Tanzania Safari Expert

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve: Exploring the Untamed Wilderness of Tanzania


Welcome to Selous Game Reserve, a vast and untamed wilderness located in southern Tanzania. Spanning over 50,000 square kilometers (19,000 square miles), Selous is one of Africa’s largest game reserves and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and remarkable conservation efforts, Selous offers a truly authentic and off-the-beaten-path safari experience.

Location and Geography

Selous Game Reserve is situated in the southern part of Tanzania, covering a significant portion of the Selous-Niassa ecosystem. It is named after Frederick Selous, a renowned British explorer and conservationist. The reserve is characterized by diverse habitats, including open grasslands, dense woodlands, miombo forests, and winding rivers, providing a haven for a wide array of wildlife.

Wildlife and Safari Experience

Selous Game Reserve is famous for its impressive wildlife populations and exceptional safari experiences. The reserve is home to large herds of elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, and impalas. Predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs roam the vast plains, while hippos and crocodiles inhabit the reserve’s rivers and lakes.

Selous is renowned for its unique boat safaris along the Rufiji River. Explore the waterways, witness magnificent birdlife, and observe animals such as elephants, hippos, and crocodiles from a different perspective. Game drives and guided walking safaris offer opportunities to get closer to nature and appreciate the reserve’s incredible biodiversity.

Birdwatching Paradise:

With over 400 recorded bird species, Selous Game Reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers. The diverse habitats within the reserve attract an impressive array of avian life, including the iconic African fish eagle, malachite kingfisher, Goliath heron, lilac-breasted roller, and numerous raptors. Whether you’re an avid birder or a casual observer, Selous offers endless opportunities to spot and appreciate the region’s remarkable birdlife.

Conservation and Protection:

Selous Game Reserve is renowned for its commitment to wildlife conservation and protection. The reserve serves as an important stronghold for several endangered species, including the African wild dog and the black rhinoceros. Efforts are underway to combat poaching, monitor wildlife populations, and promote sustainable tourism practices to ensure the long-term preservation of the reserve’s unique ecosystems.

selous birds
selous game

Activities and Attractions:

  1. Boat Safaris: Embark on a captivating boat safari along the Rufiji River, the lifeline of Selous. Cruise through the tranquil waters, witnessing a diverse range of wildlife along the riverbanks, and marveling at the stunning landscapes. Sunset boat safaris offer an unforgettable experience as you watch the African sun dip below the horizon.
  2. Game Drives: Set out on thrilling game drives across the vast plains of Selous. Traverse diverse landscapes, from open savannahs to dense woodlands, and encounter an abundance of wildlife. Experienced guides and trackers will enhance your safari experience, providing valuable insights into the reserve’s ecosystem and wildlife behavior.
  3. Walking Safaris: Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the African bush on a guided walking safari. Accompanied by knowledgeable guides, explore the reserve on foot, discovering hidden gems and gaining a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the flora and fauna.
  4. Fly Camping: For a truly immersive experience in the wilderness, indulge in fly camping. Set up temporary camps in secluded locations within the reserve, allowing you to fully connect with nature. Fall asleep to the sounds of the wild, surrounded by the untouched beauty of Selous.

Accommodation Options:

Selous Game Reserve offers a range of accommodation options, catering to different preferences and budgets. From luxury tented camps and lodges to more rustic and authentic bush camps, there are choices to suit every traveler.

Some notable accommodations include Sand Rivers Selous, Selous Serena Camp, and Rufiji River Camp.

Important Considerations:

  • Selous Game Reserve is a remote and wild area, and facilities may be limited. It is advisable to book accommodation and activities in advance.
  • Follow the guidance of your experienced guides and rangers for your safety and to ensure minimal disturbance to the wildlife.
  • Pack lightweight and breathable clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. Binoculars and a camera with extra batteries are essential for capturing the incredible wildlife and scenery.

Scenic Landscapes:

Selous Game Reserve is known for its diverse and picturesque landscapes. The reserve boasts a combination of rolling grasslands, dense woodlands, riverine forests, and wetlands, creating a visually stunning backdrop for your safari adventures. The Rufiji River, the largest river in Tanzania, flows through the reserve, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for wildlife encounters along its banks.

Photography Opportunities:

Selous Game Reserve provides a photographer’s paradise with its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Capture the golden hues of the savannah, the reflections of animals in the water, and the vibrant colors of birdlife. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, Selous offers endless opportunities to capture extraordinary moments and create lasting memories.

Fishing Safaris:

Selous Game Reserve is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. The rivers and lakes within the reserve are home to a variety of fish species, including tiger fish, catfish, and tilapia. Fishing safaris allow you to combine the thrill of angling with the serene surroundings of the reserve. Engage in catch-and-release fishing while enjoying the tranquility of the African wilderness.

photographic safari in selous reserve
lions Selous

Bush Walks and Cultural Encounters:

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region with guided bush walks and cultural encounters. Accompanied by experienced guides, explore the surroundings on foot, learning about the local flora, fauna, and traditional uses of plants. Interact with local communities, such as the Maasai and the Rufiji people, gaining insight into their customs, traditions, and way of life.

Hot Springs:

Hidden within Selous Game Reserve are natural hot springs, known as Maji Moto. These geothermal springs offer a unique experience, providing a soothing escape amidst the wilderness. Relax in the warm waters, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African bush, and let the therapeutic properties of the springs rejuvenate your body and mind.

Conservation Initiatives:

Selous Game Reserve is actively involved in conservation initiatives to protect its diverse ecosystems and wildlife populations. These efforts include anti-poaching patrols, community engagement, and sustainable tourism practices. By visiting Selous, you contribute to the conservation and preservation of this remarkable natural heritage.

Best Time to Visit:

The dry season, from June to October, is generally considered the best time to visit Selous Game Reserve. During this period, the vegetation is less dense, and wildlife congregates around water sources, making it easier to spot animals. The rainy season, from November to May, brings lush greenery, migratory birds, and fewer tourists, offering a unique and quieter experience.


As you embark on your journey to Selous Game Reserve, prepare to be captivated by its untouched beauty, abundant wildlife, and diverse landscapes. Discover the magic of this remote and pristine wilderness and create memories that will stay with you long after your safari adventure ends.