The Selous Game Reserve, covering 50,000 square kilometres, is amongst the largest protected areas in Africa and is relatively undisturbed by human impact. The property harbours one of the most significant concentrations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species.
The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, with relatively undisturbed ecological and biological processes, including a diverse range of wildlife with significant predator/prey relationships.
The property contains a great diversity of vegetation types, including rocky acacia-clad hills, gallery and ground water forests, swamps and lowland rain forest. The dominant vegetation of the reserve is deciduous Miombo woodlands and the property constitutes a globally important example of this vegetation type. Because of this fire-climax vegetation, soils are subject to erosion when there are heavy rains.
The reserve has a higher density and diversity of species than any other Miombo woodland area: more than 2,100 plants have been recorded and more are thought to exist in the remote forests in the south. Similarly, the property protects an impressive large mammal fauna; it contains globally significant populations of African elephant (Loxodontha africana) (106,300), black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) (2,135) and wild hunting dog (Lycaon pictus).
With its vast size (5,120,000 ha), the Selous Game Reserve retains relatively undisturbed on-going ecological and biological processes which sustain a wide variety of species and habitats. The integrity of the property is further enhanced by the fact that the Reserve is embedded within a larger 90,000 km² Selous Ecosystem, which includes national parks, forest reserves and community managed wildlife areas.
The Selous Game Reserve has appropriate legal protection and a management plan has been developed. It is managed as a game reserve, with a small area (8%) in the north dedicated to photographic tourism while most of the property is managed as a hunting reserve.