Nyerere (Selous) National Park

Selous offers not only the wild landscapes of the road less-travelled - but boats to see the hippo & crocodile and paths to track elephant on foot.


A safari in Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) brings you face to face with the continent’s greatest populations of elephant, buffalo and wild dog. Not to mention a landscape that is largely untouched by man. Nyerere (Selous) National Park in the south of Tanzania is now the largest Park in Africa.

A safari in the northern part of Nyerere National Park offers game-viewing on river cruises and unhurried walking safaris. If you prefer wheels to walking, then Game drives are also on offer. The terrain is predominantly miombo woodland. But the Rufiji river feeds a large number of smaller rivers, lakes, swamps, hot springs, sulphurous pools as well as the spectacular Steigler’s Gorge. You should see huge numbers of hippo and crocodile wallow in the cooling waters on a boat safari. The waters are home to pink-tinged pelicans, giant kingfishers and skimmers.

The water in the Nyerere National Park is a lifeline for large herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, sable and giraffe. These herds of plains game inevitably attract predators. There are plenty of lions but leopard and cheetah are rarer. However, unlike the northern parks of Tanzania, you may see wild dog in the Nyerere (formerly Selous Game Reserve). These are some of the most rewarding of predators to watch.

Finally the Nyerere is so vast that you may not spot another vehicle on your safari. This is a marked contrast to the busy northern part of Tanzania.

Boating safari in Selous

The Nyerere National Park is well-served by safari flights so there are a good number of accommodation options. None of these are large or flash. Those opting for a Selous safari on a tight budget can enjoy pretty good standards at small camps just outside the park.

Leopard seen at Lake Manze Camp, safari in Nyerere National Park


Why you may love it

  • Famous for wild dog.
  • Wild landscapes of the road less-travelled.
  • Boats safaris to see the hippo & crocodile.
  • Walking safaris & fly-camping.
  • Tracking elephant on foot.
  • 440 bird species with large colonies of bee-eaters nest in the sandbanks of the rivers.

When to visit Nyerere (Selous) National Park

January to May

Rainy season in Nyerere

The summer is the continuous wet season in the Nyerere (formerly the Selous Game Reserve). And so the camps tend to be closed during this time. It is hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms bringing rain. Temperatures don’t tend to vary much during the year. The main difference is the rainfall. The rain is heaviest in March and April and starts to taper off in May.
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

June to October

Safari season in the Nyerere

This is the dry season with very little rain during this time. It tends to be hot during the day (28C) and a warm 22C at night. Though it is dry in May, the safari season only starts in June to give time to prepare the camps and roads after the rains.
MAX TEMP 23 ℃ / 73 ℉
MIN TEMP 14 ℃ / 57 ℉

November to December

Start of the Summer Rains

The summer rains start somewhere in November but tend to be occasional and short and so this is still a suitable time for a safari.
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉

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Ginny Russell

Co-founder & Director

Hi I'm Ginny, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • FORMER NAMEStill known by many as Selous Game Reserve
  • SIZEAfrica’s Largest National Park with a staggering size of 30,893km2