Selous Game Reserve

The Selous game reserve and Selous safari had a dark history that revolved around this area being one of the biggest hunting concessions in the whole of Africa. Sadly, that legacy still exists as only a relatively smaller area in the northern sector of Selous game reserve which has the beautiful Rufiji river running through it has been put aside for Selous safaris packages.  The northern section of the reserve, through which the broad river flows, was designated Nyerere National Park in 2019 and is home to a wonderfully eclectic set of safari camps and Selous game reserve lodges which are suitable for all tastes and budgets. A Selous game reserve safari often will focus on African wild dogs – with potentially the largest population in Africa – as well as Lions, Cheetahs and Black Rhino. Yes, a Big 5 safari in Selous is possible and as well as game drives, you can take a boat safari along the Rufiji river, looking for kingfishers and Pel’s fishing owl.

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Big Cat Magic in the Serengeti and Mara

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Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
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Price (Excl. flights)
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Visiting Ruaha, Mikumi & Selous

After a nice nights sleep in a quality hotel in Dar, it’s time to start the adventure with your private naturalist with a visit to the world-famous Selous game reserve – famous for big cats and the chance to see African wild dogs. From Selous, we visit Mikumi and it’s large lion prides, before ending up in a beautiful camp on the Great Ruaha River, where big game regularly walks through the camp to the excitement of all visitors.

Style - Small Group Photographer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
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Price (Excl. flights)
£3750

Wildlife to see in Selous Game Reserve

There is an abundance of wildlife to see in Selous and there are a variety of ways to see and photograph the resident animals. You can take a private game drive in Selous, as well as a boat safari and it has some of the best walking safaris in Tanzania. Because of their transient nature, African wild dogs are never easy to see in any of the National Parks of Africa, but Selous is one of the best places to see Painted Dogs. The boat safaris may bring you in contact with both hippo’s and African wild elephants but the thrill of seeing big game like African Buffalo on foot will get your adrenaline flowing. It is always a privilege to see Black rhino and there remains a good population of lions and cheetahs. 

Best time to visit Selous game reserve

As with all Africa wildlife reserves, there is often a strong focus on visiting during the dry season for the best wildlife safaris, but one should consider the changing climate, discounts available in the shoulder season which might now be in the dry season and the fact that there will be fewer visitors if you avoid the high season when not only international visitors ‘fill up’ the sanctuaries, but also African travellers.  It is important to note that it is just the ‘short rains’ that arrive in November and December which opens up the possibility to make a Selous National Park tour towards the end of the year in the camps and lodges which are still open.  

Best wildlife lodges in Selous game reserve

Selous game reserve lodges are some of the most interesting and diverse in Africa, with everything included from treehouses in Beho Beho, to lakeside bush camps like the beautiful Lake Manze, to budget Selous camps like Rufiji river camp. Again, we have said it before in all our articles about the best African camps and lodges, pick the property with the location and view and if it also attracts resident wildlife regularly because of its proximity to water then you have hit the jackpot. Our personal favourite for a balance between a bit of luxury, but unpretentious and located in a stunning location, is Sand river camp. This is a Selous game reserve lodge that will deliver amazing accommodation, first-class dining and a Selous safari with a focus on top class wildlife guides and incredible wildlife encounters.

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