Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We had a fabulous four day safari at Selous Impala Camp, The tent accommodation, whilst not luxurious, was perfectly comfortable and all the staff were really excellent. We had very personal service throughout our stay from our guide, our driver, our waiter and our Masai guard! The weather was hot in February (approaching 40 degrees) but the excellent game vehicles and carefully sited lodge buildings meant we were never uncomfortable (except for one night when the fan stopped working)
The game drives were great and we saw everything we hoped to see - and more! On top of that the boat safaris added a new dimension in game and bird viewing. We also did a walking safari one morning which was good but we would have liked it to be a little longer.
A highlight for us were the picnic breakfasts - tables and chairs set up in the middle of the bush as we sat down to sausage, egg and bacon with our guide and driver.
We spent three weeks in Tanzania. The four nights in Selous were definitely the best.
A little bit of luxury in the bush
Same weather as at Lake Manze. A longish walk to #1, my tent, in the heat. Very nicely situated above the river and good facilities. Camp buildings very smart and spacious. Food very good.
However, I was not very happy with the individual seating for dining (although there was a very nice pre-dinner gather round the fire). I raised this with Fausto the manager and he did manage to pair me up with 3 others once and the ranger once which was very nice. ( the chat is part of the dining experience and for a single traveller to be on his own "in the corner" was not so nice).
Widlife and birds excellent, particularly enhanced by excellent knowledge of guide Andrew. Excellent drives, boat trips and walks. Particularly nice to complete a walk and arrive at a laid out breakfast table overlooking the river!
Highlights - 2 leopards, hundreds of carmine beeeaters, unearthly cackles of the bush babies, huge herd of giraffes
Highlights -- 2 leopards, hundreds
Great start to our Tanzanian safari
This was the first camp of three on our 15-night trip. We stayed five nights and it totally exceeded our expectations. This proved a terrific time of year to visit: although the bush had sprung into life we still saw a huge variety of wildlife including triplet lion cubs. Water levels were high enabling us to enjoy two boat trips: one as far as Lake Nzerakera, which had been dry just a few weeks before.
The staff were very welcoming, helpful and friendly. Our guide Ezra and driver Kharidi were top notch. We are not birders but this is the best season for them as there are many migratory species and Ezra's enthusiasm certainly rubbed off. This was the only camp where we could have game drives, boat trips and walks: each evening we were asked what we would like to do the following day.
Dining at Impala is different with individual tables rather than communal and at a different location each night. We liked this as being a bit different. As vegetarians we enjoyed wonderful and varied food, no doubt inspired by Fausto, the Italian camp manager. The tents are perfectly clean and functional but may be coming up to needing some refurbishment. This did not interfere with our enjoyment in any way. An early highlight was a huge welcoming herd of impala greeting us on the road as we drove from the airstrip: how appropriate!
Selous Impala Camp review
Very attractive camp and nicely appointed tent. Good to see animals by the river as well as in the bush.
Unfortunately by the time we arrived (early Nov.) the rains had started and the animals had dispersed limiting the numbers we saw. Of course we were aware of this risk when booking. Guide was good, but difficult to understand at times.
Fabulous river location
A great camp in a superb location on the riverside and the swimming pool was a real bonus in the November heat.
Lots of crocs, hippos and elephants to observe and birds galore. Dennis was a top quality guide/driver and we would really recommend him and this camp. Evans, our waiter, gave us daily Swahili lessons over meals which more than made up for the fact that one does not eat communally at the this camp.
We spent the last four nights of our holiday at Selous Impala Camp. A safari drive from Lake Manze brought us to Impala - the best transfer ever. It was definitely the ideal order in which to visit the camps, starting with the basic, back to nature feel of Lake Manze and ending with the luxury of Selous Impala.
