Selous National Park
The Rufiji River, with its lagoons, sandbanks and lakes, and the surrounding forests and woodlands that make up the Selous Game Reserve create a very unique and unusual safari environment.
The vast area contained within the reserve boundaries accounts for 5% of the land mass of Tanzania, and yet all options for tourists are high quality, low-impact lodges that provide a high standard of accommodation.
Covering almost 53,000 square km, an area greater than Switzerland, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest areas set aside for wildlife preservation anywhere in the world, although only a small northern portion is allocated.
The freedom to take walking and boating safaris within the conservation area means that guiding standards are also especially good and can extend to include excellent options to fly-camp overnight in the bush.
This is an area that naturally appeals to a photographic lens, as the waterways and plains reflect all the changing colours of the sun and attract numerous fine-feathered water birds and raptors.
The spectrum of wildlife here is diverse, all the more interesting because its southern location attracts a unique combination of East and Southern African wildlife, both resident and migratory, and particularly a curious and colourful assortment of over 440 known species of birds.
Park supports enormous numbers of wild animals: 200,000 buffalo, 30,000 elephant (more than half the country's population), and 80,000 wildebeest, as well as one of the healthiest populations of the endangered African Wild Dog.
The intricate waterways and tributaries of the Rufiji River Delta attract a healthy population of elephant, and are packed full of grunting hippopotami and yawning crocodile that lumber ominously into the water at the first sound of a boat. The banks attract different sized herds of plains game depending on the season, as herds disperse after the rains and then regroup when the water sources concentrate and they are forced to venture into the open to drink, so risking predator attacks with the protection of the crowd.
About Selous Game Reserve
Size: 53,000 sq km (20,510 sq miles) - 4 times bigger than Serengeti.
Location:Distance from Dar es Salaam: 250km, via Kibiti. Driving time is 8 hours in dry season
Distance from Morogoro:250km, via Uluguru Mountain. Driving time is 9 hours approx in dry season
The size and location of Selous means it is accessible only by small bush planes that take the client into remote bush strips, cleared of doum palms, deep in the reserve OR Drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park or Ruaha National Park.
What to do
Walking Safaris offer exciting and exclusive Walking Safaris based out of mobile bush camps (sleep out under the stars), through some of the most diverse and game rich habitats.
Walking Safaris, bush camping and boat trips are highly recommended safari activities
When to go
From the late-May to beginning of November with short rains that include some dry spells occurring on and off to the end of February. From March through the mid or late May, depending, are the long rains. The time of the year which gives the best botanical experience is between the months of January and February during the short dry spells, which gives the vegetation an opportunity to soak up some sunshine and lets them pride their beautiful colors and lush greenery.
The standard of the luxury safari lodges in these regions is also exceptionally high and the guiding is of a very high standard. Luxury camps are available as well.