Nyerere National park which was formerly the northern part of selous Game Reserve it is pronounced as Seluu is the largest National park in Tanzania. It has a total area of 30,893km²which makes it one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries and National parks. It covers the big part of Liwale District, south west part of Pwani Region, North Eastern Ruvuma Region and a big part of South eastern Morogoro Region . The National park in Tanzania is bigger than 70 countries in the world and it is estimated to be twice the size of Costa Rica a country in Central America and also twice the size of Belgium a country in Europe.
The park is located South eastern Tanzania, it is bordered by Mikumi National Park to the Northwest and Udzungwa mountains National park to the west. There are a wide variety of gaming opportunities the park has to offer which include the thrilling walking Tanzania safari experience in which you must be accompanied by a armed ranger.
The park has a running hydro electric power. It has also River Rufiji ,which is the largest river in Tanzania which is home to many crocodiles and hippopotamuses. At its Delta is one of the largest mangrove forest in the world. The park was established in 2019 with its nearest city being Morogoro city and governed by Tanzania National Parks Authority.
The park is full of stunning wildlife which move freely and it is where travellers come for exciting safari adventure like no other. The park is home to diverse species of wildlife and on a lucky day with the park’s big size ,you’ll have a sight of the Africa’s Big five animals; Lions, leopards, Elephants, Rhinoceros and Buffaloes. The number of Buffaloes in the park are estimated to be between 120,000 to 150,000, more than 40,000 hippos and about 4,000 lions which are the largest of such population on the continent. Other animals found in Nyerere include antelopes, hyenas, African wolves, Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeest, Cheetah, Impalas, gazelles, warthogs , a large number of crocodiles in the river Rufiji . The park is also known for its amazing number of African Wild Dogs. It is also estimated that about 40,000 hippos live in the park and even higher number of elephants roaming its lands. The park is home to more than 450 species of birds and it is one of the most rewarding destination of the bird watchers ,including the biggest bird in the world the Ostrich. This is the best special world where the pristine nature of Africa has been preserved for future generations.
Nyerere National park so large that tourist in its remote areas are sometimes so few that you can ride inside the park for almost the whole day without meeting any other cars. Other types of safari tours are also possible in the park such as walking safari and boat safari in the river. The roads in the secluded corners of the park in this largest park in East Africa are still waiting to be explored.
Interesting facts about Nyerere ( Selous)
The park was named after the first president of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius kambarage Nyerere. The park together with the Selous Game Reserve were merged and renamed Nyerere National park and it is UNESCO World Heritage Site. This status is because of its conservation of nature in its original state and the high biodiversity of the region ,in addition to large populations of elephants, buffaloes, lions and hippos and other species of animals including various species of antelopes such as the rare Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, roan antelope, and Sable Antelope. Nyerere Park is also the last refuge to large population African wild dogs. A visit to the park is where one will feel the true spirit of safari which can be experienced through its walks in the wilderness and the overnight stay in the bush in its Tented camps which have been set up under the open African sky surrounded by nature.
The History of the park
The establishment of the park traces its toots back to 1896 when the German ruler or the governor of Tanganyika declared the area of the selous Game Reserve a protected area. At around 1922 the reserve was renamed Frederick Selous, who was a who was a big poacher who turn out to be the biggest conservationist. In 2019 the government of Tanzania decided that to further develop and enhance tourism in Selous, the northern part of the reserve will be included to form the new national park to be known as the Nyerere National park in honour of the first president of Tanzania.
How to get to Nyerere National park
This amazing National park in Tanzania can be accessed by road from either Dar es salaam or Arusha towns of Tanzania. The road distance to the National park varies and it is approximately between 184 km to 230 km depending on which gate or the choice of your entry point. The road condition are poor in the last stretch of 75km to the park which is very bumpy gravel and the time journey is approximately 6 hours to most park entry gates such a Mtemere and Matembwe.
Most of the tourist visiting Nyerere National park which was formerly known as Selous Game Reserve chose the fly-in packages from Dar es salaam. Julius Nyerere International Airport which is located just outside Dar es salaam is the main International Airport and entry point in the country.
There are also flights from Zanzibar which take less than an hour to various airstrips inside Nyerere National park. There are several domestic airlines serving this route such as Regional Air, Coastal Aviation, Safari Air link and Auric Air. These airlines are very reliable and credibly safe.
After booking your flights ,it is very important for the travellers to know which airstrip, they will be landing in Nyerere National park. There are several airstrips in the park ,this is to avoid unnecessary long transfers which are tiresome and rather costly too.
Some of the most commonly used airstrips inside Nyerere National park include; Mtemere, Matambwe, Sumbazi, Kiba, Beho Beho and Siwandu.