Reviews of Selinda Explorers Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
23 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Selinda Explorers Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Couldn't walk but did enjoy"
It is beautiful - very much a luxury antique camp. The service goes with the setting and is faultless! The food is good, but (and this a very personal view) I'd stop trying so hard - don't try to replicate restaurant food.
I'm rating the rooms 'good' because the lack of a drop-down mosquito net over the bed did result in picking up some bites as we slept. The tent is simply too big to effectively keep bugs out with zip doors (there can be access somewhere you cannot see) and I had insects as large as cicadas inside despite careful control on the zips! I don't think a net over the bed would be out of keeping with the ethos, so I recommended this as an option.
The location is miles from anywhere. For me that is an attraction - if you want easy access and wifi, this is not a camp for you! The facilities include hot water in the old fashioned manner for morning ablutions, but there is an 'always on' shower (alas, bucket showers are rare commodities nowadays).
The game drives were a 50/50 for us. On the one hand, I saw a pangolin!!! This was amazing. Our guide was excellent and we really enjoyed the drives. However, there is a habit here of all vehicles going to the 'sight of the day'. I know this gave us the pangolin (so hard to complain), but the tracking experience and thrill of finding things is rather lost. Even in so large a concession, we were all going to the same places. Next time I would unhook from the 'Let's go see...' group-think.
I wish we had been able to walk because I think that would change the experience significantly." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana
"Selinda Explorers camp feedback"
The camp manages to combine luxury with a feeling of being an integral part of the land and wildlife." See all these reviews: 6n in Botswana
"Second visit to Selinda Explorers"
Based upon two visits, first in August 2016 and again in August 2017, the wildlife viewing has been the best we have experienced. It's not the quantity, but the quality.
When we arrived, our excellent guide, Parks, was concerned that the resident lions had departed to follow the cape buffalo who migrate through the region. We knew that there is always a risk that the wildlife you hope to see will have moved to another area. Well, we told him to cheer up and went on to explain that we possessed “Bush Luck”. Wherever we travel in the African bush, the wildlife is attracted to us. Sure enough, as we were returning to camp in the failing evening light my wife called “there they are!” The lions were moving through the bush parallel to our vehicle. They had returned. The Selinda Pride, as they are known are among the most beautiful lions in Africa. They have a reputation throughout Botswana as the strongest and most successful pride. They are Buffalo hunters. They hunt as a large team. Last year they were twenty-one strong. In 2017 there were fifteen due to the departure of six adult females that had moved to populate other areas. Over the next two days, the Selinda Pride were to provide some memorable experiences.
The following morning as we drove along the river we witnessed the pride at play. They would chase each other in and out of the water playing like huge powerful kittens! The guide explained that their play was how they built stamina, agility, speed and balance that they would later use in their hunting. We had only seen lions swim once before, in Zambia. It was quite a sight.
We have learned to sit and wait, sometimes for hours, in order to see special behavior. There was another couple with us in the vehicle who wanted to go back to camp for a midday siesta, so we dropped them off and returned to wait while the lion pride rested through the hot afternoon. Sure enough, in late afternoon they awoke and after a drink positioned themselves for the evening’s hunt. As we watched, a large male giraffe wandered into their zone and the hunt was on. The lions crept into position through the tall grass. Their planned strategy was to have the largest female attack the giraffe head-on, leap up at the giraffe’s throat and hang on while the others attacked from the sides. What we witnessed gave us a new appreciation for giraffes. We learned a male giraffe can deliver a lethal kick, so lions dare not attack from the rear. We also learned that giraffes are not stupid. They know the lions’ strategy. The old male positioned a thick bush between himself and the lead lion so she couldn’t get a clean run at him. The hours passed and as darkness fell the standoff continued. Eventually we learned he had made his escape.
As we were moving to our vehicle the following morning our guide excitedly pushed us to get in then raced less than a hundred yards to where the lions had killed a warthog that had been hanging around our camp. We learned they had paraded through our camp as we were rising at 5:30. Warthog for breakfast, then we followed as they returned to the river for another round of playtime by the water.
Later that day we were driving when we encountered a large lioness with three beautiful cubs. The guide explained that the mother had hidden the cubs for safety in the woodland for several weeks. She had decided it was time to reintroduce them to their pride. It was a long hot march and we followed them for several miles. By lunchtime they completed the hike and were reunited. Lions are very social cats. Leopards, and tigers and cheetahs are solitary, but lions rely on a social structure in their pride which is remarkable.
