Nyerere National Park & The Selous Game Reserve

Vast, wild, unspoilt Africa...

Home to some of the most breathtaking wild-wildlife left on the African Continent and far from the crowds which visit the parks in the north of Tanzania.

Nyerere National Park was established in November 2019 from part of the legendary Selous Game Reserve.

As the largest National Park in Africa, Nyerere National Park covers an immense area of over 30,000 square kilometres (over twice the size of the Serengeti!).

The park, which encompasses the mighty Rufiji River, is home to a diverse range of wildlife with huge populations of Hippo and Giraffe as well as Elephant, Buffalo and Lion among many others (visit our resources page for a checklist!), and together with the remaining part of Selous, Nyerere National Park is the last true stronghold for African wild dog.

The Selous Game Reserve At A Glance...

  • The largest and oldest protected area in Africa.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Largest population in the World of critically endagered African Wild Dog.
  • Commonly seen wildlife include: lion, giraffe, buffalo, impala, hippo, elephant, wild dog, crocodile, hyena, wildebeest, leopard, zebra, kudu plus many, many more and over 440 species of birds.
  • Perfect for escaping the crowds.
  • In addition to car safaris, boat and walking safaris are also possible (not available elsewhere) and driving off-road is permitted, allowing easier access to wildlife. 

The Selous (pronounced "seloo") Game Reserve has a long a varied history, and was first set aside as a wildlife reserve as early as 1896 by German Kaiser Wilhelm II and takes its name from renowned Hunter, explorer, writer and soldier Frederick Courtney Selous, who was killed during the First World War inside the reserve and was buried near to the spot where he fell (marked by a grave to this day). Crossed by explorers in 1859-60 (Burton, Speke and von Decken) and before that by slavery caravans delivering both slaves and ivory to the coast. In 1905 the Maji-Maji (Water-Water) uprising was inspired by 'magic' water, reputed to be sourced close to the Rufiji River, which was believed to make warriors invulnerable.

Born in London in 1851, Frederick Courtney Selous set himself up as a professional hunter in Africa at the age of 20. Though he began his career as a big game hunter his books gained him a world-renowned reputation as a naturalist, due in no small part to his precise observations about ecology and wildlife. Selous was one of a small band of men who became legends in their own lifetimes back in the Victorian era, when tales of adventurous exploits in "darkest Africa" exemplified the spirit of the time. 

Map of Tanzania and the Selous Game Reserve


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