Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Seloue Impala Camp
See earlier comments
[ Ed: see the review below! These travellers stayed at Selous Impala Camp twice, taking a short one-night fly-camping expedition during the intervening time. ]
Selous Impala Camp review
Same as before! Brilliant...Read more about the whole safari
Selous Impala Camp
Relative to Lake Manze camp where we started our trip, Selous Impala was rather more luxurious and less informal. This made it feel like we had started our trip all over again! The terrain local to Impala is more bush than scrub and so it affords a different set of game viewing, less zebra and impala, more elephants.
On one occasion we stopped to look back at an elephant emerging from the trees only to find that a herd of over 20 emerged and passed the Jeep on both sides and on into the distance, an awe inspiring sight. Leopards proved elusive for us despite Mpogo's best efforts but that did not detract from the overall excellent quantity of game viewing available.
Impala Camp encourages guests to leave camp early after a cup of tea in their tent and then break their morning drive with a bush breakfast. This seemed a very good system for optimum game viewing. We would then return after midday for a three course lunch and some close encounters with animals! Even during the middle of the day Impala has semi-resident and visiting large game.
The nature of the camp, with tents placed discreetly among the bush, means that you need to be vigilant at all times when walking without a Masai. Elephants are surprisingly quiet when not demolishing trees and although the Masai generally knew when Tempo where in camp, animals often crossed the river and came up into camp unnoticed. Thrilling and sometimes the cause of a delay to supper.
The family accommodation at Impala, two tents sharing a raised platform was ideal and the location, overlooking a sandy 'beach' where animals would leave the river was superb. Meals were served at you own table, in the dining area which overlooked the river, allowing you to continue watching game as you ate. At night the tables were moved out on to the deck under the stars.
A variation, if you feel you've done enough game viewing, is to go fishing on the river. It is a nice relaxing way to spend the morning and with simple rods and lines we caught two impressive fish without too much trouble.
All in all a fabulous 4 days.
Selous Impala Camp review
Comfortable accomodation, great food, beautiful location and well informed guides. Brilliant attention to detail in many aspects of the camp.
Only thing was that we were taken straight out on Safari from being picke up from the Selous airstrip - we were knackered! couldn't really appreciate our first sight of the Selous since we were so tired (overnight flight etc.). We were staying for 5 nights and so were not pressed for time - would have much preferred to have been taken to the camp to get a couple of hour's sleep. I suppose it might have been different if our stay was shorted and we were trying to fit as much in as possible! Would have been nice to have been given the optionb though...
Also - provision of drinking water when on safari during the day was not great - would have been nice to have been given a flask each rather than constantly having to ask our guide for a cup every hour or so. Hot weather = lots of water needed!
Two very small points in what was an otherwise excellent stay though! Well done Impala Camp.
Selous Impala Camp review
There are plenty of comments on how stunning the setting is for this camp; we can only echo them (although some tents have slightly more panoramic views over the river than others). Gazing at and listening to hippos is a magical experience. The location makes this an immediate reward - from the giraffe, hippo and elephant on the camp through to the activities on the river. A particular highlight must be sitting in our boat at sunset watching a herd of a dozen elephants swimming across the river.
The guides are excellent and knowledgeable, and the opportunity for a walking safari adds to he range of experiences you get here.
Service is very attentive- in fact over solicitous at times, but that would be nit-picking.
The food was of a much higher quality than we had expected from the brochures - Mohammed is a wizard with soups and you certainly eat well. Evenings a bit quiet and not a great deal of contact with other guests, but we were able to share our adventures - such as catching catfish and tiger fish despite never having been fishing at all in the Uk.
Please note the camp does not accept travellers cheques, so ignore the suggestion that this is a safe and convenient way to pay.
Expert Africa comments
Travellers’ cheques used to be useful in Tanzania, but this traveller is quite right – it is becoming harder to use them, and Impala does not accept them at all.
In the last year we changed our website’s advice on this topic, and also our ‘Notes for travellers’ pre-departure information. Both now clearly state that travellers’ cheques are not accepted at Impala Camp and our general advice on travelling in Tanzania is that although most major camps accept credit cards, some of the more remote do not. Travellers’ cheques are rarely accepted at lodges when settling bills for extras — US$ cash are ideal, though UK pounds are also accepted.
