​Expert Reviews – Nyerere NP (Selous)

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Gemma Pitcher   –  
Australia AU
Visited: Multiple times

Gemma authored several Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

14 people found this review helpful.

My top tip for Tanzania
Overall rating

Nyerere National Park (Selous) is my favourite game area in Tanzania, and possibly the whole of Africa. The landscape, with its emerald-green swamplands, dead trees submerged in water and shaggy-topped palms, is ravishingly beautiful. You have to work a bit harder for your game sightings – this isn’t the Serengeti – but that’s half the thrill or being in such a huge area – 30,000 square kilometers of uninhabited bush, only a fraction of which is open to the public. If you have a competent driver and guide, you can quite easily pass a whole day out here without seeing another soul.

A walking safari here is a must, even if only for a morning – the thrill of getting near elephants or giraffe on foot is incredible, and without the noise and smell of a car, you’ll spot the smaller often overlooked birds, insects and mammals that you’d miss in a vehicle. If you can, I highly recommend a multi-day walking safari - camping on the banks of a river, sleeping in a bedroll or a small tent and emerging at dawn to a steaming mug of coffee in the African dawn. You’ll wonder why you ever went anywhere else…

Sue Watt   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: Dry season

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

6 people found this review helpful.

True Wilderness – and wild dogs
Overall rating

If you’re after a true wilderness sensation that goes beyond the confines of a Land Cruiser, then come to Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve). A vast chunk of Nyerere, most of the land south of the Rufiji River, is sadly out of bounds for photographic safaris. But the small section north of the river, with beautiful grassy plains and acacia woodlands, is still wild enough and unfrequented enough to feel that blissful bush solitude. Don’t expect to see wildlife around every corner – this isn’t Ngorongoro – but do expect an exhilarating experience, walking, canoeing, fly camping and hopefully seeing the rare and elusive wild dog, along with elephant, buffalo and a host of hungry predators.

It took me 16 years of travelling to Africa to finally see African wild dogs – or painted wolves as they’re now called. And I saw them in Nyerere. For that reason, it has very special memories for me. I’d become almost obsessed with trying to see them, so when we came across a pack of 23, from very young pups to the alpha male and female, all resting by a muddy pool, I didn’t want to leave. We stayed with them for three hours, watching them greeting each other and socializing, playing, hunting, feeding, sleeping and squealing: it was one of our best-ever wildlife sightings, and well worth the wait.

Average Expert Rating

  • 4.2/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star 9
  • 3 star 0
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  • 1 star 0
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