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The spectacular Selous Game Reserve which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest expanse of game reserve in Africa covers a massive 55,000 square kilometres of rolling savannah about 4 times the size of Serengeti and larger than Switzerland. It covers 5% of Tanzania’s land area. It is home to the largest concentration of elephants in the world. There are more wild dogs in Selous than anywhere else in Africa. Game drives are best taken from sunrise. They are not constrained by time or distance. The tour guides are the best trained and will take great pride in showing you all that this vast reserve has to offer. There are no permanent human habitation or permanent structures permitted and all human entry and exit is carefully controlled by Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. For wildlife you will see the big five and over 550 species of birds. The waterways such as Rufiji river and Ruaha have alot to offer. A safari to this park is usually taken as a 'southern circuit' Tanzanian safari.
The park is very famous for elephants, rhinos and hippopotamus. Big herds of elephants are attracted by river Rufiji. Other wildlife include: white bearded gnu, sable antelope, eland, greater kudu, waterbuck, hartebeest, zebra, giraffe, reedbuck, warthog, spotted hyena, lion, leopard, hunting dog and buffalo. You will spot the 'big five' here. The reserve is home to several rare antelope species such as puku and sable. The black rhinos can also be spotted in varuious pockets of bush. For the ornithologists Selous is host to over 350 species of birds. You will also find reptiles and insects. There are over 2000 species of plants. A number of trips are offered by boat, vehicle or on foot.
• Reptiles that can be spotted include: crocodile, tortoise, hinged terrapin, rainbow agama, monitor, chameleons, python, black mamba, spitting cobra, frogs, lizards and puff adder.
• Boat safaris - They allow you to move swiftly on the lakes and channels leading you through to the birds and animals closely including hippos and crocodiles.
• Walking safari - It is a must do if you are looking for something very special and different in the Selous game reserve. The beauty and peacefulness that you see and feel while on a Tanzania walking safari in the Selous reserve cannot be compared to any other.
• Game drives - They are truly rewarding during the dry season (June - October) as many large mammals gather around the rivers and the 5 lakes in this reserve. Some of the camps offer overnight fly camping excursions which involve sleeping out in an exalted mosquito net in the middle of the bush land.
Selous is an adventure for guests looking out to visit the real bush!
Visitors to the game reserve can find different types of accommodation according to their budget ranging from lodges, luxury tented camps, open-air camping sites and fly camping options. Accommodation include among others:
• Azura Selous Tourist Lodge - located along the banks of the Ruaha river, with private plunge pools and butler-hosts to look after you.
• Selous River Camp - which is a down-to-earth mudhut campsite located on the magnificent Rufiji River.
• Luxury safari tented camps.
• Open-air campsites.
• Fly camping sites
• Picnic sites.
Tourist accommodation varies from luxury to the most basic rooms for the budget traveller. It is a tourist destination that is peaceful and full-filling for those who love off-road game drives. Accommodation feature all the neccessary amenities a visitor would require. It is very suitable for all travellers. The park include several airstrips such as Mtemere and Beho Beho.
✓ Siwandu Safari Camp ✓ Selous Wilderness Camp ✓ Selous Riverside Safari Camp ✓ Selous Mbuyu Safari Camp ✓ Selous Impala Camp ✓ Sand Rivers Selous ✓ Rufiji River Camp ✓ Selous Luxury Camp.
Park entry: The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
Entry to the park is by smart card, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
Selous was first designated as a protected area in 1896 by a German governor and became a hunting reserve in 1905. Selous is rather remote but there are several high end lodges and camps mainly situated along the rivers and lakes systems in the northern part of the reserve. Most visitors arrive by light aircraft from Dar es Salaam. For wildlife Selous had the largest concentration of elephants of about 110,000 on the continent but has been decimated by rampant poaching to about 50,000 to-date. Poaching and ivory trade is outlawed in Tanzania. The reserve still remains set aside for game hunting through privately leased hunting concessions that are dependent on the number of animals that need curling at a given time. The northern part of the park along the Rufiji River is designated as a photographic zone and is a popular tourist destination in southern Tanzania. Fly camping excursions and fly camping safaris are allowed in this park. The best time to visit Selous is June to October which also ranks as the high season. This is the dry period when animals gather at water points and the presence of thinner vegetation. The worst season sets in March and April when there is plenty of rainfall. Selous is an excellent safari destination for both African honeymoons and family safaris.
