Game Warden

Let's talk Selous Game Reserve. (Tanzania)

9 posts in this topic

So who has been, where did you stay, how was the accomodation and tourist infrastructure? What sightings did you have? What are your recommendations for the Selous Game Reserve? Feel free to post anything which you think will be of interest, (including photographs) to those visiting below.

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Posted (edited)

I visited Selous in 2005 for 9 nights (3 nighta at Sand Rivers and 6 nights of fly camping, with a micture of walks, game drives and boating on the Rufiji).

 

Whilst the sector of the reserve open to photographic tourism is undoubtedly scenic, and offers good game viewing, I have to say that, in my experience, I found the description of that part of the Selous as a "true wilderness area" overhyped.

 

Thee Selous Game Reserve might be extremely huge if you look at a map, but the area north of the Rufiji where photographic camps operatesis maybe no more than 1000 sq. kms. Even if we were in the quieter western sector, we saw other vehicles everyday (by comparison, I saw just 2 vehicles in 12 days of a mobile safari in Katavi in 2007).

 

Various other camps and lodges have been built since my visit.

 

Having said that, the Rufiji is fascinating and full of hippos. Lake Tagalala supports an amazing quantity of crocodiles.

 

One of the most interesting features is the high number of giraffes (sometimes the area is labelled as "Giraffic Park") - even more interesting if you consider that none live south of the Rufiji (the vast majority of the Selous iGR is located south of the Rufiji).

 

Wild dogs are doing quite well in the Selous, and I had a few excellent sightings (one of them whilst on foot).

 

I have heard that a few lodges have now opened towards Simbazi, where the Ruaha River joins the Rufiji. Walking safaris had commenced in that area at the time of my visit, and I had been told that game was quite sparse and skittish. Maybe now the situation has improved.

 

As widely known, most of the Selous consists of hunting blocks. One of them was transformed into a photographic concession, Lukula Selous (a memebr of the Great Plains portfolio, alongside Selinda, Zarafa and Duba Plains in Botswana, and Mara Plains and Ol Donyo Wuas in Kenya). After a little more than one year, Lukula Selous was closed, (allegedly due to a rethinking of strategy by Great Plains), and possiby will re-open in 2012 - 2013

 

In my view, Selous GR is a great reserve, but visitors should go there and appreciate what it has to offer without been being too influenced by all the hype attached to its size by travel guidebooks and tour operators.

Edited by Paolo

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The interview with Dr. Rolf Bladus is now published here on Safaritalk in which he talks about the disastrous consequences of the uranium mining project. To read the full interview, click here.

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Good for wild dogs, but in general the "guides" are merely drivers

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Posted (edited)

Good for wild dogs, but in general the "guides" are merely drivers

 

I am safari guide works in selous, I am sad to see you generalize the guide in selous, their many best guides in selous, which hotel did you stay? And the guide was from which company?

Edited by Otto..The bushbaby

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I have to agree with Tdgraves about the guides in Selous.

The resident guides (ie belonging to a lodge or camp) that I have used in Selous have been rather poor. The best guides were the ones that we brought with us.

I have stayed at Rufiji River Camp (one of the few occasions I have actually makde a formal complaint about a guide) and Selous Wilderness camp where the guide could barely drive. Didn't even know how to put his vehicle into 4WD.

 

I am sure there are some good guides there but I ain't had the pleasure of meeting them yet.

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I went there with 2 of my friends In aug2014

 

The park is untouched in the sense ..people still live just outside and inside the park..a typical game reserve structure...

 

Hippos and crocks are millions ..which we can enjoy during game drives and boat safaris. .infact I dont want to watch these in any other park since I have seen so many in selous..

 

A bit unfortunate not to see the wilddogs and leopards

 

 

The other sightings were superb .specially lions crocs showdown and kudus with their family...hippo crock fight..hyenas in the night

 

 

Waterbucks and yellow baboon interaction in the campsite..lucky to find them there..monitor lizards also seen.

 

Other things apart the river and lakes provides stunning beauty unlike any other park..but too much vegetation tends to hide dik dik and elephants which are hard to find despite the largest in numbers in this tanzanian park.

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We were in Selous August, 2014. We were with a private group mobile camp with our own driver guides.

 

We had good game viewing with a couple large lion prides. Best of all were two different packs of dog on successive days. They were resting in the shade and we had the second group to ourselves and the first group with one other vehicle besides our group of three.

 

This was our first sighting of dogs being our fifth trip to Africa, with safaris in Kenya, Mana, Botswana and north Tanzania. Very exciting.

 

There were practically no elephants in Selous.

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I visited for 3 days at the end of August in 2015 and stayed at the Rufiji River Camp. The lodge was fantastic and I couldn't have been happier.

 

In terms of sightings though (based on my limited experience) Selous was hit or miss. The first day was bad, the second day good, and the last great.

 

Of course good and bad is subjective, but be aware that you can drive for several hours and see no animals at all. The animals also tend to be extremely skittish in this park.

 

We saw hundreds of crocodiles and hippos, a few lions (no other cats), plenty of antelope and baboons, but no wild dogs. Very jealous of those who saw them!

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