The Selous Game Reserve in the South of Tanzania and has much fewer visitors than the famous Northern Parks of the country - Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara and certainly far, far fewer visitors than places like the Kruger National Park in South Africa. This means fewer vehicles and fewer people and therefore more of a wild, remote and quieter experience, ideal for honeymooners and families. The main draw here is the magical and serene experience of motorboat safaris on the Rufiji River and floating along its labyrinth of channels, lakes and streams that wind through this massive expanse of plains and woodlands. Add to this the game drives, walking safaris and option of fly-camping the Selous is a real favourite of ours for people looking for a more relaxed and diverse Tanzania safari experience.
The Selous is the largest game reserve in the whole of Africa and in terms of wildlife during our recommended 3-5 nights you should see Wild Dog, a real drawcard for the Selous. You should also come across Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile and Lion, along with Leopard, if you are lucky, and also see Elephant and Giraffe in large numbers, often down by the river's edge. Added to this much more smaller game and a wide range of birdlife.
We would point out that you will not see wildlife as frequently as you would experience in say the Northern Parks like the Serengeti or in the Kruger in South Africa. In our opinion though this is a bit of a trade-off for fewer people of course and again a real plus of the Selous is that not only will you do the traditional 4 x 4 vehicle safari with guide, but you will have the chance to go out on guided walking safari (what an experience to track wildlife on foot) and also go out on boating safaris on the river, getting up close and personal with hippo and crocodile - this really is quite something. In the Selous the way you structure your day is also different, you are not normally out all day, activities are in the morning, then back to the camp or lodge to relax, have a swim and lunch, and then out again on an activity mid-afternoon to view wildlife. So much more relaxed than being out all day in a vehicle - again much better for honeymooners and families in particular.
There are various accommodation options. Much like in the Ruaha we believe the majority of camps here are well run, authentic in the bush camps at varying degrees of luxury. The management and staff of all the camps we endorse have created ambient and warm welcoming atmospheres, so it is a matter of suiting your style, level of luxury and personal preferences to your budget. In the core game viewing area of the park, we have our personal favourite Roho Ya Selous, the luxurious Sands Rivers Camp and it's smaller private sister camp Kiba Point, along with the fantastic Siwandu Camp, sister to Jongomero in Ruaha and the superb value for money Selous Impala Camp and Lake Manze Camp. Away from the main game viewing area, but offering less traffic and additional activities, like fishing and swimming in hot springs, are Selous Serena Camp and its sister camp - Mivumo River Lodge, which again, as with the other camps we recommend are small, intimate and personal with great staff, superb food and bonus of swimming pools to cool off in during the heat of the day.
If you are having a safari in the Selous we do highly recommend you combine this with time in the wild and remote Ruaha and/or time relaxing on the Islands or Coast, which are both only a short flight (approx 1-1.5 hours) away.