Covering a total area of 50,000 square kilometers in southern Tanzania, it makes Selous Game Reserve not only the largest game reserve in the country but also in the whole of Africa.
The Reserve was named after Frederick Selous, a popular big game hunter and early conservationist, who died in 1917 at Beho Beho – in this territory while fighting against the Germans during World War I.
The area was first designated a protected area in 1896 by the German Governor of Tanganyika Hermann von Wissmann, before becoming a hunting reserve in 1905.
It was then after designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its varied wildlife and undisturbed. From 2005 to date, the protected area is considered a Lion Conservation Unit.
What Attractions to See in the Reserve
Some of the major wildlife of the miombo inhabits the reserve, such as African bush elephants, black rhinos, hippopotamus, lions, East African wild dogs, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffes, Plains zebras, and Nile crocodiles.
Permanent human habitation is not permitted within the reserve. All human entry and exit is controlled by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Interesting places in the park include the Rufiji River, which flows into the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island and the Stiegler Gorge, a canyon of 100 meters depth and 100 meters width. Habitats include grassland, typical Acacia savanna, wetlands and extensive Miombo woodlands.
Although total wildlife populations are high, the reserve is large and densities of animals are lower than in the more regularly visited northern tourist circuit of Tanzania.
Most of the reserve remains set aside for game hunting through a number of privately leased hunting concessions, but a section of the northern park along the Rufiji River has been designated a photographic zone and is a popular tourist destination.
Best Time to Visit the Park
The reserve can be visited all year round though in the months of April and May, the southern part of Tanzania is receiving heavy rains which can make wildlife safaris in the reserve so challenging.
So to be on the safe side, avoid these two months. During the rainy months, the animals usually remain hidden in the bushes because they don’t have to look for water at the water holes as it is in the dry season therefore it is really challenging to see animals in the rainy season.
From July to October and then during the Christmas and New Year season are the main peak seasons wi/thin the Selous Reserve. However, from January to March, that is the best time to explore the Selous Reserve.
At that time, the international flights are less expensive, and the reserve is verdant and green due to the brief rains in November and December.
In February several wild animals are calving so the park is really amazing to explore since there are more animals here since the climate is somehow hotter and from late February and March it becomes quite humid.
Accommodations in Selous Game Reserve
There are several high end lodges and camps mainly situated along the river and lake systems in this area.
Rather difficult road access means most visitors arrive by small aircraft from Dar es Salaam, though train access is also possible. Some of the accommodations in the Reserve include:
Selous Serena Camp
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Africa’s largest game reserve, and discover a refined oasis in the pristine wilderness. Selous Serena Camp is located within Tanzania’s illustrious Selous Game Reserve – a World Heritage Site and home to the world’s largest concentration of elephants.
The impeccably designed tents offer everything you need to rest, refresh and prepare for the day ahead – from plush bedding and private sun decks to bathrooms with claw-foot tubs and 24-hour hot water.
Begin or end your day with a fresh, flavorful meal in the camp’s inviting dining tent, sip a drink at the safari bar or let the camp plan an exciting bush dining excursion for you.
From sensational boat safaris on the Rufiji River to day or evening game drives and guided bird walks, Selous tented camp offers plenty of activities to thrill outdoors enthusiasts.
Those who prefer something a little more relaxed can indulge in a massage in the tented spa, browse a book in the library or while away an afternoon next to the infinity pool, which is open most of the year.
Consider planning your wedding and honeymoon with the camp, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Selous Serena Camp eagerly awaits your visit.
Exclusive and beautifully appointed, the 12 tented accommodations at Selous Serena Camp offer an upscale retreat in the heart of Tanzania’s famed Selous Game Reserve.
Spaced along the indigenous forest, all of the tents are set on a wooden deck and feature authentic thatched roofs. Elegant Edwardian décor coexists peacefully with modern comfort; enjoy a soak in your claw-foot bath – all bathrooms feature 24-hour hot water.
A scenic private sun deck includes lounge chairs and picturesque river views. Make yourself at home in your spacious tent, which includes tasteful rosewood furnishings, opulent rugs and twinkling chandeliers – as well as a four-poster king bed with a pillow top mattress and crisp linens.
To the rear of the tent is the en-suite bathroom, which features a Victorian claw-foot bath, a walk-in shower and a flushing WC.
Additional amenities include an infinity pool, mini bar, a writing desk, a telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. Step out onto your extensive private sun deck, with its comfortable loungers and river views.
Selous Wilderness Camp
The Selous Wilderness Camp is found along the palm edges of the broad, twisting River Rufiji, which is among the biggest water systems in the entire East Africa.
With its connected swamps, wetlands as well as lakes it is one among the most exceptional ecological systems in the entire Eastern African area.
Because of this special ecosystem the Selous Game Reserve was marked out as one of the World Heritage site.
With just seven spacious tents plus a blend of solid wooden furniture plus leather sofas, the Selous Wilderness Camp presents intimacy and exclusivity to all its guests.
The services plus hospitality offered by their experienced staff, the decoration plus furnishing nicely blends into the surrounding natural environment, hence offering a complete feel of serenity.
You are welcome to enjoy the kindness and pampering offered at the Wilderness Camp that follows the footsteps of the early legends, their tales as well as travels.
Pleasure in the freedom of this pristine terrain the thrilling roars of lions, the exciting flight of wild animal survival as well as the deluxe of no restraints to human.
Located on the banks of River Rufiji, this Camp offers guests with serenity lounging as well as dining areas, 7 bona fide safari tents that provide large and unanticipated superior accommodation.
