Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is one of Tanzania’s tourism and natural treasures found in the Miombo woodlands of the Southeastern region of Tanzania and situated between 130 and 500 kilometers south west of Dar es Salaam. In location Selous game reserve is contiguous to Mikumi national park and Udzungwa Mountains national park in the northwest and Kilombero game reserve controlled area in the west.
Selous game reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Tanzania covering an area of 50,000 square kilometers which is 4 times bigger than Serengeti national park, this reserve was gazetted in 1896 and 1982 it was designed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its wildlife diversity and amazing undisturbed nature.
Selous wildlife reserve is one of the greatest destinations for Tanzania wildlife safaris boosting numerous tourist attractions including wildlife and birdlife species, the reserve boosts a great diversity of wildlife including a large population of elephants recorded to be over 110,000 individuals and it is a home to the one of the biggest remaining population of rhinos in Tanzania. Other animals found in Selous wildlife reserve include reedbucks, giraffes, sable antelopes, warthogs, spotted hyenas, crocodiles, hippos, African wild dogs, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, kudus and many more.
Selous wildlife reserve is a home to over 440 bird species recorded to be living the reserve and these include mosque swallow, the brown-breasted barbet, purple-banded sunbird, Mangrove kingfishers, Von der Decken’s hornbill, African skimmers, a pearl-spotted owl, palm-nut vulture, Layard’s black-headed weavers, freckled nightjars, grey Penduline-tit, grey-hooded kingfisher, red-throated twin spot, waders, wattle-eyed flycatchers, broad-billed roller, spotted-flanked barbet, green-billed coucal, Arnot’s chat, long-tailed fiscal, Sterling’s barred warbler, Livingstone’s flycatcher, white helmet-shrikes, red-winged warbler, Boehm’s bee-eater, red-throated twin spot, black cuckoo-shrike, green-capped eremomela, green-capped eremomela, red-faced Crombec, red-billed helmetshrike, spotted-flanked barbet, yellow-bellied bulbul, Bennett’s woodpecker, Dickinson’s kestrel, pearl-spotted owl and many more.
Apart from wildlife and bird life there are other tourist attractions in Selous game reserve which include Lake Talagala, Stiegler’s Gorge, Selosu grave, River Rufji among others.
Tanzania safari activities to do in Selous game reserve
Game drives are the highlight of Tanzania wildlife safaris in Selous game reserve as the reserve is recognized offering some of the best game viewing opportunities in Tanzania, game drives are one of the top activity to do in Tanzania on Tanzania adventure safari and while in Selous game reserve as it offers an opportunity to tour the reserve and spot various species of animals. Game drives are done in a 4X4 wheel safari car and they are offered as morning game drive, afternoon game drive and full day game drive.
Game drive/game viewing in Selous game reserve offers you an opportunity to enjoy the vast wilderness of the reserve while watching many animals such as giraffes, crocodiles, elephants, rare African wild dog, zebras, impalas, warthogs, buffaloes, lions, leopards and many more.
Selous game reserve is one of the wonder destinations for Tanzania bird-watching safaris habiting some of the most eye catching bird species in Tanzania recorded to be more than 440 bird species, the reserve comprises of many bird habitats ranging from islands, channel, sand banks, river Rufiji, lakes and lagoon hosting these amazing birds.
Bird watching tours in Selous game reserve are best done either in the morning or afternoon to sunset where numerous aquatic species, woodland species, forest dwelling species and migrating species are spotted. Migratory birds species from Europe and northern parts of Africa are present in the park from April, while on Tanzania bird watching safaris in Selous wildlife reserve expect to see colorful and beautiful birds including mosque swallow, the brown-breasted barbet, purple-banded sunbird, Mangrove kingfishers, Von der Decken’s hornbill, African skimmers, a pearl-spotted owl, palm-nut vulture, Layard’s black-headed weavers, freckled nightjars, grey Penduline-tit, grey-hooded kingfisher, red-throated twin spot, waders, wattle-eyed flycatchers, broad-billed roller, spotted-flanked barbet, green-billed coucal, Arnot’s chat, long-tailed fiscal, Sterling’s barred warbler, Livingstone’s flycatcher, white helmet-shrikes, red-winged warbler, Boehm’s bee-eater, red-throated twin spot, black cuckoo-shrike, green-capped eremomela, green-capped eremomela, red-faced Crombec, red-billed helmetshrike, spotted-flanked barbet, yellow-bellied bulbul, Bennett’s woodpecker, Dickinson’s kestrel, pearl-spotted owl and many more.
