Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Selous Impala Camp review
Transferred from the airstrip by boat which was lovely but the clamber down from the road to the boat and over ropes was a bit tricky. Even one of the guides commented that it was rarely used because of this. Less agile clients might have found it very difficult.
Even after acclimatising in Ruaha, Selous seemed very, very hot and humid though this was alleviated by heavy rain one afternoon which made the roads 'interesting' to say the least! On the downside, the rain did bring out the insects in droves.
The camp was well designed and very comfortable; the ¼ mile walk each way to and from our tent did at least make sure we got a little exercise! The ability to charge batteries in the tent was very welcome.
Gerard was a superb guide who shared our warped sense of humour. He also selected some lovely spots for bush breakfasts; one morning we even had to move the chairs out of the way of an industrious dung beetle transporting giraffe droppings! Our one quibble about the breakfasts was that, having said one morning that neither of us liked guava juice, we were given it again the next day. Gerard was happy to drive great distances in search of animals and to spend plenty of time with them - the tree-climbing lion was a highlight! We were on the way back for lunch one day when he suddenly became very excited – ‘a jackal, a jackal!’ he cried; we thought he'd lost the plot until he explained that they were very rare in Selous and this was only his second sighting in 13 years. Later that same drive we indulged in a little anti-poaching activity when we ran off some men fishing illegally in the lake; Gerard then waded in to remove the nets which already had a fair few fish - good thing the crocs were looking the other way!
Food was excellent and beautifully served; we particularly liked the boards and individual dishes at lunchtime which allowed you to have as much or little as you wanted. The fact that it is served at individual tables can be a little isolating but when the staff realised we knew another couple we'd been at Mwagusi with they offered to combine the tables which made for a very sociable evening.
Activities were very flexible and, in particular, on your last day can be tailored to be as long or short as you wish to allow for packing and getting to the airstrip. Having tent no 1 we threatened to declare UDI and raise the drawbridge (literally) to our little strip of riverbank.
Not so much game at Selous Impala Camp
All staff were friendly and attentive. They seemed particularly interested in the wildlife that had been seen. We enjoyed a wonderful lingering view of a male and 2 female lions leisurely feeding on a new giraffe kill; which one of our guides , Ragabu, expertly spotted from a distance via vultures, and so we were lucky to be the first vehicle to view this spectacle.
The guides worked extremely hard to look for a leopard and we spent alot of time waiting for a leopard to return to her kill which although not successful on this occasion was fantastic and a benefit from being allocated our own vehicle, and we appreciate that there is often a lot of luck in viewing this amazing animal (luck was reserved for later during the trip).
We were surprised not to see very many elephants, and we felt it was a bit concerning to see one lone very small elephant hiding in scrub under a tree with no adult in sight. We got the impression that there are not as many elephants in Selous as perhaps a few years ago.
When leaving we congratulated the manager on the excellent service from all their staff.
Selous Impala Camp review
Impala Camp is considerably more upmarket than Manze Lake the tents being elevated and supplied with electricity. The washing area had a good supply of hot water, his and hers ceramic washbasins (wasted in my case), shampoo, shower gel, packets of dehydration salts etc. There was also a safe for valuables.
Dining was generally with travelling companions sitting together at their own table. The staff were very helpful and although I was on my own they ensured that I had a companion at dinner. On one occasion it was the guide who was with me throughout my stay (excellent English) and on another it was the Assistant Manager.
The guide, Ezra, was extremely knowledgeable and he and the driver made my visit memorable.
The food was excellent and I think reflected the much better facilities at this camp
Great Location & Expert Guiding
Enjoyed having our own vehicle and same guide and driver for the three nights.
Management and staff both friendly and attentive. Should make a feature of Andreas' passion and knowledge of astronomy as we only found out on the last night and wished we had found out earlier.
The one let down was when food arrived at the table in the evenings it was lukewarm/cold.
Selous Impala Camp review
A wonderful lodge. Service was generally excellent. We had the same guide/driver and waiter for the whole four days, which was really nice. There were also just the two of us on all drives/boat safaris/walk, which we weren't expecting and made for a really special experience.
The camp wildlife also enhanced the experience - Andrea the camp hippo, Brian the camp giraffe, the visiting gennets and bush babies at dinner; and even the toilet bats and geckos!
