Why is the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania so Special

Why is the Selous Game Reserve so special? Well, first of all its shear size; it is bigger than Denmark or Switzerland and makes up for 5% of Tanzania land. It is one of the largest Game reserves in the world and the largest in Africa. This is not because of vast stretches of desert; the Selous is an unspoiled, well watered area where human habitation is possible.Tanzania encourages low density tourism in the Selous and it is therefore well and truly worth a visit.

This is an African destination that is not different but more importantly it is as you would imagine it should be; a taste of what the early explores must have felt as they journeyed in search of the source of the Nile.Its wildlife populations are huge despite the heavy poaching in the 1980's. The rare wild dog can also be seen in this reserve.Another special feature is the mighty Rufiji River. This river offers sunset game cruises; there are not many places in East Africa were this is offered. The park encompasses a wide rage of habitats, including open grasslands, woodland, swamps and is an important area for wetland plants.

The United Nations declared the Selous Game Reserve a World Heritage Site in 1982.Many guide books describe a section of the park; the northern section. This area is promoted for photographic tourism and is the most beautiful game-rich area in the whole ecosystem.

The boundaries of the area are marked by the TAZARA railway to the north. The west border has the Stiegler's Gorge and the south is boarded by the Rufiji River. The area beyond the Rufiji River is not developed for tourism; there are no lodges, nor roads and any explorer need to be fully self sufficient to go not this area.Along the Rufiji River are the huge Borassus Palms growing up to 25 meters tall. These majestic trees thrive next to the water and will die-off in times of drought. This wide meandering river with its lakes, swamps and countless interlocking channels is one of the most important ecological wetland systems in Eastern Africa.

Fires in this area are inevitable. These fires are a source of conflict. Many people seeing them as destructive and they should be extinguished as quickly as possible; others seeing the fires as a source of regeneration. At times the reserve staff will start a 'cold' fire that is less destructive than latter fires when the grass becomes dry.The Selous Game reserve is huge, wild, has exceptional landscapes and high densities of wildlife; all these factors make a safari here special and your heart will become set on returning to explore more. The Selous offers a unique opportunity to get to know the African bush in all its varied glory.

.For more information on the Selous Game Reserve connect Ian through or Philemon http://www.aardvark-expeditions.

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By: Ian Williamson

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