6 Amazing Reasons to visit Selous Game Reserve
6 Amazing Reasons to visit Selous Game Reserve: Selous game reserve is the largest protected area in Africa situated in the Miombo woodlands of southeastern Tanzania. The game reserve was first established in 1896 by the German governor of Tanganyika Hermann, in 1905 it became a hunting reserve and later in 1922, it was gazetted as a game reserve. Selous game reserve covers a total land area of 54,600 square kilometers was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its uninterrupted natural and unique wildlife including savannah grassland, Miombo woodland, animals such as large populations of elephants, black rhinos, hippos, sable antelopes, greater kudus, giraffes, zebras, reedbucks, warthogs, spotted hyenas, lions, leopards, wild dogs, buffaloes, different bird species among others. Selous game reserve was named after Frederick Courtney Selous the British explorer who was killed during the First World War and buried within the reserve therefore visitors can as well visit his grave during the safari.
Selous game reserve is one of the natural wonders in Tanzania in that it harbors a number of attractions including animals, bird species, vegetation types, water bodies like River Rufiji, Lake Tagalala, Selous grave and offers a number of exciting activities such as game drives, boat safaris, birding, guided nature walks, cultural tours among others which makes it one of the best destinations to visit.
Reasons to visit Selous Game Reserve
- Abundant wildlife: Selous game reserve is known for harboring abundant wildlife including different vegetation types such as ground water forests, swamps, savannah grassland, miombo woodlands, animals like large populations of elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, zebras, buffaloes, impalas, hyenas, sable antelopes, impalas, wildebeests, hippos, lions, leopards, cheetahs and black rhinos which are rarely seen, greater kudus, wild dogs, among others. Wildlife in the game reserve can be viewed during the game drive, guided nature walks or boat safaris and the best time for wildlife viewing id during the dry season in the months of June to October because during this period there is less vegetation therefore large numbers of animals will be seen grazing in the open plains.
- Abundant birdlife: The national park is a home of more than 440 recorded bird species which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Tanzania with different species including migratory, endemic species which are only found in Tanzania, near endemic species which are also found in the neighboring countries, water birds among others. The most outstanding bird species in Selous game reserve include spur winged lapwing, white fronted bee-eater, pels fishing owl, white headed vulture, African spoonbill, yellow billed stork, white fronted plover, black winged stilt, brown necked parrot, broad billed roller, white backed night heron, rock pratincole, thick billed cuckoo, mosque swallow, brown breasted barbet, mangrove kingfisher, purple banded sunbird, African skimmer, red throated twin spot, green billed coucal, sterling’s barred warbler among others. Bird species in the park can be viewed during bird watching or during the boat safari which is best done in the wet season during the months of march to may and November because that’s the best time to view migratory species.
- Luxury accommodation: There are a number of accommodation facilities where you can stay during your safari in Selous game reserve including safari Selous Serena camp, Selous River camp, Sable Mountain lodge, Selous Great Water lodge, Selous Kinga lodge, Selous Wilderness camp, Selous luxury camp, Selous Mbuyu Safari camp, Mivumo River lodge, Selous Impala tented camp, Jimbiza lodge, Beho Beho Selous, Selous Riverside Safari camp, Kiba Point Safari lodge, Retreat Selous, Sand Rivers Selous, Siwandu Safari camp, Amara Selous among others. The lodges offer quality services, delicious food, luxurious and comfortable rooms and offer spectacular views of Rufiji River, animals, birds, plant and tree species among others which make you feel at home during the safari.
- Unique culture: A safari in Selous game reserve can be combined by a cultural tour where you will visit the neighboring village of Mloka which is situated downriver from Selous river camp. During the cultural tour you will be able to interact with local people in the village where you will get an opportunity to learn about their unique culture, way of living, visit their homesteads, farmlands, school, health centre’s, taste their local food, buy some souvenirs, craft items, enjoy entertainment through music, dance and drama, learn about their history among others which helps you to know more about other people’s lifestyle.
- Private safari experiences: Due to its remote location in southern part of Tanzania, Selous game reserve is less visited compared to other protected areas in the northern safari circuit like Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro conservation area which makes it less crowded and not very busy like other national parks which get busy with big numbers of tourist. This allows visitors to have a private, quiet and peaceful experience with relaxed and interrupted views of wildlife which gives you an opportunity to have lifetime memories and take great photos.
- Interesting activities: Serengeti game reserve offers interesting activities which visitors can participate in to make the safari unforgettable for example game drives which are done in 4WD safari vehicle with a professional driver-guide who will help you to spot different animals, bird watching activity where bird lovers will be able to view different bird species including migratory, water birds, endemic and near endemic species, guided nature walks where visitors explore the game reserve on foot hence getting close and personal with animals in their natural habitat, butterflies, insects, plant and tree species, birds, boat safaris where visitors will cruise along River Rufiji, have great views of hippos and crocodiles in water, water birds, beautiful scenery, animals along the shores among others.
When to visit Selous game reserve
Selous game reserve can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to October because during this period there is little rainfall therefore vegetation will be less hence giving you an opportunity to clearly view animals grazing. During the dry season, animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water which allows you to have great wildlife views and take incredible pictures.
The game reserve can also be visited in the wet season during the months of March to May and November because this is the best time for birding where bird lovers will be able to view migratory species.