Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp)

Reviews of Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp)

Excellent(98%) From 44 travellers
Excellent
40
Good
3
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 44 of our travellers who have visited Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp), and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr S - Hong Kong
Arrived on: 6-Aug-2013 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review

Siwandu was awesome to say the least. The mishaps in Dar was quickly washed away and I realized Expert Africa were truly experts.

The majesty of the lake, the abundance of wildlike, the solitude, the vastness of the bush, and the sheer variety of things to see and do between walking, Range Rover, boat -- were sensational. Ricus and Pietro run a quality flawless operation -- the camp hums with precision. A 0630 wake-up with coffee is just that -- steaming coffee on my deck watching the baboons frolick at sunrise rendered me speechless.

The guides were all experts: split between walking, driving, and boating. Getting up close and personal by doing the morning walk is not to be missed: seeing a day-old giraffe with its mum or seeing two lions mating roaring, while seeing hyena cubs being weened in their shelter...all amazing. The room was spacious, the bed cosy, the toilet first world, the outside shower and hot water were magical.

However, as far as the food is concerned, you are more likely to die of a heart attack at Siwandu than you are at the hands of a wild beast........deep fried, oozing with mayo, bursting with cholesterol -- healthy eating was simply not in the cards.

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Dr R London
Arrived on: 6-Jul-2013 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review

Fantastic camp with amazing accommodation and staff very friendly, helpful and accommodating.

Daily plans well set out and great game drives and boat trips. Guides informative and accommodating. Really enjoyed our time there. Peaceful and relaxing.

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Mr and Mrs P from Volcano, USA
Arrived on: 6-Jul-2013 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Good stay at Siwandu

Very nice camp set up on the picturesque shores of a large lake. Boating activities provided a change from the typical game drives. Good game viewing. Good, knowledgeable guiding. Great "tent" on the lakeshore with game walking by.

Expected more elephants. The few that we saw were vehicle-shy.

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Mr & Mrs O from Cranfield
Arrived on: 26-Feb-2013 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review

The flight landing was like returning in a WWII spitfire, as the pilot had to adjust to miss a Giraffe on the runway. Then a trip to the camp arriving approx 1100 hrs. WOW the reception with music and singing, refreshing drink and then to the rooms. Total comfort in the bush. 5 star room with a butler.

Over the next few days we had splendid food by the chef at anytime of the day. Excellent safari trips, with a superb driver 'Walter'.

The best break we could have wished for. On the last morning we woke up to Elephants immediately outside our hut. Greg pictures.
We are now saving to do mount Kilimanjaro and the sister camp. If you ever only do on safari it has to be Siwandu

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Mr & Mrs D from France
Arrived on: 1-Feb-2013 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Wonderful stay in Siwandu Camp

Wonderful stay in Siwandu Camp

Siwandu Camp is real luxury in the bush. The camp itself is beautiful, the luxury tents are large, extraordinarily well furnished, cleaned several times a day, with two verandas and a superb view to the lake. The food is delicious, prepared and served by such a nice team. All the lunches and dinners we had there were exquisite, let alone the breakfasts served in the middle of the bush when you choose to make an early game drive.

The management is doing every effort to accommodate the guests’ needs … and do succeed in that matter. They manage to insufflate a nice atmosphere in the camp and between the guests.
The camp is really well situated in the middle of the game reserve, so that you’re never too far of the action when animals are spotted. They have several land rovers and several boats, so that you always can choose the activity you want to engage in.

Last but not least, they have wonderful guides-drivers. We’ve been lucky to be all the time with a guide named Allen, who spots and knows every animal, bird or snake of this game reserve and who taught us such a lot of things about them.

If I once have the opportunity to go back to the Selous Game Reserve, I will definitely choose to stay again in Siwandu.

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Mr & Mrs S from Reading
Arrived on: 27-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Selous Safari Camp review

Luxury camp but modest guides and game viewing.

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Mr & Mrs B from Surrey
Arrived on: 24-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Selous Safari Camp

Very comfortable. Grat location for camp. Tents fabulous. Staff exceptional.

Less of a wilderness experience so more of a very comfortable place to be based than an adventure.

