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Wildlife in Selous National Park

Wildlife in Selous National Park

The Selous Game Reserve is located near an off-beaten and secluded spot in Tanzania. This reserve is well-known for its dramatic landscapes, undisturbed wilderness, and rich flora and fauna. 

Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest protected reserves in the entire African continent. Covering an area of 54,000 square kilometers, it comprises open woodlands, grassy plains, and towering mountains. 

With such an extensive area, the Selous Game Reserve is twice the size of the popular Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and three times bigger than South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The reserve was designated the UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1982, for its rich wildlife diversity and uninterrupted nature.  

The vast Selous Game Reserve
The vast Selous Game Reserve

This destination is one of the few, large and beautiful game reserves which gives tourists a chance to explore Tanzania’s landscape thoroughly. 

This scenic wildlife game reserve is divided into two major sections by the largest river in the country, River Rufiji.  

The beautiful Rufiji River
The beautiful Rufiji River

The most recommended spot is the northern Selous region which has a lush landscape and is a major water source for animals living in the reserve. The northern part of Selous National park is now referred to as the Nyerere National park.  

Wildlife in Selous Game Reserve 

The Selous reserve is one of the best places to go wildlife safari in Tanzania. The high concentration of a wide variety of animals makes it an ideal place for an exhilarating game drive.  As there are several lakes inside the reserve, it becomes a hotspot to sight distinct species of animals near such water circuits.  

What makes this game reserve stand out from most is that you can spot rare and unusual species of wild animals in Selous. There are approximately 100,000 wildebeests, 145,000 buffalos, 4000 lions, 40,000 hippos, 35,000 zebras, and 250,000 impalas. 

Along with leopards, hyenas, giraffes, and crocodiles, you can also spot Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, waterbucks, bushbuck, greater kudus, and elands. 

 Impalas in Selous Game Reserve 
 Impalas in Selous Game Reserve 

In the Nyerere National Park, you will come across various species of antelopes such as the majestic sable and puku, known to be a localized wetland special. Black Rhinos are rare to spot but can be seen in the remote parts of Nyerere. 

The endangered species of wild dogs can also be spotted when they are denning in an area that is accessible to tourists.  

Selous was once home to a large population of elephants. However, due to poaching, their number has decreased drastically. Yet, there are still chances of coming across them during one of the game drives.  

Elephants residing in the reserve
Elephants residing in the reserve

Among the wildlife, are the vibrant species of birds that can be found in various habitats within the reserve. Waterbirds thrive near the lakes and can usually be spotted along with wildlife creatures.  

A Little Bee Eater perched upon a branch
A Little Bee Eater perched upon a branch

How can to enjoy wildlife in Selous Game Reserve 

Wildlife viewing becomes an exciting adventure when you choose to hop on the wide range of activities provided by Selous Game Reserve. Apart from a regular jeep safari, you can do the following 

1. Walking safaris

Walking safaris are one of the best ways to explore the vast landscape of the reserve. Selous offers walking safaris with experienced guides accompanying along with the tourists. Through walking safaris, you will get an opportunity to be close to Tanzania’s wilderness as never before.  

 Tourists observing their surrounding in a walking safari
 Tourists observing their surrounding in a walking safari

2. Boat safaris

River Rufiji, several lakes, and other water channels allow for excellent boat safaris. During this safari, you can see various animals like hippos bathing in the water, giraffes quenching their thirst, and crocodiles keeping an eye for their next prey.  

There are many instances where you can catch a killing take place where starving lions may attack antelopes or deers near lakes and rivers. 

 Elephants crossing the river
 Elephants crossing the river

3. Selous fly camping tours

In a fly camp, temporary tents are set up in bushes that are smaller in size. This offers an adventurous way of going on a game drive and looking out for animals. Nothing is more thrilling than sleeping out in Africa’s wilderness during the night.  

However, fly camping tours are usually for those who can compromise their comfort. 

 Elephants crossing the river
 Elephants crossing the river

4. Hot air balloon trips 

Riding a hot air balloon is always enjoyable and deemed to be perfect for getting an aerial view of the park. Hot air balloon trips are only conducted by Serengeti national park and the Selous game reserve in Tanzania.  

While in the air, you can marvel at the different animals in the reserve.  

A hot air balloon flying over wildebeests
A hot air balloon flying over wildebeests
  • Where to stay in Selous Game Reserve 
  1. Siwandu Camps – This is one of the first safari camps in Selous, offering luxurious accommodation for guests. The camp is located in a perfect location where guests can enjoy the picturesque scenery of Selous. 
  2. Beho Beho – Beho Beho is situated in the cooler section of Selous highlands and has 8 permanent bandas. These small cottages are designed in a way that offers a true African ambiance. 
  3. Lake Manze Camp – Comprising of 12-well furnished and beautiful tents, Lake Manza Camp is set near the prime areas for wildlife viewing in Selous Game Reserve. The camp is known for being exclusive and offers comfort for guests. 
  4. Sable Mountain Lodge – This lodge is located in the northern region of Selous. Sable Mountain cottages and bandas are raised on high platforms, giving a spectacular view of the neighboring area.  
  5. Impala Camp- The Selous Impala Camp is known for its colorful tents with stylishly designed accommodations. It is situated on a wooded stretch of the Rufiji River, providing some of the stunning views of the reserve.  
 The views of Selous from Beho Beho camp
 The views of Selous from Beho Beho camp
  • How to reach Selous Game Reserve 
  1. By air – The game reserve is easily accessible by any of the local airports connecting from Ruha and Dar es Salaam. From Ruha the flight duration is approximately 90 minutes while from Dar es Salam it is 45 minutes. 
  2. By car – The duration to reach Selous from Dar es salam by car may take up to 4 hours covering a distance of 220 kilometers. 
  3. By railway – The Tanzania Zambia Railway AZARA offers a train ride from Dar es Salaam to Selous. The ride takes about 4 hours and passes through rural villages, covering the African Wilderness. 

The Selous Game Reserve is one of the best places for wildlife viewing in Tanzania. With easy accessibility and having the ideal accommodation choices, this reserve cannot be overlooked by any means.  

 

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Wild Voyager Team

The blogging team at Wild Voyager. We are explorers at heart and we love to share our travel stories and destination knowledge with you, which often serve as an inspiration for the life changing journeys we curate. When you decide to embark on one such life changing journey, our travel experience designers at letstalk@wildvoyager.com will be happy to get you started.

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