Selous Game Reserve
Standing as the largest game reserve in Africa, Selous Game Reserve is also the second largest conservation area in Africa sized at 5,000square kilometers. It is definitely noted as even four times bigger than the Serengeti. While in Tanzania, it is very special to take a safari to Selous as it is one of the most remote game reserves hence least visited parks in Africa. Because of it elaborate and unique beauty, the Selous has so many safari animals and thus has it in history that UNESCO declared it a world heritage in 1982.
Hot volcanic springs, sporadic lakes and channels from the nearby rivers such as the Great Rhuha and Rufiji rivers make Selous Game Reserve to have such a diverse landscape. The big herds of Tanzanian Elephants for example are attracted by the River Rufiji that flows through the reserve. The most popular on Tanzania safaris are the boat trips along the Rufiji River.
A walking safari is a must do if you are looking for something very special and different in the Selous game reserve. The beauty and peacefulness that you see and feel while on a Tanzania walking safari in the Selous reserve cannot be compared to any other.
Birding and Wildlife in Selous
The Selous is host to over 350 species of birds and reptiles, the species for plants accounts for about 2000 species as well as a wide range of wildlife. The largest concentration of elephants (110,000) on the continent has been known for taking home in this same reserve. The reduction in numbers estimated at about 30,000 to 50,000 are known for having been brought about by the “Ivory wars “ of the late 70s and early 80s which also brought about a much devastating effect on the herds ,reducing them in numbers.
Apart from being very famous for elephants, rhinos and hippopotamus, the selous game reserve also has a vast range of game including: brindled gnu, Nyasaland gnu, sable antelope, eland, greater kudu, waterbuck, hartebeest, zebras, giraffe, reedbuck, warthog, spotted hyena ,lion, leopard, hunting dog, in addition to the largest populations of buffalo in Africa.
It is such a special occasion to take a Tanzania Safari visit in the Selous Game Reserve, you are able to experience magnificent safari animals, walk among the breathtaking beauty and probe the unveiled parts of the national park.
Majority of wildlife in selous are some of the main attractions. A variety of game viewing activities are therefore available in this park. A number of trips are offered by boat, vehicle or on foot. Boat safaris for example allow you to move swiftly on the lakes and channels leading you through to the birds and animals closely including hippos and crocodile. All the lodges should be able to offer guided walks for all those in the right age bracket .(usually 12 years and over.16 years for Lake Manze and Impala, which come with big chances of interface with big game such as buffalo, lion on foot, or even elephant.
Towards the end of the dry season especially, game drives are rather truly rewarding as many large mammals gather around the five lakes .Some of the camps offer overnight fly camping excursions which involve sleeping out in an exalted mosquito net in the middle of the bush land.
Adventure guests looking out to visit the bush land heading to Selous Game Reserve have three modes of transport options from which to choose, that is to say flight, road and rail.
Taking a road Safari – One may choose to take a road trip from Dar es Salaam that involves taking a normal circuit route which would involve a trip to the Mikumi National Park heading through and entering the Matambwe gate. It is such a great experience to take the road from Morogoro as it gives the visitors the chance to go driving though the Morogoro town and the chance to view the town that perfectly backdrops Ulugulu mountains. It is such an alluring experience more so in the morning. As one goes through heading out of the Morogoro town, you will have the chance to see the way how people live and work within the rural villages in Tanzania. In these areas, the urban famous culture has not yet washed away their upheld way of life living alone a few stores that may be retailing soft drinks that are packaged by international brand names. A market day would give you such a unique experience as you move towards the Selous driving from the hilly pathways of the mountainous region. As you drive through, there is an overlook; you are able to view the way the village is displayed, its setting, and a corridor area setup for trading. A road from Morongoro can also lead you to a magnificent way to the contours of Sable Mountain lodge and Uluguru mountains at a distance. Taking the access road from Dar es Salaam would be an enjoyable trip with super views of the Tanzania countryside showing tall palms and lush grassland in hilly areas. This is an alternative route that comes to Selous through Morogoro. The narrow pathway can always lead you to animals and gazelles that may have stayed into game control pockets as you enter Selous from Dar es Salaam.
Railroad – Adventure never stops; the other way to get to Selous could be through the TAZARA (Tanzania Zambia Railway) railroad system. It starts from Dar es Salaam, diminishing off bush routes adventures guests at the rail stop in Matambwe. Throughout this journey, you enjoy the beauty of the bush land. The journey takes you four to five hours in a panoramic tour of Tanzania rural landscape. It is usually the most worthwhile way to get to the Selous Game Reserve.
Air Safari – This is alternative three for one to get to the Selous Game Reserve. There are a number of departure flights from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar and landing a different accommodation or even public access airstrips. Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) can is used as the entry point for the country. As a safari development to a beach holiday on Zanzibar Island or one of the other beached around Dar es Salaam. There are usually scheduled departure flights to welcome this to both Selous and Ruaha.Even if it is the most expensive; an air safari is the quickest way to Selous Game Reserve.
When to visit
The best time to visit Selous is June to October which also ranks as the highest season. The tourist area around the Rufiji River gets rather crowded. Most of the lodges are closed during the low season in the months of Mach, April and May .The best weather is experienced in June to October with little or no rains, where as the peak of the worst season sets in March and April.
Wildlife is much easier to watch during the dry season, when the animals gather at water points as well as the presence of thinner vegetation. Wildlife viewing in Selous game reserve is therefore best during this time, from June to October.