Nyerere and Ruaha

These two immense wildlife reserves in Tanzania’s remote south are bisected by broad rivers, supporting vast numbers of game and a great diversity of species.

The Nyerere National Park (formerly the northern section of the Selous Game Reserve) gained national park status in 2019 and covers an area of 30,000km². Previously named after legendary English hunter-turned-conservationist Frederick Courtney Selous, the Nyerere encompasses rivers, lakes, forests and woodland. This unique, unspoilt ecosystem earned the park a World Heritage listing in 1982.

Its wild terrain harbours unbelievable numbers of elephant, buffalo and hippo as well as lion, cheetah, giraffe, and many crocodiles. Most safari camps can be found in the north of the park.

In 2008 the Usangu Game Reserve merged borders with the Ruaha National Park, and now covers over 20,000 km² of beautiful wilderness, criss-crossed by a web of life-giving rivers. The park has a large population of elephants as well as an abundance of rare species such as wild dog, striped hyena, lesser kudu, sable and roan antelope. Visitors to the Ruaha will rarely find any crowds, even during peak travel times.

If you’re looking for a safari off-the-beaten-track in Tanzania, you can’t go wrong with Nyerere or Ruaha. Both parks can be accessed by road or light aircraft from Dar es Salaam. They also offer unique experiences such as fly camping, guided walks and boat safaris.


Why should I visit the Nyerere and Ruaha national parks?

  • Discover the unspoilt wilderness of Tanzania’s south
  • Visit World Heritage-listed Nyerere National Park
  • Explore remote Ruaha National Park
  • See some of Africa’s largest remaining elephant herds
  • Observe rare species such as wild dog, striped-hyena and sable antelope
  • Experience impressive gameviewing far from the tourist trails
  • Enjoy fly camping, guided walks and boat safaris

When is the best time to visit Nyerere or Ruaha?

The driest months in Nyerere and Ruaha are from June to October, when the bush thins out and animals are easier to spot. This is also the most pleasant time to visit. From November to March it becomes more humid during the rainy season

Our Recommended

Tanzania Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Tanzania experience.


Luxury accommodation in Nyerere and Ruaha

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Nyerere and Ruaha regions. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Kigelia Ruaha

The Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s most wild and exciting national parks, not to mention the largest in Tanzania. Baobabs dot the landscape and dry snaking rivers criss-cross the

Ruaha River Lodge

By Tanzania’s mighty Ruaha River, this superb lodge offers gameviewing by vehicle and even from the verandas of its 24 stone and thatch guest chalets.

Sand Rivers Selous

Sand Rivers Selous comprises of 8 open-fronted guest cottages set on a scenic bend in the Rufiji River, within the vast Nyerere Game Reserve in southern Tanzania.


Set by a lake fed by the Rufiji River, Siwandu is a wonderful lodge with octagonal guest tents in Tanzania's wild, remote Nyerere National Park

Find out more about our tailor made African safaris.
Get in touch with one of our Destination Specialists.

Find out more about our tailor made African safaris

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