Selous game reserve is one of the largest national park in Africa covering 50,000sqkm but most of it is reserved for hunting, it was established as a national park in 1922 and declared by UNESCO as a world heritage in 1982. Selous game reserve is located in the southern part of Tanzania. Selous game reserve is the largest uninhabited area in the continent and is a home for various wildlife, with many animal sightings especially predators and an exceptional boat cruise on the Rufiji River. Some of the wild animals in this game include elephants, rhinos, hippos, wild dogs, crocodiles, black
colobus monkeys, hippos, antelopes, bushbucks, sickle-horned sables, reedbucks, waterbucks, lesser and greater kudu, birds, plants among others. all these together make it a must visit to Selous Game Reserve when in Tanzania. Selous Game Reserve is one of the two destinations were elephants migrate annually.
HOW TO ACCESS SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Selous Game Reserve is either accessed by road or air transport.
By Air, a flight can be scheduled from Julius Nyerere International Airport to the park´s Airstrip.
The Selous game reserve’s vegetation and its physical features like rivers, give life to different wildlife species and make it easier to view different animals especially predators, with a total of over 45 mammals, 450 birds, this makes it relatively biodiverse. Some of these unique species of Selous, include, lion, wild dog, leopard, rhino, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, impala, zebra, waterbuck, sable and puku antelope. The Selous game reserve also inhabits unique and various birds like the african skimmer, black-winged stilt, broad-billed roller, brown-headed parrot, dickinson’s kestrel, northern carmine bee-eater, palm-nut vulture, pearl-spotted owlet, pel’s fishing-owl, racket-tailed roller, thick-billed cuckoo, white-backed vulture, yellow-billed stork among others.
The climate ranges from warm to hot and humid. It has a dry season (June-October) and a wet season (November-May) though heavy rains with thunderstorms be common, but it is unusual for rainfall to last throughout the day.
ACTIVITIES TO DO ON SELOUS GAME RESERVE SAFARI IN UGANDA
Birding is one of the best activities done in the park since it has over 450 bird species, making it a great destination for a birder. The park has good birding spots like sandbanks, islands and Rufiji river banks with various species that are eye-catching and interesting to watch like the African fish eagle, African spoonbill, waders, Livingstone’s flycatcher, red-winged warbler, red-throated twin spot, brown-breasted barbet, mosque swallow, pearl-spotted owl, yellow-billed storks, kingfishers, lapwings, colorful bee-eaters, palm-nut vulture, African skimmers among others. This can be done with experienced rangers available at the parks headquarter. Bird watching is good all-round the year but the best time is from November to April since migratory birds arrive from Europe and North Africa and also the residential birds nest.
Selous game reserve is good for game driving due to a variety of wild life, during the drives through the savanna grassland and along the water sources, different animals like lions, wild dogs, leopards, rhinos, buffalos, hyenas, antelopes among others are easily spotted. Sometimes birds can also be spotted. The game drives are done at any time, a ranger should lead the drive for directions and so as to cover every detail. Game drives are best during dry season since the roads are good and easily accessible.
Selous Game Reserve offers the opportunity to explorer the wild on foot, these are offered by the different hikes made within the grasslands, along the river banks as you see different wildlife. During the walking various wildlife like animals for example rhinos, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, buffalos, butterflies, insects, plants and birds are quietly and closely observed. Apart from wildlife, the walks give you the clear sight and feel of the beautiful sceneries and landform of this park. These walks are led by an armed experienced guide.
A boat cruise on River Rufiji is quite refreshing and rewarding, different wildlife is observed on the course like the giant hippos, crocodiles and hippopotamus appreciating their existence in these beautiful waters. If lucky enough, you can see elephants on course during their migration. Other wildlife like birds, butterflies and plants are also seen on the cruise.
ACCOMMODATION IN SELOUS GAME RESERVE
There are so many accommodation facilities located in and around Selous Game Reserve. These facilities offer different types of accommodation including lodges, cottages and luxury camps. Around the park are good accommodation facilities like lodges, hotels among others.