Safari in Selous


Game Drives in the Selous Game Reserve

Game Drives are usually the highlight of a safari. They are the quintessential african adventure and allow you to see a wide variety of wildlife from the comfort of a 4x4 vehicle. Game viewing experiences in the Selous are superb, with large numbers of Giraffe, Hippo, Crocodile, and Elephant as well as the world's largest population of the rare African Wild Dog.



Discover the Selous Game Reserve with Selous River Camp

Driving through the vast wilderness of the Selous accompanied by an one of our passionate, knowledgeable guides, you'll discover the outstanding abundance of wildlife and the beauty of the African bush. One of the attractions of the Selous Game Reserve in particular is the intimacy and authenticity of a game drive here ... it isn't uncommon to go for hours without seeing another vehicle.



Another wondeful thing about the Selous is the ability to drive off road (which isn't allowed in Tanzania's national parks). This allows you to get closer to the wildlife and avoids the frustration of seeing a dot on the horizon which you just can't get to. Our custom-built 4WD vehicles are all open-sided, allowing for a panoramic view, with a canvas roof overhead to protect you from the sun. The five vehicles each have two or three rows of raised seats, and are equipped for the bush, with a cool box of refreshments to keep you cool during the day. All of our safaris may be shared with other guests, but as much as possible, we avoid having huge groups of guests sharing all together - we like for everyone to have their own "window" seat wherever possible.



Your guide will introduce you to the various African wildlife spotted during your game drive and share his knowledge of the wildlife and their habitats with you. A huge variety of wildlife can be seen, including elephant, giraffe, impala, lion, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, warthog, wild dog, leopard, waterbuck, buffalo and more - we provide a wildlife checklist for our guests, but you can also find a copy on our resources page as well as list of the different species of birds which can be found in the Selous.


Elephant - Photo by Richard Crombie


The wildlife most commonly seen on game drive in the Selous are impala. These graceful and beautiful antelopes are so common that guests have referred to them as Selous Sheep. Giraffe are also extremely plentiful and you will likely lose count of how many you've seen during the day!


Impala - Photo by Richard Crombie


Game drives normally start after breakfast. Your guide will meet you by the camp reception and show you to your game drive vehicle. The drive from Selous River Camp to the Selous Mtemere Gate is only a 5-10 minutes. The guide will stop off briefly at the gate so that the rangers can check entry permits, then you enter the game reserve and start exploring!



All our games drives are full days - the Selous has varied terrain and different types of habitats, from miombo woodland to marshes to savannah, so it's worth spending time travelling further across the reserve to experience a more complete picture of what the Selous has to offer. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend time sat quietly beside a pack of wild dogs or a pride of lion, watching them snooze or play, and the intimacy of a moment like this should not be rushed. The wildlife also varies across the Selous and spending longer in the reserve, instead of coming back for lunch, you're a lot more likely to see animals like lion, African Wild Dogs and Leopard. If you'd prefer a half day drive, it isn't possible to book these in advance but can be arranged once in camp (depending on availability).



Driving through the Selous, your guide may sometimes drive off road - this is one of the pleasures of the Selous, allowing you to get closer to wildlife. You'll also visit several of the beautiful lakes of the Selous along the way (Lakes Mzizimia, Siwandu, Manze and Nzelekela) which are home to thousands of crocodile and hippo. You may see wildlife coming to drink from the lake and the birdlife along the waters edge is incredible.



During the hottest part of the day, your guide will find a shady place to stop for a lazy picnic lunch, usually under a large tree overlooking one of the lakes. For many, this is one of the highlights of the day as you can enjoy watching animals come to drink while you enjoy your lunch in the wilderness.


Setting up for lunch on game drive

Setting up for a picnic lunch.



It's very peaceful sitting eating your lunch hearing to the fish eagles cry overhead and hippos honking in the lake, with impalas and giraffes wandering down to the waters edge to drink. To read about what you would be eating while out on game drive in the Selous, see the menus on our resources page.



After a relaxing lunch, the adventure continues as you explore deeper into the reserve. You may come across a herd of elephant drinking; or a leopard, dozing high in the branches overhead. Perhaps you'll find a mama hippo with her baby, grazing in the shade; or see vultures soaring overhead and discover hyenas below, fighting over the leftovers of a kill.


African Wild Dog - one of the most endangered species of mammal in the world. The Selous Game Reserve is home to the largest population on earth.


Lilac-Breasted Roller - Photo by Richard Crombie


Aside from the many incredible animals, your guide will also show you some of the varied and colourful birds which inhabit the Selous - even those who aren't interested in birds often gain an appreciation of birdlife during a game drive, with the Lilac-Breasted Roller (pictured above) being a popular choice among guests.



As the sun dips lower in the sky, your guide will drive you slowly back to camp in time for watching the (often stunning) sunset over the Rufiji River. Sundowners by the fire, looking over the water, are a great way to the end the day, as you reflect on the all the wildlife sightings and look through your photos.



All of our Safari Packages include at least one full day game drive. Private and Half Day Game Drives cannot be booked in advance, but are available to be booked once in camp (subject to availability).


Game Drives

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