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Nyerere National Park

Nyerere National Park, formerly known as Selous Game Reserve, stands as a crown jewel of Tanzania’s conservation efforts, boasting unparalleled biodiversity and pristine wilderness on an epic scale. Encompassing over 50,000 square kilometers, it holds the distinction of being Africa’s largest protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding ecological significance. Named in honor of Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere, the park is a sanctuary for a staggering array of wildlife, including large populations of elephants, lions, African wild dogs, and hippos, thriving amidst its diverse landscapes of savannahs, woodlands, and wetlands. The Rufiji River, the lifeblood of the reserve, weaves its way through the heart of the park, offering a lifeline for countless species and creating a picturesque backdrop for unforgettable safari experiences. Nyerere National Park is not only a haven for iconic African wildlife but also a testament to Tanzania’s commitment to conservation, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world while supporting efforts to preserve it for generations to come.

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A Haven For Wildlife

One of the largest protected areas on the African continent is located in Southwest Tanzania: Nyerere National Park and Selous Game Reserve. Combined they cover an area larger than Switzerland. They are home to a such a wealth of wildlife and different habitats that it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Today, Nyerere National Park is purely dedicated to photographic safaris. Whilst the southern Selous Game Reserve has been split-up into several hunting concessions and leased out to professional trophy-hunting companies.

When going on a safari to Nyerere National Park you can expect to see large concentrations of buffalo, hippo, wildebeest, impalas, zebra, gazelle, hartebeest, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, crocodile and roan and sable antelopes. What’s more, the park is considered to have half of Tanzania’s elephant population within its boundaries, which makes for exceptional elephant watching.

Numerous predators can be seen along the Rufiji River, such as lions, leopards, cheetah, hyenas and jackals. It is also home to the endangered African Wild Hunting Dog and Black Rhino. Excellent bird watching is on offer thanks to the ~440 resident bird species. Common species include the African spoonbill, white fronted bee-eater, white-headed vultures, African fish eagle, spur-winged lapwings and francolins. Rare birds include the pel’s fishing owl.

Nyerere National Park offers a variety of activities for guests to choose from, such as game drives, boat safari or a guided walk with an armed ranger.

Best time to go to Selous Game Reserve & Nyerere National Park

The best time to go to Nyerere National Park is during the dry season, from June to November. During this period, the animals congregate near water sources, making it easier to see them. The best weather occurs in this season, with daytime temperatures ranging from 27°C (80°F) to 30°C (86°F). All areas of the park are accessible at this time. From October to February, the temperatures rise in the park. The rainy season in Southern Tanzania starts earlier than in the north of the country. The rains can start as early as mid-December. Some lodges and camps close during the long rains, so good planning is important.

WHY TO GO: A huge African wilderness awaits you

You go to Nyerere National Park not only because it is one of the largest and undisturbed places in Africa, but also because of the exceptional wildlife and unique habitats that can be found here.

A trek or a riverboat trip offer a different way to see the wildlife. These experiences change everything. You become not just a passerby. You touch, see, hear, and take in every sound, smell and colour along the way.

The Big Five can be seen here, but nature lovers will be amazed by the park’s ~2100 plant species and ~440 bird species. Lower visitor numbers compared to parks on the Northern Circuit offer you a more secluded experience.

