Return to the airstrip for the flight to Selous Game Reserve, the largest Game Reserve in Africa and a World Heritage Site, and your luxury safari camp Sand River Selous. Much of the reserve is little explored and the Rufiji River bisects the reserve and supports huge hippo and crocodile populations. One of the most appreciated characteristics of the Selous is the “low traffic” of vehicle on its roads. Also off-road driving is allowed within certain guidelines, which is not allowed in the Northern parks.
At Sand Rivers the open-sided 4×4 vehicles are a great way of seeing things. For covering a bit of distance when that’s what’s needed. And of course there are times when they give you the best views, access and photographic opportunities. Often the best way to see things, to avoid scattering animals from the lake shore, or spooking a herd of elephant as they feed their way through a stretch of lush grassland, is to hop down and quietly work our way into a good position on foot. And the same goes for boats. Just being on the river – never mind the game – is a fantastic contrast to time spent in a vehicle. Drifting silently downstream, gently spiraling in the current, watching the river banks unfold is hard to beat.
But here again we like to take time to stop. Creep carefully through paths in the thick riverine bush and you’ll emerge – unseen – in magical secluded flood plains. More often than not there are treats in store; vast flocks of great white pelicans fishing in dwindling pools, wallowing families of elephant socializing, prides of lion sleeping off a meal. And sometimes the best way to see game is to let it come to you. Breakfast on a sand bank in Stigler’s Gorge watching elusive monkey-hunting crowned eagles, and listening to shrill cries of Hyraxes as you dangle a hook in the water.