Nyerere National Park is the new name for the Selous Game Reserve. Tanzania's largest game reserve, in fact it is the largest in Africa and is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Nyerere is usually the major feature of a Southern Circuit safari, and holds the promise of untold chances to explore.
A massive wilderness area four times the size of the Serengeti, the Nyerere National Park supports some of the biggest herds left in Africa. An estimated 30,000 elephant and 200,000 buffalo, as well as large herds of a variety of game call the reserve home. There are plenty of hippo and crocodiles, wildebeest, hartebeest, kudu, sable antelope, eland, reedbuck, bushbuck, zebras and giraffe. It is also a very good place to see rare and endangered African wild dogs (also called hunting dogs). A birder's paradise, expect to see a huge number of species, with around 450 birds having been recorded in the park.
The Rufiji River runs through the Nyerere, pretty much bisecting it into a northern and southern section, with most people tending to visit the area to the north of the river. Visitor numbers to the reserve are relatively low compared to those found in Tanzania's northern parks, which is partly Nyerere's attraction, especially to people returning to Tanzania for a second visit.
The park offers back-to-nature walking safaris along with boat trips along the river and more conventional vehicle safaris. There are several very good camps and exclusive lodges here to choose from, some based on the banks of the river and practically guaranteeing incredible game viewing on your doorstep. A Nyerere National Park safari is best enjoyed between June - October and in January - early February, although visiting in the green season is equally good.
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