Extraordinary Journeys

Destination Overview

Located in south-east Tanzania in a remote and little-visited part of the country, the Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest protected wildlife reserve and covers more than 5% of Tanzania’s total area. It’s rivers, hills, and plains are home to roaming elephant populations, the area’s famous wild dogs, and some of the last black rhino left in the region. Due to its remote location, and because it is most easily accessible only by small aircraft, the Selous Game Reserve has remained one of the untouched gems of Tanzania’s national parks and game reserves, and offers visitors a chance to see a wild and expansive Africa far from paved roads and curio shops.

One of the more historic protected areas in Tanzania, the Selous Game Reserve was named after Frederick Courteney Selous, a British explorer and hunter in East Africa who wrote a book about the region and his travels, and was tragically killed in land now named after him during the First World War. In 1905, when few people in East Africa thought of land conservation and the preservation of wildlife for posterity, portions of the area were earmarked for a hunting reserve. In 1922, the land area was increased and named after Frederick Selous. From then until 1975, when the current boundaries were delineated, the Selous Game Reserve increased steadily in allocated land. These days, tourists flock to the north of the reserve, while large portions of the south are still reserved for hunting.

The Selous is unique among Tanzania’s more renowned preserved areas because it is a game reserve, not a national park, and therefore a larger range of activities are permitted. Boating safaris are becoming a popular alternative to vehicle-based trips, and offer visitors a chance to see the diverse life along the Rufiji River up close in all its splendour. Hiking safaris and fly camping are also ideal ways to explore the country and add a bit of adventure to your African experience.

What to see and do

Selous Game Reserve has the largest number of elephants out of all the reserved wildlife areas in the country. The park offers a variety of environments; hot volcanic springs, dense thickets and open wooded grasslands. This diversity is also home a broad range of game: buffalo, gnu; hartebeest; Greater Kudu; sable antelope; warthog; zebras; giraffe; and wildebeest.

Also: lion, hippo, spotted hyena and black rhino. hunting dog; rhino and cheetahare sometimes seen.In addition, there are over 350 species of bird and reptiles such as crocodiles and various snakes and lizards. Walking is permitted (with an armed ranger) in this Game Reserve.

Selous is one of the more exclusive areas in Tanzania. Its size and location afford privacy and seclusion from the masses of tourists associated with the more well known parks such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti. The dry season (Jun-Nov) is the best time for game viewing. The rainy season (Jan-Apr) provides ample bird viewing; however many of the roads are impassable after heavy rainfall. Lodges close between March and May.

Where to find Selous Game Reserve



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