Selous Game Reserve

LOCATION 300 km from the capital city of Dar-es-Salaam.

At twice the size of Denmark, Selous (55,000 sq km) is the second largest ‘park’ in the world, said to be home to over one million mammals. Of this vast wilderness only the Beho Beho region, north of the Rufiji River is open to tourists. The best time is July-ctober, though precaution needs to be taken since the area is infested with the Tsetse.

Selous is renown for its large numbers of Elephant and Rhino, which declined drastically in the 1980’s as a result of poaching, yet now herds of Elephants are again on the increase. Some 400 species of birdlife have been recorded including the elusive Eleonora’s Falcon. The real showpiece of the park has to be the Rufiji which flows through its heart and offers (time and again) the spectacle of large numbers of Hippo’s gallivanting about, whilst Crocodiles bask like disguarded rough boulders on its banks.

The Rufiji and its dependant’s create the largest river catchment in East Africa. Highlights include Stiegler’s Gorge about 100 m high, providing a dramatic river bottleneck and 20 km downstream the 5 swampy Lakes that this river system feeds before leaving the reserve. Here a variety of ‘Plains Game’ including the rare Sable Antelope, Greater Kudu and Waterbuck refresh themselves. Hot Sulphur Springs bubble up at Maji Moto, near Beho Beho – some just cool enough to swim in! Walking safaris are organised in this reserve, but expect the wildlife to be shy. Hunting Dog, Spotted Hyena, Lion and Leopard have been sighted along with Buffalo and Elephant.

The largest game reserve in Africa – 4 times the size of the Serengeti . It possesses a diverse landscape from hot volcanic springs, sporadic lakes, channels from the Great Rhaha and Rufiji rivers. Walking is permitted (with an armed ranger) which with over 350 species of bird and 2,000 species of plants to see makes this the most heavenly sanctuary to explore.

Activites and Special Interests

Take a cable car across Stieglers Gorge (100 metres deep and 100 metres wide); bird watching; photography; walking safaris; and fishing Tiger Fish and Vandu (in the rivers of the Kilombero Game Controlled Area to the west of the reserve).


Selous is famous for its elephant, hippopotamus and rhino (although now few remain). The park has a broad range of game: buffalo – the largest population in Africa; Nyasaland gnu; brindled gnu; hartebeest; Greater Kudu; sable antelope; eland; reedbuck; bushbuck; waterbuck; warthog; zebras; giraffe; and wildebeest. Also: lion, leopard, the spotted hyeana and hunting dog are in abundance; cheetah are rare; there are over 350 species of bird and reptiles such as crocodiles and various snakes and lizards.


Mainly based in the north of the reserve. Stay in the either the Island Mbuyini luxury tented camp, Richard Bonhams, the Sand River Selous, the Mbuyu camp, or the Rufiji River Camp. Game drives by vehicle, boat trips, and long and short walking safaris into the reserve may be made from these camps and lodges.