Selous Game Reserve

With 45,000 square kilometers, this is not only Africa’s biggest game reserve but it is the oldest. It is also the least accessible and the least known. Consisting of woodlands with grassy flood plains and dense forest patches, it provides a home for large herds of elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard and hippo, where in fact the elephant herds are the largest in Africa.

At the heart of the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania’s largest river, the Rufiji, forms a complex network of channels, lakes and swamps that create one of the most outstanding ecological systems in East Africa. This river also splits the reserve into two different sections:

  • The northern Selous covers only around 5% of the reserve’s total area. No hunting is allowed here; this area is dedicated exclusively to photographic safaris. Virtually all of the small exclusive camps which we offer operate in this area.
  • The southern Selous, south of the Rufiji, is split up into a number of ‘hunting blocks’ – each of which typically cover about 1,000km². Expert Africa doesn’t offer hunting safaris.

One of the main attractions of the Selous is the variety of game viewing activities available here. They all offer trips through the reserve by boat, vehicle and on foot. Boat safaris allow you to drift on the lakes and channels, approaching birds and animals closely, including crocodile and hippo. All of the lodges also offer guided game walks for those aged 12 and over (16 at Lake Manze and Impala), which come with a real likelihood of encountering big game such as; elephant, buffalo and even lion on foot. Game drives are reliably rewarding, especially towards the end of the dry season, when large mammals concentrate around the five lakes. Better still are the overnight fly-camping excursions offered by some of the camps, which entail sleeping out beneath a glorified mosquito net in the middle of the bush.