Less famous than the Serengeti, Selous is Tanzania’s largest game reserve and the safari linchpin of the ‘southern circuit’. Its terrain differs from the savannahs of the north, with woodland, mountains and riverine forest.
Game is not as visible as in the Serengeti, but the numbers and variety are impressive, with large populations of elephant, buffalo, lion and hippo, plus local specials such as sable and wild dog.
The Rufiji River runs through the park, dividing it in two. Most safaris are confined to the smaller northern sector, where a handful of upmarket lodges offer the full range of activities, including boat trips on the Rufiji.
Since 2008 a venture called the Selous Project has been leading safaris into the remote south. These are serious adventures in a pristine wilderness, with expert guiding from former hunters, much of it on foot. Game can be skittish and itineraries are set on the hoof, but you won’t have a wilder safari.