Selous and Ruaha

These two immense wildlife reserves in Tanzania’s remote south are bisected by broad rivers, supporting vast numbers of game and a great diversity of species.

Named after legendary English hunter-turned-conservationist Frederick Courtney Selous, the Selous encompasses rivers, lakes, forests and woodland. This unique, unspoilt ecosystem earned the park a World Heritage listing in 1982. Its wild terrain harbours unbelievable numbers of elephant (up to 70,000), buffalo (120,000) and hippo (40,000) as well as lion, black rhino, cheetah, giraffe, and many crocodiles. Only the northern part of the Selous (20%) is open to the public and this is where most of the safari camps are found.

Ruaha covers 10,300 km2 of beautiful wilderness criss-crossed by a web of life-giving rivers. The park has a large population of elephants as well as an abundance of rare species such as wild dog, striped hyena, lesser kudu, sable and roan antelope. The largest reserve in Tanzania, visitors to Ruaha will rarely find any crowds, even during peak travel times.

If you’re looking for a safari off-the-beaten-track in Tanzania, you can’t go wrong with Selous or Ruaha. Both parks can be accessed by road or light aircraft from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar. They also offer unique experiences such as fly camping, guided walks and boat safaris.

Location

Selous and Ruaha Highlights

  • Discover the unspoilt wilderness of Tanzania’s south
  • Visit World Heritage-listed Selous Game Reserve
  • Explore remote Ruaha National Park
  • See some of Africa’s largest remaining elephant herds
  • Observe rare species such as wild dog and sable antelope
  • Experience impressive gameviewing far from the tourist trail
  • Enjoy fly camping, guided walks and boat safaris

When To Go

The driest months in Selous and Ruaha are from June to October, when the bush thins out and animals are easier to spot. This is also the most pleasant time to visit, as it is not as humid as during the rainy season (November-March).

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Selous and Ruaha Accommodation

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Selous and Ruaha regions. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Kigelia Ruaha

The Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s most wild and exciting national parks, not to mention the largest in Tanzania. Baobabs dot the landscape and dry snaking rivers criss-cross the

Ruaha River Lodge

By Tanzania’s mighty Ruaha River, this superb lodge offers gameviewing by vehicle and even from the verandas of its 24 stone and thatch guest chalets.

Sand Rivers Selous

Sand Rivers Selous comprises of 8 open-fronted guest cottages set on a scenic bend in the Rufiji River, within the vast Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania.

Siwandu

Set by a lake fed by the Rufiji River, Siwandu is a wonderful lodge with octagonal guest tents in Tanzania's wild, remote Selous Game Reserve.

Featured Private Tanzania Sample Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Tanzania experience.

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Tanzania Overview

Why travel to Tanzania? Few places in the world can offer the immense diversity and quantity of game found in Tanzania, nor the ease of viewing it. Tanzania is also the arena for the great wildebeest and zebra migration and has some of Africa’s most stunning scenery.

When is the best time to view animals in Tanzania? The best time to visit is November to May when the wildebeest herds amass on the Serengeti’s southern plains. Feb/Mar is when the herds are calving. The dry season (Jun to Sep) is the best time to visit Tarangire and the Selous.

What is the culture of Tanzania?With some 120 tribes, Tanzania is culturally very diverse, with peoples ranging from the Nilotic Maasai to Hadza bushmen, the Makonde (famous for their wood carvings) and Swahili-speaking coast-dwellers, some descended from Arabs.

What is the climate in Tanzania? Much of the Serengeti is over 5,000 ft so temperatures vary between 22°- 29°C. It is generally sunny and windy, with rain falling between Nov – May as isolated showers. The low-lying Rift Valley is much hotter (30°-35°C), while the coast is hot and humid. The Ngorongoro Highlands can be cool to cold at night.

What can I combine with Tanzania? Kenya. Most visitors arrive via Nairobi in Kenya so it is easy to combine parks in the two countries. Kenya’s famous Masai Mara is an extension of the Serengeti and the wildebeest migration can be found here in September/October.

How to get to Tanzania? You can fly via Johannesburg in South Africa then north to Nairobi in Kenya. Or fly via the Middle East to Nairobi. We can organise road transfers from there to Arusha, the “safari capital” of northern Tanzania; alternatively, you can fly into Kilimanjaro Airport.

Do I need a Visa for Tanzania? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

Do I need vaccinations for Tanzania? Please call us on 1300 363 302 or visit or FAQ page

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