More than 100 years on, Selous remains predominantly a hunting reserve: the large area south of the Rufiji River is assigned for hunting tourism, while the smaller northern portion of the reserve is open to safari and photographic tourism.
Selous contains a third of all the wildlife in Tanzania, with 400 species of other animals accounted for; there are an estimated one million large animals of 57 separate species recorded.
As well as being home to half of Tanzania’s elephant population, the reserve also contains 108,000 buffalo, 40,000 hippos, and around 4,000 lions (the largest number in any game reserve in the world).
The diverse landscape of Selous, which is elevated on the East African Plateau, ranges from dense miombo forests to savannah plains to the Rufiji River and its tributaries, each providing habitats for a huge diversity of wildlife.
The Rufiji River is the lifeblood of the reserve, and is usually full of crocodiles, hippos, and freshwater life which attract incredibly rich birdlife: 430 species of birds have been spotted in the reserve.