Experience the Tanzania southern wilderness in Selous Game Reserve, less than an hour by light aircraft from Dar es Salaam. Remote and wild, Selous offers a variety of exclusive and professionally run safari options; by foot, boat or vehicle. The Selous Game Reserve is Africa's biggest protected wildlife area that extends 150km into Mozambique. This is the highlight of Tanzania's southern safari circuit.
The Rufiji River flows through the reserve attracting great herds of Tanzania's great elephant population and allows visitors to experience the reserve by boat. It is said that this reserve hosts Africa's biggest elephant and wild dog populations, attracted to the tranquillity of the park and the water supplied by the rivers and lakes. July to October could be pin-pointed as the best time of year to visit the Selous, as it is a classic dry season destination. The wildlife congregate at the water sources and put on a great game-viewing performance.
The main rainy season, or the 'long rains', lasts during March, April and May. Afternoon downpours are the norm, which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30s (degrees Celsius).
The long dry season lasts from June to October, during which time the rainfall is unusual. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather.
During November and December there's another rainy season, which is known as the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the long rains and less reliable. If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months in January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.
Getting to the Selous is easy, it is served by light aircraft flights from Dar and Ruaha daily – a flight takes about 45 minutes from Dar, and about 90 minutes from Ruaha.
Selous Game Reserve has the largest number of elephants out of all the reserved wildlife areas in the country. The park offers a variety of environments; hot volcanic springs, dense thickets and open wooded grasslands. This diversity is also home a broad range of game: buffalo, gnu; hartebeest; Greater Kudu; sable antelope; warthog; zebras; giraffe; and wildebeest.
Also: lion, hippo, spotted hyena and black rhino. hunting dog; rhino and cheetahare sometimes seen.In addition, there are over 350 species of bird and reptiles such as crocodiles and various snakes and lizards. Walking is permitted (with an armed ranger) in this Game Reserve.
Selous is one of the more exclusive areas in Tanzania. Its size and location afford privacy and seclusion from the masses of tourists associated with the more well known parks such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti. The dry season (Jun-Nov) is the best time for game viewing. The rainy season (Jan-Apr) provides ample bird viewing; however many of the roads are impassable after heavy rainfall. Lodges close between March and May.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the Selous (for ease of game viewing) is during the dry season, between late June and October.