Selous wildlife reserve is one of the safari destinations in Tanzania where Tanzania walking safari are possible, walking safaris offers an up close moment with nature and numerous wildlife species found in the reserve such as giraffes, gazelles, zebras among others. Walking safaris in Selous game reserve are done in company of an armed range for protection just in case of animal attack, walking safaris are done of various walking trails running through the park’s savannah plains and along the banks of river Rufiji.
Walking safaris usually last for about 2-3 hours in groups of not more than 6 people, children are not allowed to participate in Tanzania walking safaris Selous game reserve due to the safety of the children.
Selous wildlife reserve is one of the great destinations for Tanzania boat safaris done on Rufiji River and lakes dotted around the reserve such as Lake Tagalala, boat safaris are such a thrilling Tanzania safari experience where you get to drift along the river while watching wildlife species and water birds along the banks of the river.
Boat safaris in Selous game reserve are of two types that is short boat safari and full day boat safari, short boat safari is done either from 7 am – 9 am and 4 pm – 6 pm and this session is ideal for watching plenty of bird species such as African Fish Eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, Golitah herons, African skimmer and many wildlife. Wild life spotted on short boat safari include hippos, crocodiles, Nile monitgor Lizards on the river banks and monkeys such as blue monkeys, savannah baboon, black and white colobus monkeys spotted playing on the trees along the river banks.
Full day boat safari in Selous game reserve last for a full day offering ample time to explore Rufiji River and lakes of the reserve in full depth, on this session expect to come across numerous animals species such as waterbucks, impalas, elephants as they bath in the river water, kudus, warthogs and many more.
Selous game reserve offers some of the excellent Tanzania fishing safaris which are done in the Rufiji River, Rufiji River hosts numerous species of fish caught of fishing experience such as tiger fish, cat fish, Rufiji Tilapia, Oreochromis Urolepis Elephant fish and Marmyrus longorostris. Fishing safaris in Selous game reserve involve sailing between fishing spots using a boat is a great chance to enjoy nature, calm waters of the river and spot animals wondering and drinking water on the river such as hippos, elephants and beautiful birds.
Your Tanzania safari to Selous game reserve can never be complete with a Tanzania cultural tour which is conducted in Mloka Village situated adjust to the reserve downriver from Selous River camp in a short drive using a car. Cultural tours in Selous game reserve are intimate safari experiences offering an encounter with the locals, learning more about their history and traditions through interactions, visiting primary schools, the local market and many more.
Tanzania cultural tours in Selous game reserve are done in guidance of a safari guide and offer as long cultural tours which takes about over 4 hours and short cultural tour taking 4 hours. The recommended for doing cultural tours in Selous game reserve are morning and late afternoon hours.
How to get to Selous game reserve
Selous wildlife reserve is situated in the southern region of Tanzania and lies in a distance of about 130 – 500 kilometers southwest of Dar-es-Salaam, the reserve is accessed by tourists using 3 means of transport that are by road, railway and air means of transport.
Selous game reserve is easily accessed from Dar es Salaam using the direct route of 240 kilometers easterly road via Kibiti and Mloka to Mtemere Gate which is a drive of about 6 hours, Selous wildlife reserve can also be combination with other national parks while on Kenya safari such as Mikumi and Ruaha national park.
Getting to Selous wildlife reserve by railway is an adventure of its own and TAZARA (Tanzania Zambia Railway) system is used starting from Dar es Salaam to Matambwe, on your journey you will enjoy the beautiful bush land and panoramic landscape of the rural villages of Tanzania on a journey of 4-5 hours.
Using air means of transport is an alternative to tourists who wish to get to Selous wildlife reserve in the quickest time possible, domestic flights to Selous game reserve are offered from various cities of Tanzania such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Zanzibar landing at airstrips like Mtemere airstrip serving the reserve. Flights to Selous wildlife reserve are offered by numerous domestic flight carriers such as AirTanzania, Precison Air, Regional Air, Safari Air Link and Coastal Aviation.
Where to stay in Selous game reserve
Selous wildlife reserve is dotted with world class accommodation ranging from luxury, midrange and budget, safari lodges and camps in Selous game reserve are comfortable accommodation, services and facilities to make your safari experience worth a while. In Selous game reserve accommodation is offered by Beho Beho camp, Siwandu camp, Mivumo river lodge, Selous Serena camp, Roho ya Selous, Selous Mbuyu safari camp, Rufiji river camp, Selous Impala camp, Selous Ngalawa camp and many more.