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Selous Game Reserve

experience the wildest game reserve in Africa

Selous is the last true stronghold for the African wild dog – so keep a lookout!

Selous is a wild and pristine game reserve in southern Tanzania, offering an off-the-beaten-track safari with rewarding game viewing. 

 

Selous Game Reserve

Spanning 50,000 km2, Selous is Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve and is a breathtakingly beautiful setting for your game-viewing expedition. In comparison (wildlife-to-visitor ratio) to the famous Serengeti National Park, there’s a lot to see in Selous, and only a handful of other visitors can be seen at any particular time. Thanks to lagoons and channels from the mighty Rufiji River, the lush landscape draws in the game and other wildlife towards the end of the dry season (from July to mid-November), so this is the best time to plan your visit.

 

With the Rufiji River wandering through the heart of the reserve, you will be rewarded with an exceptional boat safari and the serenity of the riverside scene. Most camps and lodges are based around these water sources, giving you every opportunity to get the most out of your adventure.

 

The Ecosystem of Selous Game Reserve – Animals, Birds & African Wild Dogs

Selous is a wild and pristine game reserve in southern Tanzania, offering an off-the-beaten-track safari with rewarding game viewing. The sheer volume of the game is staggering, with diverse flora and fauna, including over 2,100 plant species recorded in this beautiful sanctuary. Elephants, buffalo and lions are arguably found in a large population, year-round, anywhere else in the world. Additionally, Selous has a reputation as the last true stronghold for the African wild dog – so keep a lookout!

 

Apart from the standard game drives, the reserve also offers a range of safari activities in the country, including boating and walking safaris. Thanks to the varied terrain — from Miombo woodland to rivers swirled with sandbanks, open plains, verdant swamps, and lowland rainforest; here you can enjoy boating or walking safari or even a once-in-a-lifetime fly camping trip.

 

How to get to Selous Game Reserve?

The reserve is easy to access from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar by light aircraft and is ideally combined with the close by Ruaha National Park. Located away from the better-trodden path of the northern parks, Selous Game Reserve was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1986, recognizing the reserve as one of Africa’s largest wildlife-protected areas.

 

Since Selous shares a border with Ruaha National Park, one can also drive from either of the nearby wildlife sanctuaries by road. Give yourself at least two full days to travel through the Ruaha and the Selous, two very different safari destinations in terms of scenery.

 

Ready to start planning a tailor-made safari to Nyerere National Park (previously Selous Game Reserve)? Our experts make planning your Tanzania safari experience a walk in the park. To help you with trip planning, browse our travel guide to find expert advice on safari in Selous. Get inspired with our sample itineraries and let our Wito experts customize a dream trip just for you! 

Want to experience an unparalleled Selous Game Reserve Safari in Tanzania? Here are the best months to go.

 

The best time to enjoy unparalleled wildlife viewing in Selous Game Reserve is during the dry season, from June to October. During this time, excellent weather conditions can be expected across the country, and wildlife viewing should be spectacular.

 

As soon as you land in Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve, you feel even more exclusive. A scheduled flight provides stunning aerial views of Tanzania’s interior, a scorched landscape crisscrossed by cracked riverbeds and fleeting bursts of water. It would take months to thoroughly explore Selous, which covers an area of about 50,000 square kilometers. The Rufiji River cuts through the reserve, and your safari adventure will stay on the picturesque north side of the river. You will find that the wildlife is easier to spot because the vegetation is not thick and long, and the wild animals tend to gather around the known water sources. 

 

Nearly half a million people visit the vast plains of Serengeti each year, but only slightly more than one per cent of them go to Selous. Do not, however, assume that there will be less wildlife. The lion, hippo and buffalo populations in the Selous Game Reserve are thought to be the largest on the continent. Then, there are the rare and threatened species, which find their last refuge here. The best time to observe the elusive wild African dogs is during their denning phase, which begins in June and lasts in August.

 

The roads in Selous become inaccessible during the heavy rainy season, so many camps tend to stay closed in April and May. We do not recommend travelling to Selous during the wet season.

 

This is what your typical safari in Selous Game Reserve would look like:

In the early morning, you will enjoy private game driving with your professional safari guide and vehicle. Our game drives are flexible depending on your preferences, so feel free to start your daily safari anytime you want.

 

Choose to roam Africa’s wide-open wilderness from dawn to dusk on a full-day game drive or enjoy a daily dose of morning and afternoon game drives, followed by a delicious hot lunch and a lion-like siesta! If you prefer to do a full-day game drive, we will provide you with a packed lunch so you can break whenever you would like to enjoy a classic safari picnic lunch made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.

 

After a full-day safari in Selous Game Reserve, you will be taken to your handpicked safari camp or lodge, where you will unwind and savour some delicious food and sundowners.

 

Finally, to enhance your tailor-made safari in Selous Game Reserve, try boating,  a guided walking safari or even a once-in-a-lifetime fly camping trip. You will also have the option to experience a unique night game drive in which you will see some of Africa’s unusual nocturnal wildlife under the blanket of a million stars and magical moonlight.

