What Is Selous Game Reserve?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Selous Game Reserve is a large wildlife preservation area in Tanzania. It is the second biggest game reserve in Africa and is home to a range of wildlife, including buffalo and elephants. There are a number of different types of habitat within the reserve, including lakes and forests, providing a varied environment for both wildlife and tourists. This region of Africa is affected by malaria, which is an important consideration when deciding whether to book a trip.

Sitting on around 12,300 acres (approximately 50,000 square km) of land, Selous Game Reserve takes up roughly 5 percent of the total land area of Tanzania. This makes it one of the biggest protected wildlife areas in the world. The area was first protected in the late 1800s, before becoming a hunting reserve at the start of the 1900s. Only a small part of the Selous Game Reserve is set aside for tourism; the rest is hired out as a private hunting area.

Wildlife is the main attraction of the Selous Game Reserve, because there are a range of species to see. These include large herds of elephants, crocodiles and hippopotamuses. It also is possible to see African wild dogs and buffalo in the reserve. There also are more than 400 species of bird known to live in the region, making it a popular tourist destination for bird watchers.


Within the reserve are several types of habitat and scenery to explore. These include areas of grassland, forests and lakes. Unlike other parts of Africa, the Selous Game Reserve is in a colorful and varied region. The Rufiji River also runs through the reserve, and its banks are home to a large type of palm tree known as the Borassus palm. Inside the reserve, it is illegal to construct permanent buildings, which helps to preserve the region for wildlife.

Safaris on the reserve are very popular among tourists because of the varied wildlife on show. Most safaris take place during the day, but it’s also possible to go on an overnight safari. Both boating and walking safaris are available from the various camps in the reserve. The types of wildlife a tourist can expect to see depend on the season, with the dry season usually the best, although it’s not uncommon to see large herds of buffalo and groups of elephants all year.

There are many different types of lodges available. These range from the luxurious and expensive to relatively cheap and basic. Before choosing a lodge at the Selous Game Reserve, it’s important to determine which types of safaris are available from that location and pick the lodging whose safari is most desirable.


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