Journeys worth taking


From Scratch Tanzania - Honeymoon with Hiking and Safari

Crafted Journeys

Usambara Mountains, Selous Game Reserve and Zanzibar


Hostels in Usambara Range, Lake Manze in Selous, Zanzibar on your own


15 days / 14 nights

Trip Details

Usambara privately guided, Lake Manze game drives w/ 4 people, Zanzibar on your own




Hiking, Flights, Overland Transfer Dar / Lushoto

Pygmy miles


Pygmy miles
Practical info



This itinerary strays from the more popular attractions of Tanzania and searches for the unique. It blends active elements with cultural and wildlife experiences. You will fly into Dar es Salaam and be picked up there and driven to the Usambara mountains by your local guide, Said. He will take you deep into the heart of the mountain range and introduce you to several villages along the way, including Lushoto. You will also have the chance to see the myriad wildlife alone the way and enjoy the wide vistas and cool climate. Next, you will head back to Dar es Salaam and take a flight to the Selous game reserve. You will then spend 6 days and 5 nights on safari. Keep vigilant for the high population of Lions and Leopards. Afterwards, fly to Zanzibar for some culture and beach comfort. 






Trek from village to village in the Usambara mountain range with your local guide.

Cultural immersion

Get out and meet the locals in the villages near Lushoto.

Visit the cultural and historically significant Stone Town in Zanzibar.

Wildlife Viewing

Get up close and personal on game drives, walking safaris and boat safaris in the Selous Game reserve


Usambara Mountains

The mountains are located between Dar es Salaam and Mount Kilimanjaro, making it an easy and relatively inexpensive addition to your itinerary. You will see a variety of wildlife including chameleons and monkeys and will have the chance for authentic encounters with local communities. Here the tourist trail isn't well beaten, so there are far less touts looking to sell you something or gain finically from your presence. Several tribes inhabit the area including the Sambaa, Kilindi, Zigua and Mbugu. This area was once under German imperial rule, so you might notice some familiar names along the way. 

Selous Game Reserve

The Selous game reserve is actually the largest game reserve in Africa. Most of the reserve is used for game hunting, however an exciting trend towards photographic safaris has led to an area of the reserve being used exclusively for game viewing. The density of animals is not as high as that of the Serengeti, however neither is the density of human tourists. This makes for an interesting alternative to the Serengeti where there can be a greater feeling of seclusion compared to the more famous park. 






This itinerary was created from scratch specifically for our clients - let's refer to them as F and V for privacy. They were keen on hiking somewhere where they could interact authentically with local communities. Pygmy Elephant suggested the Usambara mountains, which was met with appreciation. F & V were also very interested in a safari. They liked the idea of Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, however they wanted somewhere farther from the crowds. The solution was the Selous game reserve in the south. You can access a sample of their honeymoon handbook by clicking the link below. We prepare one of these documents for all our From Scratch clients. You receive both a PDF and a handy A5 packet that you can take along on your trip. 

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Arrival at Dar es Salaam

Arrive at Dar es Salaam airport at 21:05. If you plan on taking a taxi to your hotel, there is a taxi stand out front of the airport. Fixed prices into the city should be listed at the taxi stand. Still, try to negotiate a price of around 15,000 tsh or the equivalent price for locals listed on the board. You have decided to stay at Hotel Nikko with booking and transport on your own.


Dar es Salaam

Free day to explore Dar es Salaam. Dar has a relatively brief history, reaching back only into the mid 19th century. What started as a small fishing port, has grown into an exotic mixture of east African, Muslim and South African influences. It features a stunning harbour, bustling markets, beaches and some historic buildings to boot.



Today, Said will pick you up from your hotel in Dar es Salaam and transport you to Lushoto, in the Usambara Mountains. Stretch your legs, have dinner and get ready for you hiking adventure tomorrow morning. The hotel is also where you can store the luggage not needed on your hike.



Arise bright and early for breakfast. Said will pick you up from you lodge at 8:00 am. You will then hike to Irente view point for a look out over a maasai plain. On your way back to Lushoto, you will stop at Irente farm for a picnic lunch. Afterwards, you will walk back to town and visit the Irente blind school and orphanage. Dinner and overnight at Tumain hostel.


Malindi Village

After an early breakfast, Said will pick you up from your hotel. You will then hike to Lukozi via the Magamba tropical rain forest where some rare animals and plants can be seen. Along the way, Said will discuss the flora and fauna and how the locals utilize them. After a picnic lunch, you will drive 30 minutes to your lodge. Dinner and overnight at Papa Moze cottage.


