Selous Game Reserve is the largest protected game reserve on the African continent covering an area of 54,600 km2 comprised of a vast wilderness with forests, grassy plains, mountains and open woodlands. This reserve was named after Frederick Selous Courtney who was a great Hunter and explorer. Selous has twice the size of Serengeti National Park. This reserve was established im Jahr 1922. In 1982 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its rich diversity of wildlife and uninterrupted nature.
The Tanzanian national park authority (TANAPA) in 2019 proposed and declared a change of identity of the northern sector of this reserve such that it is known as „The Nyerere National Park“ as a way of honoring President Julius Nyerere who was the first president of Tanzania.
The reserve is located in the southern part of Tanzania along the southern Tanzania safari circuit and offers the best escape from the large tourist crowds in the northern safari destinations like Serengeti while offering a remarkable wildlife experience. It is considered to be among the hidden gems in the county and offers a wide range of Selous Game Reserve Camps for accommodation. The reserve is located about 219 km from the busy city of Dar-es-Salaam and may take about 4 hrs drive.
Selous Game Reserve is crossed by River Rufiji (which is the largest river in the country) in the center and forms a network of swamps, channels and lakes to create a very unique ecological system. The reserve is separated into 2 major sections by the river which are the northern and southern Selous.
Northern Selous covers just about 5% of the total area of the reserve and hunting is completely prohibited. This area has been exclusively set aside for photographic safaris.
Southern Selous means the southern part of Rufiji river is separated into various hunting blocks each covering an area of approximately 1,000 km2.
There are big numbers of wildlife mammals found within this national reserve like approximately 145,000 buffalos, 4,000 Lions, 100,000 wildebeests, large hands of giraffes, 35,000 zebras, 40,000 hippos, 250,000 impalas, large numbers of Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, waterbucks, elands and bushbucks, in addition to leopards, crocodiles and hyenas. Furthermore this is among the few wildlife sanctuaries on the African continent where you will find the puku antelopes the African wild dogs as well as the sable antelope. Previously the Selous was home to a very large number of elephants but because of excessive poaching these numbers have greatly reduced and all these can be seen during the game drives on the Selous .
Selous is also home to over 445 different birds species and these have been recorded to live in the various habitats within the reserve for instance along the lake areas are the giant kingfishers, the pink backed pelican as well as the African skimmer; along the sandbanks you will see the white-fronted bee-eater, fish eagle, carmine, ibises and palmnut vultures. The purple-crested turaco, yellow-billed stork, trumpeter hornbill, white-crowned spur-winged plovers, malachite kingfishers and various small waders are among the other water birds, as well various migrant species all visible.
Getting there: 6-7 hrs drive from Dar-es-Salaam (only in dry season) or 1,5 hrs. flight from Dar-es-Salaam