ABOUT NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
Nyerere National Park was formerly called “Selous Game Reserve,” it is the largest national park in Tanzania and also one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The park covers an area of 30,893 square Kilometers and covers the Matemwe, Morogoro, Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma regions. It was established in November 2019 from part of the legendary Selous Game Reserve. The name of the Park was given in honor of the founder of the Nation, the Late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. The park has a great river known as Rufiji River. Formed by the confluence of the Kilombero and the Luwegu rivers, it flows for about 175 mi northeast and east to enter the Indian Ocean, opposite Mafia Island. The park also hosts the famous ‘’Big Five’’ and some rare species of antelopes like Roan Antelope, Brindled Gnu, sable antelopes, Kudu and many more.
Nyerere National Park has a wide variety of vegetation zones, ranging from forests and dense thickets to open wooded grasslands and riverine swamps. Groves of tall borassus and Doum palms border the many small lakes and channels that flow from the confluence of the Rufiji and Great Ruaha Rivers. The Rufiji River is Nyerere National Park’s striking feature: it is also the largest water catchment’s locations in the region, and as such, is home to a plethora of varied water and bird life.
CLIMATE IN NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
The climate of Nyerere national park ranges from warm to hot and humid. Being so close to the equator, temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year. There are short rains in November that sometimes trickle into December and January. After this, the weather gets hotter towards the long rains in April and May. From late June to October, the park experiences its dry season with little to no rain.
WILDLIFE AND BIRDS OF NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
Nyerere National Park is home to several species of wildlife including Elephants but due to poaching, their numbers have dropped. Other wildlife species include Lions, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Zebras, Hippopotamuses, Rhinos and a large number of Crocodiles in the Rufiji River. Most notably the park is also famous for its prolific population of African Wild Dogs. For bird watchers, there are over 400 species of birds in Nyerere National Park. Among the species that live here are mourning doves, Fly Catchers, Warblers, Pin tailed Whydahs, Matial Eagles, Verreaux Eagles, Open-billed Storks, Shoe-bill storks, Gonoreks, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans among others.
ACTIVITIES IN NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
- Game fishing – As Rufiji River is virtually untouched by commercial or sport fishing, the waters are full of fish. They include Tiger fish, Piranha’s relatives as well as cat fish.
- Boat Safaris – There are two types of boat safaris in Nyerere park. The short 2-3 hour sunset or dawn boat safari trips along the Rufiji River outside the reserve or full day boat safaris which explore the Rufiji river as well as the lakes of the Selous.
- Cultural Experience – Experience a traditional village visit. Get a glimpse into the unique way of life of the local and famous nomadic tribe of East Africa.
- Walking Safaris & Nature Hikes – Guided walking safaris inside Nyerere national park will give you an opportunity to enjoy an up-close encounter with mother nature as you appreciate the beauty and serenity of this beautiful Park.
- Game Drives – The Park is home to several species of wildlife that one can spot on a game drive. They include Elephants, Lions, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Zebras, Hippopotamuses, Rhinos. Also Antelopes, Hyenas, African wolves, and a large number of Crocodiles in the Rufiji River.
- Hot Air Balloon Safaris – Flying in a hot air balloon over the mighty Nyerere park is an evocative experience that you have the chance to enjoy during any safari you take. The balloons take off at the break of dawn, around 6:00am. Gliding silently over the savannah grasslands below where you can spot a variety of wildlife. The flight lasts an hour and concludes with a champagne bush breakfast at the balloon landing site in the wilderness.
- Fly-camping – Some of the camps in Nyerere National Park offer overnight ‘fly-camping’ trips. Taking a maximum of eight guests, tiny mobile camps are set up in remote areas with no roads.
ATTRACTIONS IN NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
Nyerere National Park has numerous attractions that visitors to the place can enjoy. They include:
- Diverse birdlife – In Nyerere National Park, bird life is diverse and abundant. More than 440 species of birds call this park home. Sandbanks, oxbow lakes and channels are home to these species.
- Elephants – The largest concentration of elephants on the continent has been known for taking home in this park.
- The Rufiji River, Myriad oxbows, delta and Lakes – Rufiji is Tanzania’s largest river and is also home to many crocodiles and hippopotamuses. It is also one of largest mangrove forests in the world located at its delta.
- Wildlife – The numbers of animals in Nyerere National Park are unprecedentedly high, making the park ideal for an adventurous safari.
ACCOMMODATION IN NYERERE NATIONAL PARK
Nyerere national park has some amazing hotels, specifically tented camps and lodges located in distinct areas of the park. Some of these luxury Tented Camps and Safari Lodges are international award winners. They are in Luxury, Mid Range and Budget categories. Some of the more outstanding accommodation in this park include, Beho Beho camp, Sand Rivers Selous and Selous Serena among others.