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Tanzania National Parks >> Selous Game Reserve

With an area of 54,600km, the Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve and Tanzania’s most extensive protected area. It has an enormous game wealth sheltering   elephants, buffalos, the strongest herds of hippos on the continent, crocodiles, wild dogs, lions, leopards, wart pigs, gnus, zebras, Impalas, Elen, antelopes, some gepards, and 350 species of birds have been recorded in this place.

Established in 1922, the reserve was named after Captain Frederick Courtney Selous, a naturalist, explorer and hunter, who died there in action in 1917. In spite of the fact that for many years it was an important hunting area, Selous still contains the greatest concentration of big game left on earth. One of the reserve’s most striking features is the wide Rufiji River, which has one of the largest water catchment areas in East Africa, and offers some excellent opportunities for boat safaris.

The landscape is shaped by the Rufiji River and its tributaries, lined by Barrassus palms, and it is the heart of the park. The Rufiji swell through the park down to the Indian Ocean forming a series of small lakes that serve as an important source of water for the multitude of the plains game. The whole fascination of the African bush meets you direct. It is the Selous Game Reserve that one can combine game drive, boat tours and walking safaris. The hinterland around Lake Tagalala and Beho Beho is some of the most picturesque in area.

The Selous game reserve park supports enormous numbers of game with populations of buffalos, elephants, wildebeest, wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles, and black rhinos. A successful project is underway to nurture the Reserve’s population of black rhino back to health following their depletion by poachers in the 1970’s and 80s, with sightings now possible in the tourist area.

The greater part of the northern sector of the Selous is earmarked for photographic tourism, and it is one of the most beautiful and game-rich areas in the whole ecosystem. Three-quarters of the Reserve is woodland of various types, short grassy plains, with seasonally flooded pans. Impressive riverine forests and dense impenetrable thickets are important habitats within the Selous. The wide, meandering Rufigi River with its associated wetlands, lakes and swamps, is one of the most outstanding ecological systems in the whole of eastern Africa.

Although the Selous is best known for its spectacular large mammals, it is equally celebrated for its abundant and varied birds. The most conspicuous birdlife is to be found around the constantly changing pattern of sandbanks, oxbow lakes, lagoons and channels along the Rufigi River.

Getting to Selous:
Selous can be reached by Plane, train or road.
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