Originally named after the legendary hunter and explorer Sir Frederick Selous, the Selous Game Reserve, now known as Nyerere National Park, is one of the largest in the world, at over 50 000 square kilometers. Being on the less touristed southern circuit of Tanzania, Nyerere allows you to get off the beaten path, and enjoy an active and exclusive safari.
With the Rufiji River delta flowing through Nyerere and out into the Indian Ocean, the park offers activities on the river, including boat cruises and fishing trips, and another plus is that it is well located to take a short flight to one of Tanzania's tropical islands.
Visiting the less-touristed southern circuit of Tanzania offers you a very different experience to the northern parks of the country, and the Nyerere National Park is an exciting and activity laden destination.
Being about an hour flight from Dar es Salaam, or a 3 hour flight from Arusha, Nyerere is far removed from the main Tanzanian parks, and for this reason is a great place to wander away from the tourist track and enjoy a Tanzanian safari with a difference. While not being able to offer the same volume of wildlife sightings, and also being quite seasonal, Nyerere works on a basis of quality over quantity, and offers some of the higher ranges of safari experiences in Tanzania.
The Rufiji River Delta is one of the main features of the Selous, and this, along with some of the lakes in the reserve, provides you with the opportunity to explore the waterways and wilderness by boat, a unique experience for a Tanzanian safari.
You will get up close to hippos and crocs, and enjoy some beautiful sightings of animals coming down to the water to drink.
The Selous Game Reserve runs parallel to the coast on the Indian Ocean, and in this way is very easily combined with one of Zanzibar's islands, in particular Mafia Island. Mafia Island also has relatively low tourist numbers, so together with Selous, creates a very relaxing and exclusive itinerary.
Game drives inside the Selous Game Reserve can be particularly rewarding, with huge elephant, buffalo and lion numbers, as well as offering chances of spotting wild dogs, sable antelope, and leopards.
In areas close to the eastern Mtemere Gate, game drives can get relatively busy with vehicles from camps outside the park borders, but in the more central and western areas the vehicle numbers decline, and a more exclusive safari experience is available.
While the parks on the northern circuit can be quite busy at times with fellow travellers, the Selous is still considered one of the more remote and off-the-beaten-track game reserves, and this allows you to enjoy relatively exclusive game viewing and activities.
The Selous Game Reserve is well known for offering exciting walking safaris, giving you a different view of the bush, and teaching you about the smaller creatures and the plants which you may miss while on a game drive.
Walking in the land of predators and huge creatures is something which stimulates the senses, and seeing animals while on foot, as opposed to from a vehicle, gives you an added thrill.