Selous Game Reserve - A wild and fragile animal reserve (31 May)
Interesting Facts about Selous Game Reserve
SOUTH OF THE SERENGETI, Selous Game Reserve is far off Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. Few would guess this remote parcel of land—measuring 19,305 square miles (50,000 km2)—is in fact Africa’s largest game reserve. It boasts a third of Tanzania’s savanna elephants, has Africa’s largest number of crocodiles, and one of the largest known hippo populations. The landscape is a realm of dense miombo woodlands, open grasslands, riverine forests, and swamps.
Selous was established during the colonial era as a model for sustainable hunting. Today, safaris are only allowed on about 8 percent of the reserve. Selous is the closest a modern visitor can come to seeing Africa as it was before phototourism became popular. But sadly, thanks to poachers, populations of elephants have dropped an alarming 90 percent in less than 40 years, to a critical low of 15,000 animals in 2016; rhino populations are in peril as well. Visitors should be aware of the fragile state of this reserve, and the pressure Tanzania is under to save it.