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typical Selous natives

The Selous Game Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tanzania. With 54,600 km², it is the largest game reserve in Africa. The northern part of the reserve was designated Nyerere National Park in 2019.

Most of the reserve remains set aside for game hunting through a number of privately leased hunting concessions, but a section Nyerere National Park is a popular tourist destination. There are several high end lodges and camps mainly situated along the river and lake systems in this area. Rather difficult road access means most visitors arrive by small aircraft from Dar es Salaam, though train access is also possible.



Aerial view of The Selous Game Reserve
Aerial view of The Selous Game Reserve

The area was first designated a protected area in 1896 by the German Governor of Tanganyika Hermann von Wissmann, and became a hunting reserve in 1905.


Habitats include grassland, typical Acacia savanna, wetlands and extensive Miombo woodlands.

Flora and fauna[edit]


Get in[edit]

Fees and permits[edit]

Entrance fees to the Selous Game Reserve differ depending on if you will be spending the night inside or outside the game reserve. If you will be staying inside the reserve, the entry fees are US$88.50 per adult per day and US$64.90 per child per day. If you will be staying outside the reserve, you only need to pay entry fees when you enter the reserve (i.e. for a safari) the entry fees are US$76.70 per adult per day and US$53.10 per child per day.

Get around[edit]

The Selous Game Reserve is very remote with limited roads. The drive from Dar es Salaam is about 230km/143mi and takes around six hours. There's good tarmac up to Kibiti, and then bush roads from there for about 100km/62mi (three hours). It is possible to drive to the reserve in the dry season and (with much difficulty) in the wet season, but the road is long and rough. Most visitors will fly to one of several airstrips. Many lodges within the northern photographic zone offer a 'game package' service, that includes pick up, game drives, walks and boat safaris on the Rufiji River.


  • The grave of hunter and explorer Frederick Courteney Selous, who was killed in the reserve in 1917.
  • Maji moto hot springs, where you can swim in the lower pool.
  • A wide variety of wildlife, including: lion, giraffe, buffalo, impala, hippo, elephant, wild dog, crocodile, hyena, wildebeest, leopard, zebra, kudu plus many more and over 440 species of birds.
  • The Rufiji River.


  • Selous Game Drives: The destinations are quite varied: normally directed towards one or more of the lakes where the animals group to drink.
  • Selous Boat Safaris: With a multitude of destinations, ranging from the main course of the river to the many lateral canals and various lakes. The boat trip normally last a half-day, and at least one should be made at sunset. Fishing is also available but must be booked and paid for at the camps.
  • Selous Walking Safaris: Perhaps the most exciting activity of all. Selous is one of the very few parks in Tanzania where you can take a safari on your own two feet. You can choose an established trail, or one for your special interest, always of course, accompanied by an armed ranger. It’s a real treasure for the true explorer.
  • Cultural Tour of Mloka Village.
  • Relaxing by the Rufiji River: There is probably no better way to unwind at the end of a typical Selous day than by sipping a sundowner from the comfort of a camp or lodge with a view out over the Rufiji River.


  • [dead link] Maximillan (1200), Dar es salaam Tanzania, +255786694004. 12 hours. Selous game reserve sight seeing, wild animals like wild dogs. Walking safaris and boat safaris. Selous Game Reserve is the World Heritage site where large numbers of elephants, black rhinoceroses, giraffes, hippopotamuses and crocodiles live. Many websites will also say that there are lots of cheetah, but they have only been seen in the reserve a few times in the last 20 years. When looking for jungle Adventure Safaris Tanzania, ecotourism, responsible travel, wildlife viewing tours, photographic safaris African safaris tour, wildlife safaris in Tanzania, choose Selous game reserve. Selous game reserve is offers best wilderness and private safaris for nature enthusiasts. Tsh 1880.

Eat & Drink[edit]

No restaurants or bars exist in the area. It may be possible to arrange meals with some of lodges and camps in the area.


There is a wide range of lodges and camps, both within the Selous Game Reserve and just outside its borders, catering for all budgets.


Top of the list is the upmarket Mivumo River Lodge, on the banks of the Rufiji River the lodge offers top service, spacious and luxurious rooms with private balconies. Game drives, boat and walking safaris are all available from the lodge.

Another popular choice is the Selous River Camp. Nestled high on the river bank, within woodland alongside the game reserve, the camp offers a choice of mid-range accommodation and a whole range of safaris.

Selous Wilderness Camp is a small permanent tented camp on the banks of the Rufiji River.


It is possible to camp inside the Selous Game Reserve, though permits can be difficult to arrange without the assistance of one of the lodges.

Selous River Camp has a small campsite.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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