 

Ready to start planning? Select your preferred time to travel, then let a Wito Africa safari expert create an itinerary that meets your needs for a safari and incorporates the highlights of that season. We can save you time, money, headaches and heartache by helping you plan your dream safari. To start planning your safari in Selous, please call us at 1-315.805.4040 or send our safari experts a message via email.

How to Plan Your Wildlife Safari in Selous Game Reserve Like a Pro

 

There are many factors to consider when planning a safari to Selous Game Reserve, one of the untouched areas of the southern part of Tanzania. The infrastructure isn’t as good as in the north, and travel times are longer. However, this region offers some of Africa’s most undiscovered and underappreciated treasure parks; Mikumi and Ruaha. 

 

Southern Tanzania is off the beaten path and offers the best wildlife viewing for those discerning guests seeking even more adventure, perhaps on their second or third safari trip. It is possible to combine the north, Zanzibar, and south parks on a seven-to-ten-day trip thanks to safari flights’ quick and direct connections.

 

Deciding which reliable tour operator (s) to use for your dream African safari experience is not an easy task. With a sea of general online tour operators, it is hard to find the ONE that truly speaks to your discerning tastes and genuinely understands your travel needs and expectations.

 

Start by gathering enough information to help you decide on the best destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can start your Selous Game Reserve safari from Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Arusha. The main airport of Tanzania, Dar-es-Salaam International Airport, serves as a hub for travel to the Indian Ocean coast, Zanzibar, Nyerere National Park (previously Selous), and Ruaha National Park. 

 

During the dry season, Selous has so much to offer. We suggest you spend at least two nights in this lovely park. To get the most out of your wildlife-filled safari adventure, we recommend combining your visit with the nearby Mikumi and Ruaha National Park. Give yourself at least two full days to travel through the Ruaha and the Selous, two very different safari destinations in terms of scenery.

 

Similarly to many other national parks in Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve offers a unique setting for safari-goers to stay inside the park. You will be staying in some of the most charming safari camps and lodges, where you will unwind and enjoy delicious food and sundowners.

 

Southern Tanzania’s first safari lodge gives you a taste of what’s to come. The lodge blends into its surroundings rather than using fences to separate it from the wild, so it’s common to see animals wandering past your suite. A fire crackles nearby, a candlelit table for two is set under the stars, and the sounds of the wild permeate your lodge as dinner is served in traditional Tanzanian fashion.

 

With several accommodation options to choose from, we can guarantee that your safari experience will be meticulously created just for you with your specific interests, travel style and schedule. Everything will be tailored to your preference, allowing you to enjoy a perfect balance of comfort, adventure and maximum wildlife viewing. We will only recommend the places we have stayed in and inspected thoroughly, and we can guarantee you will be safe.

 

If you want to explore the beauty of Selous on game drives, we highly recommend using qualified local safari guides. With our personalized trips, you will have control over your experience and enjoy all the flexibility you need to plan your daily game drives with your private safari guide.

 

You can decide when to start your trip and how long your daily game drives should last, as long as it is within the time set by the national park authorities (the park gates usually open at 06h00 and close at 18h30). Ultimately, you will have an opportunity to choose what you would like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you would like to go. 

 

At Wito Africa, we do not limit game drives by restricting drivers on the mileage they can travel per day. Therefore, we are happy to offer you an extensive all-day private game drive with a picnic lunch break between your game drives.

 

As a standard offering for all our experiences, we provide all meals, bottled drinking water, tea/coffee and juices at breakfast for the duration of your safari. We can accommodate all kinds of dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, and kosher to pescatarian.

 

Moreover, bottled drinking water and soft drinks will be readily available throughout your safari experience with us. We have a stocked mini-fridge in the vehicle that will cool drinks whilst you enjoy your uninterrupted wildlife viewing from the comfort of your customized safari jeep.

 

Our unique approach to offering a stress-free safari experience starts with ensuring that you are well-informed about the specific requirements of the country you visit so you know exactly what to expect. Understanding how a safari operates, what is involved before and during, and what key points to consider when booking ensures an unforgettable safari adventure. Topics like when to visit, how to get there, and what to pack are addressed by safari experts. 

Plan Your Dream Safari Like a Pro.

DREAM

Firstly, explore our website for itinerary inspiration.

PLAN

Then, tell us the specifics of your perfect trip. In general, a quick call works the best!

GO!

Finally, review your perfect trip and Go!

Let our experts help you create the perfect African safari experience just for you.

Whether you want to create a tailor-made adventure that fits well with your schedule, interests and travel style or join a small group of like-minded guests, our sample itineraries below will inspire your trip planning and bring you closer to the real heart of Africa.

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You're Unique. Create a Tailor made Experience Just for YOU!

Let our experts help you create the perfect African safari experience just for you.

Your dream trip created your way – tell us:

  • Your interests
  • Your travel style
  • Your expectations and budget

Ultimately, you will choose exactly what you’d like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you’d like to go. 

Join a small group of like-minded guests - just like YOU!

Everything was specifically designed for you by our experts. All you need to do is pack your suitcase and GO!

  • Fixed itineraries.
  • Guaranteed departures.
  • Affordable!

