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Graham and Rhylle Polke, Netherlands: Selous Private Camp

Great sites for the camps enabled us to enjoy the views and sounds of the animals. Love the lion...

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Selous Game Reserve

Tanzania Safaris - Sunset at Selous Game Reserve
Tanzania Safaris - Sunset at Selous Game Reserve

Located in south-east Tanzania in a remote and little-visited, yet vast part of the country, the Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest protected wildlife reserve and covers more than 5% of Tanzania's total land area.

On your Tanzania Safari at Selous you will see some of the last black rhino left in the region, and spot wild dogs and roaming elephant herds in this untouched African jewel.

One of the more historic protected areas in Tanzania, the Selous Game Reserve was named after Frederick Courteney Selous, a British explorer and hunter in East Africa (clearly a Tanzania Safari enthusiast !) who wrote a book about the region and his travels, and was tragically killed in land now named after him during the First World War. In 1905, when few people in East Africa thought of land conservation and the preservation of wildlife for posterity, portions of the area were earmarked for a hunting reserve. In 1922, the land area was increased and named after Frederick Selous. From then until 1975, when the current boundaries were marked out, the Selous Game Reserve increased steadily in allocated land and is now the premum Authentic Tanzania Safari location.

On your Tanzania safari with Authentic Tanzania Safaris, we'll show you the Rufigi River Delta, which connects the Great Ruaha River with the Rufigi River. Not far from the park boundaries it empties out into the Indian Ocean along the Swahili Coast.

Rufigi River is home to a plethora of varied water and bird life. Crocodiles are very common along the Rufigi's riverbanks, their armour plated skins the only rough edges in the rivers incessant flow. Hippos bask in the mud, escaping the midday sun. And a Tanzania safari to Selous wouldn't be complete without seeing Stiggler's Gorge, where the Great Ruaha River meets the Rufiji River. This breathtaking example of the diversity and spectacular scenery along the game reserve's waterways is not to be missed on any Tanzania Safari!

Tanzania Safaris - Selous Game Reserve
Tanzania Safaris - Selous Game Reserve

What we at Authentic Tanzania Safaris like about Tanzania Safaris in the Selous Game Reserve is that, as it's a game reserve and not a national park, a larger range of activities are permitted. Walking safaris and boating safaris are becoming a popular alternative to vehicle-based trips, and offer visitors a chance to see the diverse life along the Rufigi River up close in all its splendour. Camping safaris at our exclusive Authentic Tanzania Safaris Maji Moja Camp are also ideal ways to explore the country and add a bit of adventure to your African experience. Just let us know what you'd like to do and we’ll arrange your dream Tanzania safari at the Selous!

Fast Facts - Selous Game Reserve

About Selous Game Reserve

Size: 50,000 sq km (19,305 sq miles), the world's largest game reserve - twice the size of South Africa's Kruger National Park, and bigger than Switzerland.
Location: In the Rufiji River Basin.

Getting there

Daily internal flights from Dar es Salaam. Selous can also be reached by road.

Tanzania Safaris - Selous Wild Dogs
Tanzania Safaris - Selous Wild Dogs

What to do and see

Day walking safaris through untouched bush, boat safaris, camping safaris.

The elephant herd of 65,000 represents more than half of the Tanzanian population, and 5 to 10% of the African total. The buffalo, estimated at 120,000–150,000, and the reserve's 40,000 hippo and 4,000 lion are probably the largest such populations on the continent. The Selous also harbours an estimated 100,000 wildebeest, 35,000 zebra, 25,000 impala and significant herds of greater kudu, hartebeest and eland. It is also one of the most important sanctuaries in Africa for the endangered black rhinoceros, African wild dog, and sable and puku antelope.  Everything you need for the utimate Tanzania Safari.

Best time

June to September for warm days and cool nights, best time of year for walking safaris and camping safaris. Great elephant and buffalo sightings. October to November for heavy concentration of game around the inland lakes, weather dry and hot. December to March for prolific bird life, many animals calving, weather starts to get humid, with possibility of rain.

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