Selous Game Reserve
Covering 45,000km² of wilderness, with grassy plains, open woodland, mountains and forests, the Selous Game Reserve(pronounced 'seloo', and named after the great explorer and hunter, Frederick Courtney Selous) is Africa's largest game reserve. It's about three times the size of South Africa's Kruger National Park, and twice the size of the Serengeti National Park. In a fitting tribute, it is also one of Tanzania's three World Heritage Sites.
Introduction to a Selous Safari
At the heart of the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania’s largest river, the Rufiji, forms a complex network of channels, lakes and swamps that create one of the most outstanding ecological systems in East Africa. This river also splits the reserve into two different sections:
- The northern Selous covers only around 5% of the reserve’s total area. No hunting is allowed here; this area is dedicated exclusively to photographic safaris. Virtually all of the small exclusive camps which we offer operate in this area.
- The southern Selous, south of the Rufiji, is split up into a number of ‘hunting blocks’ – each of which typically cover about 1,000km². Safari Travel Deals doesn’t offer hunting safaris.
Travelling here one has a sense of Safari (and Africa) untouched by humans. The mighty Rufiji River winds through the park, helping sustain huge numbers of elephant (half of all of Tanzania‘s) and stunning sickle horned sable, kudu and a variety of other antelope. The river is also home to one of the largest hippo and crocodile populations in Africa. Elusive African Wild Dog are regularly seen here.
When to go
June to November is the dry season and peak time for seeing excellent game. January to April is green and wonderful for birdlife but difficult terrain for game drives.
Access to the Selous Game Reserve
Getting to the Selous is easy, it is served by light aircraft flights from Dar and Ruaha daily – a flight takes about 45 minutes from Dar, and about 90 minutes from Ruaha.
Park entrance fees are (at time of writing) US$75 per person per day (US$50 for park fees plus US$25 conservation charge). Current park fees are usually included by us in the price of a trip here.
What to do
Game drive with open 4×4 safari vehicles, which are a great way of seeing easy game viewing and photograph to explore different section of vast park. The destinations are quite varied normally directed towards the game viewing hot spots . Game drives are reliably rewarding , especially towards the end of the dry season , when large mammals concentrate around the five lakes; The Rivers and Lakes of the Selous are the life-blood to the wildlife in the game reserve.
Guided Bush walks:
Take in the fresh scents of the grass and Miombo woodlands, perhaps see an elusive Leopard lounging in a tree by the beautiful riverine forest.You will be led by a friendly guide who has extensive knowledge and experience of life in the bush. They will show you how to read the clues in the bush - a steaming pile of dung indicates an Elephant passed through not long ago. Walk in the huge wrinkled foot prints for a while.Listen out for the chirps and trills of birds and the guide will help you identify them. Listen and you may hear alarm calls indicating the presence of a predator nearby. Lion and Wild Dog are rarely encountered on walks, but Elephants and Buffalo are frequently seen.
Guided Bird Walks:
Your guide will be happy to tailor a guided bird walk to suit both your interest and your schedule. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in the Selous (350 of which are waterfowl), particularly along the banks of the Rufiji River.
The magnificent Rufiji River bisects the park in the north as it makes its way to the Indian Ocean. It provides a number of beautiful waterways along which boat safaris are offered, giving wonderful encounters with a huge variety of game coming down to drink on the banks of the river, beside the hundreds of hippos and crocs!
Catfish and tiger fish are prolific in the river. Considered by many fishermen to be the finest fresh water fighting fish, the tiger fish’s Latin name, Hydrocyon, means ‘water dog’ and aptly describes this voracious predator, which is armed with ferocious blade like teeth. If you’d like to try fishing, your dedicated guide will provide rods, boat and choice of sites.
Hot Springs Visit and Swim:
Within a short drive from Selous Serena Camp lie the Maji Moto hot springs, this can be easily reached via a short walk into a hidden ravine surrounded by lush vegetation. Here hot sulphurous water pours from the rock and forms little streams, which gather into a series of picturesque pools cool enough to swim in.