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Air

Coastal Aviation has daily flights linking Selous Game Reserve with Dar es Salaam (US$165 to US$195 one way), Zanzibar Island (US$210 to US$240 one way), Mafia (via Dar, US$275 to US$305 one way) and Arusha (via Dar, US$410 to US$440 one way), with connections to other northern-circuit airstrips. Coastal also flies between the Selous and Ruaha National Park (US$320 to US$350 one way).

Other airlines flying these routes for similar prices include ZanAir and Safari Airlink. Flights into the Selous are generally suspended during the wet season from mid-March to May. All lodges provide airfield transfers.

Land

Bus

Tokyo Bus Line runs a daily bus between Temeke's Sudan Market (Majaribiwa area) and Mloka village (Tsh12,000, seven to nine hours), which is about 10km east of Mtemere gate. Departures in both directions are between 5.30am and 6.30am. From Mloka, you’ll need to arrange a pick-up in advance with one of the camps. Hitching within the Selous isn’t permitted, and there are no vehicles to rent in Mloka.

If you are continuing from the Selous to Kilwa, Lindi or Mtwara, there’s usually a daily dalla-dalla from Mloka to Kibiti junction, on the main road. It departs Mloka anywhere between 3am and 5am (four to six hours). Once at Kibiti, you’ll need to flag down one of the passing buses coming from Dar es Salaam to take you to Nangurukuru junction (for Kilwa) or on to Lindi or Mtwara.

Coming from Morogoro: Tokyo Bus Line goes at least once daily between Morogoro's Msamvu transport stand and Kisaki village (Tsh9000, seven hours), departing in each direction between about 9am and 11am. From Kisaki, you'll need to arrange a pick-up in advance with the lodges to reach Matambwe gate, 21km further on. It's about 180km between Matambwe gate and Morogoro.

Car & Motorcycle

You’ll need a 4WD with high clearance in the Selous. There’s no vehicle rental at the reserve and motorcycles aren’t permitted.

To get here via road, there are two options. The first: take the main tarmac road from Dar es Salaam to Kibiti, where you then branch southwestwards on a mostly decent dirt and sand track to Mkongo, Mloka and on to Mtemere gate (240km). The road's condition is reasonable to good, as far as Mkongo. Mkongo to Mtemere (75km) is sometimes impassable during heavy rains. Allow six hours from Dar es Salaam.

Alternatively, you can go from Dar es Salaam to Kisaki via Morogoro and then on to Matambwe gate (about 350km) via a scenic but rough route through the Uluguru Mountains. It's 141km from Morogoro to Kisaki and 21km from Kisaki on to Matambwe gate. This route has improved considerably in recent times, but is still adventurous. From Dar es Salaam, the road is good tarmac as far as Morogoro. Once in Morogoro, take the Old Dar es Salaam road towards Bigwa. About 3km or 4km from the centre of town, past the Teachers’ College Morogoro and before reaching Bigwa, you will come to a fork in the road, where you bear right. From here, the road becomes steep and scenic as it winds its way through the dense forests of the Uluguru Mountains onto a flat plain. Allow five to six hours for the stretch from Morogoro to Matambwe, depending on the season. If you are coming from Dar es Salaam and want to bypass Morogoro, take the unsignposted left-hand turn-off via Mikese, about 25km east of Morogoro on the main Dar es Salaam road that meets up with the Kisaki road at Msumbisi.

Driving from Dar es Salaam, the last petrol station is at Kibiti (about 100km northeast of Mtemere gate), where you should top up. Otherwise try Ikwiriri, from where there is also an access road joining the Mloka track. There is no fuel thereafter. Coming from the other direction, the last reliable petrol station is at Morogoro (about 160km from the Matambwe ranger post). Occasionally you may find both petrol and diesel sold on the roadside at Matombo, 50km south of Morogoro, and at several other villages, although quality isn't reliable. If you plan to drive around the Selous, bring sufficient petrol supplies with you as there are none available at any of the lodges, nor anywhere close to the reserve.

Expect to pay from US$250 to US$300 per vehicle for a one-way transfer from Dar es Salaam via Mloka.

Train

Train is an option for the adventurous, especially if you’re staying on the northwestern side of the reserve. With luck, you may even get a preview of the wildlife from the train window. All Tazara trains stop at Kisaki, which is about five to six hours from Dar es Salaam, the first stop for the express train, and the main station of interest. Ordinary trains also stop at Matambwe, near the Selous headquarters, as well as at Kinyanguru and Fuga stations.

It works best to take the train from Dar es Salaam to the Selous, though be sure you have a pick-up confirmed in advance, as the train generally arrives after nightfall. As it is not permitted to drive inside the Selous at night, this will only work for lodges based outside the reserve boundaries. Going the other way, delays are more common, and most lodges are therefore unwilling to collect travellers coming from the Mbeya side. There are several basic and unappealing local guesthouses in Kisaki, should you get stuck.