Tanzania’s Secret: Selous Game Reserve

When your kids have outgrown Disney World and wouldn’t dream of holding your hand in a zoo, you can still entice them on a family holiday – if you offer them an adventure.

My husband and I wanted to experience Africa as close to nature and as far from crowds as possible.  Our amazing tour operator, Imagine Africa, suggested the little-visited Selous Game Reserve and it exceeded our highest expectations.

Photo by Meghan Thompson

After a direct 8-hour flight from London, followed by a 45-minute flight south-east from Tanzania’s capital Dar Es Salam, we landed in Selous, one of the largest game reserves in the world (roughly the size of Switzerland).

Photo by Meghan Thompson

Wildebeest daringly sprinted across our plane’s path as it landed; giraffes greeted us at the airport; elephants showered us; crocs glared and lions lazed not twenty feet away; a leopard hitchhiked by the side of the road; hyenas sang us to sleep and a hungry hippo munched beside our tent.  We saw just about all the animals a safari promises and even some they don’t – like the highly-endangered African wild dog.

Photo by Meghan Thompson

I expected to rough it at the Selous Impala Camp, but I was in for a surprise!  The “tents” – semi-permanent cabins perched on a lofted deck – were spacious, clean, comfortable and had all the amenities one could want.  Our chef made meals from all over the world – some of the best I’ve ever had.  Our managers gave us the royal treatment and some days we never saw another tourist!

Photo courtesy of Imagine Africa

Unlike other safari destinations, the Selous offers boating safaris on the Rufigi River and (for those over 16) walking safaris.  We explored among a troop of baboons and startled a family of mongooses.

Photo by Meghan Thompson

We spent four days in Selous and eight days in Zanzibar, but I’d recommend four days in Selous, four days on safari in another part of Tanzania (or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro) and four days on the beach.  However you do it, I can guarantee that, like us, you’ll start dreaming of your return before you’ve even left!

Useful Links:

Temple of Inspiration (Meghan’s blog with more details of her extraordinary trip)

Imagine Africa

Selous Impala Camp

Tanzania Tourist Board (Visa information and best travel times)

Meghan & Conall

After exploring five careers in five cities in just over five years, Meghan Thompson has built up a wealth of knowledge about what she does not want to do with her life (including teaching, politics, banking, communications and PR). Meghan is finally doing what she does want to do (writing) where she wants to do it (in England) with the support of her husband, the amazing “rugby bloke” and their incredible son, “Sir Grinsalot,” who joined them in October 2009.

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5 Responses to Tanzania’s Secret: Selous Game Reserve

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Look no further than Tanzania for the ultimate safari experience. -- Topsy.com

  2. Lisa says:

    This is a wonderful “mini-safari” in photos. Your descriptions of this trip of a lifetime make me feel as if I had been there!

  3. Barry says:

    You have described a perfect vacation – Congers up visions of Duke Wayne in Hitari!

  4. Kathy says:

    How clever the way you shared your safari, with “Rebel Mom”! Can’t wait until Conall gets a bit older and your family travels again.

  5. Tracy says:

    Thanks for the info in such an “easy to pass on” format…good to send on to those planning a honeymoon to Africa!!

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