Wild and unspoilt, with diverse safari experiences
The Selous is all about a wild, authentic safari experience, full of adventure and the charm of days gone by. As Africa’s largest game reserve, it is a real wilderness in the lesser-visited south of Tanzania, where there's the chance to spot the Big Five, wild dogs and huge pods of hippo – and not just on traditional 4x4 game drives. Here, bush walks and boating safaris take place amongst forest, bushland and by the mighty Rufiji River, providing varied and rewarding game experiences; the way that safaris were originally intended.
Selous holiday highlights
Perhaps surprisingly, given its wonderfully remote setting, the Selous Game Reserve is easy to reach. In south-east Tanzania, it is approx. 45 minutes' flight from Dar es Salaam and just a further 20 minutes on to Zanzibar. So as well as being a popular choice for repeat visitors to Tanzania, it's also a great option for first-timers and honeymooners with a sense of adventure, who are looking to easily combine diverse game activities with a beach stay in Zanzibar.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Selous is four times the size of the Serengeti and almost the same size as Switzerland. The northern region along the great Rufiji River is where you'll find our recommended camps.
The landscape is predominantly miombo woodland, with areas of grass plains, wetlands and dense forest. In the north west of the reserve, see Stiegler's Gorge – a natural attraction that is 100m deep and 100m wide. Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, crocodile, black rhino and African wild dog can all be found here, alongside giraffe, buffalo, hippo, wildebeest, birdlife and over half of Tanzania’s elephant population.
As a game reserve, the Selous doesn’t have the same restrictions as Tanzania’s national parks – and so bush walks, night game drives and boat trips on the Rufiji River are all possible. The Selous is closed during the peak rainy season, usually from April to May.