Rangwi Village

After breakfast, start the hike from Malindi village to Rangwi village. Along the way, you will pass through several scenic landscapes. Picnic lunch and Dinner at Rangwi Sisters Convent. The convent is known as a tranquil oasis and with better than expected food.


Rangwi Village

Today, you can enjoy sleeping in. After breakfast, at around 10am, leave for a 3 hour hike to Mzoghoti Peak, which stands ca. 2,300m above sea level. After admiring the view, you will descend back down to the convent for a hot lunch, dinner and overnight.


Mambo Village

After breakfast, walk from the convent to Mambo village. Today is a good day to experience the culture of several Usambara Mountain villages. Along the way, Said will provide perspective on how the local people fit into their natural environment. Dinner and overnight at Mambo Cliff Inn.


Dar es Salaam

After an early morning breakfast, Said will transport you back to Dar es Salaam and drop you off at your hotel. Rest up, because a new adventure awaits you tomorrow morning in the Selous Game Reserve.


Lake Manze

Awake early to catch your flight into Selous Game Reserve. Ask your hotel to organize a taxi the night before. Traffic in Dar city center can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to leave yourself plenty of buffer. You will be met upon arrival at the Siwandu airstrip by a staff member from Lake Manze. On your first morning, you will be able to experience a game drive enroute to camp. After freshening up and unpacking, you will be served lunch at around 13:00. The afternoon activities will be determined on location based on your preferences and the recommendations of Lake Manze staff.


Lake Manze

In collaboration with the camp, you will choose the activities of the day. You can search the Selous Game reserve for game including elephant, wild dog, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and fantastic prides of lion. Included in your stay is 2 game drives, or 1 game drive and 1 boat safari every 24 hours. As an alternative, Lake Manze offers the option of a full day game drive with a picnic lunch. Walking safaris are also possible and can be substituted for game drives for clients staying 2 or more nights (subject to permission from park authorities. These may be at supplementary cost if fees are raised). Fishing is also possible and will be charged at USD 10 per rod (3 fish max). See the Annex labeled “More Info on Lake Manze Activities” for more details.


Lake Manze

Game Drives, Game Walks and Boat Safaris


Lake Manze

Game Drives, Game Walks and Boat Safaris


Lake Manze

Game Drives, Game Walks and Boat Safaris



Even on your last day, an early morning game drive can be arranged. Afterwards, you will be transported to the Siwandu airstrip for your flight on to Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar bookings and activities on own.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Motorized Vehicle
8129pygmy miles

Adventure miles

You received 6,879 base miles for choosing Pygmy Elephant to help you plan your trip. You also received 450 miles for hiking 45 miles in the Usambara mountains, 200 miles for bush walks 500 miles for game drives, and 100 miles for boat safaris in Selous.

1550pygmy miles


You received 775 miles for choosing to hike the Usambara and visiting local, off the beaten track communities. You also received 775 miles for choosing Lake Manze, which features an eco-friendly ethos and is almost self sustainable with solar heated water and candlelit accommodations.

Total Pygmy Miles

9679pygmy miles



Guesthouses on hiking route

Usambara Mountains

You will stay in a variety of guesthouses that feature warm hospitality, in place of lavish amenities. Food will be ample and all the accommodation is clean and well run. The names of the guesthouses are: Tumaini Hostel, Papa Moze Cottage, Rangwi Sisters Convent and Mambo Cliff Inn.

Lake Manze Tented Camp

Selous Game Reserve

Twelve Meru style walk-in tents, each with twin or double beds, flush toilet, outdoor shower and private veranda, are perfectly situated to enjoy the morning ritual: elephants trampling across an old, well-worn elephant trail in front of the camp towards the river. Manze’s communal area is simply a large thatched roof spreading above a sand floor, with armchairs and sofas for lounging with a drink to watch the animals come and go. The camp has been constructed with careful regard to the impact it makes on the environment. All the tents are situated unobtrusively in the shade of stands of doum palms and other trees. When viewed from the boat, it is hardly possible to see the camp at all, it is so well hidden. Disturbance to the environment during the period of construction was kept to a minimum. Hot water for the showers comes from solar-heated panels. There is no electricity in the tents, so our power generating requirements are minimal.

Practical info

Service categories

From Scratch

See the following PDF for a price breakdown. This is what Pygmy Elephant means by Price Transparency. 

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Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.