Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania

Selous is one of the oldest protected areas in Tanzania, and since 1922 hunting restrictions have appeared there. This reserve is named after the British naturalist and traveler Frederick Selous (1851 – 1917). Until now, most of the territory of the Selous Game Reserve is used for various kinds of strictly regulated hunting, and only the northern part, also known as Nyarere National Park.

The content of the article

  • one Nyarere National Park
  • 2 Information to visit
  • 3 How to get there
  • four Where to live and eat
  • five Map

Nyarere National Park

Nyerere is the youngest national park in Tanzania, founded in 2019. The overwhelming majority of tourists do not even know about its existence, calling the place Selous in the old fashioned way. We will also call it that, because due to the inertia of thinking, the name change will take place in many years. Of course, hunting is completely prohibited in the National Park and the protection of livestock is carried out more efficiently. Nyerere National Park is as huge as the Serengeti, its area is almost 31 thousand square kilometers, that is, 5 Bali islands.

We visited Selous in November 2021 with a group on the southern ring route.

I really liked this place. There are many reservoirs (rivers, lakes) and as a result of living creatures. Since where the water is always the concentration of animals is increased.

The Rufiji River, on which the lodges are located, is available for boat trips with a boat guide.

A boat cruise is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with crocodiles especially if you jump from the boat into the river

It’s a baby nile crocodile… And since there are cubs, there are also adults.

We also saw several species of kingfishers and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus).


This is a medium-sized single antelope, the growth of males reaches a meter at the withers, and weighs up to 80 kg. Bushbuck – a beautiful antelope, but rather secretive. Inhabits dense thickets and bushes along rivers. A little that immediately hides in the thicket.

We stayed at Jimbiza Selous Camp which I highly recommend! A chic option at a reasonable price. At night, they walk around the lodge galago garnett (Otolemur gernettii). Staff lures them with a banana very close.


These are medium-sized animals with a body length of 30 cm and a tail of 35 cm. Large eyes speak of the nocturnal lifestyle of the bushbaby, as it is also called. During the day, galagos sleep in hollows, and at night they hunt insects, small vertebrates, and also eat various fruits and drink tree juices.


Galagos are solitary territorial animals, only a male and a female can get along together. Live galago garnett in East Africa in various types of forests.

In the afternoon, males met in the lodge golden weavers (Plocerus subaureus) in a wedding dress.


This is a subspecies aureoflavuswho lives along the Swahili coast and nearby.


Further south, up to South Africa, it is replaced by the nominal subspecies, which does not have a brown “mask”.

Well, the most gusto, of course, lives in the park. We spent the whole day there and it was a real delight even for such a sophisticated naturalist like me!

Take at least the absolutely stunning white-headed lapwings (Vanellus albiceps).


This is one of the coolest lapwing species in the world with impressive yellow earrings. It lives in West and Central Africa, in southern Tanzania, along the Zambezi River and in southern Mozambique.

It prefers to swim along the banks of rivers and lakes. It feeds mainly on insects, as well as worms, molluscs and small fish. Sometimes it strays into small flocks.

In Selous, the view is quite common and this is probably the most accessible place in Africa to see this lapwing.

At the picnic site met blue-eared spray (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) Is a rather large starling (up to 24 cm) that lives in the savannas and woodlands of Black Africa. The first time I met him was in the Selous reserve in Tanzania.


Apparently earlier blue-eared spray was a frequent visitor to picnic sites and picked up crumbs after tourists. Now, due to a significant decrease in the flow to Tanzania, birds have switched to their original food – fruits and insects.

As I already noted, Selous Game Reserve I liked the abundance of reservoirs. And since there are reservoirs, there are also water-borne birds. And in bulk. Before visiting Selous, I had never met african beak (Mycteria ibis) in the wild, only its Asian counterpart.


African beak – a large stork, about a meter in size and weighing up to 2.4 kg. He lives in Tropical Africa and in the west of Madagascar. It feeds on frogs and fish. In our presence he hunted for catfish of a fairly decent size.


Nests african beak small colonies up to 20 pairs, very rarely up to 50 pairs.

She grazed right there and white spoonbill (Platalea alba).


I have already seen this beautiful bird at Lake Manyara.

And here African stork (Anastomus lamelligerus) I saw for the first time.


He doesn’t look like his Asian brother. An African, as befits an African, is completely black and somewhat larger. African Razin Stork as well as the Asian one feeds on molluscs, including large ampullae. The beak with a gap between the beak and mandible serves as a crusher for mollusk shells. Also, this bird feeds on insects, fish, crabs and frogs. This interesting bird is found almost throughout Black Africa.

African Razin Stork often keeps close to hippos, which help him to get food, loosening the shore with the mass of his carcass on short legs.


There were a lot of hippos in Selous.


Of other interesting near-water birds, it is especially worth noting goliath heron (Ardea goliath).


We have already seen this one of the largest herons in the world on Lake Baringo, but still the “switch” of this beast cannot but impress!


With such a “switch” the goliath heron can catch even monitor lizards, snakes and rodents weighing up to 1 kilogram. I wrote about this species in detail in an article about a boat trip on Lake Baringo.

Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) Is the next interesting view.


This is a cosmopolitan, wherever he is, but it is always pleasant to meet a stilt – what a charismatic appearance!

And this is, on the contrary, modest tie (Charadrius hiaticula) in a winter outfit.


It nests in the north of Russia, Europe and Greenland. And winters in Africa and the Persian Gulf.

A very common bird in Black Africa – lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus).


I met her in many places, in particular on Lake Naivasha in Kenya, there were a lot of her.

Selous has a standard set of mammals. Lions


We’ve seen them many times.



Also in mass in all poses.


Of course my favorites giraffes


These I can photograph endlessly!

I have already shown hippos. Then I’ll show you a spare part for a hippo. Look at what teeth!


Spotted hyenas were also met in Selous Park in the evening.


Well, I didn’t even take pictures of any buffaloes, impalas and zebras.

From insects we met large blisters Cyaneolytta on the picnic site.


And in our camp Jimbiza Selous Camp beautiful South African dwarf geckos (Lygodactylus picturatus).


Small (8-9 cm with a tail), but, you see, beautiful animals! This species is widespread in Black Africa.

There were also ordinary Hemidactylus



November in Selous is a great time. The rainy season has just begun, migrant birds are arriving. Beautiful myrtle blooming Combretum constrictum… This shrub grows in East Africa.


Selous is located just 4 hours from Dar es Salaam, which makes it very accessible in terms of transport, and its rich fauna – attractive for tourists.

Information to visit

Season: from June to December. It rains in December and May, but this is the best time for birdwatching.
Entrance ticket: $ 59 for an adult.
Accommodation fee: $ 17.7 for residents outside the park and $ 29.5 for residents inside the park.
Infrastructure: toilets, camping sites, picnic sites, hotels.

How to get there

The easiest way to get to the Selous Game Reserve is on a Tanzania tour. For example, our southern ring. Walking around the park is possible only at observation decks and picnic sites. So you need a car.

Where to live and eat

We stayed at Selous Jimbiza Camp and this is a great budget option! There are a lot of lodges inside the park, but the price tags there start at $ 400 per person per day.

There are even more lodges outside the park and you can easily find full board from $ 80 per person per night. For example, Selous River Camp, Selous Mbega Camp.

There are several hotels in Selous on the Internet:

Search for hotels in Selous

Well, if you go with us along the southern circle, then you won’t have to bother with the choice of housing.



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