Designated a UNESCO World heritage Site in 1982, the Selous game reserve in Tanzania has a very diverse wildlife and virtually undisturbed nature. Named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, the reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves of the world. So picture this: A walking safari in a reserve area that spans 54,600 km² (21,081 square miles) and has a history of famous explorers, hunters and conservationists dating as far back as 1879. Wouldn’t that be extraordinary? Well, this article will aim to shed some light on some of the best walking safari opportunities Tanzania has to offer.
Sir Frederick Selous died at Beho Beho, a territory in the Selous, in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I. Keith Johnston, a Scottish explorer, died in Beho Beho in 1879 leading a RSGS expedition to the Great Lakes of Africa with Joseph Thomson. Walking can be great fun, and when you know you’re stepping into an African wilderness steeped in history, even more so. A walking safari in this part of the world is the perfect escape from the modern world — with its vehicles for transportation — to the old way of getting around, as did the explorers, on foot. Imagine reliving the experiences of some of the world’s greatest explorers. I’m sure you will agree, just the thought of it is so tempting. Walking gets you closer to nature, in fact. You’ll get to see places you wouldn’t see from a vehicle; watch animals at close range without them even being aware of your presence. And by night you’ll take refuge in a fly-camp; enjoy hot bucket showers; and hot homemade meals around a camp fire. The adventure can be thrilling.
And don’t you worry about the mosquitoes, sleeping units are equipped with mosquito nets; and for your walkabouts, there’s always the repellent creams and sprays to help keep them at bay. The best time to go on a walking safari in the Selous is from June to October. The rest of the year is unbearably hot and uncomfortable to walk.
In Summary: There are more ways than one to enjoy a safari in Tanzania. Walking is one full-of-adventure way of taking in the deepest African wilderness, where vehicles have absolutely no access, and natural habitat is so close you can touch it. Unlike the minibus tours that are, sadly, commonplace in the tourist circuit, walking safaris do away with the vehicles to take you deeper into the wilderness. In Tanzania’s southern circuit Selous, where great explorers, hunters and conservationists set foot as far back as 1879 before us, is undoubtedly an idyllic location to experience Africa in its most natural. Travel to the Selous begins in Dar es salaam and heads south. You’ll have the option to fly there in light aircraft, or travel by road or by train. For more information on what’s on offer and where to stay en-route to your walking expedition when you get there, make sure you consult your tour operator and make advance bookings as early as possible, bearing in mind that the best time to go on a walking safari in the Selous is from June to October. The rest of the year is unbearably hot and uncomfortable to walk.
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