Reviews of Beho Beho
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Given the praise that Beho Beho usually receives, we feel a bit like party-poopers in having to qualify some of our experiences from our 5 night stay in September!
Firstly, the lodge itself is superb. The location on a ridge gives amazing views, the bandas are superb, and the food and hopsitality brilliant (lobster thermidor around a swimming pool in the middle of the bush was memorable!). There was usually a procession of wildlife past the lodge during the day, and the waterhole received a steady stream of elephants, hippos, buffalo and hyena (not to mention a leopard) in the evening - all supported by the chorus from the hippo pool which was just out of sight (and luckily out of smelling range). We also found waterbuck on the hill behind the lodge and some spectacular racket-tailed rollers on the way to "Beho Beho International" airstrip.
My wife has some mobility problems which prevented us going on walking safaris, so our stay focused on vehicle-based trips, usually in the early morning and again in late afternoon (there seems to be no end of spectacular locations for sundowners around Beho Beho!). The Lake Tagalalla trip was superb, with large numbers of water birds, hippos and crocodiles on the boat trip, plus the brilliant "surprise" bush breakfast and the ultimate "loo with a view" (If you've been, you'll know what I mean!). There was usually wildlife in the dry river areas and "savannah" areas (including elephants, eland, giraffe and buffalo) near Beho Beho but for larger numbers (especially zebra and wildebeest - and therefore also lions), most of our drives seemed to take in the Lake Manze area. No two safaris are ever the same, and we had excellent sightings of land animals, birds and lake life - including lions withe very recent kills (one wildebeest was still alive whilst being devoured) - but we did get to know the routes fairly well!
You do not have an "assigned" guide at Beho Beho. Each days is assessed in terms of what you want to do: all of the guides were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, approachable and flexible but we were especially impressed by Salum's seemingly permanent cheerfulness and smile!
Our last night at Beho Beho was our 35the wedding anniversary - we were very pleased to find a bottle of very cold champagne in our room when we got back from the afternoon drive (thank you!)
Sarah Bailey, wife of the original owner of Beho Beho, arrived for a stay while we were there and accompanied us to Lake Tagalalla - she is marvellous company and a font of (sometimes indiscreet) stories about Africa and some well known people in the UK! We were delighted to be asked to lunch with her at Bailey's Banda on our last day (if you think that the views from the guest bandas are good, Bailey's will take your breathe away).
So, if it was all so good, what are our qualifications?
- firstly, as above, all roads seem to lead to Lake Manze. We had some excellent sightings but the routes did become repetitive. We discussed this with the guides and particularly Walter, who felt that it was inevitable that it would be necessary to travel some distance to find water and therefore animals in the dry season (and we did accept that the routes towards Lake Manze were varied each day, usually with differing results). Walter did stress theat it would be different in the green season when the savannah would be teeming with animals (which is probably just as well, as many of the tracks would be impassable, even to 4X4s). We have no concerns about the game viewing but, ideally more variety in destination areas would have been welcome.
- secondly, we had one somewhat surreal day when we set off on a full day drive in search of some wild dogs which had been reported in the area of Selous Safari Camp. As we had to go fairly near to the Selous Reserve HQ, our guide decided to take us there to see the school and dispensary and to talk to some of the managers to get a view of how the reserve is run. Although it would have been nice to be consulted on this first, it was not in itself a bad decision. However having initially been told that the overall reserve manager (who had visited Beho Beho the previous day while we were out on a drive) was not available, we were subsequently told that he was now free and would like to see us: he was an engaging man who shared his views on how to manage the reserve with limited resources and then regaled us with his experiences in Aberdeen and Clacton-on-Sea! Incidentally, somewhat to our surprise (and that of our guides) there were a lot of tsetse flies near Beho Beho - the manager said that this was a fairly new experience for Selous and he was considering getting advice from Ruaha on how to tackle it. This extended our visit somewhat, which was compounded when we had a puncture half an hour later. Unfortunately our vehicle did not have a serviceable spare tyre - a major issue in an environment where punctures are so common. There were 2 spares on the vehicle - but one had not been repaired since a previous puncture and the other had been secured with an additional locking nut for which the vehicle did not carry a suitable spanner! Another vehicle had to be sent out from the lodge with a spare tyre and a spanner. These delays meant that we did not reach Selous Safari Camp until early afternoon: we then found out that no-one knew exactly where the wild dogs were but it was thought that they'd moved towards Lake Manze - when we got to Lake Manze, it seemed that many other guides had heard about the dogs but no-one had seen them, and we therefore got much conflicting advice! Our guide made extensive efforts to find the dogs from the info he had but, given the earlier delays, our time was limited. And then we had a second puncture on the way back to Beho Beho (at least we had a spare this time)! I understand that there were some red faces in the Beho Beho maintenance area about the lack of usable spare tyres on the vehicle!
If these comments appear hypercritical, I believe that we are entitled to expect the highest standards from a lodge of the reputation (and cost) of Beho Beho. I am certainly not saying theat these factors spoilt our holiday. I doubt whether we would have found the wild dogs anyway and, in retrospect, we can laugh at the puncture situation and the way thee day evolved - but it shouldn't happen at Beho Beho (and they were suitably embarrassed!). And, we had excellent game viewing - despite the lack of "variety" in routes.
Beho Beho review
This place exceeded our expectations and well deserves it's reputation. It has a unique friendly atmosphere which quickly makes one feel a welcome part of the Beho Beho family.
The bandas are well positioned, well equipped and comfortable. Being situated on a hill there are lovely views and we especially liked the one from our room. The food was inventive and excellent with much wonderful baking which we could not do justice to.
