Nyerere National Park (Selous)

Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve)

This huge Tanzanian national park tends to be much quieter than the northern parks but it has tremendous game viewing with many giraffes, wild dogs, buffalo, elephants and predators.
Known as Selous Game Reserve until 2020, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. A relatively short flight from Dar es Salaam, the easy access, diverse wildlife and varied activities make this an excellent safari destination for both novice and seasoned safari-goers.

Things to do in Nyerere (Selous)

  • Game watching – You are likely to see large numbers of elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, buffalos and elands, and there are healthy populations of lions.
  • Take to the water – Go boating on the Rufiji River delta and lakes such as Manze and Tagalala. Crocodiles, hippos, fish eagles, storks, plus many other species are found at the water’s edge, particularly in the dry season.
  • Take to your feet – Led by an experienced guide and armed ranger, leave the vehicle behind for an up-close nature walk to see animal tracks, insects, plants . . . all the small stuff.
  • Wild dogs – A prized viewing, Selous has one of the strongest populations of wild dogs in Africa.
  • Maasai villages – Meet Maasai in their community. You are escorted by a guide from your lodge, often a Maasai, who helps you meet different individuals and gives you an insight into daily life.
  • Fly camping – A popular option that brings you close to nature. Fly camps vary but most involve a walk or ride to the sleep-out platform, where you are served sundowners followed by dinner, and time for stargazing before you ascend the platform to fall sleep to the sounds of the bush.
  • Bird watching – Selous is a birding hotspot with over 440 species. The waterways and lakes offer some of the best bird sightings. Birding is good year-round, and outstanding when the migratory species arrive from Europe and northern Africa in April.


When to visit Nyerere (Selous)

From June to October the climate is warm and dry, and the lack of water in this dry season means wildlife is more easily spotted by water sources. There are short rains in November, but these have little effect on safaris. After this the weather gets hotter towards the long rains in April and May when most properties are closed.

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  • Wildlife viewing is always best in the dry season, less vegetation makes for easier spotting
  • Wildlife will congregate around water sources
  • Rain is not likely and when it does rain it doesn’t rain for long
  • The dry season has fewer mosquitos, always a plus
  • Early mornings and evenings can be cold
  • Certain areas can be prone to crowding
  • It is very dry and dusty


  • Lush green scenery makes a good backdrop for photos
  • Birding is excellent at this time of year with many migratory species moving in
  • It’s always less crowded in the rainy months of March, April, May
  • Special offers can often be grabbed at this time of year
  • Some lodges will close in April and May
  • Roads can be muddy and treacherous during the rains
  • The rain is often accompanied by high temperatures and humidity
  • Wildlife viewing is not as good as the dry season

Nyerere (Selous) holidays

Below you will find some Nyerer NP (Selous) itineraries that we’ve put together as recommended suggestions. You might find one of these is perfect for your needs as we’ve put a lot of thought into including some wonderful experiences in each of these safaris, and we really love what they offer. However, if none of these quite fit the bill for you, do call us and let us know what you’d like. We ready to help you plan your perfect Tanzania safari holiday..

Selous & Ruaha Safari

Prices from £3,600 pp for 8 days
(exc. intl flights)

If you are looking for a week’s safari in southern Tanzania, and you want unpretentious but comfortable lodges for a good price, this safari in Selous and Ruaha using the Fox family lodges…

Safari, Sand & Spice

Prices from £2,830 pp for 10 days
(exc. intl flights)

Quintessential safari and beach with the thrills of wildlife encounters and the lazy charms of Zanzibar. See a mighty bull elephant up close…

Selous Wilderness & Zanzibar

Prices from £2,945 pp for 10 days
(exc. intl flights)

Spend spell-binding days on safari combining game drives, nature walks and boat rides…

Where to stay in Nyerere (Selous)

Despite having only a handful of lodges and camps, there is a good range of styles and prices. You don’t get large lodges here, with most places having between 6 and a dozen guest rooms or tents. In terms of luxury there are top range camps and simpler options spanning a variety of budgets. Most, though not all, properties have swimming pools, and most offer a mix of activities.