The little-visited, 54,600 sq km Selous is the world’s largest game reserve. It is the quintessential East African wilderness. Wild and largely untouched by many people and with exceptional game drive avoiding the tourist’s traffic in the park. It is said to contain the World’s largest concentration of elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos and hunting dogs, as well as plenty of lions, antelope and thousands of dazzling bird species.
Established in 1922, for many years it rained largely the preserve of the trophy collectors and big-game hunters, even though only the Northern tip of the reserve has never been adequately explored. Most of it is trackless wilderness and is almost impossible to traverse during the rainy season when floods and swollen rivers block access. The best time to visit is from July to March. In any case, the lodges and campsite are closed from April to June.
One of the main features of the reserve is the huge Rufiji River, which has the largest water catchment area in East Africa. Massive amounts of silt are dumped annually during the wet season into the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island. For the rest of the year, when the floods subside and the water level in the river drops, extensive banks of shimmering white and golden sand are exposed.
In the northern end of the reserve where the Great Ruaha River flows into the Rufiji is Stiegler’s Gorge, probably the best-known feature of the park. On average it is 100 metres deep and 100 metres wide. A cable ca spans the gorge, for those who are game enough to go across. It is in the area where most of the safari camps and the lodges are. The gorge is named after the German explorer of the same name who was killed here by an elephant in 1907.
The Selous is one of the few national parks which you are allowed to explore on foot. Walking safaris are conducted Shizi team as well as Boats trips to Rufiji River are also offered by Shizi Safaris