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Mr & Mrs R - Thames Ditton
Arrived on: 12-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good

Elephants and Giraffes Galore

Dear Eleanor
Sorry for replying so late to email – once back we all got quickly involved in stressful jobs and projects and there was no time.
We all had a great time together and the safari trip was a really good bonding experience for the whole family. We are planning a photo book and will send you a link as soon as it is ready. However, with over 6,000 images taken by 3 cameras and 6 hours of video footage this will take some time to create.
Planning the trip
Your Services are outstanding and we appreciate your patience.
Wildlife

The camps were well chosen for their wildlife variety and different landscapes. The most striking was the difference between a National Park (Ruaha) and a Game Reserve (Selous) close to a hunting concession. While we saw a large number of animals in both camps, those in Selous – especially zebras and wildebeest – were running away as soon as they got to hear/see/smell the jeeps. We did not come as close to the animals as in the private game reserve in South Africa as drivers in the National Park are not permitted to leave the road to follow the animals. However, large herds of elephants, giraffes and zebras are quite close to the tracks and sometimes even the lions!
We recommend to inform any visitors to Selous that wild dogs are not to be seen during the dry months as they obviously live underground until the rain ‘flushes’ them out.
We were impressed how well all animals looked at both locations– clearly a sign of a balanced wildlife.
Guides and Drives
Guides in both camps were adequately knowledgeable – however less than what we had experienced in South Africa, where all local guides had a special degree which clearly made a difference in the information they provided.

In Selous we were disappointed that there was no additional driver, leaving the guide to drive the car while looking for wildlife. He did a great job driving in incredible difficult terrain though. Drives in Selous only start at 8:00 am – obviously to accommodate the foremost honeymooning guests – but we believe that the best time to see the game is shortly after sunrise. Selous’ late morning game drives were considered as negative by several well-experienced safari tourists we met in Ruaha. An earlier start could allow to visit more remote places.
The guided walking tours in both camps were outstanding. In Ruaha the river walk seeing hypos, crocodiles and huge flocks of birds was absolutely fantastic - to get so close to the animals yet staying safe. The landscape is overwhelming!
In Selous the walking tour guide was very good – we enjoyed the information and the subsequent surprise breakfast at the lake side.
We also recommend a boat trip on the lake in the morning, when hordes of elephants and giraffes visit the shores – great photo opportunities beyond the many hypos and crocs; however you need a really good telephoto lens for close-ups.
Food
Food was above expectations at Ruaha – clearly Mrs. Fox’s recipes cooked on open fire are a legend. The settings of the dinner tables in the river bed close to an open fire are dreams come true.
In Selous, food was good too, however less experimental – breakfast was much better at Ruaha.
In Selous, unfortunately two members of the family caught a stomach bug – both believe it had to do with the drinking water provided from the lake. Our son-in-law was worst hit and could not go back to work for a week after his return.
Accommodation
Both camps were outstanding in their own way and clearly exclusive and clean.
Beds are very large and comfortable. Bathrooms are an experience in itself with smaller wildlife never being far away… However, closing the tents properly makes you feel very safe also at night. No mosquitos in September!
Safety
In Ruaha, the elephants visit the camp during day and night to feed on the fruits of the palm trees. Our daughter Jennifer had one looking into her bedroom – she froze for a good 15 minutes before the elephant moved on…
We were a bit surprised that in Ruaha there were no guards to be seen during day time, while at night we did not see a single guard carrying more than a light. In contrast, there were plenty of armed guards in Selous – the hypo trails go through the camp to the lake.
Service
Service was very warm and polite and clearly staffs are making huge efforts at both camps to accommodate all your needs.
The laundry service is very helpful and good to point out to visitors struggling to fit your clothes within the 15 kilo permitted by the local airline.
Flights and luggage
It may be helpful to mention that we were not asked to add hand luggage (camera equipment) to the weight of the bags. However, you have to place hand luggage on your lap during the local flights – very cramped then.
Tips
We believe it is very important to make tourists more aware of the additional costs including the additional payments for the water provided on game drives. This can be a substantial sum to be added to the pre-paid expenses and should be
added to the quotation when planning the trip to avoid surprises. Tips are clearly expected – and almost as compulsory as on cruises.
Hotel accommodation Dar-Es-Salaam
Please make a note that the Asian restaurant at the Seacliff hotel was below standard. Service was extremely slow (35 minutes!) and the food was dreadful.

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Mr & Mrs M - Bristol
Arrived on: 5-Sep-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Selous Safari Camp review

This part of the park is very beautiful with lakes and lovely acacia woodland with casia and terminalia in full bloom. We loved the location of the camp, being near the lake and the tent was comfortable and well equipped.

The food was very good and we were served at individual tables except for one delightful lunch which was served on the lake. Our guide and driver (Mwatu) was very good. We saw hyena with cubs, plenty of giraffe, kudu, herds of zebra and wildebeest, 2 prides of lions including one with cubs on a kill and the hippos, birds and crocs on the lake. The game drives started at 8.00 am. We enjoyed the lake trip.

Ricus and Pietro made us very welcome.

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The L family from London
Arrived on: 12-Aug-2012 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Selous Safari Camp review

Excellent

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