Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is the largest as well as the oldest national parks on the African continent. it covers over five (5) percent of the land area of Tanzania. Its landscape comprises of beautiful rolling grassy hills, woodlands, rocky outcrops, plains as well as River Rufiji and its numerous tributaries which form a network of lagoons, lakes and channels. You will also come across a number of beautiful hot water springs.
The vast Selous offers a wide variety of tourist activities among which are: boating safaris, fly camping, hiking safaris and game drive safaris making it an ideal destination for family safaris as well as honeymoon holidays. This reserve is habitat to the third largest population of wild dogs on the planet.
The Northern part of reserve has to a network of lagoons plus water channels and that flow from River Rufiji. This flourishing terrain offers a water supply for the animals living within this part of the reserve enough to take them through to the end of the dry months. So during the dry season you will encounter several animals gathered around the water sources offering very amazing opportunities for game viewing, and no wonder majority of the accommodation facilities in this reserve were built around the water sources. The Selous receives the highest number of visitors from July to mid – November.
Animals in Selous Game Reserve
The Selous Reserve offers very rewarding wildlife views thanks to the numerous water sources found in the main northern circuit where numerous giraffe and several ungulates such as buffaloes, waterbucks, impalas plus zebras are commonly seen trailed with different hungry predators like lions.
The reserve is home to different animals including: Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, Buffalos, Zebras, Wildebeests, White Rhinos, Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Wild Dogs, and the unusual puku and sable antelopes
Best time for wildlife viewing
For the best views of wildlife in the Selous, we recommend you visit during the dry season which begins in June up to October, as the vegetation is thinner and the animals normally gather around the enduring water sources. The wild dogs can best be seen from June to the month of August when they are denning.
Avoid the wet months of April, May and up to Mid-June when the rains are heavy and the roads are impassable.
Bird watching in the Selous Game Reserve
There are more than 440 different bird species that have been recorded within this reserve. Majority of these live along the sand-backs, water channels, lagoons, River Rufiji as well as on the islands. Bird watching in this reserve can best be enjoyed while on a boat safari. Some of the most prevalent species here include: African spoonbill, African wattled lapwing, Spur-winged lapwing, White-headed vulture, White-fronted bee-eater.
How to get to Selous Game Reserve
Most of the visitor that go to Selous fly in from Dar es Salaam and land either Selous or Rauha. However there are also flights connecting from Arusha the tourism capital for the northern Tanzania Safari Circuit.
Alternatively you can make it to the Selous by road, although the drive is very long and bumpy.
Selous Reserve is commonly visited as an extension on a safari itinerary for a Zanzibar beach holiday or to Dar es Salaam.
Best time to visit the Selous
Within the Selous Game Reserve viewing of wildlife is best starting in late June up to October as it is the dry season and the animals are easier to see since they gather at the few available water sources. You are recommended to avoid the wet months since the roads are impassable and most of the lodges are closed especially in March, April and May.