Selous Game Reserve
|Selous Game Reserve|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Elephants in the Selous Game Reserve
|Area||54,600 km2 (21,100 sq mi)|
|Designated||1982 (6th session), modified 2012, endangered as of 2014[update]|
The Selous Game Reserve is a protected area in southern Tanzania. It covers a total area of 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi) and has additional buffer zones. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its wildlife diversity and undisturbed nature. Some of the typical wildlife of the miombo inhabits the reserve, such as African bush elephant, black rhino, hippopotamus, lion, East African wild dog, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffe, Plains zebra, and Nile crocodile. Permanent human habitation is not permitted within the reserve. All human entry and exit is controlled by the Wildlife Division of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
The reserve was named after Frederick Selous, a famous big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this territory in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I. Scottish explorer and cartographer Keith Johnston had died at Beho Beho in 1879 while leading a Royal Geographical Society expedition to the Great Lakes of Africa with Joseph Thomson.
Most of the reserve remains set aside for game hunting through a number of privately leased hunting concessions, but a section of the northern park along the Rufiji River has been designated a photographic zone and is a popular tourist destination. There are several high end lodges and camps mainly situated along the river and lake systems in this area. Rather difficult road access means most visitors arrive by small aircraft from Dar es Salaam, though train access is also possible.
Interesting places in the park include the Rufiji River, which flows into the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island and the Stiegler Gorge, a canyon of 100 metres depth and 100 metres width. Habitats include grassland, typical Acacia savanna, wetlands and extensive Miombo woodlands. Although total wildlife populations are high, the reserve is large and densities of animals are lower than in the more regularly visited northern tourist circuit of Tanzania.
Walking safaris are permitted in the Selous, and boat trips on the Rufiji are a popular activity. A boundary change to allow the use of uranium deposits has been approved. The approval for the boundary change was given by the UNESCO and seriously criticized by environmentalists and organizations e.g., Uranium-Network and Rainforest Rescue.
In 1976, the Selous Game Reserve contained about 109,000 elephants, then the largest in the world. By 2013, the numbers had dropped to about 13,000 - including a 66% drop from 2009 to 2013. Sources blame corrupt politicians, officials and businessmen who help poachers.
- Peter Matthiessen and Hugo van Lawick (Photography): Sand Rivers. Aurum Press, London 1981, ISBN 0-906053-22-6.
- IUCN Cat Specialist Group (2006). Conservation Strategy for the Lion Panthera leo in Eastern and Southern Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: IUCN.
- "Selous Game Reserve" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Baldus, Rolf D. (2009). Wild Heart of Africa. The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. Johannesburg: Rowland Ward Publications. ISBN 978-0-9802626-7-4.
- Vera, Varun and Ewing, Thomas (April 2014) Ivory's Curse Born Free USA and C4ADS, Retrieved 16 May 2014
- Schiffman, Richard (17 May 2014) "Ivory feeds Africa's wars" The New Scientist, Volume 222, No 2969, page 10, also available on the Internet  but may need a subscription
- Fletcher, Martin (16 May 2014) Haul of shame The Daily Mail, Retrieved 16 May 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Selous Game Reserve.|
- Selous Game Reserve Information[permanent dead link] in the United Nations Environment Programme
- African World Heritage Sites - Selous
- Selous Game Reserve
- Tanzania Multipark Excursions
- WCMC Selous Game Reserve Site
- Official UNESCO website entry
- Map of Selous Game Reserve
- Wild Heart of Africa - The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, edited by Rolf Baldus