Experience the Tanzania south wilderness in Selous Game Reserve; less than an hour by light aircraft from Dar es Salaam, remote and wild, Selous offers a variety of exclusive and professionally run Safari options; by foot, boat or vehicle.The Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s biggest protected wildlife area that extends to within 150km of Mozambique. This is the highlight of Tanzania’s Southern Safari Circuit. The Rufiji River flows through the reserve attracting great herds of Tanzania elephant and allows the visitor to experience the reserve by boat.
The park is named after Englishman, Frederick Courtney Selous - conservationist, hunter, explorer and author, whose adventure books on Africa became best sellers in Victorian England. The park varies from rolling grassy woodlands and plains, to rocky outcrops cut by the Rufiji River - the lifeblood of the park, whose tributaries form a network of lakes, lagoons and channels. Volcanic hot springs even burst forth in places. The Rufiji offers a superb method of game viewing especially during the dry season when animals congregate.
Selous contains about one third of all the wild dogs (often called painted dogs), in the world. Their need to roam vast areas and their formidable hunting skills have caused many to be shot by farmers, but here in Selous they have boundless woodlands and savannahs in which to roam.
Along the Rufiji River, an array of grazing antelopes, crocodiles and hippos are commonly seen as well as black and white colobus monkeys in the riverine forests. During the dry season from June to October, the concentration of animals along the river is astonishing. Linked to the Rufii is Lake Tagalala where waterbuck, reedbuck and bushbuck gather at the water's edge. Magnificent sickle-horned sable and curly-horned greater kudu tend to keep to the longer grass and wooded shrubby areas.
In the dry season an ancient migration of elephants takes place between the Selous and Mozambique's Niassa Game Reserves. This is one of the largest natural trans-boundary eco-systems in Africa and at the last consensus it was estimated that 64,400 elephants roam the two parks, with 84% on the Tanzanian side.
Fierce tiger fish and smooth slippery vandu catfish are caught in the rivers. The latter is equipped with primitive lungs allowing it to cross land for short distance in an attempt to find water water during the dry season.
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 Stay
Selous Safari Camp:
Offers luxurious and spacious safari tents with en-suite bathrooms and open air showers. Ceiling fans and king size beds ensure a good night’s rest. The camp consists of two separate camps, North and South camp. North camp offers 6 tents and South camp 7 tents ensuring a private and intimate experience in both camps. Each camp has its own swimming pool, well stocked bar and dining area as well as its own kitchen with a talented chef preparing gourmet cuisine complimented by some of the best wines. Each camp offers its own host, game viewing vehicles, jetty for boat safaris and walking guides.
Consists of only 4 spacious and elegant safari tents situated along the riverbank. The camp is only open for five months of the year from July through November, during the dry season when the animals concentrate along the waterways that meander through this sector of the Reserve. The tents are traditional, yet stylish and offer en-suite facilities including large open-air bathrooms with bucket showers, flush toilets, washbasins and vanity stands. Hot water is available upon request 24 hours a day. The tents include large comfortable beds, luxurious linen, full-length mirrors and standing fans.