National Parks

Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania

Undisturbed wilderness, an astonishing array of native fauna and flora, dramatic landscapes and exceptional biodiversity combine to create a reserve that is so impressive that it has achieved UNESCO World Heritage status.

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Big game

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Walking safaris

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Boat safaris

Everything you need to know about Selous Game Reserve

Undisturbed wilderness, an astonishing array of native fauna and flora, dramatic landscapes and exceptional biodiversity combine to create a reserve that is so impressive that it has achieved UNESCO World Heritage status. Named for the great explorer Frederick Courtney Selous, the eponymous wildlife haven clusters around the Rufiji – Tanzania’s largest river that spills out into an intricate network of swamps, channels and lakes to support one of the most fascinating ecosystems in East Africa. Plus it’s one of very few reserves that allow guests to explore on foot, so it’s a superb option if you prefer walking safaris.

Where is the reserve located?

Situated just shy of 200 km west of the bustling tourist hub of Dar es Salaam, the reserve is the largest piece of land dedicated to preserving wildlife on the entire African continent. Covering a whopping 45,000km² of wilderness, it is no less than three times the size of South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park. It is easily accessed from Dar es Salaam via daily light aircraft flights.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

The reserve has exceptionally diverse typography that includes everything from rocky outcrops to woodlands, mountains, forests, grassy plains and swampland surrounding the river. What was once four smaller reserves, has since been amalgamated to encompass some of the country’s major animal corridors, making for exceptional game viewing. Visitors can expect to encounter plenty of elephants, wild dogs (over 30% of the world’s population resides within the park), crocodile, hippo, buffalo and a plethora of plains game such as hartebeest, zebra, wildebeest, eland, giraffe and more.

Top experiences to enjoy at Selous Game Reserve

The reserve offers plenty to see and do. Take to the waters of East Africa’s most expansive delta to view the magnificent herds that crowd along its banks and explore the myriad of channels that link five distinct lakes. Alternatively, you could set out on foot with a knowledgeable guide who will provide invaluable insight into the bushveld and its smaller species; or choose a fly-in safari that will allow you to spend a night in a remote and rugged camp set up on the river’s edge where you will encounter Africa at her most unfettered. The reserve is also home to third of the world’s wild dog population, which means the likelihood of spotting one of these elusive painted dogs are excellent when you undertake a game drive in most parts of Selous.

When to visit

If your main aim is to see as much game as possible, the best time to visit the reserve is between June and October during the dry season. This is when the animals congregate around the remaining watering holes and ambient temperatures are more comfortable than during the height of summer. Between November and may, the rainy season is in full swing, which often means that road access is limited, and certain accommodation venues are inaccessible. If you prefer to enjoy your Tanzanian safari outside of high season, you may consider the shorter dry season between January and February, when the landscape is post-rain lush and everything is fresh and picture-perfect.

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