Nyerere National Park is one of the best safari destinations in the southern circuit Tanzania. Formerly known as the Selous Game Reserve, the National Park is a home to quite a large number of animals and bird species which are found in their habitats in the different parts of the Park. There are several ways in which you can explore the Nyerere National Park and one of them is through Game Reserves.
When it comes to Game drives in Nyerere, they are both carried out in the morning hours and afternoon and these take 2 to 3 hours for each drive. Unlike other National Parks in the country, the Nyerere National Park does not offer Night Game drives and only has day drives. A game drive in Nyerere might cost about $400 to $500 although this might change at any time.
Morning Game drive
The morning drive normally starts at either 6:30 am or 8:00am depending on your itinerary. This drive enables tourists to see the bird species and the animals that move around the park in the morning.
The afternoon drive starts immediately after lunch at around 3:00pm when the heat has reduced. This is normally done along the banks of the River Rufiji where most of the animals can easily be spotted.
Vehicles used on a Game Drive in Selous
The different tour operators in Tanzania use different types of vehicles to take tourists to Nyerere but the two that are commonly use are the 4×4 jeeps and the minibuses which are mainly used for tourists travelling in a large group. The 4×4 open side vehicles are mostly restricted to be driven within the National Park and not on the highway because of the dusty roads that lead to the Park are so dusty and bumpy during the dry season and slippery during the wet season.
4×4 safari Jeeps
The 4×4 safari jeeps are the most commonly used vehicles by tour operators in Tanzania. It normally has a capacity of 5 people however it can do a maximum of 6 people if an extra seat is added to the vehicle. The vehicles are very spacious and can easily give you a great view of the wildlife.
They are considered to be the best way to travel through Nyerere because of the bad roads that are found within the Park. The open roof shield jeeps are can be driven all the way from Dar es Salaam and in most cases they come with the safari cost but in case you are planning on driving yourself then there are several places where you can hire one from Dar es Salaam from trusted vehicle agencies.
Open side safari 4×4 vehicle
The open side safari 4×4 vehicles are only used within the National Park and it is not advisable for them to be used along highways. You will find that most camps have these vehicles and they are used to take you around the National Park for a game drive where you will enjoy clear views of the animals and bird species.
The Minivans are the best way to travel to Nyerere especially if you are travelling on a budget. These can take up to 9 tourists and are recommended for highway travelling to Nyerere unlike the open jeeps. They are not 4×4 vehicles but they are good for travelling although it is not advisable to use them during the wet season due to the slippery roads. The good thing about using the mini vans is that they are reliable and comfortable, cheap and can easily get you to your destination.
Best time for a game drive in Selous
The dry season is the best time for one to go for a game drive in Nyerere is the dry season which starts in June and ends in October. The roads during this time are passable and it is also the best time to spot animals like the Greater Kudu, zebras, elephants, lions, antelopes, baboons, crocodiles, wildebeests, hippos, buffalos, hyenas, leopards, wild dogs, elands, giraffes, impalas and others.
What are Game drives?
A game drive refers to an adventure into a wildlife area for example a Game Reserve or a National Park using a vehicle. The main aim of a game dive is to explore the National Parks and the Game Reserves to see the variety of wildlife that is the animals and the birds that live within the gazetted area while in their natural habitat. The difference between a safari and a game drive is that a safari has different ways of exploring the National park whereas a game drive is just a drive through the Park.