Far less visited than Tanzania’s northern circuit, the Selous Game Reserve is Tanzania’s largest conservation area at fifty-four thousand square kilometres it is three times larger than the Serengeti and is the largest protected area on the African continent. The region was a legendary hunting ground for famous white hunters like Fredrick Courtney Selous which it is named after.
The Selous is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the range and diversity of terrain, habitats, ecosystems and wildlife that the region protects. The Selous is home to abundant wildlife and offers an authentic safari experience in one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas.
The Selous is one of the places in East Africa where visitors can enjoy walking safaris among the big game. The Selous has many lakes and rivers which are its lifeblood. The network of rivers and lakes offers some of the best boating and water-based safaris to be found in East Africa.
The Selous is home to over half the remaining African Wild Dog. The Selous is known for its lion sightings and large herds of buffalo. Other species include giraffe, eland, hyena, hippo, crocodile, kudu, baboon, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, colobus and vervet monkeys
The Selous is under threat by ongoing poaching which has decimated the Selous elephant population. There are many hunting concessions in the region surrounding the reserve. These have an impact when wildlife wanders out of the reserve into these areas. There is also a proposed dam project which would have a devastating effect on local ecology and migration routes.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society, in association with the Tanzanian government, has implemented the Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development Program (SECAD) which aims to strengthen and protect the Selous Reserve’s management. Tourism is a big driver of providing revenue to fund these conservation initiatives.