Selous Game Reserve Information
Showcasing an enticing mixture of abundant wildlife and varied terrain, the Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve which at the same time, is one of the top wildlife viewing areas. Specifically, this great piece of wilderness is located at the Southern Tanzania’s safari circuit. It covers around 50,000 square kilometers which offer unparalleled beauty and endless adventure.
The park was established in 1922 when four game reserves in the area were conjoined and was named after Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter, and early conservationist. Selous was shot dead by a sniper on New Year’s Day in 1917 close to the banks of the Beho Beho River where his remains where buried. Additionally, after Tanzania gained its independence the reserve was expanded to include elephant migration routes. The reserve is now known to have one of the largest elephant population in the continent.
Due to its wildlife diversity and undisturbed nature, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The park is an untouched African wilderness and all human entrance and exit are controlled by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Permanent human settlements are not allowed inside the park. Tourists, however, can and are encouraged to enjoy Tanzanian cultural village tours around the park’s boundaries.
It is the home to different wildlife animals which makes the viewing experience spectacular and worth waiting for. Expect nothing but to see a great number of African bush elephant, black rhino, hippopotamus, lion, East African wild dog, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffe, Plains zebra, and Nile crocodile which will surely leave you in awe. Aside from the wild animals, the mystical rivers and lakes of the park is a game changer for every adventurer. Indeed, it is a wild and pristine destination.
What makes the park different from others is the fact that it is a protected charter, but is still accessible from Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam for everyone to see and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Africa. Tourists, both local and international, can enjoy the section of the northern part of the reserve from Rufiji River. This section is home to channels and lagoons that run off from the Rufiji River which gives life to lush landscape which attracts wildlife specially during the dry season (June to October). These rivers and lagoons also serve as water supply to the wildlife calling this area home. The northern Selous which covers around 5% of the reserve’s total area is exclusively for photographic safari only. On the other hand, a vast area on its southern part is hunting concession zones. Visitors who wish to stay in the Selous Game Reserve for a day or two can choose from high-end lodges and camps situated along the river and lake systems.
Some of the places which visitors shouldn’t miss include the Rufiji River and the Stiegler Gorge. The Rufiji River flows into the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island and Stiegler Gorge is a canyon of 100 meters depth and 100 meters width.
Tourists can choose from a variety of viewing activities offered wherein the trip can either be via boat, vehicle or on foot. Boat safaris drift clients into the lakes and rivers with an up-close encounter to the birds and animals. The game walks are offered only to visitors whose ages are 12 and above and 16 and above for those who wish to visit Lake Manze and Impala.
Lastly, game drives will surely captivate everyone especially when it is done at the end of the dry season where large animals are around the five lakes. Selous has a varied ecosystem with over 2,000 plant species located in the park as well.