Testimonials

What our Travelers are saying

Elisa M
Elisa M
2024-04-06
Verified
Great Tour Company me and my girl friend went on 7days safari with Awe Safari, to Tarangire, Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park, Ray and his Company (Awe Safari) was wonderful and he was also funny Guide and knowledgeable, we had a great time and enjoyable trip, we saw all the animals that we expected to see, Ray went out of his way to make sure that everything is clear and well done, we'll go back again for wildebeest to Zebras Migration in Serengeti national park, I highly recommend this great company for both Kilimanjaro trekking and wildlife Safari, cheers and see you again
Cecilia C
Cecilia C
2024-04-02
Verified
Excellent Safari with Raymond! We went on a safari with Raymond and had a truly amazing time! Raymon was so kind, funny, and knowledgeable. We learned so much and saw so many animals - all of the big 5 while with him! We always felt safe and had a wonderful time. We still think so fondly of our time with Raymond!! Thank you!
Gregg Yan
Gregg Yan
2024-04-01
Verified
Excellent Value for Money Ray Shirima knows where the animals are. He'll get you to them safely. His tours are A-Grade and well worth your time and treasure.
Linda G
Linda G
2023-08-25
Verified
Ray is an amazing guide! Me, my boyfriend and some friends went on a 4-days safari trip. It was one of the best days in my life! The owner Ray is an amazing guide. I highly recommend this company! /Linda from Sweden
VIRGINIA O
VIRGINIA O
2023-02-12
Verified
A fabulous Safari! We went on a 6 day safari with Ray in Jan 2023. Ray is a very friendly young man with a great sense of humour. He is an experienced and knowledgeable guide with a keen eye for spotting elusive wildlife; he is a skilllful driver. He made every effort to make sure we were comfortable and had plenty of time to view and take pictures of the animals. He was accompanied by a chef, Victor, who prepared delicious Tanzanian meals, including a hot lunch. We certainly recommend Ray and Awe Safaris. Virginia O'Brien and Bob Audet
Ivan R
Ivan R
2022-03-15
Verified
Almost there... Almost there... words, words I will never forget. Kili was my dream and after those words, I overcame it with the help of AWE Safari. it was hard and at the same time mental rest from the worries of everyday life. For the rest of my life I will remember that experience and thank Peter, Ino, Majka and of course Ray for organizing and finishing my dream to the end.
kitty_knows
kitty_knows
2021-08-14
Verified
Inside knowledge pays off when you travel this far We did the 5-day camping tour including Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. It took us ages to find the operator we wanted to go with. Firstly, because this kind of activity is expensive in Tanzania (the National Parks take a huge chunk of money), secondly because there are so many fake and frankly strange reviews that give little info and, thirdly because the Covid pandemic meant a wildly reduced offering. It is very difficult to imagine what you will really experience on a safari when you have never done one before and all the offers look similar. A lot of operators don’t have proper websites, which is a worry when you try to book. Here is what we luckily found out: Unless you have very specific needs regarding accommodation, tent and foods, the experience of the guide makes the difference between amazing experience, value for money and “ok”. With Ray we had a once-in-lifetime!!! And I will come back to Tansania to have a safari with him again, and I will continue to recommend him to friends and colleagues. The trick on a safari is to know where to go and when to have the best chance of seeing an animal before all the other guides find it. Inevitably, most of the cars in each park will converge on a spot. But if you have a guide like Ray you will have five or ten minutes to yourself before that happens. And this is what sets apart an experienced guide from a novice. The novice (or perhaps the lazy guides) can follow the other cars and their clients will end up seeing the same animals. But no money in the world can weigh up observing a heard of elephants or a mother lioness with her cubs in total calm with nobody else around. No chatter, no screaming children, no posing for pictures just watching. I must stress that this is also dependent on luck. And you will need a lot of it. You never know what you see on any given day. We saw absolutely everything Serengeti had to give. It was just nice. To close my review I will say that a good guide is kind to his clients, kind to all the other workers and kind to the animals. Ray is all of this. So big thumbs up. And hope to be back in Tansania soon!!!
Lone Asif
Lone Asif
2020-12-11
Verified
Lifetime experience We had an amazing trip with Raymond Ray is a wonderful guy he knows everything .Everything was good like Car ' food ' camp ' and also price was affordable Ray is good speaking guide and also very helpful We had a great time with him .Ray is a very knowledgeable about the animals and environment and very good finding the animals .. You don't need to search more just do it with Raymond , you won't regret I highly recommend Raymond for everyone Will sure come again Best regards Lone Asif
Aytekin Bal
Aytekin Bal
2020-11-25
Verified
Raymond is the right one... We had a great experience with Raymond. He is more than a guide… You become like friends in short time.. You dont need to search more. Just do it with Raymond, you won't regret...
Peoscar
Peoscar
2020-11-21
Verified
Highly recommended Back in November of 2017 me, my wife and a friend couple was in Tanzania and had the pleasure of meeting Ray. He was our tour guide through a 4 day safari that can only be described as amazing! I'm really thrilled to hear that he has opened his own company!!! I would recommend his services to anyone. Top of the line; both in terms of professionalism and friendliness!