indian Ocean, south of Zanzibar and near the Mozambique border. The island is famous for its rich underwater ecosystems, coral reefs, and thrilling whale shark encounters.

In the evening, we’ll go out to one of Dar es Salaam’s finest restaurants, indulging in culinary delights of Tanzania’s coastal cuisine.

Later, those interested can explore the nightlife of Dar es Salaam.

  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: None

Day 12: Mafia Island

If you’re an early riser, you might relish the opportunity to witness the sunrise from the beach before embarking on a brief (30-minute) flight to Mafia Island where we’ll spend the next 3 nights, staying at the incredible Butiama Beach Lodge.

Mafia Island is quieter, more laid-back and less touristic than Zanzibar, so you will get to experience very authentic Swahili culture, especially when walking around the quaint capital, Kilindoni. 

Upon arrival, we’ll settle into our accommodations, before gathering on the beach for a barbecue and sundowners. Here, time seems to slow down, inviting you to fully relax.

  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Beach BBQ & Sundowners

Day 13: Mafia Island

Today is a major highlight as we’re going to looking for whale sharks – the largest fish in the world, that can grow up to 20m long.

Mafia Island is known for being one of the best places in the world to swim with these beautiful and harmless creatures.

Setting off early in the morning, we venture to the western shores of the island, tracing the channel that separates Mafia from the mainland.

Upon encountering the majestic whale sharks, our knowledgeable guides will ensure a safe and respectful interaction, providing snorkeling gear and expert guidance for an unforgettable and ethically sound experience.

  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Whale Shark Excursion

Day 14: Mafia Island

Today is a mostly free day for you to enjoy some of the wonderful activities on offer.

This includes taking a Chole Island tour, going snorkelling in Chole Bay, visiting the Kua Lagoon & Ruins or going on a traditional dhow boat trip to the Manje Sandbank. You can also go scuba diving!

Or if you’re feeling less energetic, you could lounge on the beach or by the pool, take part in a yoga class or visit the onsite spa. Or if you enjoyed it the day before – you can also go looking for whale sharks again! The choice is yours.

In the afternoon, we’ll set sail on a traditional wooden dhow, whilst sipping sparkling wine, eating snacks and watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean.

  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: Sunset Cruise

Day 15: Dar es Salaam

The morning is free to relax by the beach/pool before we catch our short flight back to Dar es Salaam.

We’ll refresh at the hotel and then enjoy sundowners overlooking the beach before having a farewell dinner together as a group to toast to an incredible adventure through Southern Tanzania.

You can either fly out that evening, or the following day.

  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel (Ensuite)
  • Activities: None
Safari Clothing Zambia

Day 16: Departure Day

Today is always a sad day as we say goodbye to our new friends, but the memories and shared experiences of Tanzania & Mafia Island will last a lifetime!

We can arrange your transfer to Dar es Salaam Airport or you can continue your Africa travels from there.

If you have time, it’s nice to stay on for a couple of extra days to visit Zanzibar (Unguja) or Bagamoyo.

If you need any support with your pre or post-tour Africa travels, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s all part of the Rock My Adventure service.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: None
  • Activities: None

Want to come to Southern Tanzania & Mafia Island?

Ready to book your place on this incredible trip? Then click the button below to book! Or see the full itinerary on the website here.

Can’t make this trip but want to be the first to know about upcoming Rock My Adventure tours? Sign up for the Rock My Adventure newsletter here.

Want to ask some questions? Send me a message using the form below. And if you want to arrange a call, let me know – I’d love to chat!

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