Selous National Park
Enter Africa's largest protected area uninhabited by man, where Tanzania's greatest population of elephants wander in an area bigger than Switzerland. The Selous (pronounced “Seloo”) is considered important enough to be World Heritage Site, in which the lucky few can experience a safari in absolutely wild and unspoiled bush.
The park is named after an Englishman, Frederick Courtney Selous - conservationist, hunter, explorer and author, whose adventure books on Africa became best sellers in Victorian England. The park varies from rolling grassy woodlands and plains, to rocky outcrops cut by the Rufiji River - the lifeblood of the park, whose tributaries form a network of lakes, lagoons and channels. Volcanic hot springs even burst forth in places. The Rufiji offers a superb method of game viewing especially during the dry season when animals congregate.
Selous contains about one third of all the wild dogs (often called painted dogs), in the world. Their need to roam vast areas and their formidable hunting skills have caused many to be shot by farmers, but here in Selous they have boundless woodlands and savannahs in which to roam.
Along the Rufiji River, an array of grazing antelopes, crocodiles and hippos are commonly seen as well as black and white colobus monkeys in the riverine forests. During the dry season from June to October, the concentration of animals along the river is astonishing. Linked to the Rufii is Lake Tagalala where waterbuck, reedbuck and bushbuck gather at the water's edge. Magnificent sickle-horned sable and curly-horned greater kudu tend to keep to the longer grass and wooded shrubby areas.
In the dry season an ancient migration of elephants takes place between the Selous and Mozambique's Niassa Game Reserves. This is one of the largest natural trans-boundary eco-systems in Africa and at the last consensus it was estimated that 64,400 elephants roam the two parks, with 84% on the Tanzanian side.
Fierce tiger fish and smooth slippery vandu catfish are caught in the rivers. The latter is equipped with primitive lungs allowing it to cross land for short distance in an attempt to find water water during the dry season.
- Rare and endangered Wild Dog
- Thousands of migrating elephants
- Huge wilderness
This massive stretch of land is the second largest game reserve in Africa. At over 21,000 miles² (55,000 km²) it is almost four times the size of the Serengeti.