Food was variable - some was excellent and up to restaurant standards, other meals not so good, particularly a steak that was very rare and tough. Bush breakfasts not up to standard of other lodges we have stayed at - cold sausages and bacon and quite stale bread, but plenty of cereal and fruit (though fruit was very repetitive). Biscuits before game drives were poor - small and very plain. Not sufficient to keep you going from 6.30 until 10am! We were also disappointed that there were no sundowners - we have always had these on similar trips. We did get champagne on the first night, which was lovely, but nothing on other nights. We would have been happy to pay for a couple of beers to take with us, but nothing like this was offered. We also weren't keen on the way water was provided on the drives. The guide took a flask and you had to ask for the water and then drink from a cup. But water was provided in the room so we refilled water bottles from the plane and took these instead. Other lodges we have stayed at have provided refillable bottles, which are more convenient but still avoid the need for countless plastic bottles.
Guide/driver (Ezra/Rajabu) were excellent and we had some great sightings - still remains a mystery how they spot leopards hidden in trees that we struggle to see even when pointed out! Walking safari was really interesting and boat safaris really relaxing - particularly enjoyed the last night. Our waiter was also really sweet (sorry - can't remember his name!).
Seemed a very early drive to the airstrip - we had to wait an hour for the plane. Couldn't see the necessity for going this early, as the facilities are basic (and the toilet not terribly pleasant!) I'm also quite a nervous flyer so having to sit and wait for an hour for the plane didn't help my nerves!
Great variety on foot/boat/vehicle
Excellent range of game sightings, including the elusive African wild dogs.
Having our own guide - Dennis - throughout was a special treat, and allowed a strong relationship to develop.
Guide's knowledge and competence outstanding.
Mix of transportation - on foot, SUV and boat - provided plenty of variety.
When on foot we were obliged to be accompanied by an official park ranger. As an old soldier, I was not impressed with the state of his rifle - he might have received worse injuries pulling the trigger than letting a lion have its way with him! I felt that our guide was much better prepared to cope with any emergencies.
We were delighted to find sufficient water in the river and lakes to be able to enjoy flatboat excursions, getting close up to hippos and crocs.
Surprise champagne sundowners on the river bank watching glorious African sunset was a high point.
Accomodation was fine, large fan very welcome, water pressure in shower a bit weak.
Important to keep tent zipped up to prevent cheeky monkeys helping themselves to early morning tea & biscuits.
Massai camp guards helpful and alert for wandering beasts at night.
Meal service very helpful - our regular waiter, Peter, was very attentive.
Variety of dining locations - main terrace/camp fire/edge of bush - proved entertaining, particularly enjoying antics of bush baby and gennet cats!
Menu could have been more imaginative, but food wholesome and edible.
Drinks fairly priced and decent choice.
Small swimming pool a welcome cooling off point in mid-afternoon heat.
Camp management team efficient and welcoming, and ensured things ran like clockwork.
Evening drinks round the campfire always a pleasure.
Return to Impala camp 2012
Another return to an excellent camp that also has not changed much since our last visit.
We enjoyed the same guide, driver and waiter as on our last visit and they were as good as last time. Ezra is an excellent guide and well partnered by driver and spotter Rajabu. There was just as much game as on our last visit with excellent bird life and good sightings of wild-dog in particular and even a gruesome crocodile kill of an impala. We returned to Impala in part because of the chance of boat trips which are offered by several of the Selous camps. Impala's boats did not disappoint and we saw many birds and other water life
We stayed in a different tent this time but just as well appointed and located. The food was excellent and the camp remains just as good as before.
Selous Impala Camp review
I had hoped for a better river view!
Good guides and good game viewing.
Selous Impala Camp just brilliant
Selous Impala camp was an absolute joy. Incredibly friendly and striking a great balance between first class service and informality it was impossible not to feel immediately at home. Andrea and Barbara as camp managers set a lovely tone for the place with their genuine passion for the quality of your experience and everyone from guides to drivers to waiters lines up behind them with what I can only describe as an effortless charm. No wonder even the animals can't stay away with the almost resident Hippo (Mr Andrea), Giraffe (Bryant), Bush Baby and Genet Cat all regularly playing their part at this special place.
The range of activities is a major plus with the opportunities to jump from Game Drives to River Safaris to Walks and every aspect is wonderfully guided, in our case by the brilliant Mokili. He and Peter, the driver, worked so hard to make the most of our time in the Selous and were a pleasure to spend time with: knowledgeable, open, chatty and interesting.
The attention to detail is more broadly a real strength. From moving you around to different dining spots, to the surprise opportunity to watch the sun go down from the banks on the river safari, the team have thought of every possible way of making the experience of staying with them a memorable one. And the food supports the specialness of the experience wonderfully well. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Selous Impala Camp review
Very good guides - we had Mokili (young but very well qualified, especially for birding) and Khalid driver. We loved having a vehicle all to ourselves.
Choice of food, private table and waiter. Good river safari. The main animals seemed to be situated closer to Lake Manze. Laundry was included, which was very useful. Fan was appreciated. Good en suite. Staff all excellent.