Visit Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
The Selous stretches for over 45,000 square kilometres.
It is Africa’s largest game reserve, yet visited by few. Meandering through the plains and woodlands, the Rufiji River gives rise to a labyrinth of streams, channels and pretty lakes in a delicate water paradise.
Skeletal leadwood trees stand in glassy lagoons where terrapins ripple the surface. There are perfect pods of hippo, rainbow coloured birds and flitting butterflies on yellow cassia flowers. It is a vast wilderness area and superb for photography.
Wildlife of the Selous Game Reserve
There is abundant game in the reserve, with Africa’s largest buffalo and lion populations, numerous leopard and thriving packs of wild dog. Wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, greater kudu and eland are all common. In the heat of the afternoon, herds of over fifty giraffe drink from the lakes, whilst elephant herds cross the channels to the lush islands.
Boat trips in the Selous
Boat trips are a speciality in the Selous and floating quietly along on the water is magical. You will see yellow-billed storks nesting in borassus palms, baboon at the waters edge and white-crowned plovers cleaning the teeth of crocodiles. The riverine forest is perfect for gentle rambles in search of blue samango monkeys and black and white colobus.
Driving in open 4WDs, you will see plenty of game but no other vehicles, as the Selous is a very peaceful park with only a handful of small camps.
Fly-camping in the Selous
Some of the camps in the Selous offer overnight 'fly-camping' trips. Taking a maximum of eight guests, tiny mobile camps are set up in remote areas with no roads. The day’s activities tend to focus on walking or travelling by boat, with overnight accommodation in simple dome tents, with hot bucket showers rigged in trees and lavish bush dinners set out at the water’s edge.
At most camps these trips last for one to three days but Sand Rivers organises extended trips.
Suggested itinerary featuring Selous Game Reserve
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Selous Game Reserve, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Selous Game Reserve
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Selous Game Reserve
- Southern Tanzania 107 miles away
- Mikumi National Park 116 miles away
- Songo Songo Archipelago 116 miles away
- Dar es Salaam 168 miles away
- Ras Kutani 172 miles away
- Bagamoyo 178 miles away
- Saadani 203 miles away
- Ruaha National Park 236 miles away
- Tanzania's Swahili Coast 240 miles away
- Pangani 246 miles away
Photos of Selous Game Reserve
Accommodation choices for Selous Game Reserve
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Selous Game Reserve. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Set on the banks of its namesake, Rufiji River Camp is a perennial favourite in the Selous. It’s prime location offers a great variety of animals, and views from the camp itself may afford viewing of crocodile and hippo in the waters below.
Hidden from view on a bend of the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers has spectacular views over the water and the unspoiled wilderness beyond. Its luxurious rooms are a great place to return after a day exploring Selous Game Reserve.
Lake Manze is a simple but very authentic option for safari in Selous. With no electricity, evening meals are enjoyed by fire and candlelight for a truly atmospheric safari experience.
Siwandu Camp is located on the banks of Lake Nzerakera, part of the criss-cross of waterways from the Rufiji River, allowing for fantastic views out over the water from the main area.
Selous Kulinda Camp is situated on the banks of the Rufiji River, about 20 minutes from the border of Selous Game Reserve. With fantastic views overlooking the river, it's a great value option for exploring the remarkable wildlife in Selous.
Selous Impala Camp enjoys an excellent location within Selous Game Reserve, set on the banks of the Rafiji River.
This is a fantastic option for groups who want a really private, personal experience in the heart of the Selous. The rooms have so many little luxurious touches and have sweeping views of the Rufiji River.
These days fly-camping provides the same intimate experience of sleeping out in the bush away from distractions, but on a slightly grander scale. At Selous Impala fly camp, guests are provided with simple yet comfortable accommodation.
Beho Beho Camp is a top safari camp and one of our favourites in the country. There are stunning views from everywhere in the lodge and the food and service are excellent.