Tanzania Selous Game Reserve

The  Selous  Game  Reserve,  with  an  area  of  about  55,000  sq.  Km, is the largest well-watered wildlife sanctuary in Africa, and one of the largest protected areas in the world. Its size is simply stunning, bigger than Switzerland, uninhabited and little touched by human interference.  It  is  perhaps  the  most  pristine  wilderness still remaining in Africa, with a wide variety of wildlife habitats, including open grasslands, Acacia and  miombo  woodlands,  swamps  and  riverine  forests  in  the  many  tributaries  of  the  mighty  Rufiji  River which flows through the reserve. Due to its unique ecological importance, it was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1982. Its wildlife is spectacular, with some of its mammal and reptile populations the largest in Africa, namely buffaloes, elephants, hippos, wild dogs and crocodiles. Other wildlife include the wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, zebra, eland, the greater kudu,  sable  antelopes,  giraffe,  baboon,  the  vervet  and  blue  monkeys,  and  the  black  and  white  colobus  monkey  which  can  be  seen  in  certain  riverine  forests moving from tree to tree in family groups. There is a large population of predators including lions, leopards, cheetah and the spotted hyena, and about 440 species of birds in the Selous, of both resident and migratory birds. Named  after  Captain  Frederick  Courtney  Selous,  a  legendary  19th  century  naturalist, explorer and hunter, Selous Game Reserve was founded in 1905. Selous  is  situated  in  the  southern  part  of  Tanzania,  bordered  by  Mikumi  National  Park  to  the  northwest  and  by  Udzungwa  Mountains  National  Park  and  Kibasira  Swamp  to  the  west.  The  greater  part  of  northern  Selous  is  reserved  for  photographic  safaris,  and  it  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  and  game rich areas in the whole ecosystem. The Selous wilderness meets the kind of dream visitors have of Africa of the early European explorers like Dr. Livingstone and Henry Stanley. The Reserve offers a wider variety of game viewing opportunities to the visitor, including the thrilling experience of a foot safari through game inhabited bushes in the company of an armed ranger. The many waterways in the Reserve provide an excellent natural setting for boat safaris, both for game viewing and bird watching. This is in addition to the game drives in 4X4 motor vehicles which, combined  with  boat  and  walking  safaris,  offer  an  exciting  and  richer  game  viewing itinerary unique to the Selous Game Reserve. The best time to visit the Selous is from June to October.  During the long rains, between March and May, some parts of the Selous become impassable and are temporarily closed for game drives.

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