This trip, whilst enjoyable (the group I traveled with were great), certainly has issues in my opinion. This is why I've only rated it 2 stars, due to the comparison to other safaris I've done over the last few years.
The main fault is with the itinerary, which makes the holiday feel far too rushed. Of the 10 day trip, only four full days are spent on safari. All other days are spent driving between each destination. For a trip billed as a safari holiday, I feel this is not the best out there. I did my research and knew long drives were involved, but with so many days spent travelling I feel the itinerary should be tweaked greatly and/or extended.
Starting in Selous we stayed by the River and did the first two days of game drives. The billed boat safari was very disappointing and I thought a bit of a joke, being little more than a ferry service with occasional stops to view either buffalo weavers or hippos. I did a boat safari on the Chobe River in Botswana a few years ago and that was far superior. Viewing animals from a boat gives a whole new safari experience and one I was very much looking forward to repeating, but as I stated this one was disappointing.
Ruaha was definitely the most difficult place to spot animals (though it did have some very nice scenery), with some heavily wooded areas and sometimes very long grass, covering half of an elephant's height, though this was nice for photography. Unless you have expert trackers as guides I feel you'd be hard pressed to see anything.
Of the places visited, Mikumi was by far the best for animal spotting and viewing, with wide open spaces and low grassland areas. Interestingly, this is the one place we spent the least amount of time in. I keep asking myself why this is. The itinerary is definitely flawed! Mikumi also has far fewer trees than the other parks, which also added to the ability to view animals.
It should also be noted that if you're expecting large numbers of animals then this trip might not best best suited for you. None of the parks have the large numbers of animals you might expect to see in Northern Tanzania, for example. I feel the trip would benefit greatly by either basing the destinations in Selous and Mikumi or Mikumi and Ruaha, with the former being my preference. More time also needs to be spent at each destination.
On a plus note, the food was better than expected and I liked the accommodation in all places.