Sand Rivers Selous – Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Sand Rivers Selous covers a mighty twenty two thousand square miles in southern Tanzania – even larger than the Serengeti, with its entirety given over to wildlife conservation. In this protected wilderness, Nyerere Game Reserve sits on a wide bend on the banks of the Rufiji river, with far reaching views across the slow-moving waters and plains from its small collection of beautifully appointed cottages. It’s hard to find anywhere more impressive to watch the sun rise over the savannah and listen to the sounds of Africa.
And it’s even harder to find a better walking safari. The area north of the river has one of the richest concentrations of wildlife in Tanzania, which you can enjoy on foot, from a 4X4, or from your cottage verandah.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:Ideally positioned on the bank of the Rufiji River in the heart of Nyerere National Park (formerly the Selous) the views from the open rooms of Sand Rivers are simply breathtaking.
Style:Discrete African chic.
Location:On the banks of the Rufiji River, in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania.
Rooms:5 cottages & 3 suites.
Swimming:A lodge pool, private plunge pools & nearby hot springs.
Children:Unforgettable for older children.
Accessibility:Not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.
Open From:All year round.
With five cottages stretching along the river and a further three slightly higher up the slopes, seclusion is guaranteed. Rustically blending in with their natural surroundings, with thatched gabled roofs, stone walls and large decked terraces, they all make the most of the river views. They are comfortably furnished, with open fronted bathrooms, and two can be linked together for families. The hillside cottages are slightly larger and come with private plunge pools.
Impressive buffet breakfasts and lunches and three course dinners are served in the dining room, with views out across the river, or al fresco around the camp. Guests can eat together, or dine privately on your private veranda. There are dishes for every palate with a barbecue every Sunday. A very civilised afternoon tea is served every day at four pm, and particularly memorable is breakfast on the sand bar at Stiegler’s Gorge.
Sand Rivers Selous is one of the most rewarding places for a walking safari in Tanzania. Normally starting early to avoid the heat of the day, or late afternoon, each walk allows you to get up close to game and experience the bush in wonderful detail. To become fully immersed in the reserve and venture deep into the wilderness, book a three or four day walking safari.
Your fly camp is moved each day to a different spot, you’ll cover all kinds of terrain, see an extraordinary variety of wildlife but never another soul, and return with a deep appreciation of life and conservation in Africa. You’ll never forget a night under the stars and just the sounds of the bush. If you’d prefer to see game from the comfort of a 4WD, there are game drives each morning and late afternoon. And as this part of Selous is very remote, you are unlike to see any other vehicle. The Big five can be found here, and sightings are frequent. The waters of the Rufiji are rich with fish and a boat trip upstream with a slow drift back, will not only reward you with a catch or two, but relaxed sightings of the many animals who live in the water, those who come to drink and exceptional birdlife. Then maybe end the day with a sundowner on your veranda with the odd local meandering through!
Sand Rivers Selous welcomes children over the age of eight. However, children need to be twelve and over for walking safaris and fly camping.
The founder of Nyerere Game Reserve is one of the continent’s leading conservationists. Richard Bonham works with Save the Rhino and the Maasailand Preservation Trust, and campaigns tirelessly in the fight against poaching.
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
On the banks of the Rufiji River, in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania – an hour’s flight from Dar Es Salaam to Kiba airstrip, followed by a 20-minute drive.