Fantastic Safari at Selous Impala Camp
It was a beautiful camp with the most wonderful staff.
The food was excellent - a rare treat for us as we're all vegetarian.
The guides were extremely informative and interesting and good company on all the game drives/ boat safaris.We saw a huge variety of animals/ birds, far more than I expected.
The tents were comfortable with great views. Nothing seemed too much trouble for any of the staff. We would all love to go back!
Selous Impala Camp review
Cannot praise highly enough the staff at Impala from Mpogo the driver who was assigned to us for the whole time (excellent idea so dont get repetition) who was informative and always keen to find animals for us (especialy the leopards!), Chloe and the staff at the camp who were friendly, flexible and were especially good with the children. The facilities were excellent without being intrusive to the feeling of being out in the bush we wanted. The food was better than you could possibly have expected under the conditions and the kitchen was flexible to the demands of the children - including cooking the catfish they caught.
The variety of opportunities with the game drives and river safaris meant we left the camp wanting to stay longer and fearful that nothing would live up to it..
The game was plentiful and varied, saw everything we hoped to see (bar the wild dogs who no-one could find) and I developed a fascination for the enormous varieties of birdlife which was eye opening to someone who has never understood it before.
The children found the whole experience as thrilling as they had thought and we never felt unsafe. Would recommend the camp to both new and experienced at safaris.
Selous, Impala Camp
Gerard met us at the airstrip with refreshments and cold towels - a very good welcome. We were then transferred by river launch to the camp which was much more luxurious. Our tent on stilts had a river view enhanced by the visit from an elephant who cleared much of the brush that night. We also had electricity. We had more choice of food and separate tables in a dining room.
On our last night we had a barbecue where they put all the tables together and we dined together. We thoroughly enjoyed the food. We took one river safari, a walking safari and a couple of game drives. We found that the game was not as plentiful at Impala [Ed: as it was at Mdonya Old River Lodge, their previous stop] as most of the activity was by the river.
We did manage to see a pride of lions at close quarters and a small pack of wild dogs which we hadn't seen at Mdonya which made our visit. Again the camp was run very efficiently and the staff were both friendly and knowledgeable. We didn't seem to stick with the same guides but were escorted by the best available guide for that medium.
I think I preferred the intimacy of Mdonya where we were able to form a relationship, however brief.
A happy time at Selous Impala
We visited Selous Impala for a four night stay at the end of June. Wewere surprised at the amount of water in the river and surrounding lakes which added greatly to the variety of wildlife seen compared with a normal safari.
The camp was small and personal. All of the staff were ultra friendly and obviously happy. They worked superbly as a team, ably led by Chloe. Food was varied and consistently of a good standard. Tents were well equiped, spotlessly clean and contained a three pin plug suitable for battery charging. One minor irritation was that the two deckchairs outside on the platform were almost horizontal and could not be adjusted so there wasn't anywhere ideal to relax apart from the main eating area which was superb. As the camp was open, we had to be careful when moving around as giraffe and elephant moved freely about. At night, we were led to and from our rooms by Massai which added to the sense of adventure.
Game drives were well conducted and the drivers went to a lot of trouble to position the vehicles for great photos. Guides were knowledgeable and great fun. The chance to partake in boat trips was a new safari experience for us and a highlight. We managed three including a visit to Bird island which was a twitchers paradise. Abdullah, the boatman, was expert at spotting and positioning his craft for photos and I still can't believe how close he got us to a variety of kingfishers and bee eaters.
The highlight of our trip was spotting three hunting dogs with whom we stayed for half an hour. However, this sighting was a real bonus as they hadn't been seen for the previous two weeks.
We are always sad when we leave a camp, but this was especially so at Impala where there was a genuine warmth and interest in our visit and where we shared many happy and humorous moments.
Selous Impala Camp review
Food fantastic - but too much!
Would have personally preferred to have a more cosy homely atmosphere - the camp felt a little 'corporate'
Guide slightly aloof and although very knowledgeable/professional did not seem fully enthusiastic