The meals were communal and served in different locations. The guides (Walter, Onno, Onesmo and Salum) were very good and rotated for each drive. We very much enjoyed the surprises which were arranged. The drive to lake Tagalala and hot springs was excellent. We saw a leopard at our first lunch and another at an evening meal. We saw lion with cubs on a kill, buffalo herds, wilderbeest and zebra herds. The waterhole always had interesting animal visitors, hyena, elephant, hippo, civet, buffalo and impala. We had problems with the tsetse flies on some drives.
Walter and Karin were excellent hosts.
Awesome safari at Beho Beho
Beho Beho certainly lived up to its reputation. The accommodation, guiding, hospitality and food were all top notch.
We had an awesome stay with the only complaint being the weight we put on due to the constant provision of top quality cuisine.
Beho Beho is not cheap but certainly delivers.
We were fortunate to meet both Charlie and Sarah Bailey who shared their passion for the Selous and set up of Beho Beho.
The only minor downside we would flag is the distance to the lakes where we ended up driving to frequently to better game viewing but need to add that all Elephant encounters were local to Beho Beho.
Beho Beho review
A very luxurious camp with excellent levels of service and food
Very isolated and quiet location with no nearby camps or vehicles.
Lake trip was excellent.
I did not like being seated seperately from my family for the communal dinners. Guests were expected to sit next to other guests and not members of their own party. On the first evening I sat next to a 12 year boy and an old lady, neither of whom I had met previously - my wife and daughters were guided to seats at the opposite end of the long communal table. This issue was resolved after speaking to the camp manager.
We saw the same family of three lions twice in four days of safari - otherwise no big cat sightings. No rhino and only very small family groups of elephant. Overall therefore, slightly disappointed with game sightings, although the hippo pool was very entertaining.
Who could ask for more?!
Beho Beho is stunning! The rooms are beautifully appointed with plenty of space to relax... Both the private and public areas. It felt like visiting a friend's wonderful home! The food was a delight and afternoon tea yielded the most delicious cakes imaginable. The days were quite structured but all the drives or walks out were most enjoyable. Our late afternoon walk had the surprising treat of sundowners waiting for us up on the ridge! Different guides were had on trips out, depending on interest; this occasionally leads to duplication of information but has the big plus of getting to know the different guides. They are all very knowledgeable and willing to share it with you... And can still answer the most basic questions with a smile and enthusiasm. Would definitely recommend a walk whilst there. The countryside is very beautiful and although animal contact is not quite so close up as in Ruaha, the landscape more than makes up for this. We still saw plenty of wildlife including 2 leopards and more hippos than we could imagine! All the staff were delightful as were our fellow guests. Cannot recommend highly enough.Read more about the whole safari
Beho Beho review
Beho Beho was absolutely faultless.
The actual lodges were perfect - spotless, romantic, relaxing - I especially liked the open air showere. The setting was amazing. But it was the staff who made the holiday so special. Not only were they true experts in ther field but the effort they went to to ensure everyday was special and different - with a different setting for every meal. Every day we gasped with delight. The boys' favourite were the two walking safaris as we really felt part of the jungle - not just spectators. My favourite was the lake safari and springs.
Beho Beho is unique. A truly special place, providing a holiday of a lifetime.
Walking in Beho Beho
What can I add to all the reviews. Everything was excellent and we felt very welcome. Tinkling wineglasses in candlelight, good food and laughter at the outside dinnertable were a fantastic end of dusty and sweaty days.
We came to Beho Beho to walk. So we did ! We joined the Zebra, Wildebeast , Giraffes on the plains and Old Battle Fields, where we found a coin dated 1892. We met Elephants, Buffalo and Hippo´s in the bush. Onismo was a good companion, but, walking in front of us, he was the only one who had seen the leopard very close.
The bushcamp was splendid and a great experience which we can recommend.
Beho Beho review
I flew straight through to Beho Beho - it's a great place to recover from jet lag! The room was lovely -right on up there with the best I have seen/enjoyed. Food superb; fabulous guides. great game viewing. best was the company, and meeting the characters, including the owners - getting the story behind the scenes.
I am just sorry I was so tired, and still had to tie up some loose work ends remotely, but at least that was expedited by the setting, and internet connections.
Beho Beho -The Very Best
This was our second visit to Beho Beho and it was just as wonderful as last year. Everyone made us feel so welcome, our banda was fabulous and we really enjoyed the bath! Karin's food was delicious - lobster, fillet steak, duck, prawns to name just a few of the fantastic meals we had in various locations in the camp and the Bush breakfasts and dinner were so exciting.
Onesmo, Heribert and Walter are superb guides, not only sharing their great knowledge but also making games drives and walks such fun.
Our very close encounter with a wonderfully peaceful elephant will never be forgotten, nor the swarm of Carmine Bee Eaters flying around us as we drove along and our sighting of a large pack of wild dogs. Only a small example of the incredible amount of wildlife we saw.
Beho Beho review
This has to be the highlight of our trip.
We expected a lot after reading the rave reviews on Beho Beho, and all our expectations were met and actually exceeded! We were looked after like royalties by management, guides and staff alike. The rooms, food/drinks, facilties and guiding were simply outstanding and we can only praise the efforts the Beho Beho staff made to please and surprise us all the time.
The Selous is a beautiful game reserve, teeming with wild life - we even got to see a pack of wild dogs and their pups! This was one of our best stays ever and we bring back with us wonderful memories.
Almost two weeks later, my husband and I are still raving about it...!