Tanzania Travel Guide | Walking Safaris in the Selous

Elephant encounter
Experience the rhythm of the bush while on a walking safari in the Selous Game Reserve, one of the greatest wildlife regions in Africa. The Selous Game Reserve is named after Frederick Courteney Selous, one of Africa's great safari adventurers and hunters. You can experience discovering this beautiful landscape the way he did - on foot. In those days Selous may have had several porters to carry all the supplies he needed.

Today, it is easier. There are a couple of different styles of walking safaris on offer from simple morning or day long excursions to multi-day mobile camping adventures.

Full-day Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris in the SelousYou will probably stay in a lodge which is the comfortable option. There will be an early wake-up call as the birds start calling the sun glides over the horizon. This is the best time of the day for walking before the heat of the middle of the day. After a light breakfast you will set out into the scenic bush of the Selous Game Reserve.

Take in the fresh scents of the grass and Miombo woodlands, perhaps see an elusive Leopard lounging in a tree by the beautiful riverine forest.You will be led by a friendly guide who has extensive knowledge and experience of life in the bush. They will show you how to read the clues in the bush - a steaming pile of dug indicates an Elephant passed through not long ago. Walk in the huge wrinkled foot prints for a while.Listen out for the chirps and trills of birds and the guide will help you identify them. Listen and you may hear alarm calls indicating the presence of a predator nearby. Lion and Wild Dog are rarely encountered on walks, but Elephants and Buffalo are frequently seen.Feel the pace of your heart quicken as you slowly, quietly come quite close to a herd of Elephant, under careful instruction from your guide. You suddenly realise just how big an African Elephant really is.

When the day warms up, you will rest in the shade of a spreading Acacia tree overlooking a waterhole. The guide may produce refreshments or perhaps a light lunch will be laid out. Rest and watch to see what game comes down to drink at the water. When it cools down, you will continue your intrepid adventures.

You will return to the camp or lodge in the late afternoon, having enjoyed many spectacular experiences which will have expanded your horizons.

Boating & Walking Safari Combo

A unique experience in Tanzania is that you can enjoy boating walking safari combinations. The great Rufiji River flows through the park drawing vast concentrations of wildlife in the dry season, especially Buffalo and Elephant.

The river is nearly a mile wide in places and a boating safari is a great way to see pods of Hippo which spend their days half submerged in the water, yawning and honking. The combination of the boat trip and a walking safari allows you to experience the best of the Selous.

The Best Time to go on a Walking Safari in the Selous

The best time of the year to go on a walking safari is between June and September when it is dry and the temperatures cooler. It is also when the game viewing is at its best. If birding is what you are interested in then the green or rainy season from November to March is the best time to visit.

by Michael English

Tanzania Walking Safari Package

See our recommended Selous walking safari package.
African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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