By Jen Marsden of Enchanting Travels
Wish to step off the beaten path and venture on an African safari experience that provides more intimacy, romance and tranquility? We have our own secret of East Africa – Selous Game Reserve. Shh. Don’t tell anyone!
Located in southern Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve is tucked away from the typical African safari route. Unlike the more visited national parks of the Masai Mara in Kenya and neighboring Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Selous feels like a million miles away from the throngs of safari goers.
Despite this psychological distance, Selous Game Reserve is surprisingly easy to reach. With just a 45-minute scenic light aircraft flight from the airport at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, if you land in the morning you can be on a safari as you head to your camp by the mid-morning! This immediacy transports you into imbibing the spirit of the African safari.
Whether you are heading on a safari in Africa for the first time or have ventured to the African landscape before, you will adore the variety that Selous Game Reserve offers. If you have been put off going on an African safari because of the idea of bouncing in the back of a safari vehicle for a week with loads of other visitors, then the Selous is for you. This is a more authentic and exclusive safari experience as it is entirely off the beaten track. Not only is it more intimate than most, you can embrace variety with both unique land and water-based safari activities. Every day on safari is different with guided walking safaris, boat safaris and even fishing opportunities.
No safari is complete without embracing the sunset and this is an absolute occasion for that sundowner: during your afternoon safari, just as the sun is about to set, stop at a scenic spot to enjoy a tipple, before returning back to camp for stories around the campfire.
If you have ever ventured to South Luangwa in Zambia or the Okavango Delta in Botswana then we know you will love Selous as your ultimate East African alternative.
Selous Game Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site because it has such a variety of ecosystems and impressive density of wildlife. The reserve is home to the world’s largest stronghold of wild dogs. Hunting in packs, these wild dogs are one of Africa’s most impressive predators. Delve into discovering this species which runs at surprisingly fast speeds.
You can still witness the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and hippo, but there are a few elusive species too, such as the sable antelope. For bird lovers, there are over 400 recorded bird species to uncover. You and your naturalist will seek out all these delights together on daily birdwatching tours.
This is not the Serengeti with the vast open savanna. Selous Game Reserve is home to incredibly diverse natural beauty, which covers an area larger than Switzerland! You can expect an array of landscapes, form verdant swamps and palm-fringed rivers with swirling sandbanks to miombo woodlands and open plains. Amateur and professional photographer’s alike will find these picturesque scenes captivating.
Located near the southern end of Lake Nzerakera, you will be in the heart of Selous Game Reserve with a stay at Roho ya Selous. This camp offers a divine luxurious edge to your typical safari accommodation.
The camp is beautifully boutique with eight spacious safari tents, and the surrounding forest vegetation ensures you receive natural privacy. Each of the canvas tents overlook the lake and come with a sliding wall that separates the changing area and bathroom. Every little detail is considered, including double basins, a flush toilet, and both an indoor and outdoor shower.
The main camp area is perfect for unwinding in the daytime with freshly baked cakes and tea or coffee, taking a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, and enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner to the sounds of hippos in the lake! You may also choose to congregate with other guests so you can share safari stories or, with complimentary WiFi, you can immediately share incredible memories with your loved ones back home.
Roho ya Selous is open all year, with the main safari season being from June to October. The camp is closed in April and May.
How to include Selous Game Reserve in your African adventure:
- Venture to nearby Ruaha National Park, which offers completely different landscapes with its dry, open plains, excellent wildlife and a high concentration of big cats. Just two hours by light aircraft.
- Go to the Tanzanian coast – such as Zanzibar, Mafia, Pemba or the Songo Songo islands. Just 45 mins by light aircraft.