Unforgettable Travel Company

Luxury Nyerere Safaris

When you think of a luxury Tanzania safari, many think of its picture-perfect vast, open savannahs. In contrast, the Nyerere National Park (formerly known as the Selous Game Reserve) in southern Tanzania is a reserve centered around water. Covering an area of approximately 54,600 km2, the Nyerere is Africa’s largest game reserve, and encompasses a variety of ecosystems within its boundaries. The rivers and lakes intertwine through the reserve, providing the crucial water source to so many animals.

The Rufiji River flows through the park, and as the largest river basin in Tanzania, it’s certainly a focal point for your safaris here. Not only does the Rufiji River attract plains game like zebra, elephant, giraffe and many species of antelope among others, it also provides a perfect home for hippo and crocodile – in which there are thousands.

Speak to the Expert

One of the main draws to the Nyerere National Park is being out on the Rufiji River. Hippo pods lay beneath you, and a magnitude of bird life dominates the skyline above you (over 450 species of bird can be found here). There is wildlife everywhere and the best part? It will often feel like you have the entire reserve to yourself. The Nyerere National Park really is one of Africa’s best kept secrets, and one of our favorite destinations.

Start Planning

Gemma D Souza

Africa Specialist
Gemma DSouza Expert profile

Our luxury safaris to the Nyerere National Park

Ready to plan your trip?

What ever you want from your dream trip, our team of
experts are ready to help.

Why we love luxury Nyerere safaris

Gemma 184


Africa Specialist

Boat safaris give you an opportunity to see wildlife on the lakes – like hippo, crocodile, and elephants coming to bathe – as well as animals on the riverbanks. The Nyerere offers good opportunities to see predators like lion and leopard. On top of that, it is one of the best places to see the elusive African wild dogs, as they require a huge amount of space which the Nyerere National Park offers. Game drives are the other main safari activity offered. You’ll head out early morning and late afternoon, with time in the middle of the day to rest and relax in camp.

Located only a 45-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, the Nyerere National Park is very accessible for those who want to do a short safari, combining with other southern Tanzania destinations. With resident wildlife like buffalo, lion, giraffe, hyena, wildebeest, elephant, and a variety of antelope (eland and hartebeest being more unique sightings), the Nyerere National Park is a good choice for those who have ticked off classic safari destinations like the Serengeti in the north and want to branch out experiencing different activities.

Selous Game Reserve wtg 1

When to visit the Nyerere National Park

The Nyerere National Park offers the best safari experience in the dry season, between June and October. As with many other safari destinations, the later in the season that you visit (i.e., August, September, and October), the better the safari experience. This is because the reserve becomes drier, so the animals tend to congregate around the permanent water sources. Therefore, many of the safari camps are situated on the riverbanks or close to the lakes. The long rains arrive in April and May, which can sometimes continue into early June. During this time, the safari camps are closed and the domestic flights into the park are paused. There is also a month or so of short rains, which arrive in November.

Between these months (November to March), it is regarded as the green season in the Nyerere National Park . This is often a bit of a hidden month to travel because, although the grasses are thicker and the sightings a little more difficult to spot, the park is beautifully lush and green, and the birdlife is exceptional. Birds, spanning from Europe and North Africa, migrate into the reserve for these months, and there is something very exclusive and special about this time of year.

Request our brochure

Explore the world with us – request our worldwide brochure today and embark on a journey of unparalleled destinations and unforgettable safaris.

Our Signature Brochure
Africa content brochure

Advice from the travel experts

  • Untitled 210 × 210 px 15

    Kenya or Tanzania – which destination is best for me?

    While the African continent offers some incredible safari experiences, East Africa offers a very wild and authentic safari. The national parks and reserves and unfenced which means that animals can roam as much as they want, migrating for hundreds of...
    Read More
  • Untitled design 2023 09 26T135939.881

    Our Guide to National Parks in Tanzania

    Tanzania offers everything from idyllic beaches, fascinating cultures and friendly people to stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. If it’s a safari you’re after, it may be one of the best countries in all of Africa for an adventure into the...
    Read More

Your Nyerere safari questions answered

Which is better –  the Serengeti or Nyerere National Park?

Both national parks are exceptional safari destinations in Tanzania. The Serengeti, located in northern Tanzania, is iconic in its landscape – with open plains and picture-perfect savannahs. This often means you’ll see a lot more plains game, like zebra and wildebeest. You’ll also get the opportunity to see the Great Migration of wildebeest. In comparison, the Nyerere National Park  is a varied ecosystem, with forests, plains, lakes, and marshy swamps. While this presents opportunities for the wildlife to hide or to be camouflaged, it does not mean there is less wildlife to be seen. The Nyerere National Park has an incredibly high concentration of resident wildlife, and when your safari guide does spot it – whether it’s a herd of buffalo or a pride of lion – you will often be the only vehicle at the sighting. A Nyerere safari is often varied too, as boat safaris, fly camping and bush walks are on offer.

Is it worth doing a boat safari in Nyerere National Park?

Absolutely. One of the main attractions to the Nyerere National Park is its streams of rivers and lakes, and a boat safari is one of the best ways to see the reserve. These are offered as both morning and afternoon and game drives, but there is nothing quite like spending the afternoon on the lake, watching elephants and buffalo come to cool off, and the sun set in the background. There are also small islands on the lake which are often used to stop off and have a sundowner on. Some camps also offer catch-and-release tiger fishing which is also a nice way to spend the afternoon on the water.

Which are the best camps in the Nyerere National Park?

One of the main draws to the Nyerere National Park is that the park is home to only a handful of safari camps inside the park. This keeps visitor numbers down – in fact, you may not see another safari vehicle for the entire game drive which will feel like you have the reserve to yourself entirely. The safari camps in theNyerere National Park are luxury tented camps. Some of the camps are a little more simplistic in style, but their location and guiding is up there with some of the best. For those looking for more luxurious camps, we’d recommend camps like Roho ya Selous or Siwandu, which both have outdoor showers, well-appointed rooms, and swimming pools to enjoy the middle of the day.

What is accommodation like in Nyerere?

We always recommend staying in a safari camp or lodge located inside the park. This means you are already in the prime wildlife area, so you will not waste time driving in or out of the park. The safari camps do not have fences around the camp, which means wildlife can often walk through the camp, which makes it extremely exciting. Of course, safari guides and the camp staff are around throughout the entirety of the day and night for added safety, but there is nothing quite like seeing an elephant walk past the main area as you’re enjoying lunch.

Most safari camps in the Nyerere National Park are canvassed, tented camps. These range in size and style, but they all offer a similar intimate experience, with well-appointed canvassed tents with ensuite bathrooms, private verandas, and cozy communal lounge areas. For those looking for a more luxurious accommodation option in the Nyerere National Park, we’d recommend somewhere like Roho ya Selous.

Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.

  • 100% Financial Protection

    100% Financial Protection

    We are a licensed and fully bonded tour operator financially protected by both the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL) and the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT). All clients that travel with us are fully financially protected.

  • Destination Experts

    Destination Experts

    Our travel experts live and breathe the destinations they specialise in. This shows in their passionate to create hand crafted trips for our clients. We don’t offer cookie cutter trips, just truly unforgettable journeys unlike any other.

  • The Best Guides

    The Best Guides

    What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.

  • We Care

    We Care

    From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.

Ready to plan your trip?

What ever you want from your dream trip, our team of
experts are ready to help.