Reviews of Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp)
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lovely safari camp, right by a beautiful lake
This was the best place we stayed on safari in terms of accommodation. There was a lovely veranda with great views and the outdoor shower area was very nice.
We enjoyed being somewhere where a boat safari was available and the sunsets you got on the lake were exceptional and made for some amazing photos. Being by the lake also meant the bird life was almost as interesting as the other wildlife. The walking safari was well worth doing here and felt very safe.
The main lodge was excellent and had a great pool for cooling off after a hot morning's safari. The food served here was also excellent and Emile who managed the camp was always on hand to help or just for a nice chat.
Selous safari camp exceeded all expectations!
From the moment we landed and were greeted on the airstrip to when we were bid farewell this safari camp was amazing!
The tents were just beautiful and so very comfortable, ours looked out over the river with regular visits from many different animals. The camp itself was well run with extremely knowledgeable staff, who were so very friendly and helpful! We went on 2 activities a day including game drives, boat and walking safari's. I enjoyed all of these and the range of animals we saw was incredible. My favourite by far was the pride of lions with 3 different aged cubs - just adorable!
The drivers were great at seeking out the animals and knowing where to find them, getting very close and providing lots of opportunities for some great photos! We had elephants and giraffes strolling right past our tent on several occasions and lots of other animals right on our doorstep! The food was just great, well prepared and delivered. Sitting around the camp fire at night was a lovely touch, as well as the surprise breakfast after the walking safari and a surprise lunch on the river.
The whole experience for me was perfect and I loved every minute of it, truly an amazing experience! Thank you Selous Safari Camp!!
Fantastic food at Selous and fantastic place
Really wonderful, food was excellent if not a little too much, river trips were great, guiding was great too, swimming pool a real treat.
Would have preferred to stay at the southern part of camp as the bar area so much nicer, but the pool situation is better in the north end. Rooms were glorious, cant fault the place. Walter our driver went out of his way to find a pack of wild dogs and we did, all 18 of them...
Selous Safari Camp review
Very luxurious camp with excellent cuisine and attentive service that combined a holiday atmosphere with the opportunity to do essentially what you wanted when you wanted - game drive, river trip, escorted walks, fishing. The more open, drier landscape gave more and easier game viewing opportunities than the denser bush in Ruaha - not necessarily better, just different environments.
The area is more populous with safari operators than at Ruaha so you do not get the same feeling of isolation and hence be prepared to meet others when interesting opportunities are available e.g hunting dog sitings with the massed ranks of vehicles racing to the appropriate spot (the word is out folks!) but this does not necessarily detract from the overall experience.
We particularly enjoyed the boat trips with much birdlife in evidence and fishing for catfish being hemmed in by hippo on one side and crocs on the other with binoculars scanning constantly. Catfish cooked for dinner! No pressure here, you can lounge by the pool if you want or do the game thing just as you wish
Selous Safari Camp Review
We had a fabulous time here from arrival to departure. Gerald and the team met us at the reception area and gave a comprehensive introduction to the camp, with each member of the team who would be looking after us introducing themselves in near perfect English. Mohammed and Omary who looked after our room and dining made sure we wanted for nothing. The attention to detail and service at this camp was excellent in all aspects.
The rooms were very comfortable and clean with sensational views onto the surrounding bush. Watching two hippos charge by the tent at 3pm was certainly confirmation we were in the wild!
The jeep and boat safari trips were excellent. Tea breaks and sundowners were always very welcommend after a couple of hours of activity.
The highlights for us included the early morning walking safari with Mtambo, who's calm attitude helped to calm the nerves! Seeing the wild dogs on foot is something we will treasure! Secondly we did a boat trip down the river which is not to be missed by bird watchers.
Our only suggestion to the camp was that they could have promoted the river trip as an option. For us it offered a real alternative to the main lake and it was only by chance that we requested to visit the river. Gerald did explain that this option is seasonal and based on the rains which is completely understandable, but we think that it could be promoted as a seasonal option.
Overall we had a fantastic time here and a perfect start to our honeymoon.
