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Selous Game Reserve is considered Africa’s largest and oldest reserve with beautiful scenic wildlife destinations. The reserve comprises wilderness, grassy plains, open woodland, mountains, and forests. This game reserve is also considered a lion conservation unit.

Selous game reserve is a protected area in southern Tanzania covering a total of 5,000km. The land was gazetted as a heritage site in 1982 and it became a reserve in 1905. In 1922 it was named Selous game reserve after an English explorer and hunter, captain Fredrick Courtney Selous for its diverse wildlife.

It’s a home for wildlife including black rhinos, elephants, hippos, wild dogs, Masai giraffe, zebras, crocodiles, and more. The reserve comprises of Rufiji river that flows into the Indian ocean and mafia Island.


While you are visiting the Selous Game reserve in Tanzania, you can enjoy any combination of these activities - and more.

1. Cultural Tours To Mloka Village

Mloko village is situated down in the river Selous and can be accessed by a short drive.

Tourists get great experiences from the local people through interacting about the cultural values, practices, traditions, and beliefs thus considering your trip a memorable one.

2. Fishing Trips

Selous game reserve offers the best experience of fishing activity because it is natural with many water bodies that support fishing trips in the reserve.

These bodies include such as Tagalala, Mzizimia, Siwandu and Nzelekela and river Rufiji. Different fish species include catfish, tigerfish, tilapia, and many more.

3. Walking Safaris

This is a totally immersive experience for tourists because it draws them closer to the animals. Walking safaris usually takes about 3 hours and are done in groups of 6 with the rangers to protect tourists from wild animals.

Walking safaris offer the opportunity of viewing closely the beautiful surroundings such as vegetation, landscape, and animals like giraffes, elephants, and different bird species.

4. Boat Rides

Selous game reserve comprises many water bodies with clear calm waters and a cool breeze. The activity is whelming, tourists enjoy this amazing experience on large waters bodies including Lake Manze, lake Nzelekea, lake Siwandu, lake Tagalala, and river Rufiji. 

These boat rides safaris are categorized into short safari and full-day boat safaris. These safaris offer ideal spots for viewing animals including crocodiles, blue monkeys, kudu and hippos, and various bird species.

5. Game Drives

This is the most practised activity in Selous game reserve and the drives are categorized over in the day for example morning, afternoon, and evening game drives. The best spots for wildlife are around the banks of river Rufiji and the shores of the lakes where they gather to drink water.

This amazing experience is best done from June to October. The area inhabits a variety of numerous wildlife species such as hippos, giraffes, rhinos, lions, leopards, warthogs, wildebeests, and many more other animals.

6. Bird Watching

There are more than 440 bird species in Selous making it a suitable place for bird watching, around the reserve, Rufiji and the lakeshore are the best viewpoint for watching birds.

Experiencing the nature of bird species, birds migrate in the month of November to April thus being the best time for bird watching and some of the birds include kingfishers, knob billed duck, geese, herons, hornbill, crested lark, bateleur eagle, and so many other species.

Getting There

Travelling to the Selous game reserve is easier, boarding a flight from Dar es Salaam and Ruaha. It takes about 45 minutes from Dar es salaam and 90 minutes from Ruaha to Selous Game Reserve.

When To Visit

The best season to visit the Selous game reserve is during the months of June to October.

This is a dry season, and at this time the temperatures are less so wildlife is easier to view as they move in herds to the shores of the Rufiji and lakes just within the reserve for water.

Related article: Best time to visit Tanzania for safari

Where To Stay

Selous game reserve is a popular attraction with many accommodation options. From budget lodges and hotels to luxury options, you will have a lot of choices - no matter the number in your travel group.