Selous – wild & diverse
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest reserve in Africa at 45,000 sq km and yet it hosts few visitors. Nevertheless, a Selous safari will bring you face to face with the continent’s greatest populations of elephant, buffalo and wild dog. Not to mention a landscape that is largely untouched by man.
A northern Selous safari means game-viewing on river cruises and unhurried walking safaris. Game drives are also on option should you prefer wheels to walking. The terrain is predominantly miombo woodland. But the Rufiji river feeds a large number of smaller rivers, lakes, swamps, hot springs, sulphurous pools as well as the spectacular Steigler’s Gorge. You should see huge numbers of hippo and crocodile wallow in the cooling waters on a Selous safari. The waters are home to pink-tinged pelicans, giant kingfishers and skimmers. Some of the 440 bird species are to be found in the Selous Game Reserve. Large colonies of bee-eaters nest in the sandbanks of the rivers.
The water in the Selous is a lifeline for large herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, sable and giraffe. These herds of plains game inevitably attract predators. Lions are often seen, leopard and cheetah less so. However unlike the northern parks of Tanzania, a Selous safari may yield an encounter with its wild dog population. These are some of the most rewarding of predators to watch. The Selous Game Reserve is so vast that you may not spot another vehicle on your safari. This is a marked contrast to the busy northern part of Tanzania.
Bush walks in the Selous
The chance to get out on foot on a bush walk is a particularly strong point of a Selous safari. Many camps offer this. Walks normally take place in the cool of the early morning, accompanied by a walking guide and an armed ranger. Walks in the Selous Game Reserve are not strenuous. The idea is to have time to take in smaller aspects of the bush which you may miss in a game vehicle.
Selous Safari Camps & Lodges
The Selous Game Reserve is well-served by safari flights so there are a good number of accommodation options. None of these are large or flash. Those opting for a Selous safari on a tight budget can enjoy pretty good standards at small camps just outside the park. Their only downside is the slightly longer drive through village communities at dawn and dusk, and a slightly less personal feel. Inside the park, the cost-conscious should consider Lake Manze Camp. For more comfort, we like Sand Rivers Selous and Selous Impala Camp. If you are splashing out, look at Beho Beho or Siwandu. Honeymooners should consider The Retreat Selous, Serena Mivumo River Lodge or Selous Serena Camp, while Kiba Point is perfect for (well-heeled) families.