• Ruaha River Lodge
  • Ruaha River Lodge game viewing
  • Chole Mjini Diving, Mafia Island
  • Chole Mjini Treehouse, Mafia Island

Ruaha Safari & Mafia Island

This off the beaten track Southern Tanzania safari explores remote Ruaha National Park, the largest National Park in Tanzania,  and Mafia Island, a pristine diving destination renowned for Whale Shark sightings.

DAY 1: Dar to Ruaha

On arrival at Dar es Salaam International Airport, catch a connecting flight to Ruaha National Park.  Short transfer from airstrip to nearby lodge.

The Southern Safari Destinations are some of the most untouched game reserves in Africa. The number of tourists is capped to limit the environmental impact of tourism and this, together with their immense size, makes them ideal for travellers seeking a sense of isolation, exploration, and discovery.

Overnight Ruaha River Lodge or similar, Full board basis plus daily safari game drives, Tea & Coffee and Laundry.

DAY 2-3: Ruaha National Park

Ruaha was recently expanded by incorporating adjacent wildlife reserves to become the largest National Park in Tanzania.  Ruaha lies in the convergence zone where northern and southern hemisphere birds and mammal species overlap.  This results in an overwhelming number of birds, plants and mammal species. The Great Ruaha River forms the spine of this vast and varied park. Most of the game drives spend at least some of their time following the river, before breaking off and exploring the bushland and kopjes beyond.

Overnight Ruaha River Lodge or similar, Full board basis plus daily safari game drives, Tea & Coffee and Laundry.

DAY 4: Ruaha to Mafia Island

Morning game drive and breakfast followed by a transfer to nearby airstrip for your flight to Mafia Island.  On arrival in Mafia you will be met and transferred to your lodge.

The Mafia Archipelago is situated about 150 km south of Zanzibar and comprises a number of islands and uninhabited coral atolls. The island was an important trading post during the 11-13th Centuries. Today, designated as a Marine National Park, it is known for its diverse and spectacular natural environment. Chole Bay is a meeting place of large oceanic fish and a vast variety of reef fish, altogether over 400 species, whilst some of the uninhabited islands are breeding grounds for giant turtles. With only few lodges within the whole Archipelago, it is one of those rare off the beaten track beach destinations – a real paradise for nature lovers & divers and the perfect place for complete relaxation.

Overnight Chole Mjini Lodge or similar, Full board basis plus daily Chole Bay sailing excursion to sandbank or sunset cruise.

(Alternative accommodation option: Pole Pole Lodge, Full board basis)

DAY 5-9: Mafia Archipelago

Full days to relax and enjoy the various activities around the Mafia Archipelago. The lodge also offers a range of optional activities, including scuba-diving, snorkeling, boat excursions & picnics to isolated islets around the Archipelago, road safaris, nature trails, and bird watching.

The excellent condition and high diversity of the reefs stimulated the creation of Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania’s first marine park. Although almost all Mafia’s best diving is at depths of less than 30m, the snorkeling on the shallow reefs surrounding the many islands in and around Chole Bay is a great attraction for non-divers and divers alike. Between October – March, snorkelling with whale sharks can be arranged.

Overnight Chole Mjini Lodge or similar, Full board basis plus daily Chole Bay sailing excursion to sandbank or sunset cruise.

(Alternative accommodation option: Pole Pole Lodge, Full board basis)

DAY 10: Departure

Transfer back to Mafia airport for an internal flight to Dar in time for your international flight home.

 End of Services

 The above itinerary is a suggested sample tour and can be tailored to suit your requirements, interests and budget.

Price is subject to availability and subject to change due to currency fluctuation and peak season supplements.

Terms and Conditions apply.



Year round excl 16 Mar-16 Jun


On request


Accommodation & meals, Safari & Island activities as indicated. Internal flights.

"At every place we stayed, the accommodation was very different and special, the food excellent and the service superb. We are also pleased that each place made a point of employing many local people and have initiatives in place to help the local economy and villages - Northern Tanzania Safari & Mafia Island"

- Roger & Maureen Crombleholme