Presently the most expansive national park in Africa, Nyerere National Park boasts a wealth of wildlife thriving in the Selous Game Reserve ecosystem, which stretches across the Rufiji River basin in southeastern Tanzania. The Rufiji River serves as the park's most prominent characteristic, offering a perfect natural backdrop for boat excursions. This makes the park one of the few locations in Africa where visitors can observe both wildlife and birdlife from the water. While embarking on a boat excursion, you may encounter hippos, crocodiles, and numerous bird species like the African Fish Eagle, Malachite Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, African Skimmer, and Boehm's Bee-Eater. Additionally, various monkey species (Blue Monkey, Savannah Baboon and Black and White Colobus Monkey) and Nile Monitor Lizards are often seen in the trees bordering the riverbanks.
Nyerere National Park provides two distinct boat excursion options:
The shorter boat excursion can take place either in the morning or afternoon. Although an amazing spectacle is afforded in the morning sunlight (weather permitting), the warmer afternoon temperatures offer greater opportunities for spotting crocodiles. Moreover, an afternoon excursion includes a spectacular sunset.
On the other hand, a full-day boat excursion entails venturing further up the Rufiji River and exploring the lakes within the Selous Game Reserve. In addition to the experiences provided by the short excursion, visitors have a chance to spot other wildlife species along the riverbanks, such as giraffes, impalas, waterbucks, kudus, warthogs, and – for those fortunate enough – elephants bathing or traversing the river. During this trip, the guide will stop the boat near a lakeside for a pleasant picnic lunch.