The Selous is Tanzania's largest game reserve, in fact it is the largest in Africa and is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Selous is usually the major feature of a Southern Circuit safari, and holds the promise of untold chances to explore.
A massive wilderness area four times the size of the Serengeti, the Selous Game Reserve supports some of the biggest herds left in Africa. An estimated 30,000 elephant and 200,000 buffalo, as well as large herds of a variety of game call the reserve home. There are plenty of hippo and crocodiles, wildebeest, hartebeest, kudu, sable antelope, eland, reedbuck, bushbuck, zebras and giraffe. It is also a very good place to see rare and endangered African wild dogs (also called hunting dogs). A birder's paradise, expect to see a huge number of species, with around 450 birds having been recorded in the park.
The Rufiji River runs through the Selous, pretty much bisecting it into a northern and southern section, with most people tending to visit the area to the north of the river. Visitor numbers to the reserve are relatively low compared to those found in Tanzania's northern parks, which is partly Selous' attraction, especially to people returning to Tanzania for a second visit.
The park offers back-to-nature walking safaris along with boat trips along the river and more conventional vehicle safaris. There are several very good camps and exclusive lodges here to choose from, some based on the banks of the river and practically guaranteeing incredible game viewing on your doorstep. A Selous Game Reserve safari is best enjoyed between June - October and in January - early February, although visiting in the green season is equally good.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Selous Game Reserve
Show more itineraries
The Rufiji River runs alongside this superb camp, which offers guests exciting activities and an addictive slice of rustic luxury.
Overlooking the Rufiji River this intimate tented camp peeks out from behind Tamarind trees and Borassus palms. Visit during the rainy season for a wildlife bonanza with two lakes nearby camp.
Expect superb game viewing from Sable Mountain Lodge. Stay in tents or cottages and embark on game drives to explore the surrounding wilderness.
Siwandu rests on the shores of Lake Nzerakera and offers a premier tented experience, with boat safaris, game drives and walking safaris.
Set in the cooler highlands of the sprawling Selous Game Reserve, Beho Beho is a private camp with warm hospitality and traditionally African charm.
Ideal for those seeking a private safari experience; stay in luxury and enjoy stunning views over the Rufiji River. You'll feel like the Selous is all yours.
All Tanzania accommodations