Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest protected reserve and Tanzania’ most extensive protected area. This vast 30,000-square mile region of wild and rugged terrain is larger than the entire country of Switzerland and stretches across more than five-percent of Tanzania’s southern heartland. Selous Game Reserve was originally named for the Englishman, Frederick Selous, who was well known back home in England for his adventure travel books. This unassuming hunter, explorer, and author eventually pioneered the incredible wilderness area and made it as popular in Victorian England as any other international destination.

Today, Selous Game Reserve is a world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its variety of wildlife safari activities set in the unspoiled bush. The entire region is an unusual combination of steep wooded hills, open miombo woodlands, grassy savannah plains, and marshes interlaced with an extensive webbing of lakes, lagoons, and channels fed by the mighty Rufiji River. Even volcanic hot springs dot the area, offering a diversity of natural landscape for prides of lion, herds of Tanzanian elephants, packs of wild dogs, and some of the country’s last remaining black rhinos to wander.

Traveling to Selous Game Reserve with Ker & Downey means it is unlikely you will see another game drive vehicle during your stay. Luxury lodges and tented camp coupled with private plane transfers ensure a truly untouched and wild African experience. Game drives, walking safaris, boat safaris, fly camping, and incredible fishing opportunities exist here—more activities than any other Tanzanian safari park—and they often result in the cries of the fish eagle, crocodile and hippo sightings in the river, and animal tracks dotting past your front door. After a day in the bush, Ker & Downey recommends retreating to the ancient baobab trees on the banks of the Rufiji for a cooling picnic amid Selous’ romantic setting, where safari enthusiasts and beginners alike can enjoy the slowed-down safari experience.