The family tents consisted of two adjacent tents on a shared raised platform from which the river could be glimpsed although the trees and plants obscured a lot of the view. The girls delighted in their own tent. The main areas of the camp were set around a large raised dining area. Every meal was superb with excellent food and fantastic service. We were looked after by Kafutu who was charming and helpful. He entertained our girls by teaching them to count in Swahili and how to fold the many napkin designs. On our walks to and from our tent, which was at the end of a spread out camp, we were looked after by Mahena, a young Masai, who was completely unperturbed by the hippo that crossed our path one evening. The swimming pool was wonderfully cooling in the afternoon heat.
Our safari guide was Andrew who was a fount of knowledge about the animals and their habitat and taught us a great deal. Our driver, Rajabu made us feel safe as we travelled around. We had several safari drives in the morning and evening. The breakfast stops were always in beautiful settings and felt very special, sitting out in the bush. Wildlife was abundant and we saw many species with their babies which were universally gorgeous - even the hyena cub. Our first boat trip along the river the evening we arrived was one of the highlights of the holiday. Gerard, our guide was delightful and twice we saw elephants crossing the river with their young. The superb finale was when we were ushered onto the riverbank to find a table and chairs set out for us with bubbly and snacks served up as we sat watching the sunset across the river. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
We had a go at fishing one evening (although a morning trip would give better conditions) which was fun, but the only thing we caught was a crocodile which thankfully bit through the line before we inadvertently landed it. The bird life was outstanding especially along the river.
The riverside location and the quality of the guiding were the main reasons for our return visit.
Our request for our preferred tent and for Ezra as guide were met and so we got off to a good start.
Ezra and Kharidi made a great team and we saw and learned a lot-new birds included green pigeon and Bohm's bee-eater and we had glimpses of bush pig as well as the usual subjects .It was great watching large herds of zebra,impala ,buffalo and hartebeest running the gauntlet of predators towards the waters of Lake Manze.
The new manager Fausto was extremely hospitable and attentive and we enjoyed the company of his wife Fede on a number of game drives.( Fausto did ask us first!).
Be warned at this time of year the temperatures are in the mid thirties with very high humidity but the breeze on the game drives and the fans in the tent make it bearable.
Despite our preference for communal dining this is a great well run great camp with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Selous Impala Camp review
The camps is great, beautiful tents and great service. Probably one of the best in the area.
When you want to see lots of elephants and lions however, you better go to a different national park. There has been a lot of poaching of elephants and lions are nomadic and therefore are difficult to find.
I've seen lions every day though and for a "first timer" it's a perfect place to go on safari. The landscape is absolutely stunning.
We had a great stay at Selous Impala camp. A very comfortable camp, friendly staff and excellent food. We also liked the way they served the evening meals in a different area of the camp each night and we enjoyed being able to have our meal on our own rather than communal dining.
A great location next to the river and plentiful wildlife. We also enjoyed the game viewing boat trip and the opportunity to try our hand at fishing. Catching tiger fish was quite an experience, as was catching the bait using the local method!
Many thanks to our guide Andrew and to our driver Rajabu, who both contributed greatly to our game viewing.experience. We were extremely impressed by Andrew's detailed knowledge,
Small is beautiful
We went here specifically for the boat safaris and were not disappointed. We really liked only having six rooms and four other people when we were there-this meant that we always had a boat or jeep to ourselves-essential. We had room number one, as requested, which is on it's own over a small bridge and felt like being alone in the bush.
Because out of 47 concessions in the Selous, 43 are for hunting, game is skittish and sometimes hard to find. Our fantastic guide Gerald was a godsend. Not only in finding game and in amazing situations but also in his amazing knowledge. For those like us who enjoy the birds it was fantastic.
The service was a little hit and miss and our food being attacked by birds at breakfast and bush babies at night might have been fun once, but felt the management should have been stricter with the serving staff and stopped some guests from feeding them.
Overall, excellent and would recommend. Our only small complaint was that the new managers did not really have a very good ' bedside manner'
Expert Africa comments
Impala Camp tells us that usual manager Fausto was on leave at the time these guests stayed, and a temporary manager was in place. It was not new management as they thought, but Impala Camp are very sorry that they did not look after them as well as expected and hope it didn't spoil their trip.