Selous Game Reserve
The Selous Game Reserve, located in southern Tanzania and away from the throng, is Africa’s largest game reserve and one of our favorite wildlife-watching sites. This is truly a hidden gem! The Selous River and Lakes are the lifeblood of a park that is home to some excellent wildlife, including elephants, wild dogs, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, and spectacular lion pride.
As you may have guessed, we like Selous safaris. The fact is that this park is so large that it is difficult to count the animals, which is precisely what we like about it; Selous is a pristine African wilderness that is nonetheless conveniently accessible from Dar and Zanzibar.
The Selous is not only a fantastic destination for seasoned safari enthusiasts, but it also provides an excellent introduction to unspoiled Africa. The Selous features the biggest array of safari activities of any Tanzanian safari park, including some of Africa’s top walking, boat safaris, and fly camping expeditions. The boating safaris, in particular, distinguish this reserve from other Tanzanian parks. The fact that the Selous is so much calmer (in terms of visitors) than the rest of the nation just adds to its allure.
Three of Tanzania’s greatest camps are located in the Selous, with two of them claiming to be the best in Africa. Beho Beho and Sand Rivers are remarkable lodges that provide all of the activities for which the Selous is famous, as well as hosting some of the best guiding teams in the world. Siwandu (previously Selous Safari Camp) is a fantastic tented camp in possibly the greatest wildlife section of the park, at a price that makes it one of Africa’s best-value camps.
Lake Manze, a fantastic small adventure camp close to Siwandu, has a reputation for being on an elephant highway. Manze’s sibling camp, Impala, is a bit further away and offers a better degree of luxury at a still-affordable price. Rufiji River Camp is another site in the park; please contact us for further information.
The cost of a Selous Safari varies according to the camp. In general, costs range from $400 per person per night to $1,500 per person per night. The best thing to do is phone us, tell us your budget, and we’ll see what offers we can get you, and select a camp that fits your taste and budget nicely.
The Animals of the Selous Game Reserve
The wildlife in the Selous is particularly noteworthy since it draws both east and southern African fauna, both resident and migratory, as well as over 440 identified bird species, making it a must-see on a Southern Tanzania safari. Lions are especially prevalent here, as are leopards in great numbers. The park is home to more than half of the surviving endangered African wild dog population, as well as buffalo, giraffe, eland, hyena, sable, hippo, crocodile, kudu, baboon, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, colobus, and vervet monkeys, as well as over 450 bird species.
Daytime game drives are only the beginning. The Selous also has some of the greatest boat safaris in Africa, as well as some of the best walking operations on the continent, particularly in Siwandu, Beho Beho, and Sand Rivers Selous. There are also a few operators who organize fly camping packages, which include long walking safaris and mobile camping beneath the stars – a really daring and romantic choice for a Tanzania Honeymoon, but not for the faint of heart!
Selous is a traditional dry-season park, with the game improving significantly as the season progresses. The optimum time of year for the largest overall densities of games is from July to October, but do not underestimate this park at any other time; game-watching is excellent in diverse places throughout the year. Around January and February, you must pick your side wisely since the wildlife migrates to more productive feeding grounds. This time of year is just spectacular for birding.