Tourist Attractions in Selous Game Reserve  : The Selous Game Reserve, which is remote and off the beaten path, provides tourists with a glimpse of unspoiled wilderness filled with an amazing variety of species and vegetation. Its striking vistas and wide variety of species led to its designation as a World Heritage Site. The Selous is one of the few large game reserves in Africa that permits Tanzania hiking safaris, giving nature lovers the option to walk across Tanzania’s untainted landscapes.

While in Tanzania, it is worthwhile to go on a safari to Selous because it is one of the least visited game reserves, meaning you will be able to have a less crowded Tanzania safari experience. Selous is also one of the most distant game reserves. The Selous is home to a staggering number of wild creatures due to its intricate and distinctive beauty; it’s no wonder that UNESCO designated it a world heritage site in 1982. Also, due to its larger size, the Selous game reserve offers a variety of tourist activities and attractions to visitors who are interested in exploring this undisturbed hidden gem of Tanzania.

Tourist Attractions in Selous Game Reserve
Tourist Attractions in Selous Game Reserve

What are the tourist attractions found in Selous game reserve? Below are the top attractions that are found within the Selous Game Reserve.


The largest river in Tanzania, the Rufiji, flows through the Selous Game Reserve, creating a vast network of wetlands, waterways, and tiny “lakes.” In turn, this creates a variety of water sources that, particularly during the dry season, draw vast herds of antelopes and elephants as well as other wild species in great numbers. On a Tanzania safari, visitors can enjoy the exhilarating boat rides and canoeing safari along this river while in the Selous game reserve. It is also important to note that the reserve is divided into two main sections by the magnificent Rufiji: the northern sector is used for Tanzania photography safaris, while the southern sector is divided into hunting blocks.


More than 440 different bird species may be found in the Selous game reserve, and the lakeshores and the banks of the river Rufiji are the ideal places to watch them. The reserve attracts a significant number of migratory birds from November through April, which is actually the best period to go birding safari in Selous game reserve, Tanzania. The White-backed night heron, Spur-winged lapwing, Palm-nut vulture, African wattled lapwing, Brown-necked parrot, White-headed Lapwing, Black-winged stilt, Brown-headed parrot, White-fronted Bee-eater, White-fronted Plover, Pearl-spotted Owlet, and others are just a few of the remarkable bird species found here.

Tourist Attractions in Selous Game Reserve
Brown-headed parrot


It is no doubt that the Selous game reserve is one of the best locations in Africa to have a wildlife safari when we consider the number of diverse and large species that call this area home. The Selous is home to the highest concentration of lions in Africa—about 4,000—as well as the largest population of elephants. Roughly 110,000 elephants have been reported there, along with 35,000 zebras, 40,000 hippos, 25,000 impalas, 150,000 buffalo, and 40,000 hippos. There are also rhinos, Nyasaland gnus, Sable Antelope, Eland, Greater Kudu, Waterbuck, Hartebeest, Giraffe, Reedbuck, Warthog, Spotted Hyena, Lion, Leopard, and hunting dogs.

There are many different game viewing safari activities available in this reserve because wildlife viewing is one of the main tourist attractions in Selous. Numerous excursions are available for animal viewing such as walking safaris, game drives and boating safaris. For instance, boat safaris let you go slowly along rivers and waterways as you pass through bird and animal habitats and get closer views of animals like hippos and crocodiles. For individuals of the appropriate age (often 12 years old), a handful of lodges also provide guided nature walks, which have a high likelihood of encountering large wildlife like buffalo and elephants.

Because many large mammals congregate around the remaining water sources, such as the five lakes, the end of the dry season is the best time to go on a Selous game drive. Sadly, due to illicit activities like poaching, many animal species, especially elephant populations, were negatively impacted during the 1970s and 1980s due to the strong demand for ivory on the black market.


In comparison to the rest of Tanzania protected areas, the Selous wildlife reserve is generally distinguished by its distinctive forest cover. A deciduous Miombo woodland and forested savanna grasslands make up the majority of its enormous territories. On the other hand, the Selous’ distinctive vegetation also includes rocky outcrops, dense thorny plants, and expansive water woods.


The Selous Game Reserve was named in honor of Frederick Courteney Selous, a naturalist and pioneering British explorer who was slain and interred in the Selous during World War I. You can go to his gravestone, which is located next to a tamarind tree. He served as Cecil John Rhodes’ right-hand man throughout his attempt to subjugate the current nation of Zimbabwe to the British Empire. In 1899, he also received a brief disgrace for speaking out against the war that the English people had launched against the Boer Republics residing in South Africa. At the age of 60 and while serving in the Selous during World War I, Fredrick Selous was appointed Captain of the 25th Royal Fusiliers and was awarded the DSO in 1916. He spearheaded the pursuit of the German guerilla army that was in charge of southern Tanzania due to his in-depth knowledge of these regions.

Tourist Attractions in Selous Game Reserve
The Grave of Capt. Frederick Selous

He was unfortunately outnumbered and fatally shot by a German sniper while fighting Schutztruppen, a German colonialist, in this bush battle along the banks of the River Rufiji. He was buried nearby, at a site named Beho, on the northern edge of the Selous wildlife reserve.


An oxbow lake, Lake Tagalala is bordered by dead trees that frequently drown, particularly during the rainy season when water levels are high. As the dry season begins, most of the Selous becomes dry, attracting various predators such as lions to hunt on this abundant food supply. The shallows of this lake are also home to a very great variety of bird species, making it a suitable location for game drives and birdwatching in the Selous Game Reserve. Many tourists who travel to this lake on a Tanzania safari typically take a soothing dip in the nearby hot spring, while others choose to take a boat trip on the lake for game watching and birding, and still more choose to just spot animals from the comfort of their safari vehicles.

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