Selous Game Reserve
The Selous Reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa, covering 54,600 km². The Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland. The area with its enormous concentration of wildlife is named after the English big game hunter and author Frederick Courtney Selous (1851 – 1917). The reserve is home to Tanzania’s largest elephant population and some of the largest populations of buffalo, hippo, crocodile and wild dog in Africa.
Other common species are lions, impalas, giraffes, baboons and zebras. The Selous was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for its unique ecological importance. The landscape is dominated by the Rufiji River and its tributaries, on which boat trips are possible. A huge area in the south of the reserve is divided into several hunting concessions, which are rented to professional big game hunters. Only a smaller part in the north is reserved exclusively for photo safaris.
Area: 54.600 km²
Travel: 210 km from Dar es Salaam
Visistors: no statistics available
Known for: Big Game Hunting, Rhinoceros, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Activities: Game Drives, Walking Safari, Boat Safari
Selous Game Reserve
At 55,000 square kilometres, the Selous is the largest game reserve in Africa. Imagine the full size of the Netherlands with half the size of Belgium or four times the Serengeti. The Selous was first opened in 1905 by the German colonial government and reopened in 1951. In 1982 the game reserve was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is named after the big game hunter and later naturalist Frederick Selous (pronounced: Seluu). Today, very expensive luxury safaris as well as Hunting Safaris are offered here. Typical for the Selous are its vast landscapes with the dry Miombo forests that surround the Rufiji River. Together with its many water arms and floodplains, this river creates a unique atmosphere. Not only hippos and crocodiles, but also water birds of various species can be observed wonderfully close up. The loop between the two lakes Nzelakela and Manze is especially beautiful, but also a detour to Beho Beho and to the tomb of Selous is worthwhile.
During the First World War the Germans fought in Selous against the English. It is hard to imagine, because until today, large parts of the reserve are hardly accessible and you will also see the wild animals in the Selous in not so large numbers as in northern Tanzania. This is mainly because the animals are less used to cars. Hunting is allowed in the southern part of the park, which of course makes the animals get nervous very quickly.
The Selous Game Reserve is home to a huge number of animals, including over 200,000 African buffalo, 80,000 wildebeest, 30,000 elephants and about 4000 lions. The park is also home to Tanzania’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles and the rare African wild dogs. Tanzania’s largest river Rufiji crosses the reserve, with a network of canals, lagoons and swamps that are home to a variety of birds. Although the Game Reserve is a remote and difficult to reach area, it offers the opportunity to go on game drives and walking safaris in varied landscapes without meeting another human being.