Southern Circuit National Parks

Southern Circuit National Parks & Reserves

Selous Game Reserve

The Selous is Africa’s largest protected wildlife sanctuary covering around 50.000 sq km, which is about 6% of Tanzania’s land territory or the equivalent of Switzerland. ‘The World’s Largest Unspoiled Wilderness,’ as it is often referred to, was named after a British hunter and writer Frederick Courteney Selous, and is located in the south eastern part of Tanzania.

It is home to the largest population of some of Africa’s most precious wild animals, including Elephant, Lion, African Wild-dog, Leopard, Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Crocodile and herds of different antelopes and gazelles. In its concentration of wildlife it is the world’s second only to the Serengeti.

Due to its unique ecological importance it was designated a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’. It borders Mikumi National Park and the Kilombero Game Controlled Area, and forms the Selous ecosystem covering an area of 75.000 sq km. Almost 60,000 Elephants, around 160,000 Buffalos, roughly 40,000 Hippos and 5000 lions are found in Selous; as well as Black Rhino, Zebra, Giraffe, Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena, African Wild-dog, Warthog, Greater Kudu, Liechtenstein’s’ Hartebeest, Impala, Nyasaland Gnu, Brindled Gnu, Reedbuck, Sable Antelope, Sharpe’s Grysbok, Waterbuck, and Wildebeest.

The Selous includes a wide variety of habitats from woodlands, open grasslands, dense thicket, acacia woodland, riverine, ground water forest and miombo woodland. Its extensive area of miombo woodlands (about 75%), is one of the largest forests under protection. The swamps form an important habitat for wetland plants, reptiles, as well as both resident and migratory birds. More than 440 species of bird have been registered including Crested Lark, Green-headed Oriole, African Snipe, Bataleur Eagle, Knob-billed Duck, Kingfishers, Herons, Geese and the Southern Ground Hornbill.

The Rujifi River and its tributaries form a network of lakes in the Selous, ideal for boat safaris. No where else in Tanzania you can combine a game drive with boat trips and walking safaris! Another magnificent feature is the 8km long, 100m deep and 100m wide ‘Stiegler’s Gorge,’ named after a Swiss adventurer who was killed there by an elephant.

Game drives, Boat safaris, Walking safaris, Bird-watching, Fishing for Tiger Fish and Vundu Catfish in the rivers of the Kilombero Game Controlled Area.

When to go
The best time to visit the reserve is during the dry months (June to October, December to March).

There are a few campsites inside the reserve and five exclusive luxury tented camps. Cheaper accommodation is available outside the reserve boundaries.

Getting there
We can drive from Dar es Salaam but only in the dry season (7-9h), but many clients chose to fly from Dar es Salaam Arusha as the Selous camps have vehicles and guides. For the best rates contact us.