Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve, located in southern Tanzania, is Africa’s largest game reserve in terms of square kilometers. With only few visitors, it is also a hidden gem far from the madding crowds of the northern parks. An off-the-beaten-path destination, it rewards visitors with an unspoiled wilderness and outstanding game encounters. The reserve was named after the explorer and hunter Frederick Courtney Selous.

Located roughly 220 km from Dar es Salaam, Selous Game Reserve can easily be reached by plane but can also be accessed by road. Thanks to its great abundance of species and habitats, it is also an important wildlife corridor that links to the Niassa Game Reserve in Mozambique. Selous gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1982.

This untouched, rugged game reserve offers its few visitors a huge range of activities. Regular game drives can easily be combined with spectacular boat safaris and incredible walking safaris with armed rangers. For the very adventurous traveler, a night under the African sky during a fly-camping experience is a spectacular highlight. Also, photographers will be amazed by this reserve’s supreme and unique beauty.

Main Facts:

  • Located in the Southern Circuit of Tanzania
  • Flight connection to Dar es Salaam (DAR)
  • Established in 1922
  • Size: 54,600 km²

Main Habitats:

  • Open grassland and rocky acacia-clad hills
  • Miombo woodlands
  • Swamps and riverine forests


  • Dry: June to October = best for game viewing
  • Wet: November to May = roads become impassable during March and May


  • Game drives
  • Boat safaris
  • Fly camping
  • Walking safaris

Flora & Fauna:

Selous Game Reserve combines a large variety of habitats including open grasslands, rocky acacia-clad hills, riverine forests and swamps as well as Miombo woodlands along with borassus palm trees. More than 2100 plants have so far been recorded though there are yet to be discovered plants in the southern part of the reserve. The Rufiji River, which creates a complex network of channels, lakes and swamps, is a haven and life force for the local wildlife.

The Rufiji River in Selous – a source of life…

The heart of the Selous Game Reserve is the Rufiji River which splits the reserve into two different sections. The northern part of Selous only covers 15% of the total reserve and is fully dedicated to photo safari tourists. Selous’ southern part is split into various hunting blocks, however, Tanzania Safari Bug does not offer hunting safaris. The wildlife tends to be cautions towards humans and vehicles as a consequence of hunting activities. Nevertheless, the wildlife is slowly getting used to vehicles.

The Rufiji River is the catchment area for superb wildlife observations. The labyrinth of channels, lakes and streams creates a delicate water paradise similar to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Boat safaris are a great way to view wildlife from a different perspective. Visitors will come across sunbathing crocodiles or witness hippos from up close. While herbivores gather here to drink carnivores lie in wait. Spectacular encounters are in store for you!


Selous’ varied terrain provides a splendid habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Its large mammal population encompasses a significant population of African elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles and hippopotamus. Baboons, monkeys, giraffes, hyenas and zebras also play a part in the scenery. Rhinos do in fact inhabit Selous but sightings are extremely rare and should not be expected.

A large population of ungulates call Selous their home. These include puku and sable antelopes, elands, Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, impalas, greater kudus and Nyassa wildebeests. They provide the perfect dinner for the well over 3500 lions. Leopards are usually found lounging in the riverine woodland. Selous, moreover, is an important sanctuary for the endangered African wild dog.

With more than 440 recorded species of birds, Selous is a paradise for ornithologists. Apart from the endemic Uzungwa forest partridge, hornbills, plovers, storks, sunbirds, turacos and vultures can be observed. The lakes are home to fish eagles, ibises, kingfishers and pelicans, while along the sandbank you will often find large bee-eater colonies.


Selous Game Reserve is a perfect match for travelers:

  • who want an off the beaten track experience
  • who want an extended stay in one place for in-depth park explorations
  • who are looking for a varied wildlife experience
  • who want to leave their vehicle and explore the park by foot and boat



Lake Manze Camp


Roho ya Selous

Rufiji River Camp


Sand Rivers Selous


Selous River Camp


Siwandu Camp


The Retreat