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.
You 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.
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.
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 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