Selous & Zanzibar Holiday
This itinerary elegantly combines an authentic Selous safari with consummate beach relaxation on the island of Zanzibar.
Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The game reserve is home to the Big 5, including critically endangered black rhinos, with a wealth of wildlife that’s sure to impress.
Covering an area of around 50,000 square kilometres, Selous is inhabited by diverse and largely undisturbed wildlife, including large populations of elephants, hippos, lions, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, wild dogs, crocodiles and rhinos. These populations are larger than any other national park or game reserve in the whole of Africa.
The park is cut in half by the Rufiji River, which offers stunning riverside scenery as well as ample wildlife watching opportunities, as this is the reserve’s main water source. North of the river is open to tourism, while the south is mostly zoned for hunting.
You can explore Selous on a walking safari (including hikes with an overnight stay at a fly camp, where you can sleep underneath the stars), boat safari on the river or lakes, as well as game drives in open safari vehicles (something that isn’t possible in Tanzania’s northern parks) and self-drive safaris.
If you’re heading out on an adventure with a self-drive safari, make sure you visit the east of the park and if you have more time, explore areas on both sides. The deeper into the reserve you go, towards Mtemere Gate, the higher the concentration of wildlife.
Covering a mammoth 5% of Tanzania’s land, Selous Game Reserve is three times the size of Kruger in South Africa and twice the size of the Serengeti in the north of Tanzania, yet it’s one of Africa’s least visited reserves and one of the region’s last remaining hidden gems.
A visit to Selous is ideal for those looking for an authentic East African safari and the opportunity for unique wildlife encounters on foot, by jeep and across the water.
Selous Game Reserve is best visited in the dry season, which is usually peak season. However, with so few visitors in comparison to Tanzania’s more popular national parks and reserves, you certainly won’t be encountering crowds of tourists during this time.
Game viewing is better the later in the season your visit is, with the best time of year being between July and October. However, if you’re looking to travel outside of this time, be assured that game viewing is still very good and wildlife is highly concentrated enough in the reserve that wildlife encounters are standard all year round.
We include time in Selous Game Reserve on both our Remote Tanzania: Safari & Beach itinerary, as well as our Selous & Zanzibar Holiday. Both feature two nights stay and plenty of choice for walking, driving and boat safaris. If you’d like to spend more time in Selous, or if you’d like to add Selous onto your tailor made Tanzania safari itinerary, let us know and we can arrange this for you.
In our Selous Game Reserve itineraries, we feature stays at Selous Serena Camp and Siwandu Camp. Selous Serena Camp, part of the luxury Serena hotel family, is located on the Simbazi River with luxury tented accommodation, bar and spa facilities, and a stunning infinity pool. Siwandu is tucked away in the open palm forest next to Lake Nzerakera, where animals come to drink at the water’s edge.