Selous Game reserve

Selous Game reserve

The Selous Game Reserve, covering 50,000 square kilometres, is amongst the largest protected areas in Africa and is relatively undisturbed by human impact. The property harbours one of the most significant concentrations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species. The reserve also has an exceptionally high variety of habitats including Miombo woodlands, open grasslands, riverine forests and swamps, making it a valuable laboratory for on-going ecological and biological processes.

The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, with relatively undisturbed ecological and biological processes, including a diverse range of wildlife with significant predator/prey relationships. The property contains a great diversity of vegetation types, including rocky acacia-clad hills, gallery and ground water forests, swamps and lowland rain forest. The dominant vegetation of the reserve is deciduous Miombo woodlands and the property constitutes a globally important example of this vegetation type. Because of this fire-climax vegetation, soils are subject to erosion when there are heavy rains. The result is a network of normally dry rivers of sand that become raging torrents during the rains; these sand rivers are one of the most unique features of the Selous landscape. Large parts of the wooded grasslands of the northern Selous are seasonally flooded by the rising water of the Rufiji River, creating a very dynamic ecosystem.

The reserve has a higher density and diversity of species than any other Miombo woodland area: more than 2,100 plants have been recorded and more are thought to exist in the remote forests in the south.  Similarly, the property protects an impressive large mammal fauna; it contains globally significant populations of African elephant (106,300), black rhinoceros ( (2,135) and wild hunting dog It also includes one of the world's largest known populations of hippopotamus (18,200) and buffalo (204,015). There are also important populations of ungulates including sable antelope (7000), Lichtenstein's hartebeest (52,150), greater kudu, eland and Nyassa wildebeest (80,815).  In addition, there is also a large number of Nile crocodile and 350 species of birds, including the endemic Udzungwa forest partridge and the rufous winged sunbird Because of this high density and diversity of species, the Selous Game Reserve is a natural habitat of outstanding importance for in-situ conservation of biological diversity. 


Dry Season: The dry season sets in during June to November and is the best time for game viewing along the rivers. Elephants come out of the bush at that time and predators are more commonly seen.
Rainy Season: January to April is wonderful for birdlife ad lush scenery but many roads become impassable after heavy rains. December to February is still good for game viewing but can be rather hot and humid. The safari lodges are usually closed from March to May.


• Rare and endangered Wild Dog
• Boat game viewing
• Fishing
• Thousands of migrating elephants
• Walking safaris

• Huge wilderness


  • This massive stretch of land is the second largest game reserve in Africa. At over 21,000 miles² (55,000 km²) it is almost four times the size of the Serengeti.
  • The only human habitations allowed are limited tourist facilities.
  • Road access is only possible during the dry season and most visitors fly in from Dar es Salaam by charter aircraft.
  • Safari lodges are restricted to the top 20% of the reserve.