We were also fortunate to again see the rare and endangered African Painted dogs. After visiting a den site with twelve adults and fifteen young puppies, the pack raced off on their early evening hunt. Our guide took off after them in the vehicle -- crashing through the brush — racing across streams — winding over hill and dale with my wife calling “Tally Ho!” as we raced in pursuit. Again we were rewarded with a rare sighting of four of the dogs taking down a male antelope. Unlike lions, the painted dogs almost never miss. Their speed and their ability to run long distances gives them the advantage. Remarkable athletes! Why are they endangered? Because man has hunted them and the domestic dogs in the villages pass along infectious diseases like rabies. It’s estimated there are less than four thousand left in the continent.
So, even though you can never predict when wildlife will make an appearance, Selinda Explorers has been very good to us. Frankly, Explorers has become our favorite camp in Botswana." See all these reviews: 14n in Botswana
"Selinda Explorers Camp review"
The guides are truly amazing, passionate and experienced. The camp facilities are good, not exceptional, but the food is really really good. I would recommend Selinda Explorers, and more globally Great Plains without question.
The only improvements that we would recommend are: warm showers in the morning and one computer in the common area to access Internet/email, mainly for urgencies." See all these reviews: 5n in Botswana
"Selinda Explorers Camp Review"
Bush breakfasts were amazing - a real highlight and made this camp stand out from others.
Activities were flexible (eg we stayed out very late one evening for specific wildlife sightings) but then on our returned to camp the staff wanted us to rush to dinner to fit with their schedule.
We had a puncture (not unexpected) but the spare tyre was flat so we had to wait for a service vehicle to come out with another spare. However the spare was stuck on the service vehicle. Better maintenance checks should be done on the vehicles before setting out." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 3n in Rwanda; 1n in Kenya; 1n in South Africa
"Selinda Explorers Camp review"
Thanks to some diplomacy by the guide and managers we managed to go for a couple of short walks but (with typical British reserve) felt awkward having to make a bit of an issue out of it.
Overall a good camp, great food, good guiding and excellent game." See all these reviews: 8n in Botswana; 8n in Mozambique; 4n in Zimbabwe; 1n in South Africa
The drives just got better and better, we did have to get up early though, 5.30am call, but we were given coffee and cookies and once in the vehicle warm ponchos were provided. We had breakfast out on the plains each day and one day they brought lunch to the spillway which was a lovely surprise.
Our guide was a keen canoe fan and so we went out twice on the waterway, it was a lot of fun with two to a canoe and so peaceful and great to see another side to Africa. Another great day followed by sundowners and incredible skies.
The camp had a lovely feel to it, opulence and African spice. The staff were perfect hosts and once again it was more like sitting with friends in the evening than anything.
The tents were 5 star luxury and once again you could hear lions and wild animals literally outside the tents at night. Sounds scary but it all added to the atmosphere.
This was more than excellent" See all these reviews: 9n in Botswana; 2n in Zambia
"First rate Explorers on third Safari"
Excellent game viewing
Excellent management that wasn't too "corporate".
We had been spoiled by mobile safaris in Zimbabwe and we were concerned that Botswana camps would cater to guests who preferred creature comforts over unique experiences.
Selinda Explorers was so exceptional we are alerting attempting to return in 2017." See all these reviews: 13n in Botswana
"Three nights in June at Selinda Explorers"
Highlights were: (1) a pack of wild dogs playing together, hunting (without success), and then laying down to rest, (2) a herd of roan antelope, (3) ostriches, (4) a gigantic pride (200+) elephants moving north at sunset, (5) two lion prides, (6) red lechwe, (7) wildebeests, and (8) a "charge" by four elephants led by a notorious, cantankerous elephant with an injured ear. The charge was avoided by Piet's adept driving skills.
The staff was happy, hard working and professional.
The food and guest units were excellent (except the inside of the guest units are not well lit at night as was surely the case in true explorer camps)." See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 6n in Botswana
"Exceptional stay at Selinda Explorers Camp"
We loved the tents, trunks, carpets, basins etc. We felt like true explorers.
The food was wonderful. We ate too much!" See all these reviews: 8n in Zambia; 6n in Botswana
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