Nyerere National Park Safaris


Until 2019, Nyerere national park, named after the country’s first president, following independence in 1961, was known as Selous Game Reserve. Named officially in 1922 after an English explorer, Captain Frederick Courtney Selous, the reserve was his final resting place when he died there in combat with the Germans during the first world war just below Sugar Mountain in the Beho Beho hills. A small plaque marks the grave.

At 30,000 square kilometres, Nyerere National Park is the largest national park in Africa. It is the size of Switzerland and yet, one can go out for an entire day on game drive and never see another human soul. It is one of our favourite parks in Tanzania and is found in the south of the country.

As an operation, we started in Selous in the mid 90’s but our founders, David and Masoud met as safari guides in the reserve in the late 1980’s. There are, therefore, few operators who can match our knowledge of this park. Nyerere National Park has it all and is truly off the beaten track away from the crowds.


The mighty Rufiji river and the lakes are the lifeblood of the park and during the dry season of July through October, it is the place where a huge concentration of wildlife gathers. Nyerere national park is arguably the best place in Africa to spot the once endangered African Hunting Dogs (wild dogs). There are fantastic elephant herds, plenty of lion prides, leopard, hyena, kudu, eland, impala, bush buck as well as hippo and huge Nile crocs in the river and lakes. The birdlife here is also phenomenal with over 400 recorded species. Wildlife migrates from the east and the south both resident and migratory.

The wildlife in the Selous is particularly interesting as it attracts both east and southern African wildlife, both resident and migratory, and over 400 known species of birds, which make it a key destination on a Southern Tanzania safari. Lion are particularly strong here and there are large numbers of leopard. The park is home to over 50% of the remaining endangered African wild dog, and also hosts very good populations of buffalo, giraffe, eland, hyena, sable, hippo, crocodile, kudu, baboon, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, colobus and vervet monkeys along with over 400 species of bird.


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