Nyerere National Park (formerly The Selous)

Nyerere National Park (formerly The Selous)

The Nyerere National Park (formerly The Selous) is the largest protected game reserve on the African continent covering an area of 54,600 square kilometers comprised of a vast wilderness with forests, grassy plains, mountains, and open woodlands. This reserve was named after Frederick Selous Courtney who was a great Hunter and explorer. Selous Safaris are highly recommended as in size this reserve is twice the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and three times Kruger National Park in South Africa. This reserve was established in 1922, and in 1982 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its rich diversity of wildlife and uninterrupted nature.

The Tanzanian National Park Authority (TANAPA) in 2019 proposed and declared a change of identity in the northern sector of this reserve such that it is known as The Nyerere National Park as a way of honoring President Julius Nyerere who was the first president of Tanzania. Today the boundaries of this Nyerere National Park are being properly established but according to sources, it is believed that this park will encompass the photographic sector in the northern part of the reserve and stretch out to the wilderness area of River Rufiji to the south. 

Nyerere National Park Location

The reserve is located in the southern part of Tanzania along southern Tanzania. Offers the best escape from the large tourist crowds in the northern safari destinations like Serengeti while offering you a remarkable wildlife experience. It is considered to be among the hidden gems in the county and offers a wide range of  Nyerere National Park has Camps for accommodation. The reserve is located about 219 kilometers from the busy city of Dar es Salaam and may take about 3 hours to drive.

Regions Of Nyerere National Park

The Nyerere National Park is crossed by River Rufiji (which is the largest river in the country) in the center and forms a network of swamps, channels, and lakes to create a very unique ecological system. The Park is separated into 2 major sections by the river: the northern and southern Selous.
The Northern part: this region covers just about 5% of the total area of the reserve and hunting is completely prohibited in this area which has been exclusively set aside for photographic safaris. See, the best time to visit.
The Southern Part: the southern part of the river is separated into various hunting blocks each covering an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers however we emphasize that we do not operate or even support wildlife hunting.

Wildlife In Nyerere National Park

There are several wildlife mammals found within this national reserve among which are: approximately 145,000 buffalos, 4,000 Lions, 100,000 wildebeests, large hands of giraffes, 35000 zebras, 40000 hippos, 250,000 impalas, large numbers of Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, waterbucks, elands and bushbucks, in addition to leopards, crocodiles, and hyenas. Furthermore, this is among the few wildlife sanctuaries on the African continent where you will find the puku antelopes the African wild dogs as well as the sable antelope. Previously the Selous was home to a very large number of elephants but because of excessive poaching these numbers have greatly reduced and all these can be seen during the game drives.

Birds In Nyerere National Park

This game reserve is home to over 445 different bird species and these have been recorded to live in the various habitats within the reserve for instance along the lake areas are the giant kingfishers, the pink-backed pelican as well as the African skimmer; along the sandbanks, you will see the white-fronted bee-eater, fish eagle, carmine, ibises and palm nut vultures. The purple-crested turaco, yellow-billed stork, trumpeter hornbill, white-crowned spur-winged plovers, malachite kingfishers, and various small waders are among the other water birds, as well as various migrant species all visible

Things To Do In Nyerere National Park

during your Safari there are several different activities you can engage in that will surely offer you a very memorable experience while in Africa as highlighted below.

Walking Safaris

A safari in the Nyerere National Park will not be considered complete unless you engage in one of the guided walking tours conducted here. You will get an opportunity to enjoy an up-close encounter with Mother Nature as you appreciate the beauty and serenity of this remote but beautiful reserve.

Bird Watching Tours

With a bird list of more than 400 bird species holidaymakers interested in bird watching will surely not be disappointed while in the Selous. these guided tours will allow you to see different species including the giant kingfishers, pink-backed pelican, African skimmer, white-fronted bee-eater, fish eagle, carmine, ibises, white-crowned spur-winged plovers, palm nut vultures, purple-crested turaco, yellow-billed stork, trumpeter hornbill and malachite kingfishers among others.

Boat Safaris

Boat safaris in the Selous offer holidaymakers an opportunity to explore the different water channels including lakes, River Rufiji, and the smaller channels during which you will see various wildlife including hippos, birds, and crocodiles.

Game Drives

Tanzania Game drives are conducted early in the morning as well as in the late afternoon and these are normally conducted in open-roof safari cars to offer tourists the most rewarding views of the animals. Our guides are very knowledgeable about the best places for the animals and they will lead you to those places.

Selous Fly-Camping Tours

For the more adventurous holidaymakers, you can set out on the Selous fly-camping safaris which are organized by several camps. These adventures involve sleeping out in the African wilderness in basic tents under a mosquito net. These adventures are more suited for tourists who can do without so much comfort.

Hot Air Balloon Safaris

In Tanzania, Hot Air Balloon Safaris are conducted only in the renowned Serengeti National Park found on the northern safari circuit as well as in the vast Selous Reserve in the southern part of the country offering visitors an aerial view of the plains below as you marvel at the different wild animals in the reserve.

How To Get To Nyerere National Park

By air transport

 Selous Game Reserve can easily be accessed by air transport with any of the local aircraft connecting from Ruaha as well as Dar es Salaam. It is about a 70-minute flight from Ruaha and a 35-minute flight from Dar es Salaam City.

By road transport

This can also be accessed by road with a trip connecting from Dar es Salaam which follows the normal safari route through Mikumi National Park and then you can reach the park through Matambwe Gate. This journey which could take about 3 hours covering a distance of 219 km is another option.

Where To Stay In Nyerere National Park Tanzania?

There are several types of accommodations offered with the Selous varying from the budget to mid-range and then the luxury accommodations. Below we have highlighted some of the best Accommodations you can stay.

Roho ya Selous Luxury Camp

 Roho ya Selous is a luxury camp perfectly positioned for excellent game viewing, close to a key waterway that links Lake Manze to Lake Nzerakera.

Siwandu Camp

Formerly known as the Selous Safari Camp, this was the very first safari camp in the Selous to offer luxury accommodations in this part of the reserve. It offers accommodation in 13 rooms and its great location offers its guests an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape to the fullest. It’s an ideal location for a photo safari in Tanzania. This beautiful facility offers value for money and will surely satisfy every desire of a traveler to spend some extra dollars on their accommodation.

Beho Beho

Located within the cooler Selous highland in the northern part of the Park, this facility was the very first luxury facility to be established in this part of the Selous. It offers accommodation in 8 permanent bandas constructed using stone and each cottage has a thatched roof to offer its guests a true African ambiance.

Sand River Selous

The Luxury Sand River Camp is located on the banks of River Rufiji the lifeline of Selous Reserve. Guests here will enjoy an idyllic ambiance from where they can explore this vast wilderness. All its rooms are built with stone and have a thatched roof. It offers a variety of accommodation options including 5 standard cottages, 2 suites, and a honeymoon cottage (the Rhino House) It also has great options for a family safari in Tanzania.




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