Our guaranteed trips are packed with wildlife encounters, sightseeing, and activities that all reflect your group’s focus and interests. Most importantly, you will make life-long friends and memories you will never forget!

WHY TRAVELERS CHOOSE US

At Wito Africa Safaris, giving our customers unbiased advice and exceptional safari experiences is what we live and breathe. Our Africa safari experts are well-traveled and have in-depth first-hand knowledge of the places they suggest. To make sure these offerings live up to the expectations of our guests, the experts at Wito Africa routinely inspect new lodges, experiences, and activities. Nothing beats current, pertinent travel advice obtained directly from a local expert. The Wito Africa 'dream team' will be there for you every step of the way to ensure that even your smallest needs are met and no detail is overlooked, so you can embrace your experience with complete peace of mind.

Expert Safari Knowledge

Our expertise is unique as we grew up in the safari industry in Africa, we know our home like the back of our hands. We can't wait to share it with you!

Stress-Free Travel

With our 24/7 reliable logistical support on the ground in Africa, your experience with us (from start to finish) will always be worry-free!

Travel with Confidence

You will never have to worry about what to pack for your African safari, how to obtain your visa and which flight route is the best - we’ll take care of everything for you!

Want to focus on your wildlife photography & filmmaking?

Get the best shots of your life with the help of our experienced wildlife photographers. Whether you are just getting started with photography, a wildlife enthusiast, or a professional photographer seeking new adventures, our tailor-made Africa photo safaris are suitable for all levels of photographic experience. Hosted by professional wildlife photographers from start to finish, we will take you on a journey to some of Africa’s most prolific wildlife areas.

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Women’s Tanzania Wildlife Safari

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The Shira Route Hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro

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$3675

The Great Migration & Chimpanzee

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WHERE TO STAY IN SELOUS GAME RESERVE

Just for you, we have hunted out the very best lodges, villas, camps and even treehouses in Tanzania to suit every budget, itinerary and personal preference. Trust us – you’re going to be spoilt for choice! An awe-inspiring setting is just the beginning… Every one of our recommended accommodation options will blow you away with personal service, attention to detail and various levels of luxury.

Roho Ya Selous Game Reserve

Whether you’re planning to explore the Selous Game Reserve on foot, by boat or on a game drive, these tented rooms make an excellent base. The eight spacious tents are nestled among the trees to give guests privacy and a sense of isolation.

The interiors are stylish and comfortable, and there are some nice extra touches, such as an air-cooling system to give you a peaceful night’s sleep under the canvas. We love the flexibility for different-sized groups, with twin, double and triple configurations available, and even a family tent that’s big enough for a family of five.

Siwandu

Broadly spaced along the shore of Lake Nzerakera, with the BehoBeho mountains in the distance, Siwandu’s spacious and stylish safari tents ensure maximum privacy. Soak up the sights and sounds of the African bush, observing animals as they saunter past. Explore the breathtaking landscape on foot on a morning game walk, by 4WD vehicles with an expert driver guide and on the water with boat cruises on both the river and the lake.

 

Boasting UNESCO World Heritage Site status Nyerere National Park (former Selous Game Reserve) is home to diverse wildlife, with more than half of Tanzania’s elephant population, over 40,000 hippos, the largest population of lions on the continent and well known for the wild dog sightings.

 

For the ultimate in luxury, privacy and isolation, Siwandu’s North camp can be booked exclusively in its entirety. This option is perfect for a large group, multi-generational party, photographic group or families with young children.

Kiba Point Selous

This small and exclusive camp is one of our top recommendations for this region because it is intimate and personal while offering immediate access to one of the most game-rich areas of the Selous. There are just four spacious, thatched rooms that are open-fronted to give unbroken views across the bush, and each has a deluxe bathroom, a private deck and a plunge pool.

 

For families with children, you can request a room with an adjoining twin for the kids and a shared bathroom. There is enough hot and cold water and flush toilets, making it a good choice for families and kids. What we love most about this friendly camp is that you benefit from personal service and flexibility. The small local team will look after you and tailor your trip to your precise requirements, and that’s what we want for our clients.

Sand Rivers Selous

Sand Rivers is situated in the northern part of the Selous Game Reserve, the second-largest protected wilderness area in the world; it offers stylish, luxurious safari property on the banks of the Rufiji River.

The lodge features an outdoor pool, an open-air dining room, a bar and a lounge which have been beautifully constructed on a sweeping curve of the great Rufiji River, offering stunning views across the water.

 

Sand Rivers Selous has just eight stone and thatched cottages; all are open-fronted and raised on decks overlooking the river. Two room categories are offered:

  • 5 Riverside rooms – with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, flush toilets and powerful showers
  • 3 Hillside Suites.

The Suites all have the same amenities as the Riverside rooms but with an added extra, spacious living space and a small plunge pool.

Activities at Sand rivers are tailored to suit each guest, whether you are interested in game drives, walking safaris, fishing or boating. Sand rivers can also organise fly camping under mosquito nets on dry river beds within the reserve – however, it is highly recommended that this is booked in advance.

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