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south africa

national parks (back to intro)

in this section
Arusha National Park
Gombe Streams National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha National Park
Selous National Park
Tarangire National Park

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Serengeti National Park

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Selous National Park

Named after Frederick Courtenay Selous, the Selous National Park is the largest National Park in Africa - it is about four times the size of Serengeti and larger than Switzerland. Frederick Selous was a naturalist, a conservationist, and a hunter and was killed in World War 1 in the Beho region of the reserve. The National Park covers an astounding 21,000 square kilometers. However, it is not very accessible and remains the least exploited wildlife sanctuary on the continent. It contains varied terrain, ranging from volcanic springs, lakes, Great Rhaha and Rufihi rivers to savanna woodland, grassland plains and rocky outcrops. The game reserve is a World Heritage Site.

Visitors can reach the park by road from Dar-es-Salaam. Alternatively, they can fly in with safari groups on chartered planes - each major campsite has an airstrip. There is even a rail system that connects the park. The best time to visit is between end-June and end-October, when it is cooler. Visitors can ride on the cable car across Stieglers Gorge, which is 100 meters deep and 100 meters wide. They can fish for Tiger Fish and Vandu in the rivers of Kilombero Game Controlled Area that lies to the west of Selous. Even walking safaris can be arranged from camps. However, an armed guard needs to accompany visitors.

There are large populations of elephant in the park. Other animals include the hippo, depleted numbers of the rhino, large numbers of buffalo, Nvasaland anu, brindled anu, hartebeest, greater Kudu, sable antelope, eland, reedbuck, bushbuck, warthog, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and predators like the lion, leopard, spotted hyena, and hunting dog. While buffalo herds are the largest in the continent, cheetah are rare in the park. Moreover, there are about 350 species of birds and reptiles, including crocodiles, various types of snakes and lizards.

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