Nyerere National Park

Nyerere National Park was gazetted as a national park from Selous Game Reserve in 2019. It was named in honor of the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere.

As the largest national park in Tanzania, Nyerere National Park covers 30,893 square kilometers – about twice the size of Belgium.

The park is home to one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippopotamuses, rhinos, antelopes, hyenas, African wolves crocodiles can be found in the park. The park is also known for its population of African Wild Dogs.

The park has over 400 bird species like African fish eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, African skimmer, and Bohm’s Bee-eater. The park has an abundance of Savannah grasslands and Miombo woodland and a great river known as the Rufiji River.

Rufiji is Tanzania’s largest river and is home to many crocodiles and hippopotamuses. It also has one of the largest mangrove forests in the world at its delta.

Things to do in Nyerere National Park

Game drives: Game drives in Nyerere National Park are done either in the morning or afternoon. They offer opportunities of viewing the wildlife in their natural habitats such as lions, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras and many others. Animals can be seen wandering in the park and around River Rufiji.

Nature walks: Nature walks in Nyerere National Park offer an up-close encounter with nature. One is able to take great photos of the scenery, birds, and animals. This is usually done with an armed game ranger.

Boating safaris: Boating safaris are done on River Rufiji. They are a good way to spot animals that are on the shores. Crocodiles and Hippos are the most common in this area.

Cultural Visit: Cultural visits involve meeting indigenous Masaai people. One is able to gain knowledge about their way of life and customs.

When to visit Nyerere National Park

Like most parks in Tanzania, Nyerere National Park can be visited all year round. The dry season from June to October is the best time for viewing wildlife as many animals and birds flock to River Rufiji for water.

During the rainy season between March and May, some parts of the park are closed due to inaccessibility.

How to get there

Nyerere National Park can be accessed by road or air.

By road; The park can be accessed from Dar es Salaam. It takes 6-7 hours to reach the park depending on the gate used as a point of entry into Nyerere National Park.

  • Dar es Salaam to Matemere Gate: 5- 5.5hrs
  • Dar es Salaam to Matembwe Gate: 6-7 hrs

By air, there are several domestic flights to Nyerere National Park. These flights take approximately 1 hour to reach airstrips in Nyerere National Park.

Overall, Nyerere National Park serves as a wonderful introduction to pristine Africa. In Tanzania, the park has the widest selection of safari activities. The size, population of wild animals, and opportunity for a boat safari make the park unique.

Where to stay

There are many accommodation facilities in Nyerere National Park to choose from. They range from budget to luxury facilities.

The park also has campsites for people that love camping.