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Nyerere (Selous) Safari From Zanzibar

Combining time in Zanzibar with a safari on the Tanzanian mainland is a fantastic thing to do. And there’s no better place to take that safari than Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve) in Tanzania’s south. Nyerere is easy to reach from Zanzibar and it’s a brilliant park, known for its diverse and abundant wildlife, as well as some of southern Tanzania’s most beautiful landscapes. When you factor in the wonders of Zanzibar, from the history and architecture of Stone Town to its gorgeous beaches and glorious sunsets, and a classic safari experience in Nyerere, you have so much to look forward to.

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1-20 of 101 Nyerere (Selous) safaris starting from Zanzibar

5 Questions About Nyerere (Selous) Safaris From Zanzibar


5 Questions About Nyerere (Selous) Safaris From Zanzibar

Answered by Anthony Ham

Is a Nyerere (Selous) safari possible from Zanzibar?

“A Nyerere safari from Zanzibar is certainly possible. In fact, it’s one of the best safari options from the island if you’re contemplating a safari add-on. Zanzibar itself has no wildlife or safari possibilities, but the island lies just offshore from the Tanzanian mainland, which is widely regarded as one of the best safari countries in Africa. If you’ve come so far and are this close, you should definitely consider such an excursion. And because so many people do it, there are lots of different operators who offer tours and packages to Nyerere. The advantage of Nyerere is that it’s one of the closest mainland parks to Zanzibar, and you may even find a direct flight. That means you can get to Nyerere much quicker than you can to almost any other Tanzanian park.”


How many days do I need for a Nyerere (Selous) safari?

“You could visit Nyerere National Park from Zanzibar on a 2-day safari, but this is an absolute minimum. Remember that a 2-day safari includes time spent traveling to and from Nyerere: you would travel to the park on day 1 and return (or continue your onward journey) on day 2. This means, of course, that you would only stay in the park overnight. In that case, you would have time for two game drives (in the late afternoon on the day you arrive and early next morning), or one game drive and a sunrise or sunset boat trip on the Rufiji River. If you can add an extra day to make it a 3-day safari, you should. A 3-day safari means 2 nights and at least 1 full day in the park. This would be my recommended minimum. And any extra days you can spare, the more wonderful your safari is likely to be.”


Which animals can I see on a Nyerere (Selous) safari?

“Nyerere is a fantastic place to go and see animals. In fact, it’s one of the best wildlife parks in East Africa. The park is known for its elephant and lion populations, although these are just the top highlights of an incredible portfolio of animals. Other commonly seen animals include hippo, crocodile, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, waterbuck and impala. I’ve also seen African wild dog every time I’ve visited, while leopard is always a possibility. Of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), only rhino is absent. The birdlife here is also exceptional, with more than 440 species recorded in the park. Nyerere also has the benefit of offering both game drives and boat excursions, which generally increases the list of birds and animals that you’re likely to see.”


Is it recommended to fly from Zanzibar to Nyerere (Selous)?

“Because Zanzibar is an island, most travelers who go to and from the mainland fly between the two. Flying is certainly the best option, because it gets you between Zanzibar and Nyerere in the quickest way possible: flying by the most direct route means you can wake up in Zanzibar in the morning and be in Nyerere by (or just after) lunchtime. It also means that you will enjoy wonderful views along the way. It is possible to go to the mainland by boat (either a 2-hour catamaran or 6-hour ferry ride), but then you would still need to travel 6 hours by road, or get to an airport and fly, before you reach Nyerere. There are two reasons why you might consider traveling by boat: you are looking for a cheap and affordable safari (flying is expensive) and you have plenty of time to spare.”


What will a Nyerere (Selous) safari from Zanzibar cost?

“There are almost as many different tours and packages available for a Nyerere safari from Zanzibar as there are tour operators, so it’s difficult to answer this question with any precision. Every trip is different. For those searching for a cheap or affordable safari from Zanzibar, you might be able to find something for US$200 to US$250 per person per day. You might find something for less than this if you travel by boat and by road, but this would lengthen your safari (increasing the overall cost) and/or reduce the amount of time you have to spend in Nyerere. If you’re looking for a full-on luxury Nyerere safari experience, expect your safari to start at US$400 per person per day, although prices can be much higher if you choose to stay in the most luxurious accommodation in high season and travel as part of a private safari (rather than a cheaper group safari). These prices should include transfers, park entry fees (US$50/25 per adult/child per day), accommodation (including camping equipment as needed), food and some drinks, guide, driver, vehicle and game drives.”


Nyerere Safari Reviews

4.4/5 91 Reviews
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

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

True Wilderness – and wild dogs

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...

Full Review

Gemma Pitcher  –  
Australia AU

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

My Top Tip for Tanzania

Nyerere (Selous) National Park 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...

Full Review

Andros Belfonte  –  
Trinidad and Tobago TT
Reviewed: Jul 14, 2023

I was able to see 3 of the Big 5. Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard. Didn't see any lions on the day but they are around sometimes. No rhinos on this park. It was a magnificent 3 day experience with a lot of wildlife. The tour guide was...

Full Review

Jaroslav Karhánek  –  
Czech Republic CZ
Reviewed: May 12, 2023

As I mentioned before in review for Tanzania, this park is emazing. Close to Dar es Salaam so if you do not have so much time this is the best option and you will not regret it. Many animals, great landscape, kind people and everything 5*....

Full Review

Andy Bees  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Oct 3, 2022

The large area of this park means that the wildlife can be a bit more spread-out and the animals can be a bit more timid of vehicles. But in my opinion that is a good thing and exactly as it should be. Another plus is that the scenery is...

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Carry  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Sep 4, 2022

We did not spot the big 5, but Al lot of great animals. When one of the guides spotted lions, it suddenly gets very crowded. The rest of the day you will hardly see any other drivers. We had a beautiful boat safari and two fantastic full...

Full Review