Selous Game Reserve (Nyerere NP) safari | Guide

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Selous Game Reserve (GR) aka the Nyerere National Park is a 21,081 sq. mile park in southern Tanzania, the largest national park in the country. The park is home to one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries. 

Safaris at Selous Game Reserve are renowned for their picturesque and pristine setting and the reserve itself was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 as a protected nature reserve.

Why visit Selous Game Reserve?

Safari in Selous GR

A safari in Selous GR offers visitors the chance to go on guided walking safaris and see big wildlife on game drives including large numbers of large animals including lions, elephants, birds, giraffes, crocodiles on guided safaris, walking safari and river boat safaris. 

Selous GR attracts many visitors due to its vast wilderness with forests, grassy plains, mountains and open Miombo woodlands and relative proximity to Dar es Salaam. The reserve was named after the explorer Frederick Selous Courtney. 

The rivers and lakes of the Selous are the lifeblood of a park that hosts some fabulous game, including elephant, wild dog, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and fantastic prides of lion.

In the game reserve, visitors can find some of Africa’s best walking, boat safaris and fly camping trips, Selous has the greatest diversity of safari activities of all the safari parks. 

The boating safaris in particular really set this reserve apart from other Tanzanian parks. Accommodation is also excellent with numerous luxury lodges and camping grounds. 

Safari visitors to Selous GR often combine their trip with a beach holiday to Zanzibar island. Access to Selous GR can be made via chartered from Dar es Salaam to the park’s airstrip.

A herd of elephants and babies cros the river Rufiji in search of fresh pastures in Selous National Park – Source: Sydney – Adobe Stock ©


Selous is home to several species of wildlife with the big five present including large numbers of lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippos, black rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, African wolves, wild dogs and more. 

The numbers of animals in Nyerere National Park are unprecedentedly high, making the park ideal for an adventurous safari and water based activities on the superb Rufiji river. 

The Reserve also has a wide variety of vegetation zones, from forests and dense thickets to open wooded grasslands and riverine swamps attracting animals from far and wide. 

The string of lakes along the main circuit is a good place to see unusually large groups of giraffes and waterbuck. 

Giraffes strike a pose and express their curiosity in the dry, open plains of Selous game reserve – Source: Sydney – Adobe Stock ©


Over 440 species of birds can be found here, particularly by the Rufiji river waters including African spoonbill, African wattled lapwing, yellow-billed storks, kingfishers, lapwings and colorful bee-eaters, Fish eagles and palm-nut vultures.

Other activities at Selous GR

There are multiple activities and things to do in Tanzania that can be added to your safari including walking safaris. Here are some other activities which visitors can consider during their visit to Selous GR:

  • Walking safaris: Explore the wildlife and safari experience with a local guide on foot, an authentic and economical means of exploring the wildlife and exploring the wonderful landscape, rivalling that of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
  • Boat cruise: Choose a luxury boat or speedboat and feel the Rufiji river breeze while savoring views of the surrounding scenery.
  • Bird tours: With an incredible range of birds to view including the Pel’s fishing owl and white-fronted bee-eater in a tranquil setting. 
  • Cultural Tours to Mloka village: Visitors can meet the locals in Mloka village and be entertained by their unique dance and drama. Excursions can also be made to the Mwaseni Village, which has local mud-hut houses, schools and shops. 
  • Safari beach combination: Many visitors like to combine their Selous Game Reserve adventure with the magical beaches of Zanzibar, spending quality downtime on pristine beaches after their African safari in Selous GR. 
Two lionesses take turns to groom the skin of each other in the sun-kissed grasses of Selous Game Reserve – Source: Sydney – Adobe Stock ©

How to get to Selous Game Reserve?

By Flight 

Most safaris to Nyerere National Park (Selous GR) are fly-in packages from Dar es Salaam, landing in local Nyerere and Ruaha airstrips. 

International flights into the country also arrive via Dar es Salaam (DAR) airport for visitors wondering how to get to Tanzania. DAR airport is located 18km south of Dar Es Salaam and a Tanzania visa and certain vaccinations may be required to enter the country.

By Road

Another option is to drive to Nyerere NP from Dar es Salaam on a road safari, but the trip is bumpy and uncomfortable and will take a full day. Visitors often stopover at Mikumi National enroute. 

Tariffs & Regulations 

Entrance fee

Prices per day:

  • USD $50 per adult to enter  
  • USD $30 per child 

Carrying a small amount of Tanzanian currency, the Tanzania Shilling (TZS) is recommended as back-up when paying for items where credit card facilities are unavailable. Visitors can also review further details on overall Tanzania safari prices here


Visitors must respect the rules of Selous Game Reserve, including the flora and fauna. Details will be provided at the park entrance gate.

Accommodation at the Selous Game Reserve   

Selous GR offers a wide selection of accommodation, particularly luxury lodges. 


Luxury lodges and tented camps at Selous GR often offer stunning views by the Rufiji river, superb for watching wildlife. Visitors have the option to choose from: 

  • Beho Beho camp 
  • Lake Manze camp
  • Matambwe lodge
  • Mivumo river lodge 
  • Rufiji river camp 
  • Siwandu camp 
  • Selous Mbuyu safari camp 

Newlyweds may also indulge on a Tanzania honeymoon safari or a luxury safari where they’ll receive a lot of extra pampering and top notch service, ensuring they feel all the love on a Tanzania safari.


Camping options are available at Ngalawa Camp.

Bars/restaurants/amenities: Lodges will typically have all meals and drinks included in the lodge package. 

Useful information  

  • Geography: Located in southern Tanzania, typically accessed by chartered plane. 
  • Weather: Day-time high temperatures range from 26C/78F to 30C/86F with the last of the rain falling in May.
  • Best time to visit: Wildlife viewing in Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous GR) is best from late June to October.  It is Dry season and wildlife is easier to spot since animals gather at water sources and vegetation is thinner. 
  • Health: Visitors should seek medical advice from their doctor and consider antimalarial medication as malaria is present in Selous GR.


Where is Selous Game Reserve located?

Located in southern Tanzania, typically accessed by chartered plane. 

How much is the entrance fee to the Selous Game Reserve?

USD $50 per adult and USD $30 per child.

What animals will visitors see?

Visitors can expect to find the big five including lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, African wolves, wild dogs and more.