Mivumo is part of the Serena hotel chain...
Mivumo River Lodge : Our full report
Owned and run by the well-known Serena property chain, Mivumo River Lodge is the sister camp to Selous Luxury Camp. Set up on the banks of the Rufiji River, not far from Steigler's Gorge, it is a high-quality, well-finished lodge which has all the creature comforts that you would expect from a hotel. As a result of this, however, it lacks the wilderness feel offered by many of the other camps in the Selous.
The style of the lodge is sophisticated and elegant, the natural browns, beiges and creams of its décor in tune with the surrounding bush. Expect polished wooden flooring, plenty of dark mahogany wood – and the odd 'Serena' branding here and there.
Mivumo's central area is spread across three levels, with views of the slow-flowing waters of the Rufiji River and of baboons playing in the trees on the opposite bank. The top tier is the main lounge/dining area – a large thatched open structure, with a number of leather sofas, many of them facing the river. Drinks are served from a small bar to one side, while to the other, tables and comfortable chairs are set out for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This area overlooks a large and impressive pool on the level below, surrounded by wooden decking and a number of comfortable sunloungers and umbrellas – offering welcome relief from the heat of the day. Just below this, a few more loungers enjoy uninterrupted views over the river.
The 12 spacious rooms at Mivumo River Lodge, including a 'presidential suite', are widely spaced in the forest along the river. With glass windows and air conditioning , these are far from typical of a safari lodge. Each also has a private plunge pool and an impressive outdoor shower with views down the river, while the presidential suite comes with private plunge pools and its own kitchen. (Read more about the rooms…)
The lodge is located some distance from the areas of high game density, so full-day game drives are recommended. You'll take a picnic lunch with you, giving you a chance to explore deeper into the richer game areas around the Rufiji River.
Overall, the location of Mivumo River Lodge is very striking, with superb views both from the rooms and the communal areas. The lodge is finished to a high quality, too, although the excess of 'facilities' can lead it to feel slightly detached from its surroundings. Travellers who are after a wilderness experience will be disappointed here, but it would suit those who don't mind travelling a bit further to find game, in return for plenty of modern conveniences.
Ideal length of stay: Stay for 3 nights to take advantage of full-day game drives into the more game-dense areas of the reserve.
Directions: Steigler's Gorge airstrip is a 45-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, followed by a 45-minute road transfer to the lodge.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: When we were last at Mivumo in July 2010 the food and service were generally of a very high standard.
Breakfast consists of a selection of fruits, cereal, juices and tea and coffee to start, and you can then order hot items from a vast menu that includes cooked meats, eggs, toasts, waffles and pancakes.
In the evening, guests choose from an à la carte dinner menu. We enjoyed pea soup to start, followed by a main course of roasted pork with dauphinoise potatoes and a fruit-based dessert. It was well presented and very tasty!
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Most drinks are included except for premium wines, champagnes and spirits.
Attitude towards children: Mivumo does not encourage children to stay
Equipment: There are a few board games that children can play.
Generally recommended for children: No
Notes: Like virtually all safari lodges, we recommend this for mature children with an interest in wildlife only.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: There is intermittent cellphone reception at the lodge, but it is not reliable. Wifi is available in the main area, and there are plans to put it in the rooms in the future.
TV & radio: There are internal phones in the rooms. They hope to allow external calls soon.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: Mivumo River Lodge and Selous Wildlife Lodge share a doctor between the two properties. For more serious emergencies patients are flown to Dar es Salaam.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: There are guards patrolling the lodge.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers dotted around, and the lodge has a fire safety plan.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included
Money: There are safes in the rooms for valuables.