Selous, Tanzania

Selous – the largest protected area in Africa, is located in the Rufiji River basin and occupies more than 5% of the country’s territory. Hunting safaris are organized in the southern part of the reserve; about 500 people come here during the season from July to November. The northern part, intended only for photo-hunting, is visited annually by more than 3,500 tourists from all over the world.

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How to get to Selous

By plane:

On the territory of the reserve there are several runways capable of receiving light aircraft. Airstrips are tied to a specific camp or group of camps. Flights are operated by Coastal Aviation (daily direct flights from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara, Ruahi), ZanAir (daily flights from Dar es Salaam; with a connection in Zanzibar), Safari AirLink (charter flights). Flight time from Dar es Salaam takes about an hour and a half (250 km). There are no flights in April and May when most camps are closed.

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By car:

Entrance to the territory of the reserve is possible only on cars with all-wheel drive 4WD. There are two entrances to the park: the Mtemere Gate checkpoint, located in the east of the territory near the Rufiji River, next to the Mtemere Airstrip and the Rufiji River Camp, Impala Camp, Selous Safari Camp. The distance from Dar es Salaam is about 240 km, travel time is 7-8 hours.

The second entrance is the Matambwe Gate checkpoint. Located in the north of the territory, next to the Mtemere Airstrip and the railway stations of the TAZARA line. Distance from Dar es Salaam – 350 km, travel time about 8 hours.

Checkpoints are open only during daylight hours from 6:00 to 18:00. The distance between the entrances is 75 km (2 hours drive), the road is in good condition, filled with gravel.

By train:

The TAZARA railway line runs along the northern edge of the national park, connecting Tanzania and Zambia. Trains from Dar es Salaam depart twice a week. Kinyanguru, Fuga and Matambwe stations are located on the territory of the reserve. Trains are perhaps the most inconvenient way to get to the reserve, but also the cheapest. The cost of a first class one way ticket is ~ 23000 TZS.

In the case of an individual visit to the reserve (not a group tour with accommodation in lodges), tourists are charged fees: for staying on the campsite ~ 43,000 TZS per person per day, in camps – 87,000 TZS. For the entry of a jeep weighing from 2 tons ~ 320,000 TZS, plus 65,000 TZS per person.

Weather in Selous

The most favorable time to visit the park is the winter season from June to October, when the temperature is +25 °C. The rainy season lasts from November to May, it is quite dry in January and February. The temperature during this period is +30..35 °С. From the end of March to May is the season of heavy rains, many camps stop their work at this time.

Selous Hotels

You can stay in Selous in lodges (tented camps) or two campsites. All camps have a similar structure, living conditions and daily routine. They include: a reception house, a restaurant, several tents for guests to stay, houses for service personnel. Tourists live in double tents, most often with a shower and a bathroom. Electricity, except for lighting, is absent; food in the restaurant according to the “buffet” system. The camp is guarded by the Maasai, who serve and accompany travelers in the camp at night.

Electricity for recharging phones, photo and video equipment is usually turned on from 18:00 to 23:00. At 11 pm the electricity, including the lighting, is turned off.

Entertainment and attractions of Selous

Almost all species of animals of equatorial Africa and a large number of bird species are represented in Selous. There is a record number of buffaloes (from 110 to 160 thousand heads), 40 thousand hippos, 3-4 thousand lions, and about 60 thousand elephants here. Almost everywhere in the reserve you can see a large number of giraffes, impala antelopes, wildebeest, yellow baboons and macaques, warthogs. Near the water, in addition to hippos, crocodiles live, some individuals of which reach five meters in length. In addition, there are over 440 species of birds in the reserve.

Of the cultural attractions, it is worth noting: the grave of Frederick Selous (a couple of kilometers east of the Beho Beho camp), the grave of Alexander Keith Johnston and the Maji Moto hot springs (a kilometer west of Lake Tagalala, two kilometers south of the Tagalala campsite).

Selous, Tanzania