Selous Game Reserve that is located in southern Tanzania is one of Africa’s largest parks and is a secret tip for stunning wildlife viewing. There are several rivers and lakes in Selous that form the lifeblood of the whole park, the central one being the Rufiji River. Especially the northern part of the Rufiji River is particularly scenic and one of the main wildlife viewing areas. The Rufiji River Camp is one of the most popular camps there and is just gorgeous place to stay.
Selous is a pretty untouched wilderness in Africa and is easily accessible from Dar as well as Zanzibar. As Selous offers some of the finest boating safaris in Africa it is a must to take a boat ride on the river in order to see some of the 440 known species of birds including pelicans,
white-fronted bee eaters
or goliath herons just to mention a few of them. For birders this is a real paradise and the boat enables one to get very close to them, so great photos are guaranteed.
Also pretty obvious are hippos and there are quite a few of them. They often are hiding so good in the water that even experienced boat drivers can overlook them and then the hippos are fleeing frightened of the sudden approach of a boat – they can be rather quick not only on land, but also in water.
Always present around and in the water are crocodiles and some of them are really big. This one was sleeping in the evening sun and finally woke up as we came closer before disappearing into the water.
Coming back to the camp during sunset does actually not stop you from watching but now from very comfortable terraces where you can of course enjoy all kind of sun-downers. And this is quite an important tip, you should take your time to do that whenever possible as these are quite stunning memories I found.
While the boat safaris are stunning, of course also daytime game drives are a wonderful experience and you always should look to be able to drive in small groups as this enhances the whole experience of Safari significantly regardless if you are photographing, filming or simply watching. Experienced guides make up for the rest to guarantee successful sightings.
Like we had the other morning with several groups of giraffes down at the river. Even being some distance away from them the continued to watch us carefully but in the end did not get disturbed by us.
Driving a bit down into the wetlands brings you easily close to a number of animals. You always can see groups of elephants and we were lucky to get a show from a young one while eating breakfast.
But also zebras and giraffes can come pretty close that allows for nice shots.
Also lion sightings are not uncommon as the animals are usually lazing around the lakes and wait for the other animals coming to drink. We found this old lioness in a group of younger ones resting from the efforts of their last hunt.
Selous is a secure tip for interesting and stunning safari adventures and best time to visit is during dry season that are the months from July to October as there are usually many animals to be found in the park, while a number of animals move away from the feeding grounds during the months of January and February.
Learn more about safari tours to Selous Game Reserve on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.
Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa