Nyerere National Park

Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) is Africa’s largest protected reserve in terms of square kilometers. With only few visitors, it is also a hidden gem far from the madding crowds of the northern parks. As an off-the-beaten-path destination it rewards visitors with an unspoiled wilderness and outstanding game encounters.

Located roughly 220 km from Dar es Salaam, it can easily be reached by plane but can also be accessed by road. Thanks to its great abundance of species and habitats, it is also an important wildlife corridor that links to the Niassa Game Reserve in Mozambique. It has gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1982.

This untouched, rugged game reserve offers its few visitors a huge range of activities. Regular game drives can easily be combined with spectacular boat safaris and incredible walking safaris with armed rangers. For the very adventurous traveler, a night under the African sky during a fly-camping experience is a spectacular highlight.

Main Facts

> Selous: established in 1922 with a size of 54,600 km²
> Nyerere: established in 2019 with a size of 30,000 km²

Best Time

> all year around – best during dry season: June to October

Common Animals

> Antelopes: eland, hartebeest, impala, kudu, wildebeest
> Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, rhino (hardly ever seen)
> Birds: more than 440 bird species
> Cats: hyenas, wild dogs (rarely seen)
> Mammals: giraffe, hippos, zebras
> Reptile: crocodiles, green mamba


> game drives
> boat safaris
> fly camping
> walking safaris


> incredible panoramas along the Rufiji River – especially from a boat
> a great wealth of wildlife incl. birds, cats, mammals and many more
> rarely seen, but possible to spot are the endangered wild dogs
> variety of activities – game drives, boat and walking safari, fly camping
> intimate and private safari experience away from the crowds
> small bush camps and lodges with exceptional service

Further Details – Nyerere National Park


Nyerere National Park combines a large variety of habitats including open grasslands, rocky acacia-clad hills, riverine forests and swamps as well as Miombo woodlands along with borassus palm trees. More than 2100 plants have so far been recorded. The Rufiji River, which creates a complex network of channels, lakes and swamps, is a haven and life force for local wildlife.


The varied terrain provides a splendid habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Its large mammal population encompasses a significant population of African elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles and hippopotamus. Baboons, monkeys, giraffes, hyenas and zebras also play a part in the scenery. Rhinos do in fact inhabit Nyerere/Selous but sightings are extremely rare and should not be expected.

Puku and sable antelopes, elands, Lichtenstein’s hartebeests, impalas, greater kudus and Nyassa wildebeests call Nyerere/Selous their home. They provide the perfect dinner for the well over 3500 lions. Leopards are usually found lounging in the riverine woodland. It is also an important sanctuary for the endangered African wild dog.

With more than 440 recorded species of birds, Nyerere/Selous is a paradise for ornithologists. Apart from the endemic Uzungwa forest partridge, hornbills, plovers, storks, sunbirds, turacos and vultures can be observed. The lakes are home to fish eagles, ibises, kingfishers and pelicans, while along the sandbank you will often find large bee-eater colonies.

The Rufiji River – a source of life

The Rufiji River is the catchment area for superb wildlife observations. The labyrinth of channels, lakes and streams creates a delicate water paradise similar to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Boat safaris are a great way to view wildlife from a different perspective. Visitors will come across sunbathing crocodiles or witness hippos from up close. While herbivores gather here to drink carnivores lie in wait. Spectacular encounters are in store for you!

Which travelers will particularly enjoy Nyerere National Park?

  • for travelers who want an off the beaten track experience
  • for travelers who want an extended stay in one place for in-depth park explorations
  • for travelers who are looking for a varied wildlife experience
  • for travelers who want to leave their vehicle and explore the park by foot and boat

Activities & Excursions in Nyerere National Park

Boat Safari

A boat safari on the mighty Rufiji River is a great addition to your game drive safari. It is a fantastic experience and gives you the unique opportunity to view wildlife from a different perspective. Watching elephants playing in the water or crocodiles sunbathing on the lakeshore; getting up close to hippos or coming across various water birds will be a truly fascinating experience.


Fly-Camping is an adventurous, intimate and unique experience. You will leave the main camp and explore the wonders of the bush by foot as you walk to your special campsite for the night. What a great adventure! You will overnight under a mosquito net with the stars sparkling down on you and an armed ranger close by – what a unique African adventure!

Walking Safari

Encounter the African bush up close  with an armed ranger who will explain more about the flora and fauna. Maybe you even come across some footprints – a great way to learn how to identify wildlife tracks. The best time for walking in Nyerere is between June to October when its dry, however, for birds is better during the green season from November to March.

Our most popular safari adventures including Nyerere National Park

6-Day Classic Safari

Tour Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
National Parks: Mikumi & Nyerere

7-Day Flying Safari

Tour Duration: 7 days, 6 nights
National Parks: Nyerere & Ruaha

12-Day Venture Safari

Tour Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
National Parks: Mikumi, Ruaha, Udzungwa & Nyerere