Selous Game Reserve


  7 reviews
Nile crocodile in Rufiji River, Selous
Nile crocodile in Rufiji River, Selous
About Selous Game Reserve
Country found in:
Parks total area:
54,600 km² (21,100 mile²)
Year established:
1917
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • A vast, untrammeled wilderness
  • Largely untouched wildlife and vegetation
  • The hunting and fishing of game
  • Opportunities for photography and boat safari
  • Miombo woodlands

Situated in southern Tanzania, 200 km (124 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, the 54,600 km²  (21,100 mile²) Selous Game Reserve is known--among those who know it--for its wide-ranging, untrammeled wilderness and unspoiled wildlife and vegetation. Selous is the largest protected area in Tanzania and home to Stiegler’s Gorge, which feeds the marvelous Rufiji River and its many wandering tributaries and lakes. Grasslands, savannah, wetlands, thickets and swamps constitute Selous’ truly biodiverse acreage, and Miombo woodlands root here. 

Originally set aside by German colonialists, Selous was protected in the late 1800s, in 1917 named after hunter/explorer Frederick Courteney Selous and in 1982 declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, Selous is uninhabited by humans; moreover, the comings and goings of visitors are privy to substantial oversight, allowing the reserve’s faunal processes to unfurl largely undisturbed. Large numbers of animals live, hunt and are hunted within this reserve, most of which is reserved for game hunting and fishing. In addition, a small portion of the park’s northern land is set aside for tourism and photography, and safari in the form of game drives, walking safaris and boat trips down the Rufiji present opportunities for viewing wildlife.
Elephant, lion, cape buffalo, black rhinoceros, cheetah and wild dog, giraffe, antelope, hartebeest, greater kudu, eland, wildebeest, crocodile and hippo are among the beasts that roam Selous. 

In two highly criticized turns of events, 2012 saw UNESCO agree to shrink Selous’ southern boundary to allow uranium mining, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to begin work toward construction of a hydroelectric power plant and dam at tourist-heavy Stiegler’s Gorge. Critics of each fear that these measures will spoil the currently unspoiled, harming the environment and keeping tourists at bay.


When is the best time of year to visit Selous Game Reserve? 

The dry season, July to October, offers strong game-viewing opportunities.

 

Safari tour packages (65)   See all tour packages

Change currency:
Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Feb 22, 2017   |   Visited: Jan 2017.
The Selous is the Largest game reserve in all of Africa, named after the great explorer Frederik Courtney Selous, who is incidentally, buried in the park at a grave site that can be visited by guests in the reserve.

The photographic area of the Selous is in the northern part of the park, spanning about 3000sq km. The area is mostly flat and steady at about 50-6... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
8 people gave this review kudus.

(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 11, 2016   |   Visited: Jul 2011.
Selous Game Reserve is an unmatched, unchallenged and undisturbed game reserve. Selous is among the worlds largest game reserves and has a significant concentration of wild animals like elephants, wild dogs, lions, leopards, black rhinos, hippos and crocodiles. The view of sunset from the Rufiji River is as amazing as anything can be. Once you witness it you will n... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
10 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Nov 30, 2015   |   Visited: Nov 2015.
The diverse Selous Game Reserve is one of the few places in the world whose ecology and biological processes are totally undisturbed by man. For that matter Selous Game Reserve is the 2nd largest remaining wilderness in Africa covering 44800kmsq. The life line of Selous is the river Rufiji which flows across the Reserve and covers the large parts of the wooded gras... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
10 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Oct 17, 2014   |   Visited: Jul 2009.
I had been to several of the northern parks of Tanzania numerous times already when I got a chance to explore the southern parks. Oh my, that was something I should have done way earlier! Okay I agree, if you want to go for the abundant wildlife, the incredible Great Migration, you should go to the Northern Parks. But if you already visited the Northern Parks, I wo... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
13 people gave this review kudus.

(3/5 stars) Written on: Sep 17, 2013   |   Visited: Oct 2012.
We spent a few days in Selous and have mixed feelings about it. It was definitely less crowded than the northern parks and we saw quite a few lions. However, in Selous, we were required to share a vehicle with others and it was an open-sided vehicle, which meant no place to rest the camera lens. Also, the foliage is much more dense here and it's far more humid than... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
13 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Apr 14, 2013   |   Visited: Apr 2011.
My fondest memory of Selous was spending the evenings watching the sunset in the amazing African skies as I took a personal boat ride in the murky waters of the crocodile-infested yet calm part of the Rufiji River. I don't think you need to spend more than three days here but it is worth visiting this place simply to experience things most parks don't offer. For ex... read more

I saw

Wild dog
Elephant
Nile crocodile
African buffalo
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
13 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Apr 14, 2013   |   Visited: Jan 2010.
I visited the Selous after having spent nearly two weeks in northern Tanzania. We had to take a very small (it was just the pilot and us) plane into the Selous from Dar es Salaam, so it's not as easy to get to as the northern parks are. As we were landing, a boy had to run out and chase a giraffe off the 'landing strip' (which was essentially soil). I will never fo... read more
Like this review? Go on, give it a kudu!
 
13 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 8 / 10
Abundance of wildlife but remote location and limited lodging options.
Enlarge map to see all parks and current weather

What our members think

Quality of wildlife

Crowdedness*

Quality of lodging

Overall rating

See all 7 reviews

Articles about the Selous

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Cheetah
Cheetah
Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
Wild dog
Wild dog
Elephant
Elephant
See a complete list

Getting to Selous

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Bush walks
Bush walks
Game drives
Game drives
Photography
Photography

Want our reviews on your website

Shortlisted tour operators You can shortlist up to
5 tour operators