The Selous Game Reserve

The Selous Game Reserve is vast, wild, unspoilt Africa...

Home to some of the most breathtaking wild-wildlife left on the African Continent and far from the crowds which visit the parks in the north of Tanzania.

Bigger than Switzerland and over three times the size of the Serengeti, it is both the largest and the oldest protected area in Africa. Home to the world's largest population of African Wild Dogs (a critically endangered species), as well as Africa's highest concentration of Hippos and more than half of Tanzania's Elephants; the Selous is both magnificent and untamed. In 1982 the UN decided it was such a remarkable place that they declared it a World Heritage Site, an award that it continues to deserve to this day! One of Africa's great wild places, it is yet to be discovered by many travelers to Tanzania and leaves its visitors with one of the most intimate experiences that Africa can offer. 

The Selous Game Reserve At A Glance...

  • The largest and oldest protected area in Africa.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Largest population in the World of critically endagered African Wild Dog.
  • Commonly seen wildlife include: lion, giraffe, buffalo, impala, hippo, elephant, wild dog, crocodile, hyena, wildebeest, leopard, zebra, kudu plus many, many more and over 440 species of birds.
  • Perfect for escaping the crowds.
  • In addition to car safaris, boat and walking safaris are also possible (not available elsewhere) and driving off-road is permitted, allowing easier access to wildlife.

The Selous (pronounced "seloo") Game Reserve has a long a varied history, and was first set aside as a wildlife reserve as early as 1896 by German Kaiser Wilhelm II and takes its name from renowned Hunter, explorer, writer and soldier Frederick Courtney Selous, who was killed during the First World War inside the reserve and was buried near to the spot where he fell (marked by a grave to this day). Crossed by explorers in 1859-60 (Burton, Speke and von Decken) and before that by slavery caravans delivering both slaves and ivory to the coast. In 1905 the Maji-Maji (Water-Water) uprising was inspired by 'magic' water, reputed to be sourced close to the Rufiji River, which was believed to make warriors invulnerable.

Born in London in 1851, Frederick Courtney Selous set himself up as a professional hunter in Africa at the age of 20. Though he began his career as a big game hunter his books gained him a world-renowned reputation as a naturalist, due in no small part to his precise observations about ecology and wildlife. Selous was one of a small band of men who became legends in their own lifetimes back in the Victorian era, when tales of adventurous exploits in "darkest Africa" exemplified the spirit of the time. 

Map of Tanzania and the Selous Game Reserve


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