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Nyerere National Park - Tanzania Tourists Destinations

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Nyerere National Park

Nyerere National Park

(Formerly the northern part of Selous Game Reserve), is the largest national park in Tanzania and also one of the world's largest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The total area of the park is 30,893 km2 (11,928 sq mi) and covers the big part of Liwale District in western Lindi Region, south west Pwani Region, north eastern Ruvuma Region and a big part of south eastern Morogoro Region. The area is larger than 70 countries in the world and is estimated to be twice the size of Costa Rica (Central America) and about twice the size of Belgium (Europe). Much of the area is in a wild state without being altered by human activities. The part of Selous game reserve is now running a hydro electric power. The park has a great river known as Rufiji River. Rufiji is Tanzania's largest river and is home to many crocodiles and hippopotamuses. It is also one of largest mangrove forests in the world located at its delta.

It’s also home to large herds of elephants, plus buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, many bird species and some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos. Bisecting it is the Rufiji River, which winds its way more than 250km from its source in the highlands through the Selous to the sea, and boasts one of the largest water-catchment areas in East Africa. En route, it cuts a path past woodlands, grasslands and stands of borassus palm, and provides some unparalleled water-based wildlife watching. In the river’s delta area, which lies outside the reserve opposite Mafia island, the reddish-brown freshwater of the river mixes with the blue salt water of the sea, forming striking patterns and providing habitats for dozens of bird species and passing dolphins.


Nyerere National Park offers a wide range of activities that give visitors opportunities to enjoy its beauty. Some of the most popular activities include game drives, bird watching, walking safaris and boat safaris. The many waterways in the park provide an excellent natural setting for boat safaris, both for big game viewing and bird watching.

Walking Safaris & Bush Walks
A bush walking safari is an adventure packed activity where participants embark on relaxed, guided walks in a wildlife conservation area with the objective of seeing wild animals in a more natural way without using vehicle.
There are two types of nature walks offered while at Nyerere National Park. Nature walks within the camp and one outside the main reserve. The duration for this walks within the camp is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The duration for walks outside the main reserve is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours covering a distance of 9 - 15 km and includes a packed breakfast/lunch depending on the timings and game drives en route to and from the walking safari location. These nature walks are preferably done early mornings or late in the afternoon when the sun is not too hot.

Boat Safaris
Now the largest National Park in Africa, Nyerere National Park, is one of the most beautiful and game-rich areas in the ecosystem of Selous Game Reserve, spanning the Rufiji River basin in southeastern Tanzania. The Rufiji River is Nyerere National Park striking feature, which provides an excellent natural setting for boat safaris, making it one of the few places in Africa where it’s possible to view wildlife and birdlife from water. During a boat safari, there is a great chance of spotting the hippos, crocodiles and plentiful of different bird species such as the African Fish Eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, African Skimmer and Boehm's Bee-Eater. Monkeys (Blue Monkey, Savannah Baboon and Black and White Colobus Monkey) are often spotted in the trees along the banks of the river as well as Nile Monitor Lizards.
There are two types of boat safaris offered while at Nyerere National Park. The short 2-3 hour sunset or dawn boat safari trips along the Rufiji River outside the reserve (so no entry permit needed), or full day boat safaris which explore the Rufiji river as well as the lakes of the Selous. The short boat safari can be done in the morning or in the afternoon. In the morning you have beautiful light (unless it is cloudy), but in the afternoon there is a greater chance of seeing crocodiles because temperatures are higher. An afternoon boat safari has the advantage you sail during sunset.

Game drives
So what really are ''game drives'' in Nyerere National Park or during an African Safari, as anyone thinking of booking a Safari in Tanzania for example will have seen game drives indicated throughout the itinerary. Well, the meaning of a safari game drive is an adventure excursion by vehicle into a wildlife area such as a National Park or Reserve, for example Nyerere National Park, with the purpose of exploring the park and seeing a variety of wild animals in their natural habitat.
As for how long is a Safari game drive is, typically in Tanzania, the drives last 2 to 3 hours per drive in the morning and afternoon hours, with morning timings usually scheduled from 6.30am to 9am and afternoon timings being 3.30pm to 6.30pm, though travelers may sometimes opt for a full day game drive generally from 10am to 4pm, in which case the excursion will include a packed picnic lunch to be had inside the National Park at a designated picnic spot, during lunch hours anytime from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

Village Visit
Arguably the most iconic tribal group in all of Africa, the Maasai, who populate vast areas of Northern areas of Tanzania are the dominant ethnic group surrounding most of the National Parks and Reserves in Tanzania. This nomadic, warrior tribe still retain many of their traditions as they live largely untouched by modern day civilization, in areas surrounding Selous Game Reserve. So why a village visit and what do you get to see? This one hour visit to a village visit is a chance to interact with the local people and get a glimpse into their culture, unique way of life and see firsthand some of their customs and practices.

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