Nyerere National Park (ex Selous Game Reserve)

In 2019, the northern part of the Selous Game Reserve, already been for long reserved to photographic safaris, has become the 20th National Park of Tanzania, and took the name of Nyerere National Park.

It is a true wild region where you can walk, game drive or go on  boat safaris.

With its rivers, plains and lakes, this park, combined with the Selous Game Reserve is an immense sanctuary relatively undisturbed by human impacts, somewhere you get a powerful sense of the scale of the African wilderness.

Vast, remote and wild, it is a dramatic and exciting contrast to other parks in Tanzania in almost every way.

Size and situation: about 30,000 square km, south east of Tanzania, close to Indian Ocean and borded on the South by the Selous Game Reserve that goes up to the Mozambique border.

Africa’s largest protected wildlife reserve, Selous:
•is larger than Switzerland
•is 4 times the size of the Serengeti
•covers 5% of Tanzania’s total land area
•contains a third of the wildlife estate of Tanzania.


Landscapes: Nyerere National Park has a wide variety of vegetation zones, ranging from forests and dense thickets to open wooded grasslands and riverine swamps.

Groves of tall borassus and doum palms border the many small lakes and channels that flow from the confluence of the Rufiji and Great Ruaha Rivers.

The Rufiji River is Nyerere National Park striking feature: it is the largest water catchment’s locations in the region, and as such, is home to a plethora of varied water and bird life.


Wildlife: Nyerere National Park, together with Selous Game Reserve, boasts one of the world’s largest population of elephant.

But there are also wildebeests, giraffes, hartebeests, sable antelopes, greater kudus, elands, lions and leopards to be seen.

More interesting for real safari fanatics is the presence of the biggest population of wild dogs, one of the most endangered predators in the world.

More than 460 species of birds add to this sanctuary’s many attractions.

Activities: One of the attractive points about Nyerere National Park is the variety of different ways in which you can go about your game-viewing. Game drives in open 4wd vehicles are the most traditional way to explore the reserve, but chances to meet other vehicles are small.

To approach animals on foot is a different experience that you can enjoy here. Walks, depending upon the visitor’s preference, can be short or last several days between “fly camps” (temporary bush camps). But don’t expect to see a great variety of large game; you’ll enjoy more the detail of the flora and the fauna.

A boat safari, on small shallow draft boats, will give another point of view to discover animals and landscapes. It will probably be more exciting than you might first think, especially while coming closer and closer to huge hippos.

Game fishing is another possible activity in some lodges. As Rufiji River is virtually untouched by commercial or sport fishing, the waters are full of fish. Tiger fish, Piranha’s relatives as well as cat fish are commonly hooked.

Climate: Nyerere National Park is close to the equator, so is usually quite warm.

There are rains in March-May and in November-December, when the normally brown dry landscape becomes magically green and beautiful.              

Nyerere National Park (ex Selous Game Reserve) Accommodations