Selous Game Reserve: Also Called Nyerere National Park
Deep into the heart of East Africa’s Tanzania, where the bright golden savannah grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see, rests a realm of extraordinary natural wonder known as Selous Game Reserve. Formerly known as Selous Game Reserve, the park is now referred to as Nyerere National Park and is recently the largest national park in the whole of Africa.
The Name “Nyerere National Park” honours the late Tanzania’s first President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere and is a protected area in the southern Tanzania.
It spans a total area of over 50,000 km2 with other additional buffer zones. The park was designated as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1982 due to its wildlife diversity and undisturbed nature. The area where Selous Game Reserve lies was first designated as a protected area in 1896 by the German Governor of Tanganyika Hermann von Wissmann and became a hunting reserve in 1905.
This reserve was late named after Frederick Selous, a well-known big game hunter and early conservationist, who died at Beho Beho in this very area in the year 1917 when resisting the Germans in the World War I.
The park’s diverse landscapes are as a painter’s palette brought to life, where meandering rivers carve through the golden plains, lush woodlands shelter a symphony of life, vast lakes mirror the endless African sky. Here you get to encounter the wilderness as it thrives in all its natural splendour, untouched by the rapid currents of civilization.
Where Is Selous Game Reserve Located?
Selous Game Reserve lies along the southern Tanzania safari circuit and this game reserve offers the unparallel escape from the large tourist crowds in the northern Tanzania safari destinations such as Serengeti a remarkable wildlife experience.
It is well-known to be among the hidden gems in the southern region of the country and offers a wide range of basic safari accommodation. The reserve is rests 219 kilometres from the city of Dar es salaam and it takes a 4-hours’ drive to get there.
Wildlife in Selous Game Reserve
A wide range of wildlife inhabits Selous Game Reserve including buffalos, Lions, wildebeests, large herds of giraffes, zebras, hippos, impalas, large herds of hartebeests, waterbucks, elands and bushbucks, leopards, crocodiles and hyenas. the puku antelopes, African wild dogs, sable antelope, Elephants among others.
Birds in Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is as well a home to over 445 bird’s species. These birds inhabit various habitats the reserve for example, along the lake shore you can sight the giant kingfishers, the pink backed pelican, the African skimmer, along the sandbanks you can encounter the white-fronted bee-eater, fish eagle, carmine, ibises and palmnut vultures.
The purple-crested turaco, yellow-billed stork, trumpeter hornbill, white-crowned spur-winged plovers, malachite kingfishers and numerous small waders are among the water birds although you can sight various migrant species in the reserve.
What are the Activities To Do in Selous Game Reserve?
Selous Game Reserve offers extraordinary activities that you can engage in and these include.
Over 400 bird species inhabit Selous Game Reserve making it a birders’ haven. With experienced guides, you get an opportunity to witness different bird species such as the giant kingfishers, pink backed pelican, African skimmer, white-fronted bee-eater, fish eagle, carmine, ibises, white-crowned spur-winged plovers, palmnut vultures, purple-crested turaco, yellow-billed stork, trumpeter hornbill and malachite kingfishers among others.
Game drives in Selous Game Reserve are done in the morning, afternoon and also in the evening. Game drives are normally conducted in open roof safari vehicles to offer you incredible views of the wildlife.
With very knowledgeable rangers, you get to encounter buffalos, Lions, wildebeests, large herds of giraffes, zebras, hippos, impalas, large herds of hartebeests, waterbucks, elands and bushbucks, leopards, crocodiles and hyenas. the puku antelopes, African wild dogs, sable antelope, Elephants among others.
Guided walking tours are one of the thrilling activities to do in Selous Game Reserve. During walking safaris, you get an up-close encounter with the Game Reserve’s vast natural landscapes while you take-in the beauty and serenity of this remote area.
Boat safaris in Selous offer lifetime opportunities to explore vast water bodies such as lakes, River Rufiji where you get to encounter various wildlife species including hippos, crocodiles and birds.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Partake in hot air balloon safaris in the vast Selous Game Reserve which is located in the southern part of the country. During hot air balloon safaris, you get to witness an aerial view of the vast savannah plains below while abundant wildlife species such as the elephants roam freely.
How Much Is a Selous Game Reserve Safari?
An awe-inspiring safari to Selous costs around $500 and $1500 per day/night per person. above all, the cost of a Selous Safari is basically affected by the type of accommodation you prefer to stay in and the number of days you plan to spend on the Safari.
In short, the accommodation prices in Selous start at $400 for each person per night in budget facilities and can be as high as $1,500 for each person per night in the luxury facilities. Other factors that can affect the cost of your Selous safari include the various activities to do in while in the park such as partaking in a hot air balloon safari can cost around $500.
What is the best time to visit?
It is important to note that the park is open for tourists all year long. However, during the time of the dry season (in the months of June to October) is the best time to visit the park.
There is relatively little rainfall during this time of the year thus the best time for game viewing because the routes are less slippery and more navigable.
How To Get to Selous Game Reserve?
By Air transport:
Selous Game Reserve is easily accessible by air transport with a various of the local aircrafts options connecting from Ruaha as well as Dar es Salaam. It is about a 45-minute flight from Dar-es-salaam City and 90 minutes flight from Ruaha.
By Road transport:
The Selous Game Reserve can be as well accessed by road. In a safari vehicle, you can connect from Dar-es-salaam following the safari route through Mikumi National Park then you reach the park through Matambwe Gate. This is a 4-hours journey covering a distance of about 220 km.
Where To Stay in Selous Game Reserve?
There are various types of accommodations in Selous ranging from the budget to mid-range and then luxury accommodation facilities as well. Accommodation Facilities include Siwandu Camp, Lake Manze Camp, Beho Beho, Sand River Selous, Sable Mountain Lodge.
In conclusion, Selous Game Reserve, also referred to as Nyerere National Park, is the largest national park in the whole of Africa where the bright golden savannah grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see. This realm of extraordinary natural wonder habors an abundance of wildlife including the African big five. Explore Tanzania with Nata Adventures today.