We only stayed one night so our opinion may be unreliable. We thought the way the staff were asked to introduce themselves on our arrival was a bit demeaning for them. Some were obviously uncomfortable with the process.
The guide on our river boat safari was not as god as we had met in previous camps.
Special safari experience at Selous Safari Ca
The excellent personal service was evident from the start of our visit. We liked being introduced to each of the staff and thought it was a really nice touch to be allocated a particular waiter and tent "butler" both of whom always addressed us by first name and had cheerful smiles and greetings when they brought the morning tea in bed (just what we needed !) or served meals. Everyone was extremely friendly and we appreciated the managers meeting us with cool towels after a drive and spending time chatting in the lounge before dinner. Although they must have heard the same accounts numerous times, they made you feel as though they were genuinely interested and cared if you experienced good viewings or not.
The game drives were very good and we were glad they used open sided land rovers which were nice and cool and gave excellent viewing although, of course, you have to put up with a bumpy ride as it's mostly off track. We were a little surprised that the guide also acted as the driver and wondered whether more game might have been spotted if the duties had been separated; however,the terrain is covered with trees and bush rather than open plain and the guide relied on his considerable experience to judge where the animals were likely to be. We were quite lucky to see a small group of wild dogs on our very first day.
We liked the opportunity of taking boat safaris on the lake - we're not great bird enthusiasts but were stunned by the sheer variety and number of bird species there. Lots of crocodiles and hippos too.
The accommodation was excellent, as were the communal areas. The meals were generally very good, particularly the lunches, and presentation was of a high standard. There was a good view of the lake from both our tent and the first floor dining room and nice to see the camp fire and candlelight in the evenings.
We did have a problem with tepid water in the shower but that was rectified once we mentioned it.
I think our only criticism was that we felt the prices of some items in the souvenir/gift shop were very high.
Selous Safari Camp was wonderful. I've already recommended it to some friends. Our guide was excellent and also fun to be with and the two young men allocated to look after us were charming and efficient. The Camp Managers were also great company and were as enthusiastic about what we had seen as we were.
Their attention to detail made our stay so special - being met from each drive with refreshing towels for our hands and faces and a drink; tea served each day prior to the afternoon drive with the chef's tea time offering of the day; the organisation of our 'sundowner' drinks which for those of us who like gin & tonic included proper glass glasses, ice & a slice of lemon along with the nibbles of the day; the quiet but definitely efficient Masai who accompanied us to and fro in the evenings.
We loved the bar and dining area as well and the meals were excellent. Only suggestion we would like to make is that they could give more thought to what teenagers will eat when they have families staying there, both our sons and the children of another family found the adult nature of the menu a little testing at times e.g. some very unusual soups.
We were so pleased to have visited Selous at a time when there were so many cubs/calfs/chicks to see. We saw an amazing array of animals. We want to go back!
A Great Camp
Jenny and her staff made our stay here a fantastic experience. The 'tent' was beautiful and very clean, with a glorious view. The food was really excellent (particularly the cold tomato soup!). There was a lot of game to see here and it was nice to be able to have an alternative lake 'safari' to the usual land game drives.
Our guide, Mashaka was well informed and had a good sense of humour. My only criticisms are that 8 oc. was rather late to start the morning game drive so it was very hot by the time we returned at nearly midday. The seating in the restaurant was at individual tables with our own 'butler' - which we enjoyed - although sometimes it may have been good to be able to join other guests at mealtimes - this of course depends on whether you want to dine with other guests! This is a matter of preference - sometimes it is nice to dine alone, other times it is good to chat with other guests.
Selous Safari Camp review
After staying at Lake Manze camp for 4 nights, our next camp here at Selous Safari was "posh"!! Electricty in the enormous tent, large shower and an up market feel to the whole camp.
Excellent service, the General Manager of the three camps was staying whilst we were there, so everything was very polished. The guides were very good and knowlegable and we had wonderful sightings again, of lion, leopard and very excitingly wild dogs.
The food was fantastic and served beautifully, we missed the long table of everyone together, as at Lake Manze, but this happened out under the full moon on our last nights stay. A super camp.