THE SAFARI SPECIALIST
Selous Game Reserve
Water & Wild Dogs Wonderland
Located in Southern Tanzania, the Selous Game Reserve is Africa's largest reserve, measuring 50,000 km2 and is relatively undisturbed by human impact. This World Heritage Site is one of the last great wilderness bastions; here you enter the Africa of millenia past where the continent's great creatures roam. The park has a variety of vegetation zones, ranging from dense thickets to open wooded grasslands. The rivers and lakes of the Selous are the lifeblood to a park that hosts phenomenal volumes of game including Africa's largest elephant and wild dog populations and probably its largest buffalo, hippo, crocodile and lion prides.
By air, the Northern Selous is defined by the Rufii River. A mile wide in places, its courses are deeply carved in the soft sandy soil and visible for miles as you approach by light aircraft. Any tracks here are beaten not by the small number of visitors that come to stay, but by the feet of generations of hippos and elephant whose influence has shaped the landscape, at least as much as the river. And the scenery changes quickly, in a matter of a few miles miombo woodland - home to hartebeest, zebra and herds of buffalo - gives way to wide grassy valleys, strangely reminiscent of English park land; thick stands of doum palms reveal glittering lakes burgeoning with life of all kinds.
Sand rivers, literally rivers of dry sand bleached white and littered with the sculptural forms of dead leadwood trees, are one of the most alluring aspects of this area. They are also a magnet to game, drawn to the fresh water that flows beneath the surface.
This area is home to all the major mammal species - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and even the very elusive black rhino.
The Selous wildlife is all the more interesting as it attracts both east and southern African wildlife, both resident and migratory, and over 440 known species of birds. Lion are particularly strong here and there are large numbers of leopard. The park is home to over 50% of the endangered African wild dog left on the continent and also hosts very good buffalo, giraffe, eland, hyena, sable, hippo, crocodile, kudu, baboon, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, colobus and vervet monkeys along with over 450 species of birds. Viewing game from a boat on the Rufiji River is a wonderful way to observe animals on the banks and in the water and the Selous is also a wonderful setting for a dawn walk.
Sand River Selous
Sand River's 8 stone and thatched cottages, are all open-fronted and raised on decks overlooking the river. There are 5 Riverside rooms - with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, flush toilets and powerful showers - and 3 Hillside Suites. The Suites have all the above, but a large living space and a small plunge pool.
Game drives and walks are daily fare but guests quickly realise that a few hours spent relaxing on the verandahs of their open-fronted rooms, or cooling off in the pool, surrounded by Kingfishers and Bee Eaters, listening to the grunts of hippos on the river, can be time equally well spent.
Sit around the bar at the end of the day, the drinks are cold and there's always good stories to be told.
The main mess is spacious, open-fronted and cool. There's a chill-out area near the library and then acres of dining spots - around the main pool, privately tucked away in a quiet corner of the mess or on the social managers table.
Number of Tents: 8
Style : Open-fronted Cottages
Over bed fans
Activities: game drives, walking, boat safaris, fishing, fly camping, swimming in hot-springs
Ellie says, " Absolutely beautifully designed camp which offers an exciting variety of activities, drifting the Rufiji River or fly camping on its banks are experiences like no other."
Recommended for all adventurers and those who like a little more action
Roho ya Selous
Set on a hill overlooking the water, Roho ya Selous sits close to a key waterway which links Lake Manze to Lake Nzerakera, right in the heart of the core game viewing area of the Selous. This comfortable and stylish camp will offer game drives, walking safaris, boating and catch and release ﬁshing and is ideally situated for exploring this diverse and beautiful reserve.
Tucked away into the trees, each of the eight tents are set far apart to maximise privacy. They are stylish and spacious. Thoughtful details include an evening breeze cooling system over the bed to allow you to sleep peacefully even during the hotter months, and a beautiful wall hanging separating the en-suite bathroom, complete with indoor and outdoor shower. A veranda offers a shady spot to unwind during the heat of the day and watch game as it passes through camp.
Number of tents 8
Private House 1
Style - stretch canvas 'tents'
over bed cooling system
Activities :game drives, walking, fishing, boat safaris
Ellie says, " Roho ya Selous has a very contemporary camping vibe"
Recommended for canvas lovers who appreciate a little luxury too.