A Quick Walkthrough – Selous Game Reserve

A Quick Walkthrough – Selous Game Reserve

Selous Game Reserve Location

Where is Selous game reserve located? The Game Reserve is located in the south of Tanzania. The Selous game reserve size according to the Selous game reserve map covers a total of 19,000 sq mi (50,000 km2) and it is also a protected area. The game reserve also has added buffer zones.

In 1982, the Selous Game Reserve Tanzania was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It earned this award because of its undisturbed nature and diverse wildlife species. Some of the species that  Selous game reserve tours expose you to include the African Bush Elephant, the African Lion, the Black Rhino, the East African Wild Dog, the Cape Buffalo, the Hippopotamus, the Nile Crocodile, the Masai Giraffe, and the Plains Zebra.

No humans can permanently reside within the Selous Game Reserve. The Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism’s Wildlife Division controls all human entry and exit. Visitors are required to pay the Selous game reserve fees upon entry.

Selous Game Reserve History

Hermann von Wissmann, the Tanzanian German Governor, first declared the Selous Game Reserve a protected area in 1896. In 1905, it became a hunting reserve.

Frederick Selous
Frederick Selous

The Selous Game Reserve Zanzibar was named in honor of an early conservationist and well-known game hunter, Frederick Selous. Selous passed away in 1971 at Beho Beho in the Reserve territory during World War I, where he fought against the Germans. Beho Beho also claimed the death of Keith Johnston, a Scottish cartographer, and explorer. Johnston passed away during a Royal Geographical Society expedition that he led alongside Joseph Thomson toward the Great Lakes of Africa.

The Selous Game Reserve has also earned the title of a Lion Conservation Unit in 2005.

While it was not well-received by organizations and environmentalists like the Rainforest Rescue and the Uranium-Network, UNESCO approved a boundary change for uranium deposits.

John Pombe Magufuli, the former Tanzanian President, was also given construction approval for the Stiegler Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station (2,115 MW) over the Rufiji River. The hydroelectric dam in selous game reserve aims to provide 2,100 MW of electricity to Tanzania. This amount will triple the country’s current installed capacity of 562 MW. The selous game reserve dam hydropower project began on the 26th of July 2019, and completion is estimated by 2022.

However, because thousands of Tanzanian residents depend on the river for agriculture and fishing, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has criticized the hydropower project. The organization claims the Government has failed to consider the impact that flooding approximately 1,000 km2 will have on the residents and biodiversity in the park, considering the size of Selous Game Reserve.

Comparison and More About the Reserve

Selous Game Reserve vs Serengeti

The Selous and the Serengeti are two of the most popular safari destinations in Africa. The Selous game reserve is the largest fauna reserve in the world, covering over 50,000 square miles. The Serengeti is best known for its annual wildebeest migration, which is one of the largest mammal migrations in the world.

The Selous Game Reserve safari has many interesting tourist attractions, such as the Rufiji River. This river flows across from the Stiegler Gorge and Mafia Island into the Indian Ocean. Its canyon is 100m deep and 100m wide.


Flora in the Selous Game Reserve includes typical Acacia savanna, grassland, extensive Miombo woodlands, and wetlands.

Selous Game Reserve Fauna

While the fauna populace is high, the Reserve is large, and animal density levels are lower than in other northern Tanzanian tourist circuits. The Selous Game Reserve area had the largest elephant populace in 1976, with herds totaling approximately 109,000 elephants. However, the number had dropped by 66% from 2009 – 2013, with an estimated 13,000 elephants recorded in 2013. Many sources hold businessmen and officials who help poachers and corrupt politicians accountable for the decrease in the Selous game reserve animals population.

Giraffes walking around Miombo woodlands
Giraffes walking around Miombo woodlands

A segment in the north side of the Azura Selous Game Reserve along the Rufiji River camp Selous game reserve was made a designated photography zone. This section is popular amongst tourists. Other areas in the Selous Game Reserve remain open for selous game reserve hunting through privately hired hunting permits and Selous game reserve park fees clearance.

The Azura Selous Selous Game Reserve also offers many high-end Selous game reserve camps and accommodations. These are mainly situated along the waterways of the Reserve. The Selous game reserve receives service from 23  world carriers, which fly from 28 airports. The quickest flights from Dar es salaam to Selous game reserve take a minimum of I hr 25min.  Most visitors arrive from Dar es salaam to Selous game reserve via flights to Selous game reserve using small aircrafts since road access can be challenging. The distance from Dar es salaam to Selous game reserve via road is 655 km.  Access via train is also available. The Reserve permits boat trips (popular on the Rufiji) and walking safaris. The cheapest means for visitors to get from Zanzibar to Selous game reserve is by flights. 

Safari Selous Game Reserve Pre-Tips

Where is Selous game reserve located? The reserve is located in Tanzania, which is a country in the African continent. The Selous reserve Tanzania map shows that the reserve covers a massive area of land with an area of 54,600 km2.  

Selous Game Reserve is in Which Region?

The game reserve is located in the southern region of Tanzania along the famous Tanzania safari circuit. According to the Selous game reserve reviews on Trip advisor, the best time to visit Selous game reserve is during the dry season which falls between June to October. The Selous game reserve weather patterns between the months of July to December attract the largest animal crowds. This reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards and buffalo. The Selous game reserve safari prices can either be inclusive of the park fees or not. With so much to see, it is no wonder that the Selous is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tanzania.

Selous Game Reserve accommodation 

Hotels Selous Game Reserve Options

There are a number of different Selous game reserve hotels and accommodations available in Selous game reserve Morogoro Tanzania, ranging from luxury lodges to more budget- friendly options. Visitors can choose to stay in a lodge, a tented camp, or even in a  luxury safari camp. Available accommodation facilities within the game reserve include: The Siwandu camp Selous game reserve, the Sable mountain lodge Selous game reserve and the Rufiji river camp Selous game reserve lodge.

For more articles related to Wildlife Parks in Tanzania click here!

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