After spending a day in Dar es Salaam, waiting for our luggage to arrive, we hopped on our private charter (private because we were the only passengers) and headed southwest to Nyerere National Park.
Before Nyerere National Park became a national park in 2019, it was known as Selous Game Reserve, a hunting ground. As a result, there are few predators, as they have either been killed or have left the area. Most animals that are left at the park are relatively gun shy, no pun intended. Unlike the animals in the Serengeti that are accustomed to vehicles, the animals in Nyerere are still wary, and will scatter if jeeps get too close. Because of this, our experience at Nyerere was vastly different than our past safaris.
Baraka, our guide for the duration of our stay in Selous, met us at the Mtereme airstrip for our hour-long drive to the camp. Along the way, we saw some animals, but less than what I had anticipated. Instead of herds of animals, the ones we saw were scattered about.
After an hour of bumpy ride, we made it to the Asilia Selous camp.
Within the park flows the Rufiji River that forms several lakes, including Lake Nzerakera where our camp is situated. All that water hosts the main stars in the park – hippos and crocs.
Owing to the dense vegetation, we soon realized that animals in the area were much harder to spot.
Perhaps the largest groups of animals we saw belong to the baboons, thanks to poor family planning.
We spent most of our second day looking for elephants, and we were not disappointed. Again, we didn’t see herds of them, but they were around, camouflaged amongst dune palms.
The highlight of our trip to Nyerere was tracking a hyena.
With 2 nights scheduled for this particular camp, we really only had one full day to explore. This park was a good introduction for the first timers, as the rest of the trip proved to be much more exciting.