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Selous Game Reserve

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Selous Game Reserve

Once one of the world’s biggest game reserves, Selous has recently been split up to accommodate the new Nyerere National Park in honour of Tanzania’s first President Julius Nyerere. Together, the parks cover around 50,000 square kilometres in southern Tanzania, an area several times the size of the Serengeti.

Selous, at a glance

The Selous Game Reserve is off the beaten path, and only 1% of Tanzania’s tourists heading down to this part of the country. It is often seen as one of Africa’s last true wilderness areas – its savannah spans as far as you can see, and you can go days without ever seeing a car or another traveller.

One of the best sights within this game reserve is the Rufiji River, a gigantic river with a high density of crocodiles and hippos. Together with the Great Ruaha River, it creates a river delta, making for formidable game viewing and some of the most exciting boat safaris in East Africa.

When to visit Selous Game Reserve

Like most national parks in Tanzania, the dry season from June to October is perfect for game viewing, as the vegetation is more sparse, making it easier to spot animals. March to May and late October to mid-December is the rainy season, which makes many of the roads impassable and animals harder to spot.

For bird enthusiasts, we also recommend the shorter dry season from mid-December to March, as many migratory birds then settle in Selous. If the scarce wild dog is what you are after, June to August is perfect, as this is their denning season.

VISITING TANZANIA IN JANUARY

There is a chance of rain, the temperature is getting higher and the humidity is building. It’s still a good time to go as rates are lower and safari is excellent. At this time of year, the migration herds are in the southeast of the Serengeti for calving season, so the Ndutu Plains are busy but it is amazing to see so many animals in one place.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania’s Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands. Read more

VISITING TANZANIA IN FEBRUARY

Temperatures continue rising, and the migration is still on the Ndutu Plains. February is one of the optimal months for trekking Kilimanjaro, for safaris in the northern and southern parks, and for visiting Zanzibar for a beach holiday. Like January, there is still a chance of short rains, but they also usually occur at night.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania’s Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands.

VISITING TANZANIA IN MARCH

As the migration starts heading west towards the Grumeti River, the temperatures are still very hot. The beginning of the month is still great for trekking, safaris and beach trips. However, towards the end of the month, there is a higher chance of rain as Tanzania moves into the long rainy season.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania’s Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands.

VISITING TANZANIA IN APRIL – MAY

As the migration starts heading west towards the Grumeti River, the temperatures are still very hot.

The beginning of the month is still great for trekking, safaris and beach trips. However, towards the end of the month, there is a higher chance of rain as Tanzania moves into the long rainy season.

In April, the long rainy season is in full swing. Traveling in this period is not advised, as torrential rains can affect planned excursions.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is more dangerous during this season. Many lodges are also closed.

VISITING TANZANIA IN JUNE

This is the green season, bringing lush grasses and bush that can make spotting game more difficult. However, this is still a wonderful time to travel — particularly for bird watchers as parks are full of migratory birds; especially in the south. Migration should be in the Grumeti area of the Serengeti heading north.

VISITING TANZANIA IN JULY

This is the start of the peak season. The Migration is in the north of the Serengeti moving toward Kenya, and elephant start to gather in Tarangire. The land is getting drier and spotting game is becoming easier. Temperatures are in the 80°Fs and the humidity is low.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent.

VISITING TANZANIA IN AUGUST

Peak season. Migration is still in the north. As the land becomes more parched, the animals’ behavior becomes more predictable. The dense bush in Ruaha is drying out so game spotting here becomes much easier.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent.

VISITING TANZANIA IN SEPTEMBER

Peak season. The end of the migration is still in the north, with herds on both sides of the Kenya and Tanzania borders and high numbers of elephant in Tarangire. The northern circuit can be very busy, but it is less busy in the south, so for those who want to avoid crowds it’s best to visit the southern parks.

Events & Festivals

  • The Great Migration river crossings (July to September): This is your best chance to observe herds of animals in their hundreds as they cross Tanzania’s rivers on their epic migration across the continent.

VISITING TANZANIA IN OCTOBER

Although it is not peak season any more, October is still quite dry and a good time for trekking, safari, or enjoying Tanzania’s beaches.

The migration is now in Kenya, but there are still plenty of animals to see. Southern parks are particularly rewarding at this time of year.

The short rainy season sometimes starts by the end of October, so the start of the month is better for travelling.

VISITING TANZANIA IN NOVEMBER

Short rains. This is a great time to take advantage of low season rates and is still a popular time to travel. The rains tend to be overnight, but there is a risk of rain during the day as well. Migrating herds are starting to travel south from Kenya, so crossings can be seen in the north of the Serengeti.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania’s Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands.

VISITING TANZANIA IN DECEMBER

There is a chance of rain, but this is generally overnight. Temperatures and humidity start to build. Safari is good, with migrating herds in the north traveling south to Ndutu. The festive season can be very busy and needs to be planned well in advance to ensure availability.

Events & Festivals

  • Green Season (November to March): Tanzania’s Green Season offers superb birdwatching opportunities, with migratory birds arriving in their thousands.

Wildlife in Selous Game Reserve

Selous boasts some of the best wildlife densities in Tanzania. The reserve has 40,000 hippos, 120,000-150,000 buffalo, 100,000 wildebeests, and 35,000 zebras inhabit an area the size of Denmark.

The sheer amount of prey attracts a diversity of predators including 4,000 lions, as well as leopards, hyenas and crocodiles. Some rarer species include the African wild dog, of which 50% of its population live in Selous, as well as the sable and puku antelopes.

It is also one of the few places in Africa where the endangered black rhino can be found. Bird enthusiasts will also cherish this place, as 440 different species of bird populate this area. These can best be discovered by a boat safari.

TANZANIA FEATURED SAFARI PACKAGES

The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.

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7 Days

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Visiting Tanzania and love luxury safari? This Tanzania Lodge Safari tour package is the perfect fit for you.You will drive

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14 Days

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Arusha City is the starting point for your coming days on the road. Leaving the busy city, passing locals going

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5 Days

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This African Big five safari features three of the popular Northern Circuit game parks. You will see flamingos and other

Tour Duration

4 Days

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This 4 Days Tanzania Camping Safari tour goes to Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro crater and one of Tarangire national park

Tour Duration

7 Days

Tour Style

Visiting Tanzania and love luxury safari? This Tanzania Lodge Safari tour package is the perfect fit for you. From luxurious

Tour Duration

2 Days

Tour Style

In this tour we will cover the 2 most popular destinations in Tanzania - Tarangire National Park (1 night) and
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Most Popular Destinations in Tanzania

Northern Tanzania

Serengeti National Park

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Northern Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

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Northern Tanzania

Tarangire National Park

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Southern Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve

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