Selous Game Reserve – located 17 hours (1,000 km) south of Arusha, Selous is Africa’s oldest and biggest game reserve, and one of its last great wilderness areas. Measuring twice the size of Switzerland, it is the largest protected wildlife sanctuary in Africa and is widely accredited as being the most pristine wilderness. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has long been renowned for having more wild dog, elephant, lion, hippo and buffalo than any other game reserve in the world. Species commonly seen are bushbucks, red and blue duikers, eland, hartebeest, hyena, kipspringer, impala, giraffe, oryx, reedbuck, waterbuck and zebra.
The bird life in Selous is extensive and the 400 species recorded include the globally threatened wattle crane and the corncrake. Black rhinos are close to extinction, but can occasionally be seen in Selous. The topography of the Game Reserve varies from rolling savannah woodlands, grassland plains and rocky outcrops intersected by the wide Rufiji and Ruaha Rivers. A major draw is Selous’ relative lack of tourist congestion in comparison with Tanzania’s northern parks.