Overview – Selous GR
Selous Game Reserve is one of Africa’s largest parks, but most of it has been set aside for hunting. The animal viewing area that is open to the public is relatively small but very rewarding, with many predator sightings and excellent boat safaris on the Rufiji River.
Pros and Cons
- Top wildlife viewing in the Dry season
- Guided walks and boat safaris available
- Lion are easily found at the lake shores
- Excellent mid-range and luxury lodges and no large-scale accommodations
- Hunting concessions make animals skittish and more difficult to watch
- The wildlife-viewing circuit is relatively small
- Animals are scattered during the Wet season, and most lodges are closed from March to May
The Rufiji River is teeming with hippo and crocodile, and the birdlife is fantastic. Lion sightings are very common as the opportunistic creatures tend to laze around the lakes waiting for animals coming to drink. One of the attractions of the park is the chance to encounter wild dog.
The part of Selous – north of the Rufiji River that is open to the public – is particularly scenic. The main wildlife-viewing circuit follows a string of five connected lakes fed by the Rufiji River. The Rufiji is one of Africa’s great rivers, with palm fringed channels and swampy islets.
Weather & Climate
Selous experiences uniform temperatures throughout the year because of its equatorial location. The main variation is a slight dip in the heart of the Dry season (June to October), when the environment is slightly cooler. Either side of this, the weather is hot and humid in keeping with the local Wet season (November to May).
Best Time to Visit
The Dry season (June to October) is when you should travel to Selous, even though you’ll be joining the crowds attracted by this period’s clear blue skies. It’s at this time animals converge on rivers and waterholes, and the dry bush is sparse enough for views of wildlife to be unobscured. If you do visit in the wetter months, be aware that numerous lodges close their doors from March to May.
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Gemma is a travel writer and author of several Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
My top tip for Tanzania
The Selous is my favourite game area in Tanzania, and possibly the whole of Africa. The landscape, with its emerald-green swamplands, dead trees submerged in water and shaggy-topped palms, is ravishingly beautiful. You have to work a bit...
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