It is no wonder that traversing through the legendary and mighty Nyerere National Park is a lifelong and memorable event for photographic safari tourists. This newly-established national park could be referred as the Serengeti of Southern Tanzania by its wildlife concentration; most interesting as well, the most wild or wildest animals not found in any other park in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Nyerere National Park remains a best place to visit for journalists, travel book writers, and photographic safari makers.
What Makes This Park Unique?
Different from other parks in Tanzania, Nyerere National Park has been pegged off from the Selous Game Reserve, famous to be the biggest wildlife conservation tourist safari park in East Africa.
Nyerere National Park is a wildlife paradise with a unique habitat for wild animals whose interactions with humans have been limited, unlike other parks in East Africa frequented by tourists. It covers some 30,893 kilometers of natural land.
Carved from the Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is now under development to modernize its roads which traverse through its wilderness, along with camping sites and other tourist facilities. Most areas in this park are accessible all year except during the wet or rainy seasons.
The park is home to the shyest animals in East Africa. These are antelopes, elephants, lions, and impalas which keep a distance, gazing safely far enough away from tourist safari vehicles.
Unlike Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania where lions and cheetahs move closer to the tourist vans, even jumping on the roof of a safari vehicle, animals in Nyerere National Park are not used to vehicles and humans being in their habitat.
Wardens said that most animals found in the Serengeti of Southern Tanzania park have never seen fleets of tourist vans and people, taking into reality that the Selous Game Reserve is one of the most remote or remotest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.
What Tourists Will Enjoy
Tourists visiting this park can observe big herds of elephants looking cautiously at the tourists and vehicles with great care.
Nyerere National Park’s panoramic plains are decorated with golden grass, savannah forests, riverine marshes, and boundless lakes. River Rufiji, the longest river in Tanzania, cuts through the park with its brownish waters flowing into the Indian Ocean.
River Rufiji adds more romance to the park and is best known for its thousands of crocodiles. Rufiji River is the most crocodile-infested inland waterway in Tanzania.
Other than elephants which abound in its wilderness, the park harbors the biggest concentration of hippos and buffaloes than any other known wildlife park in the entire African continent, the wardens said.
Like Serengeti in Northern Tanzania, all animal species are easily seen in this park. It is easy to spot animals closer as they contemplate the tourist vans. Big herds of buffaloes, elephants, Thomson gazelles, and giraffes are found grazing all in one place.
Lodges inside the park organize motorboat excursions for tourists wishing to sail downstream on the river in the late afternoon, passing amid the awesome hippos and crocodiles.
Visiting Selous’ Grave
Beho Beho area where Captain Frederick Courteney Selous’ Grave is located inside the Serengeti of Southern Tanzania is a place worth a quick visit. Captain Selous’ grave is a popular attraction inside Nyerere National Park as well as the rest of the Selous Game Reserve.
The grave is the eternal resting home for Captain Selous, one of the greatest hunters who killed over 1,000 elephants in the reserve. He was shot dead by a German sniper on January 4, 1917 at Beho Beho area while scouting for British allies during the First World War.
Beho Beho is an area where animals concentrate to feed on lush grass and tree leaves.
Visitors to this vast park will be able to enjoy the widest diversity of safari activities in the country, like boating safaris as well as standard game drives, walking safaris, and legendary fly camping trips.
For birders or bird lovers, there are more than 440 bird species having been spotted and recorded, park wardens said.
Some of the birds that can spotted here include the pink-backed pelicans, giant kingfishers, African skimmers, white-fronted bee-eaters, ibises, yellow-billed stork, malachite kingfishers, purple-crested turaco, Malagasy squacco heron, trumpeter hornbill, fish eagles, and many other birds.
After establishment of Nyerere National Park, Tanzania will rank as the #2 tourist destination in Africa that owns and manages a good number of wildlife protected national parks, second only after South Africa.
Currently, Tanzania is developed with 4 tourist zones which are the Northern, Coastal, Southern, and Western circuits. The Northern Circuit is fully developed with key tourist facilities which pull most of its tourists visiting Tanzania every year with high-end tourist revenue.