Nyerere National Park

Southern Tanzania
Nyerere National Park


  • Renamed Nyerere in 2019 but formerly known as Selous Game Reserve
  • The big five are here, but some are not as easy to spot
  • Thick foliage obstructs wildlife viewing
  • A vast, untrammeled wilderness
  • Largely untouched wildlife and vegetation
  • Opportunities for boat safari on the Rufiji River
  • Miombo woodlands.

About Nyerere National Park

Situated in southern Tanzania, 200 km (124 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, the 54,600 km² (21,100 mile²) Selous Game Reserve (now Nyerere National Park and Selous Game Reserve) is known—among those who know it—for its wide-ranging, untrammeled wilderness and unspoiled wildlife and vegetation.

Originally set aside by German colonialists, Selous was protected in the late 1800s, it 1917 named after hunter/explorer Frederick Courteney Selous and in 1982 declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Selous Game Reserve history

In two highly criticized turns of events, 2012 saw UNESCO agree to shrink Selous’ southern boundary to allow uranium mining, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to begin work toward the construction of a hydroelectric power plant and dam at tourist-heavy Stiegler’s Gorge. Critics of each fear that these measures will spoil the currently unspoiled, harming the environment and keeping tourists at bay.

Large numbers of animals live, hunt, and are hunted within this reserve, most of which were reserved for game hunting and fishing. In addition, a small portion of the park’s northern land was set aside for tourism and photography, and safari in the form of game drives, walking safaris, and boat trips down the Rufiji presented opportunities for viewing wildlife.

Nyerere National Park

Selous was the largest protected area in Tanzania. In 2019, the Tanzanian government declared roughly 67% of it to have national park status. The park was named Nyerere National Park, in honor of Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere. The main tourist areas and safari camps now fall in Nyerere National Park, with around 31,000 km² in total allocated to the new park. The remaining 24,000 km² continues to be Selous Game Reserve, putting a much smaller focus on game hunting.

Nyerere National Park wildlife

Elephants, lions, cape buffalo, black rhinoceros, cheetahs wild dogs, giraffes, antelope, hartebeest, greater kudu, eland, wildebeest, crocodiles, and hippo are among the beasts that roam Nyerere.

When is the best time of year to visit Nyerere National Park?

The dry season, July to October, offers strong game-viewing opportunities. During the wetter months, January through May, the predators are dispersed throughout the reserve, and the dense foliage makes it harder to spot them. It is also more humid during this time of the year.

Nyerere is home to Stiegler’s Gorge, which feeds the marvelous Rufiji River and its many wandering tributaries and lakes. Grasslands, savannahs, wetlands, thickets, and swamps constitute its truly biodiverse acreage, and Miombo woodlands root here.

Destination Highlights
  • Activity: Wildlife Safaris
  • Location: Southern Tanzania.
  • Meeting Point:.
  • Animal avilable:

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