Selous Game Reserve is the largest wildlife game reserve in Africa. It is four times the size of the Serengeti, covering an area of 55,000 sq. km. The reserve is the second largest park in the country. In 1982 it was designated a World Heritage Site due to its unique ecological system. The main feature of the Selous is the Rufiji River which flows through the reserve. The park is not as frequently visited as the Northern part of Tanzania therefore visitors can experience adventures in totally wild and unspoiled bush.
Selous (pronounced ‘Seloo’) possesses a diverse landscape including open grasslands, acacia and miombo woodlands, sporadic lakes, swamps, a dense forest and channels from the Rufiji and Ruaha rivers. Its wildlife is spectacular and visitors on safaris can witness the largest population of some mammals and reptiles in the whole of Africa, in particular buffaloes, elephants, hippos, wild dogs and crocodiles.
The reserve was set to protect these large mammal populations which had dramatically reduced due to poaching. Other wildlife to be found are wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, zebra, the beautiful Maasai giraffe, greater and lesser kudu, baboons and black and white colobus monkeys. The population of predators is also large and includes lions, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena. There are over 400 species of birds both resident and migratory and there are more than 2000 species of plants to explore.
Animal migration is not only confined to the Serengeti, but another and known ancient migration takes place in Selous moving on to Mozambique’s Niassa Game Rerserves in the dry season. It is one the largest trans-boundary in Africa with an estimate of over 60000 elephants that roam between the two countries and the largest number is seen on the Tanzania's side.
The Selous is accessible all year round but the best time to visit is during the dry season from June to October. The wet season is between November to end of March and December to February.
It is usually recommended that visitors take scheduled or charter flights to Selous (especially between February and April when the road conditions can become very bad). All camps have an airstrip so lodges can be reached easily. To get there by road it takes about eight hours drive from Dar es Salaam.