"The centrepiece of Tanzania’s southern safari circuit, Africa’s largest game reserve is dominated by the Rufiji River as it flows atmospherically through a meandering labyrinth of open lakes, swampy islets and connecting streams inhabited by densest concentrations of hippo, elephant and giraffe. It is the only one of Tanzania’s major safari destinations where game drives are supplemented by boat safaris and guided walks, making for a uniquely rounded and multi-dimensional safari experience. ”

- Philip Briggs

Selous Game Reserve

The Selous is one of Africa’s great wilderness areas Created in 1922 and subsequently inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it extends over an unimaginably vast 47,500km2 – making it larger than Switzerland, and roughly equivalent to the combined area of the Kruger, Hwange and Serengeti National Parks! It also protects some of Africa’s most impressive wildlife populations, including some 150,000 buffalo, 40,000 hippo, 15,000 elephant and 4,000 lion.

A boat cruise on the Rufiji is a highlight of any Selous safari. Expect dentist-eye views of the river’s gigantic crocs and hippos, a profusion of water birds, giraffe and buffalo coming down to drink, and brilliant red sunsets silhouetting the fringing borassus palms.

Game drives offer a good chance of witnessing lion kills, or stumbling across a pack of African wild dog (the Selous harbours the world’s largest population of this Endangered canid), while guided walks come with a real likelihood of encountering elephant on foot.

For a fully integrated bush experience, most camps in the Selous offer fly-camping excursions, which entail sleeping beneath a glorified mosquito net on the shore of one of the lakes.

When to go

Find out when is best to visit

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WET SEASON

This is a rather unpredictable time of the year with frequent, brief showers or thunderstorms. The heat combined with humidity can be a little uncomfortable, especially during the middle of the day, and travellers may find that roads are more difficult to navigate. All in all, this is not an ideal time to visit, unless you are very keen to sight migratory birds.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

A brief dry interlude before the more intense long rains in March, April and May.

The proximity of Selous to the equator means that temperatures throughout the year are very consistent. The variable at play is altitude, which varies greatly across Tanzania. With perhaps the exception of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, daytime temperatures are warm-to-hot throughout the year, while mornings can be surprisingly cool. So if you intend to visit an inland safari region, we always recommend bringing a warm fleece.

There are two wet seasons in Tanzania. The first, known as the ‘long rains’, takes place between March and May, while the milder short rains take place between November and December. There are some exceptions to this: the Southern and Western safari regions tend to have a more continuous wet season from November to May.

The best time for a safari in Tanzania is determined by the type of experience you are seeking. Generally, the Northern Circuit parks (The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara) are good year-round. Tarangire is the exception in the Northern Circuit, and, along with Selous and Ruaha (Southern Circuit) and Katavi and Mahale (Western Circuit), is generally at its best during the drier times of the year. Saadani is at its best when the plains are very well watered, and thus is best visited just after the rains.

Coastal and island destinations are generally best visited during the dry season, when the weather is sunnier and more consistent.

DRY SEASON

A brief dry interlude before the more intense long rains in March, April and May.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

A brief dry interlude before the more intense long rains in March, April and May.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

A brief dry interlude before the more intense long rains in March, April and May.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

This is a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. During this period, as the land dries up following the long rains, the Rufiji and its adjoining lakes become a magnet for wildlife.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

This is a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. During this period, as the land dries up following the long rains, the Rufiji and its adjoining lakes become a magnet for wildlife.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

This is a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. During this period, as the land dries up following the long rains, the Rufiji and its adjoining lakes become a magnet for wildlife.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

This is a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. During this period, as the land dries up following the long rains, the Rufiji and its adjoining lakes become a magnet for wildlife.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

DRY SEASON

This is a more stable and predictable time of the year, usually with clear skies. During this period, as the land dries up following the long rains, the Rufiji and its adjoining lakes become a magnet for wildlife.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

WET SEASON

The start of the wet season. This is a rather unpredictable time of the year, with brief afternoon showers and thunderstorms occurring frequently. The heat combined with humidity can make things uncomfortable, especially during the middle of the day, and roads can also be tricky to navigate.

Depending on rainfall levels, this can still be a great time to visit Selous, since its wildlife is yet to disperse.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

WET SEASON

The start of the wet season. This is a rather unpredictable time of the year, with brief afternoon showers and thunderstorms occurring frequently. The heat combined with humidity can make things uncomfortable, especially during the middle of the day, and roads can also be tricky to navigate.

Depending on rainfall levels, this can still be a great time to visit Selous, since its wildlife is yet to disperse.

Its proximity to the equator means that Selous Game Reserve has consistent temperatures throughout the year. Even though there is a large altitude difference throughout the park (from 40 to 1,317m/131 to 4,321ft), the game-viewing regions in the north are generally low-lying. Temperatures therefore remain high, usually averaging around 30°C/86°F at midday. Temperatures can exceed this, sometimes reaching peaks of 40°C/104°F before the beginning of the rains. Mornings are a more pleasant 21°C/70°F on average, so our advice is to get up early to take advantage of these cooler temperatures.

Unlike most of Tanzania, where there are two distinct wet seasons, Selous has just one long extended wet season, lasting from November to May. This wet season is characterised by brief afternoon thunderstorms; it is unusual to have more extended periods of rain.

Selous is a seasonal area, with superb game-viewing in the driest months of the year when vegetation thins and wildlife becomes more densely concentrated around the Rufiji River and its adjoining lakes. Ideally, it is best to visit Selous during the height of the dry season.

Explore Selous Game Reserve Properties

Beho Beho

Beho Beho

With outstanding food, warm and attentive service, and some of the best wildlife guides in East Africa, Beho Beho is truly one of the region’s finest safari lodges

Sand Rivers

Sand Rivers

Sand Rivers’ prime location in the Selous Game Reserve means it is a goldmine for safari-lovers… or those who simply want to sit back and enjoy the view.

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