Amara is one of the newer lodges in the Selous...
Amara Selous: Our full report
Situated along the banks of the Ruaha River, Amara (or Simbazi Selous as it’s sometimes known) opened in February 2010 and is one of the newest lodges in the Selous. When we stayed in September 2012 we found a well-run, high-quality lodge with a nice relaxed atmosphere in good surroundings, with lovely views of the Ruaha River.
The focal point of the central area is a large swimming pool – perfect to escape the heat of the day, with plenty of loungers and shady areas on the surrounding wooden decking. Behind the pool, raised up slightly on different levels, are two raised stone areas draped in canvas. In one is a lounge area with dark leather sofas and a selection of coffee-table books on a low table Various antique safari ornaments lend a slightly colonial feel. With an open front and gauze windows at the back, it all feels very airy and spacious.
Alongside is the dining area, whose dark furniture and black chandeliers give it an elegant edge, yet the open front allows views of the pool area and on to the river, so it retains a natural feel.
The 8 tented rooms at Amara are all vast – with over 90m2 of inside space in each, and an additional 40m2 of outside decking.
Although tented, Amara’s rooms are permanent, with stone floors that help to keep them cool during the hot months. In keeping with the central area, the furniture is quite dark, but with pale fabrics against the vast size of the tents, it works well.
The bedrooms are quite simple, with a large double bed and bedside tables, a leather chair, safe and chest of drawers. An iPod docking station is on a writing desk, with a radio for contacting the main lodge and to order drinks.
The front of the tent is protected by mosquito gauze, and they also have air conditioning (from 7-11 only) in each room; which cools the area near the bed only.
Adjoining the tented room is a stone-built dressing room, which can be curtained off, with space for luggage and hanging clothes. This area leads to the bathroom, which has the luxury of very spacious inside and outside showers – the latter with water cascading over a piece of slate rock, like a waterfall. You’ll also find a flushing toilet and twin sinks with views out to the river, and a small mirror. Some toiletries, such as shampoo and body wash, are provided.
In front of each tent at Amara is a large deck with a couple of chairs and a table overlooking the river, and a short paved pathway to your private plunge pool. The tents are well spaced out so all feel quite private and secluded – separated by sandy walkways.
Activities focus on game drives with knowledgeable and patient guides, although it’s worth noting that the game here is not as prolific as in the more eastern lodges. The managers are keen wildlife photographers, and a selection of Peter’s photos is found scattered around the lodge. He can advise guests who are interested in this as well as in astronomy, as he has a telescope at the lodge.
Our viewThe chic design of Amara, and the experienced management couple in charge, make it a good option for families and couples seeking privacy and intimacy alike, and we would particularly recommend it to honeymooners looking to relax in comfort.
Ideal length of stay: Spend 3 - 4 days here to try out all the activities on offer
Directions: Amara is a 45-minute flight from Dar and then just 1km from Simbazi airstrip.
Staff: Camp/Lodge Manager: Anita and Peter
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food here is of a high quality and good variety, using fresh ingredients.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are included.
Honeymoons: There are plenty of choices for those romantic moments here. Bush dinners are a popular choice for some privacy while massages can be arranged in the spacious rooms, which also have a plunge pool. The plush feel of the camp make it a good choice for honeymooners looking to relax and indulge.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Tanzania
Attitude towards children: Amara is happy to accept children over the age of 6.
Equipment: There is no special equipment for children.
Generally recommended for children: Yes, although the lodge is popular with both families and honeymooners.
Notes: As with all safari camps, we would recommend Amara only for mature children with an interest in wildlife – but the large pool and kids club would make it a good option for families.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: Radios are in the rooms to contact the main area for room service. WiFi is available in the main area.
TV & radio: There are iPod docs in each room, but no TV or radio.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: They have a basic first-aid kit, but,should medical evacuation be necessary the camp is located right next to Simbazi airstrip.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: They have askaris (guards) patrolling, who also escort guests to and from each room.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the rooms.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included
Money: There are electronic safes in the rooms to store valuables.