African painted dog in Selous national park

African painted dogs roam in Selous national park

The Selous ecosystem is a game reserve made up of a merge of conservation areas including Mikumi in the North and Kilombero in the West.

Over 90,000 sq km of unspoiled wilderness makes Selous Game Reserve almost four times larger than the famous Serengeti in the North.

Huge areas of well-watered habitat, crisscrossing dry riverbeds, dense vegetation, swathes of hardwood forests and open plains provide the right mix of habitats to enable the Selous game reserve to support unusually high numbers of wildlife and an extraordinary array of vegetation.

The reserve is home to over 1,000,000 large animals – including an estimated 1,300 rare African wild dogs – and over half of Tanzania’s elephant population.

One of the major attractions for visitors to Selous is taking a boat safari on the mighty Rufiji river.

Selous Sand river view

       Selous Sand river

The Rufiji river is home to one of Africa’s largest crocodile and hippo populations. The abundance of fish in the river and lakes attract a diversity of water birds unmatched in Africa.

As early as the 1890’s, Selous game reserve was considered such a valuable habitat that management and conservation measures were put in place. The German colonial administration established four reserves from 1905-1912. By 1922 these four small reserves were merged to form the Selous game reserve (named after the legendary hunter/explorer Frederick Courteney Selous who died in the area in 1917).

The reserve has enlarged several times to include animal movement corridors, particularly those of elephants. The reserve is now one of three World Heritage Sites within Tanzania (along with Zanzibar and Olduvai Gorge).


Enjoy game drives in open 4×4 vehicles; get up close and personal to water loving species on a boat safari on the Rufiji River; join a guide for bush walking safaris.

Book a ‘fly-drive’ safari to visit Selous Game Reserve.
Safari flights link Tanzania’s northern and southern safari parks to enable visitors to conveniently visit other Tanzania wildlife areas.