UNESCO-listed Selous Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in Africa and covers 55,000 km², four times the size of Serengeti. It covers more than 5% of Tanzania’s total area.
The rolling open plains and grassy woodlands are home to Tanzania’s largest population of elephants, one third of all the wild dogs in the world and some of the last black rhino left in the region. Other animals roaming this vast reserve include lions, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, buffalos and antelopes.
One of the more historic protected areas in Tanzania, the Selous Game Reserve was named after Frederick Courteney Selous, a British explorer and hunter in East Africa who wrote a book about the region and his travels, and was tragically killed in land now named after him during the First World War. In 1905, when few people in East Africa thought of land conservation and the preservation of wildlife for posterity, portions of the area were earmarked for a hunting reserve. In 1922, the land area was increased and named after Frederick Selous. From then until 1975, when the current boundaries were delineated, the Selous Game Reserve increased steadily in allocated land.
A boat safari on the Rufiji River in the north east of the park is ideal for game viewing, especially during the dry season when an incredible array of animals congregate, with hippos and crocodiles in abundance. Stiggler’s Gorge, where the Great Ruaha River meets the Rufiji River, has spectacular scenery.