Safaris of a lifetime to Selous Game Reserve Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve

The best place to see African Wild Dog in Africa is in the sensational Selous Game Reserve in thriving Tanzania, renowned for its compelling safaris of a lifetime, its captivating scenery and its exquisite solitude in nature. 

Named after English conservationist, hunter and explorer Frederick Courtney Selous, this trailblazing African game reserve is home to about one-third of all African Wild Dogs globally. This is the right place to be for all you need to know about the Selous Game Reserve, so check out our list of handpicked safari itineraries to Tanzania and come and stay at the finest camps and lodges, in search of Africa’s painted dogs!

Not long ago, Selous was divided into two sections, becoming Selous and Nyerere National Park. So, this means that the Selous Game Reserve, now renamed Nyerere National Park in honor of the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, is a protected area in southern Tanzania covering a total area of 50,000 square km plus extra buffer zones. 

The main attraction of course is epic game drives into rare habitats that reveal some of the awe-inspiring and diverse wildlife of the miombo – such as the elephant, black rhino, hippo, lion, Masai giraffe, zebra and crocodiles – and of course Wild Dogs. 

This has to be your bucket list holiday destination, one of Africa’s largest protected areas and a place of such international biodiversity importance that it is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sheer enormity of the combined conservation areas contributes to more than one-fifth of Tanzania’s entire protected area network, a veritable biodiversity hotspot.

Selous Nyerere first became a protected area in 1896, then this enthralling piece of land became a hunting reserve in 1905. The game reserve is also now a defined Lion Conservation Unit. 

Did you know?

The reserve was named after Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this region in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I.


  • Experience one of the largest natural trans-boundary ecosystems in Africa where an estimated 64 400 elephants roam between two huge parks, 84% coming from the Tanzanian side of Selous into captivating Niassa Game Reserve, Mozambique.
  • Travel the Rufiji River, the lifeblood of Selous, supporting hundreds of animals along its banks especially in the dry season – herds of antelope grazing, crocs basking, hippos wallowing; rolling grassy woodlands and plains, rocky outcrops and more than 2,100 plant species recorded.
  • Explore the reaches of the Great Ruaha River that also flows into Nyerere National Park (Selous), north of Beho Beho Hills, passing through a string of volcanic hot sulphur springs, healthy rapids and ravines. Look out for raptors and monkeys, plus the more than 440 bird species endemic to this blessed wildlife refuge. 
  • Head to the northern section of the park along the Rufiji River designated as a photographic zone and highly popular with keen and amateur photographers and animal lovers then stay in one of several high end lodges and camps nestling along the river and lake systems.

Special Selous Game Reserve

  • VAST SPACES: This 55 000 square kilometre game reserve is the second largest in Africa. It is nearly 4 times bigger than the Serengeti.
  • HERITAGE SITE: Selous is one of Tanzania’s 3 World Heritage Sites, acclaimed for its dramatic landscape and productive wildlife.
  • WALKING SAFARIS: Discover a remote, untouched wilderness on foot. Stay overnight in rustic fly-camps under the stars in the middle of the bush.
  • FEW PEOPLE: Very few visitors find this reserve thanks to its rough road access and minimal tourism infrastructure but those who do are the true wilderness explorers.

When To Visit Selous Game Reserve

Find Selous Game Reserve in south-east Tanzania, only a 45-minute flight from Dar es Salaam and 90 minutes from Ruaha. The best time for game viewing along the rivers is during the dry season, from June to November. Elephants come out of the bush to drink and predators are more easily seen. For fantastic birdlife and lush vegetation, the wetter months of January to April are ideal – but it can get very hot and humid and the roads almost impassable.

Getting There

Drive to Nyerere National Park by road safari from either Dar es Salaam or Arusha, travelling from 184 km to 230 km depending on which gate or entry point of Nyerere National Park you choose. Allow 6 hours to get to most Park entry gates, and up to 6 to 6.5 hours for gates in the north. Road conditions are poor in places with the last 75 km to the park being on a bumpy gravel road.

Fly to Selous as an easier option on daily scheduled flights from either Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, taking under an hour to various airstrips in Nyerere. All visitors planning for a fly-in safari to Nyerere National Park needs to know which airstrip they should use when booking their flights. Chat to Voyage2Africa about your Selous Nyerere safari tour package as we include flights and transfers to make your life simpler, as well as all meals and drinks!

Family Holidays to Selous Game Reserve are Hot

Pack up the entire family for a safari holiday to Tanzania that they will never forget. Intrepid journeys into Africa introduce your kids to the biggest classroom in the world, nature! Game viewing, nature walks, river cruises and camping under the stars are all part of a safari adventure your family will talk about for years down the line!  

Bring your children into the true wilderness of Tanzania, our top African safari destination of all time – so check out the luxury lodge and bush camp accommodation where children are made to feel at home and book your special family package today.

The Best of the Best Holidays in Selous Game Reserve

Plan a Tanzania tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to the premier wildlife destination south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks, the vast Selous Game Reserve and the spectacular Ruaha National Park. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in Tanzania, in lavish lodges, family resorts, modern hotels, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature. Bring your camera and you hat, your binoculars and your sense of spirit to an African land that is home to humankind.

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