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What we love

One of Tanzania's most diverse wilderness areas.

Selous Safari Holidays


The destination

Selous Game Reserve is Tanzania's oldest protected wildlife area and one of the largest nature reserves in the world. The topography is simply stunning, as the miombo woodland vegetation opens up into many interconnected rivers, lakes and waterways.

The heartbeat of the reserve is the magnificent Rufiji river, which provides life to a myriad of species. Wildlife is diverse and abundant, boasting one of the largest populations of lion in Africa. 

Located in the South of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve easily combines with an island stay in Zanzibar, or a twin-centre safari with the vast wilderness of Ruaha National Park.

Arguably the highlight of any visit to the Selous is the feeling of having this glorious ecosystem all to yourself, as the visitor numbers are much lower than some of the other more famous wildlife areas in Africa. Combined with some of the best guides in the business, and the opportunity to engage in walking safaris, fishing trips, boat expeditions, fly-camping, tree house stays and much more, a safari in the Selous will leave you wanting to come back time and time again.



The Selous Game Reserve is home to a broad variety of accommodation, from authentic and adventurous tented camps, to some of the most special luxury lodges in Tanzania.

One of our favourite lodges in Tanzania is Sand Rivers Selous, run by Nomad safaris. Sand Rivers is a spectacular camp, located on the banks of the Rufiji River. The team here manage to pull off the difficult trick of providing an authentic safari experience, whilst also making guests feel incredibly pampered. Suites come with private pools, and the views are incredible. Boating safaris are a must, and if you are staying four nights or more, try their signature fly-camping experience one night. The guides are all warm, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. 

Selous Game Reserve has a wide variety of camps and lodges to choose from, with a selection of our favourites listed below. However, we have visited a large range, suitable for all budgets, so if you don't see something you like on our website, or you're not sure which is best for you, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01993 899 430, or email inspire@oxfordprivatetravel.com, we would be delighted to craft your own tailor-made safari.


As the topography of Selous Game Reserve features a multitude of lakes and rivers, large numbers of herbivores can always be found on their banks, which means the predators are never too far away!

Lion sightings are common, as are elephant and buffalo. Leopard are more elusive, and rhinos almost non-existent. On our last visit, we were lucky enough to see a large pride of lion nursing their young cubs, as well as herds of elephant, buffalo and many, many crocodiles! Selous Game Reserve is also home to Tanzania's largest population of wild dog, also know as the painted wolf.

Birdlife here is phenomenal, with almost five hundred species sighted, including large numbers of fish eagle with their distinctive call (known as 'The Call of Africa'). Observing and listening to these magnificent birds, fish in the waterways at sunset, is an experience of captivating joy. You'll also likely see several species of kingfisher, stork, hawk, cormorant, buzzard, and many more.

One of the reasons why we adore safaris in Selous Game Reserve is the diversity of activities on offer, which means you'll be observing the wildlife from many different vantage points. We advise a four night minimum stay in the reserve, as this means you'll be able to do the classic road safaris, as well as boating, walking (with a licensed guide), fishing, and fly-camping if you wish.


Selous Game Reserve is perfect for safari goers looking to combine their wildlife experience with the islands of Zanzibar, as transport links are very good between the two areas. 

The diversity of wildlife and ecosystems means that first-timers and experienced hands alike will have plenty to be enthralled by.

Many of the camps are set up very well for families, and the diversity of activities will ensure that children don't get bored.


Selous Game Reserve is undoubtedly at its peak in the dry season of July to October, when animals abundant and the grass is short enough to see them. Due to the topography of the reserve, outside of these months sightings are harder come by, as the grass gets long and some areas can be unaccessible after the rains.

However, birdlife is spectacular in the months of December to March, so if birding if your thing, or you just prefer to be in the wilderness after the crowds have left, then this is the time for you.

As with all areas of Tanzania, the first weeks of November offer incredible value, as all of the camps drop their rates from high season prices, but the likelihood is that the weather and game viewing will be the same as it was in the last weeks of October. After all, the animals aren't looking at their calendars and going into hiding on November 1st!


Top tips

  • Boating safaris are a must, giving the opportunity to view wildlife and birdlife from a different perspective.
  • Selous combines really well with an island stay in Zanzibar and/or a visit to Ruaha National Park
  • Be sure to speak to your guide about going on a walking safari. This is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with nature and learn more about the interaction of different flora and fauna within the ecosystem.
  • Best times to visit are July - November, which is the height of the dry season.
  • Don't forget your binoculars!


  • Local currency: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Accepted currency: USD
  • Accepted credit cards: Visa and MasterCard (most places)
  • Timezone: GMT +3 hrs

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