The tents are designed to reflect the natural surroundings offering breathtaking views plus the impressive sounds of River Rufiji and safe guard the Selous Game Reserve right from the comfort of your tent as well as at the dining area, swimming pool plus the longue areas.
The modern-day colonial connects rustic safari naturally – it is here that stylishness as well as unrefined fuse with the wilderness, a true habitat away from the urban crowd.
Found quite a distance away from other guest tents, each of the tents is well located away from the other to offer the utmost privacy as well as reward guests with vistas of the mighty River Rufiji, a comfy bubble bath plus an outdoor shower beneath a sheltered natural setting.
Privacy is the special key word; the Tents here are conventionally designed with fans, double wash basins, adorned ceilings as well as untainted cotton linen. The exterior seating areas offer additional comfort in the form of colonial chairs, swinging sleeping sacks as well as traditional benches on the fringe of river Rufiji.
Of the seven tents here is one family tent (or a triple), two honeymoon tents (with a private bath as well as an outside shower), and two twin bedded tents as well as two double-bedded tents
Siwandu Safari Camp
The camp is among the most outstanding tented camp found inside the wide Selous Game Reserve in the southern part of Tanzania.
At this camp you will have an opportunity to see nearly 300 bird species plus a profusion of various wild animals which normally congregate within the vicinity of this facility to get shelter.
Most outstanding of all is the great beauty of this camp; it beautifully blends well into the amazing natural scenery of the Selous Wildlife Reserve Pleasure in the Royal Treatment which the Prince of Wales together with his sons enjoyed in 1997 when they visited this reserve.
Located among trees along the northern river banks of River Rufiji within the Selous Game Reserve, the camp is amazingly located in the center of the incomparable riverine plus the lake complex, and it supports the highest number of bird species plus African wild animals in this area.
This wildlife sanctuary is not enclosed by a fence and in fact no artificial modifications have been made, so this enables the animals to freely move around and even reach the camp’s vicinity.
There is a large and worth mentioning; very clean swimming-pool found under a shade that is well supplied with plenty of towels and then you can loosen up on the day beds found on the side of the swimming pool.
Among the various activities offered here are Game drives, mobile bush-camping, fishing camps, guided trekking safari plus enjoyable river safaris within this natural wildlife sanctuary.
The camp outstandingly pleasant guided game drives conducted in the comfortable 4WD safari vehicles uniquely designed to offer up-close undistracted wildlife viewing either in the early morning or late in the afternoons as you drive through the nearby bushes.
The professional guides will guide the game drives as they explain to you everything ranging from the peculiar behavior of the different animals to the specifics of the rare bird species, in addition to the amazing life-cycle of the termites.
Furthermore, at camp guests will have the opportunity to view wildlife during the thrilling boat cruises on which they will also have the chance do wildlife photography at an up-close distance as the sail past large schools of hippos and the giant crocodiles which will be seen resting on the banks of the river in addition to some water bird species.
Rufiji River Camp
River Rufiji Camp offers 20 tents which are positioned facing the beautiful sunset with marvelous sights of the sun as it sets over the horizon.
The tents are nicely furnished having comfortable large beds, beautiful inside bathroom, mosquito nets plus the amenities to ensure that you get the best comfort.
All the tents have their private veranda with a roof constructed with local straw (locally referred to as makuti) that present a perfect ambience for resting, reading or even writing.
The camp is Eco-Friendly and uses solar panels to provide electricity and also heat up the hot water supplied in the bathrooms for heating up hot water.
Enjoy the wonderful views of Wildlife even at your doorstep since several wild animals gather around the nearby water bodies to drink water. The uniqueness of each of their 20 guest tents will definitely guarantee you tranquility and privacy.
The restaurant which is centrally situated within the River Camp provides outstanding local plus intercontinental cuisines nicely prepared by their professional chef, actually special here is that the menu offers wild impala plus warthog and they have a license to catch a particular quantity of game each year.
There is a properly stocked bar that offers a variety of drinks including beers, wines, spirits and sodas, so at the end of day’s adventure activity you can decide to set and loosen up as you enjoy the scenery. The camp also boasts a swimming pool where you will go refresh after a busy day.
Mivumo River Lodge
Mivumo River Lodge is situated within the Selous National Reserve that is only forty five minute’s flight from the renowned Dar es Salaam International Airport.
A park and fly service is provided from Stiegler’s Airstrip that is only a thirty minutes game drive from the lodge.
This private river lodge has just 12 rooms that are extensively spaced in this indigenous forest, each of them is accommodated in its wildwood chalet having twig thatched roofs that have a high vault to enable natural light to move in and the cool or breeze to move through.
Slightly elevated on wooden floors, every room has a wonderful blend of Edwardian crystal chandeliers, stone basins, traditional safari vintage items as well as quietly elegant contemporary leather plus rattan furniture.
This large as well as deluxe country-house themed bathroom in addition has an inside shower offering wilderness views. All the rooms have their own large private plunge-pool, sun-deck as well as loungers, with breathtaking views of the river.
The Jimbiza Lodge focuses on offering great value plus excellent service better than any you will find elsewhere close to the Selous Game Reserve.
The Lodge has beautiful professional rooms that offer breathtaking views sweeping over River Rufiji and it provides various exciting trips from the lodge down to the river as well as within the Game Reserve. Each of the rooms is very comfortable, large and really clean.
There are 3 different room types of rooms which are all entirely unique in their own particular way. There are 15 guest rooms found on the banks of River Rufiji.
The lodge has been operational since the month of October in 2008 and they aim at offering the finest services as well as a bush experience within the Selous.