Selous walking safaris: A Guide

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Tanzania has a huge variety of options for walking safaris, whether visitors are looking for short walks from their camps or longer immersive multi-day trips in eastern Africa.

A trip from Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro to Selous will take guests closer to immersing themselves in the wild on a walking safari, getting closer to the incredible wildlife and surrounding landscapes.

Why go on a walking safari in Selous?

This walking safari in Tanzania’s Selous offers the thrilling chance to encounter the bush and wildlife on its own terms alongside expert guides.

A walking safari in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve needn’t all be hard work. In fact, the best safaris involve as much quiet observation and reflection as walking.

Creep silently along paths swept by the feet of large animals to discover secret watering holes. Watch as families of elephants wallow and play entirely oblivious to your presence.

At night, sleep under the stars in a simple camp, listening to the whoop of hyenas and the soft rumblings of passing elephants.

The simple camp is just part of this experience, but being lightweight and mobile, it’s the thing that allows you to explore the Selous Game Reserve on foot over a couple of days or more without having to return to base.

The northern Selous is defined by two irrepressible forces; the vast Rufiji River that carves its way out of the rocky Stiegler’s Gorge into an inland delta of sand rivers and oxbow lakes and the large mammals that inhabit and shape this part of the world.

Just imagine exploring this area with your experienced guide and lightweight camp  – this is a safari experience not to be missed.

What will I see on a Selous walking safari?

The main focus of a walking safari experience is to embark on slow paced, guided walks exploring different wildlife and big game species and landscapes in the bush.

This experience is the perfect tonic to rattling around in a Land Rover and one that gradually soaks in as you immerse yourself in the wild over a period of time.

Days are spent walking in the cool of the day – gentle walks, not hikes – while the heat of the day is spent lolling in deep shade, quietly watching game including the big five.

Wildlife on show include lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippos, black rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, African wolves, wild dogs and more.

Walking safari day-trips in Tanzania are also great for bird-spotters and visitors can also have the choice of going on both walking and Jeep safaris or a combination of the two.

When to go on a walking safari in Selous?

Walking safaris are possible in Selous throughout the year. The best time to visit the Selous (for ease of game viewing, especially whilst walking) is during the dry season, between late June and October.

July kicks off the dry season, when the deciduous trees drop their leaves and wildlife sightings become concentrated along the river and around the lakes.

Walking is superb at this time of year as the vegetation opens making for fantastic walking from camp. July is typically the coolest month but with no rainfall so long sleeves may be in order.

August welcomes the dry season in full of superb wildlife sightings, often near camp and by the river. We begin to see higher temperatures as the month goes on and this is a superb time for a night under the stars with your own private fly-camp.

Cost of a walking safari in Selous?

The price of a walking safari package is difficult to estimate given costs can vary depending on the time of year, type of accommodation and how secluded it is, locations travelled to, activities selected and add-ons selected.

Walking guides for such safaris can start from USD $40 per person for short walks to $4,000 for multi-day luxury overnight trips.

Selous National Park Walking safaris typically range from USD $40 – USD $150 depending on the duration and activities selected.

How to get to Selous?

Visitors typically fly into Selous from Dar es Salaam, landing in local Nyerere and Ruaha airstrips.

International flights into the country also arrive via Dar es Salaam (DAR) airport for visitors wondering how to get to Tanzania. DAR airport is located 18km south of Dar Es Salaam and a Tanzania visa and certain vaccinations may be required to enter the country.

Visitors often combine trips to Selous with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar as well as boating safaris and game drives nearby.

Understanding the best time to visit Tanzania is important as this will impact accommodation, flight prices, availability and the weather that visitors can expect on their safari vacation.

Sample Selous walking safari itineraries

Selous walking safaris can vary in length and design so you can go out just for a night or two for a romantic escape or dedicate yourself to something a little more adventurous and strike out on a five night mission.

Walks generally follow the course of the Rufiji River, camping on sandbanks and in riverine forest. Extremely well executed, Selous walking safaris are perfect for those aiming to dig a little deeper beneath the skin of Africa

Sample 1 Day Selous Walking Safari

DayActivitiesLocation
MorningYou will have a meet and greet at 7:30 a.m. at your lodge, 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.
Selous Game Reserve
AfternoonYou 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. 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 Elephants, under careful instruction from your guide. You suddenly realise just how big an African Elephant really is.
Selous Game Reserve
Late afternoonWhen 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..
Selous Game Reserve

Minimum group size: 2 persons and Park fees are included.

FAQs

What will I see on a walking safari in Selous?

Visitors will see Selous’s incredible wildlife including lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippos, black rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, African wolves, wild dogs and more in areas typically restricted for safari vehicles, all in a quiet and intimate environment.

How much does a Selous walking safari cost?

Selous National Park Walking safaris typically range from USD $40 – USD $150 depending on the duration and activities selected.

When to go on a walking safari in Selous?

The best time to visit the Selous for a walking safari is during the dry season, between late June and October.