• Stiegler Gorge - It is a canyon of 100 metres deep and 100 metres wide. It is a geographical feature that is contrasting to a terrain that is dominated by Savanna wooded grasslands, deciduous Miombo woodlands, thick thorn shrubs, ground-water forests and rocky outcrops.
• River Rufiji - It flows through the reserve. It is the most notable geographical feature inside the reserve with its 2 tributaries of rivers Ruaha and Kilombero. Safari activities you may engage in are river rafting, game fishing and boat safaris on the mighty river Rufiji. Rufiji river is stuffed with diverse types of fish the most commonly caught being the tiger and cat fish. Tiger fish can weigh between 5–15kg while mature cat fish can weigh up to 50kg.
• Birds in Selous - Over 350 bird species have been recorded. Selous is a fantastic destination to watch birds. The bird habitats are the lagoons, islands, river Rufiji, channels and sandbanks. The best way to observe the bird species living here is by going for a boat safari. During the months of November to April, there are is a large number of migratory birds. Bird species you could spot include: spur-winged lapwing , african wattled lapwing, white-fronted bee-eater, pels fishing owl, african spoonbill, white-headed vulture, pearl-spotted owlet, white-headed lapwing, african skimmer, Böhms bee-eater, yellow-billed stork, pels fishing owl, broad-billed roller, white-fronted plover, brown-headed parrot, white-backed vulture, brown-necked parrot, black-winged stilt, palm-nut vulture, dickinsons kestrel, racket-tailed roller, thick-billed cuckoo, white-backed night heron, carmine bee-eater, rock pratincole, mosque swallow, the brown-breasted barbet, purple-banded sunbird, Mangrove kingfishers, Von der Deckens hornbill, African skimmers, pearl-spotted owl, palm-nut vulture, layards black-headed weavers, freckled nightjars, grey Penduline-tit, grey-hooded kingfisher, red-throated twin spot, waders, wattle-eyed flycatchers, broad-billed roller, spotted-flanked barbet, green-billed coucal, arnots chat, long-tailed fiscal, sterlings barred warbler, livingstones flycatcher, white helmet-shrikes, red-winged warbler, red-throated twin spot, black cuckoo-shrike, green-capped eremomela, green-capped eremomela, red-faced Crombec, red-billed helmetshrike, spotted-flanked barbet, yellow-bellied bulbul, bennetts woodpecker and pearl-spotted owl.
• By Road: It is a 6-8 hrs road trip from Dar es Salaam through Morogoro town and Ulugulu mountains. The reserve is accessible from Mikumi National Park through Matambwe gate in the north-west. The other access gate is Mtemere gate that lies to the north-east of the game reserve.
• By Air: Available are a number of local flights from Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar that land on different accommodation units and public access airstrips such as Siwandu, Mtemere, Matembwe, Beho Beho and Kiba among a few others. An air safari may be abit costly but is surely the quickest and most convenient way to your safari destinations in the south of Tanzania.
(Make sure to contact us if you wish to visit this game reserve for your next south Tanzanian safari circuit holiday activity.)
Park charges are based on " " Tanzania tourism development tariffs which are reviewed from time to time. The rates we have quoted here are for information purposes and are indicative of the likely park charges you can incur. They are NOT accurate but approximate. However please note that if you have booked a complete wildlife safari package with us, park charges are included in the total cost of your safari at the time of booking. Therefore you need not worry about park entry fee!
Tourism development levy - It currently stands at US$ 1.5 per person per day including children.
• This park accepts Safari Cards.
• Park Entry Fee are based on Tourism development Tarrifs.
• Tanzanian law protects the whole Selous ecosystem from human pressures. It prevents human-wildlife conflict. As a visitor, you are therefore required to leave the park as tidy as you found it. Litering and dropping rubbish is strictly prohibited. You will be prosecuted if you violate these rules.
• If you take a boat safari on Rufiji river and lakes, it is your responsibility to ensure that you wear life jackets and other recommended items for your safety while in the water ways.
• The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:00 pm.
• Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gates.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Scheduled local flight services to Selous are available from Arusha, Dar es salaam and Zanzibar Airports.
Airport transfers are available at an additional charge. Please let us know that we need to pick you up at the airport upon your arrival. Do not assume.