Due to a low human population, low infrastructure and large amount of tree cover Kilwa district has always been a haven for wildlife. Much of the district’s western border is the Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Indian Ocean borders the eastern side.

Closer to Kilwa Masoko town hippo pools and rivers filled with crocodiles can be found but we recommend travelling a little deeper into the district to really experience the wildlife as the buffer zone of the Selous starts within 30 mins off Kilwa.

Kilwa is a perfect destination to combine with the Selous ensuring the best mix of bush and beach.


Selous is the largest Game Reserve in Africa, part of the Selous ecosystem of over 9,000,000 hectares which includes two National Parks and a Game Controlled Area. A large part of the Reserve is drained by the Rufiji River, the largest river in east Africa, which, with its tributary the Ruaha, drains most of south-central Tanzania and is formed where the Ruaha and Luwegu rivers join above the Shughuli
Falls. The southeast border is drained by the Matandu river, the northern border by the Mgeta.

The concentrations of wildlife are therefore understandably huge. It boasts Tanzania’s largest population of elephant as well as large numbers of buffalo, hippo and wild dog.

Eastern black rhinoceros which numbered 3,000 in 1981 then declined to 400, were estimated to be some 4,000 by Baldus et al. in 2003, but numbers have dropped sharply again since to between 45 and 60 of which over half may be central black rhinoceros .

Many of the other animal populations are large according to a TWCM aerial survey in 1994 species commonly seen are lion, bushbuck, impala, giraffe, eland, baboon, zebra and greater kudu.

The Reserve lies in one of the world’s Endemic Bird Areas and the birdlife is rich; 450 species of birds are recorded . The globally threatened wattled crane , lesser kestrel, the endemic Udzungwa forest partridge and rufouswinged sunbird occur. Other species include comb duck, bateleur eagle, corncrake, whiteheaded lapwing, and the near endemic Stierling’s woodpecker.

Safari Jones’
Kilwa Tip

Stay at Lake Maliwe community campsite in the Selous buffer zone. This campsite is in a great location, requires no park fees and all the money goes to a local charity improving medical and educational facilities in the village.

For more information see www.kiyodea.org