Reviews of Sand Rivers Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
First Night at Sand Rivers
After the overnight flight from the UK and a short flight out into the Selous, we received a warm welcome at Sand Rivers.
The camp is perched on the bank of the Rufiji River in a beautiful setting. We enjoyed an evening drive and a "sundowner" whilst watching a young elephant grazing peacefully amongst lush vegetation.
A good dinner and an early night in readiness for the walking safari to follow.
WHAT A PLACE!!!!!!!!!!
The accommodation at Sand Rivers has to be seen to be believed. The location looking out over the meandering Rufiji River is to die for.
As well as landrover and river safaris we did walking safaris with our children which just took an already brilliant experience to another level. Given where we were the food was frankly amazing. And as for our hosts Claus and Jill .......... I can't praise them enough, two wonderful, charming, knowledgable, delightful people.
Finally, at first I was not at all sure about the communal eating arrangements at dinner but it is the only way to do it!
Sand Rivers Camp review
Overall we were disappointed in Sand Rivers. The food and service were both very good; however, the rooms were not as well maintained as they should have been. For example, the mosquito nets had holes in them, the pillows were old, lumpy, and flat, and our toilet seat was very loose and shifted every time we sat on it. The "door" to our bathroom was broken and seat and throw cushions were stained with monkey feces. The rooms are designed to be very open concept so it is virtually impossible to prevent monkeys from accessing the rooms; however, simply wiping down the cushions after a monkey invasion is insufficient and unsanitary.
Most disappointing was the guide. Although our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, his guiding philosophy was diametrically opposed to ours. We prefer to observe wildlife, without interfering or stressing out the animals. Our guide seemed to feel his role was to get us the best photo, even if that meant driving off road and literally chasing down animals. In one instance, his enthusiasm for a close-up resulted in a very unsafe encounter with an angry mother elephant. As I said, our guide was very knowledgeable but he lacked adequate respect for the environment, the animals, and the safety of guests.
Expert Africa comments
We have sent our travelers’ feedback to the Sand Rivers management who are, understandably, very disappointed to receive such negative comments as this is very rare for Sand Rivers. The MD of the company that owns Sand Rivers, John, responded personally to this feedback, commenting on each issue individually.
He told us that “The mosquito nets are being replaced across the whole lodge as part of the refurbishment for the beginning of June 2010, as are cushions, linen etc. We have a tailor in camp and if any holes appear in nets, they are usually stitched up the same day”
He also commented that “stained cushions are usually washed in the laundry; the managers try to deal with issues like this very quickly if they are made aware of them.”
We do think that it’s worth any travellers noting that the chalets at Sand Rivers are open-fronted; it is not unusual to have wildlife getting in. The camp is working with the Selous Game Reserve management to find a way of resolving the monkey issue.
Our travellers’ comments about the poor guiding here was very worrying. The MD, John, said: “We pride ourselves on our high standard of guiding and what these travellers describe is at total odds with our philosophy. It is very tempting for a guide to get that little bit closer to game in order to please his guests but a good guide should know when is close - and when is too close, both for the game and for the guests. I am personally looking into this issue with this particular guide and will ensure that this area is particularly covered in detail for our annual Guide Training in April/May 2010 this year.”
Way, way beyond our wildest expectations.......
We had the top Guide, Masaa, which made the whole experiance a sensation.
Lynn and Steve, being the perfect hosts, made he whole experience run like clockwork
Nature and luxury at Sand Rivers Camp
What a wonderful balance of laid-back luxury and game viewing. We had a superb guide who kept conjuring up lions and elephants - amongst much other game.
Highlights included a walking safari where we came (reasonably) close to a herd of elephants; a beautiful boat trip amongst crocodiles and hippos; and a stunning game drive amidst giraffes and a host of storks and weaver birds.
Menatime the hospitality and food here was second to none.
Great Sand Rivers experience
Wonderful location, the staff were excellent as was the food! Plenty of safari options during our 4 days there and we would really recommend the fly camping experience. We saw plenty of wildlife and it was always just us watching, there were not loads of other Land Rovers suddenly appearing.
The knowledge of our guide Edson was superb and he went out of his way to make sure we were happy and comfortable. The rooms were very comfortable and had fabulous views overlooking the river where we could listen to and watch plenty of hippos. The management and staff at Sand Rivers were also very friendly and made us feel very welcome.
Sand Rivers Camp review
The team at camp (Lynne, Steve and Sarah) and our guide (Anafi) were all excellent and very relaxed. The situation of the camp is stunning.
The food was delicious and there was a great mix of being able to spend time both by ourselves and join other guests.
Messing about in boats
After the heat and dryness of Ruaha it was nice to be next to the water and what a fantastic location. This is a special place and should be on anyones list of camps to visit in Tanzania. There is a relaxed atmosphere and the staff really make you feel wanted. The advantage of being here are the water activities, the fishing is good the boat trips enjoyable (even being hit by a hippo did not take the shine off the trip).
Are there any negatives, well yes just one, the roads are unbelievably rough, over rocky outcrops most of the time, but this is a minor inconvienance for the beauty of the place and the variety of the wildlife, esp the birds.
Put it on your list of places to visit.
What a lot of lions!
Our flight to Sands River was diverted to Beho Beho because of problems with the air strip, but it turned out to be a bonus because Edson our guide had located a pride of lions devouring a zebra which he took us to see on the way to the lodge - it was a great introduction to the Sands River Area. T
he different environments, lakes, river, bush and marsh ensure a great variety of birds and animals and Sands River provide a great variety of ways to see and enjoy them which are really well organised. Won't say too much it will spoil the surprise!. Edson was a great guide, excellent driver, boatman and spotter who greatly added to our enjoyment of the holiday and kept us safe.
Drifting through the Stigler gorge was lovely - so peaceful - it would be a great shame if this part of the river trip was stopped - hopefully Sands River can come to some arrangement with their neighbours.
Early morning tea and coffee was a nice touch, especially if you were having a late breakfast.
If you go into the hot springs make sure you drink as soon as you come out otherwise you may feel a bit queer.
In summary Sands River is a great place difficult to sum up in words - much more effective than wrinkle cream!!!
Sand Rivers Camp review
thank you lynn and steve and staff fora great experience. you thought of everything.Read more about the whole safari