Selous Game reserve is actually one of Tanzania’s prided game reserves thanks to its undisturbed eco-system that made it a UNESCO World heritage site in 1982. The reserve is part of the larger Selous eco-system that covers 90,000sq km that includes other Tanzania national parks such as Mikumi national park, forest reserves and managed Kilombero wildlife areas. It was named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this territory in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I.
Selous reserve is dominantly covered in miombo woodlands; acacia trees growing on moulders, ground water forests, swamps, rivers and savannah that accounts for 44, 800sq km of the entire park area. Much of the park is a protected hunting ground except for the north and north eastern region on the banks of Rufigi river that are reserved as photographic tourist region. It is the same region that are recorded as the best outpost on game viewing drives.
River Rufigi is an exceptional feature of Selous Game reserve, draining the norther part of the game reserve with tributaries like Ruaha, luhembero and Kilombero. The river floods in during the rainy season carrying sand and soils to the river beds that define much of Selous reserve’s landscape.
Wildlife in Selous Game reserve
The rich bio-diversity in Selous Game reserve has maintained a precious Selous game habitat for several mammals. Rufigi river and its tributary streams attract several game for the dry season with significant large animals like elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions, leopards, hippos, spotted hyena, African wild hunting dog, and others. Other smaller animals include wildebeests, waterbuck, impala, zebras, hartebeests, kongoni, eland, reed buck, cheetah, sable, greater kudu, klipspringer, side stripped jackal, puku, red duikers and many others. Several primates have also found home in the forest woodlands among them red colobus monkeys, Sanje crested mangabey, white and black colobus, baboons and many others.
More than 350 of Tanzania’s birds live in Selous reserve with notable species being knob billed duck, ground horn bill, beateuler eagle, woodpecker, Udzungwa forest patridge, rufous winged sunbird, Kilombero weaver, wattle crane, corncake, lesser kestrel, marabou stork and many others.
Selous Game Reserve Accommodation
There are several luxury safari lodges to find within Selous game reserve, camping sites and tented safari accommodation that meets standard Tanzania safari accommodation. Selous Game lodge is one of them with luxury safari accommodation; well furnished rooms, fitted bathroom, excellent game viewing outposts from the verandas overlooking Rufigi river.
Other safari lodges along Rufigi include Selous safari camp, Lake Manze Selous camp, Selous impala camp, Rufigi River camp Selous and Sable Mountain lodge. Beho-Beho is an interesting hill in the reserve with excellent overview of the game reserve,outdoor good camping grounds and some of the historical sites like Sir Fredrick Selous grave.
Animals & wildlife in Selous Game Reserve
Generally, Selous provides amazing views of wildlife. The series of lakes together with the main circuit is a nice place to see the uniquely large number of giraffes together with several ungulates such as zebras, buffaloes, impalas and waterbucks. The waterholes are normally monitored by hungry lions and every once in a while you will be able to see a kill.
The Wild dogs are among the main attractions within the Selous. This park is as well home to a number of rare species of antelope such as the puku as well as the sable. The black rhinos are common however at times may be tracked down in the isolated parts of the park.
Best time for a Safari in Selous
From June up to October is the dry season and this is the finest time to watch game inside the park. The wild animals are eaier to see since the vegetation is not so dense and the animals have congregated around the renowned sources of water. Just after the heavy rains have ended, the roads are really impassable and the majority of the camps are closes as the wet season ends. The best time to watch the uncommon wild dogs is in their denning period which starts in June all through to August.
The Selous Game Reserve was gazetted by the government of the German colonial and right after seventeen years, following the merging of four reserves which formed the current large Selous Game Reserve today. The reserved was named after a British explorer Frederic Courtney Selous, who was murdered and buried in this very Game Reserve.
This sanctuary is one of the largest Tanzania sheltered areas as well as in the whole world and spreads out over nearly five regions of this country: the Morogoro, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Coastal region as well as Lindi covers an expanse of more than 50, 000 square kilometers. It is found in the southern part of Tanzania. Currently, the Selous Game Reserve is the largest wildlife reserve on the entire African continent, and may be in the whole world.
The most important geographical feature within the wildlife reserve id the stunning River Rufiji together with its two tributaries River Kilombero and River Ruaha. River Rufiji is fed by the many smaller attributes, rivers and streams.
In general, the vegetation of Selous Game largely varies. The landscape is dominated by the Savannah wooded grasslands as well as the deciduous Miombo woodland. There are dense thorn bushes plus ground-water forests in addition to rocky outcrops as well characterize this terrain of the Reserve.
Some of the adventure activities you can enjoy here are thrilling River Rafting Safaris
There are well Game fishing safaris which can be enjoyed on River Rufiji which is filled with different fish species. The most usually caught species of fish are tiger fish as well as the cat fish which in fact is the most commonly caught. tiger fish are not only very strong but also a good ‘fighter’ although luckily they are pretty plentiful in the waters of this river, and special about them is that they grow to great sizes of 5 kg to 15kg. In contrast, the cat fish can grow to huge sizes of up to 50 kilograms.
Selous Game Reserve Safari
Getting To Selous
When To Visit Selous
Birding in Selous