Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) is Tanzania’s largest national park. The lifeblood of this wilderness is the mighty Rufiji river and network of interconnected lakes. This abundance of water attracts lots of wildlife in the Dry season from June through October. Game drives are most rewarding for predator sightings, but boat and foot safaris add a different dimension to your stay.
Best Time to Go June to October
High Season June to October (The main tourist area gets crowded)
Size 30,893km² / 11,928mi²
Altitude40-1,317m / 131-4,321ft
Pros & Cons
- Top wildlife viewing in the Dry season
- Guided walks and boat safaris available
- Lion are easily found at the lake shores
- Excellent mid-range and luxury lodges and no large-scale accommodations
- Hunting concessions make some animals skittish
- The wildlife-viewing circuit is relatively small
- Animals are scattered during the Wet season
- Most lodges are closed from March to May
The Rufiji River is teeming with hippo and crocodile, and the birdlife is fantastic. Lion sightings are very common as the opportunistic creatures tend to laze around the lakes waiting for animals coming to drink. One of the attractions of the park is the chance to encounter wild dog.
The main wildlife-viewing circuit follows a string of five connected lakes fed by the Rufiji River. The Rufiji is one of Africa’s great rivers, with palm fringed channels and swampy islets.
Weather & Climate
Nyerere NP experiences uniform temperatures throughout the year because of its equatorial location. The main variation is a slight dip in the heart of the Dry season (June to October), when the environment is slightly cooler. Either side of this, the weather is hot and humid in keeping with the local Wet season (November to May).
Best Time to Visit
The Dry season (June to October) is when you should travel to Nyerere, even though you’ll be joining the crowds attracted by this period’s clear blue skies. It’s at this time animals converge on rivers and waterholes, and the dry bush is sparse enough for views of wildlife to be unobscured. If you do visit in the wetter months, be aware that numerous lodges close their doors from March to May.