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At 21,100 square miles, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest wildlife reserves in Africa; it’s almost four times the size of the Serengeti! Its landscape is varied with rolling plains, woodlands, rocky outcrops and numerous lakes, lagoons, and tributaries formed by the Rufiji River. The Selous contains one third of the world’s painted dog population alongside one of Africa’s largest trans-boundary migrations where 64,000 elephants migrate between Selous and Mozambique’s Niassa Game Reserve. The Rufiji River also provides excellent game-viewing, particularly during the dry season (June-October), when big game joins the hippos and crocodiles at the water’s edge.

Similar to Katavi, Ruaha, and Mahale, the Selous Game Reserve is an excellent option for safari-goers returning to Tanzania for a second time. Unfortunately, the Southwest Circuit is just too remote and difficult to access that it’s incredibly expensive to add it to a typical Serengeti safari circuit. Visiting the Selous is an amazing experience with outstanding game-viewing, but we would only recommend this for the right traveler. Our favorite properties in the Selous are Sand Rivers Selous and Selous Safari Camp.

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Marcia Gordon