Nyerere National Park (Selous Game Reserve)

Size: Nyerere National Park 30,893 sq km (11,928 sq miles) | Combined: 54,600 km (21,100 sq km)
Established: 1922 Selous Game Reserve | 2019 Nyerere National Park
Distance from Arusha: over 700km (435 miles)

Most popular tours visiting Nyerere National Park:

We organize excursions to Nyerere National Park as tailor-made-tours only. Please contact our travel consultants or a bespoke itinerary.


One of the largest protected areas on the African continent is located in Southwest Tanzania: Nyerere National Park and Selous Game Reserve combined cover an area larger than Switzerland and are home to a large variety of wildlife and different habitats.

Selous Game Reserve was established in 1922; in 2019 the Game Reserve was divided in the newly established Nyerere National Park in the northern region, and the Selous Game Reserve in the southern region.

The protected area has many diverse habitats, and the land is made up of a mixture of Miombo woodlands, rolling hills, savannahs, rocky outcrops, swamps, lakes and rivers. The majestic Rufiji River, the largest river in Tanzania, is the lifeblood of the region and along with a network of many tributaries, lakes, lagoons and channels, plays a vital role to the ecosystem.

The protected area is divided into two parts. The northern Nyerere National Park it is purely dedicated to photographic safaris.

The southern Selous is the area south of the Rufiji River and it is split up in to several hunting concessions which are leased out to professional trophy hunting companies.

Selous Island

When visiting the area for a safari, visitors will travel to Nyerere National Park, the northern part, which thrives with wildlife. Large concentrations of buffaloes, hippos, wildebeests, impalas, zebras, gazelles, hartebeests, giraffes, waterbucks, kudus, roan antelopes, sable antelopes and crocodiles are all found here.

Nyerere is also home to almost 3000-4000 lions, and is considered to have half of Tanzania’s elephant population within its boundaries! In addition thereto it is also home to the endangered African wild dog and black rhino. Leopards are also very much at home here and they prefer to live in the Miombo woodlands area.

With its more than 440 species of birds, Nyerere is also a perfect spot for ornithologists. The most commonly seen species are African spoonbills, white fronted bee-eaters, white headed vultures, African fish eagles, spur-winged lapwings, francolins and many more.

The reserve offers a variety of activities for guest to choose from. In addition to regular game drives, visitors can go on a boat safari or walk in the footsteps of people like Hemingway during a walking safari accompanied by an armed ranger.