The best camps in the Selous
The Selous was Tanzania’s largest game reserve, covering an area of over fifty thousand square kilometers plus many kilometers of additional buffer zones. Designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1982, this pristine wilderness is home to beautiful wildlife, a brand new hydroelectric dam for the benefit of local communities and now has TANAPA as its guardian.
Renamed Nyerere National Park in honor of the first president after independence, this national park is a short internal flight from Dar es Salaam and is the perfect safari element in a safari and beach itinerary. Due to its large size, no matter where you stay here, you can be assured of a game viewing experience away from the hustle and bustle of the North and combining boat safaris, walking safaris and your regular vehicle safaris. . Add to the mix the chance to visit the hot springs, picnics and days exploring the vast waterscape, then you could argue that Selous offers the most varied safari experience in Tanzania.
And to put the icing on the cake, it is a strong hold for the lycaon. With a fantastic population of these charismatic dogs, if wild dogs are on your bucket list then the Selous should be a must visit.
While the parks in the north of the country are full of different lodges, there are only a handful in the Selous and below we’ll take a look at the top five.
Located at the edge of Lake Nzerakera, the waterscape begins fifty meters from your doorstep. Offering a breathtaking view of this beautiful stage, Siwandu consists of ten extremely spacious and stylish canvas tents that allow guests to enjoy early morning and late evening from the comfort of their rooms. With an elevated living and dining area, there is a panoramic view of the lake, whether you’re dining out or enjoying a pre-game snack.
During the heat of the day, guests can use one of the two pools, opt for a full-day game drive, or decide that a picnic on a pontoon is the best setting for lunch. If reading a book tucked away on a comfortable sofa is more to your liking, then that is possible, too. The elevated living room offers not only beautiful views, but a serene and tranquil environment to enjoy a chapter or two of your favorite book.
The most luxurious camp in Selous sits atop a deep, lush valley with views for miles through the vibrant Selous landscape. Even though there is a main pool, the added privacy of a plunge pool for each of the ten bandas makes it perfect for honeymoons or couples’ getaways.
While the main area has a very comfortable lounge, a pool table and a very well stocked bar, there are a variety of beautiful places for a dinner between like-minded travelers and expert guides.
For multigenerational families, Bailey’s Banda is privately owned which allows the exclusivity of your own home. Accompanied by your own private vehicle and guide, the two very spacious en-suite bedrooms, private pool and lounge area maintain that sense of home. While this is a great option for large groups or families, the sophisticated and calm vibe makes it unsuitable
Located on the banks of the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers is the perfect place for a relaxed and luxurious safari. With stunning views of the groups of hippos that inhabit Rufiji, Sand Rivers caters to everyone.
The five riverside rooms are accompanied by three hillside suites, and all are airy and spacious, giving guests the feeling of being immersed in the wilderness, while providing all the amenities one can expect. to wish. The pool and bar offer panoramic views where the time between game viewing activities flies far too quickly and activities like boat safaris, picnics or game drives take place in some of the best areas of the national park. .
It is certainly not the most luxurious option at Selous, but Lake Manze offers an authentic and rustic safari experience. Like its sister camp Old Mdonya River Camp in Ruaha National Park, Lake Manze is proud of its back-to-basics philosophy. With no Wi-Fi and solar powered tents, this camp takes you back to a bygone era of safari.
Located on the edges of one of the Selous lagoons, the hippos honk their horns at night and there is the occasional pachyderm visitor during the day as they go to the water’s edge to quench their thirst. For guests wishing to quench their thirst, the well-stocked bar associated with the lounge is the perfect place to sit, have a drink and enjoy the peaceful surroundings in which the camp is located.
Roho ya Selous
Offering an under-canvas feel while providing the luxuries one would expect from an Asilia-run camp, Roho ya Selous features eight canvas tents, including one designed for families. The appropriate name translates to “heart of the Selous”, where the camp is based. Balancing adventure and comfort, Asilia offers the best service and hospitality for which it is renowned.
With Lake Nzerakera on its doorstep, you never know what wildlife you may spot from the camp. However, boat safaris, walking safaris, and vehicle safaris are all offered here, with the added option of fishing there is something to amuse every member of the group.
No matter where guests choose to stay in the Selous, they can be sure of an intimate, off-the-beaten-path safari adventure with a nice variety of game viewing activities.
Marc Harris is Managing Director of Tanzania Odyssey. Tanzania Odyssey has been a leading specialist tour operator in Tanzania since 1998.
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