Reviews of Siwandu
Wildlife sightings and reviews
80 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Siwandu and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
Many activity options available including a boat safari, seeing Hippo, Crocodile up close as well as lots of birds. Also walking safari available if desired (we didn't do this) Not entirely clear if night drives are possible at Siwandu.
Food and service top-notch. Really enjoyed the pre-dinner camp fire chat. Emile was a great camp manager, larger than life and very engaging. Additionally, was very helpful to me when trying to capture particular types of photos around the camp (star trails)" See all these reviews: 17n in Tanzania
The camp is spacious and split into two so we had quite an intimate experience with fewer guests.
The food was delicious throughout although the drinking water is quite sandy.
On the first game drive we had, there were 4 other guests with us so we were very happy that the manager managed to find another guide for us so we had a private experience for the remainder of our stay. We would highly recommend organising a private car in advance as the experience was completely different and so much better.
The game drives are full of different animals but we also saw loads of other vehicles. A boat safari is also available on the lake and we did it twice, very relaxing and different to being in the car. We really enjoyed it!" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
The area was very green in December, and there had been much rain the previous week. This made hunting for wildlife more of a challenge - but we still saw plenty, including wild dogs. The water trip was excellent, and also lunch relaxing on the pontoon.
A new dam is being built in the Selous - far from the lodge, but the new access road has made the area more accessible. I am worried that the dam will also affect water levels and wildlife over the next few years." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
"Fab safari at Siwandu"
Some improvements had been made to the camp in the four years that have passed since our last visit.
We had heavy rains towards the end of our visit and they coped well maintaining our safari programme. Also despite the airstrip being closed due to flooding, suitable arrangements were made for our onward flight." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
Every member of staff contributed to the excellent service. It seems there was nothing that was too much trouble. The food was creative and good quality.
Our guide during the four days of our trip was Christopher. He was knowledgeable and took the time to give context and background information about habitat etc. We were fortunate to have Christopher as our guide throughout our stay.
A unique experience for us was discovering many species of birds at a feeding frenzy of catfish after rainfall.
Siwandu is a bird spotters paradise." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania
Activities were excellent, with a combination of drives, boat on the lake and walks. Would like to see different levels of walking tour offered though, as we all found the walk too sedate, despite being incredibly interesting. But we had excellent sitings every day.
The only slight negative, which is totally beyond the reach of Siwandu to fix, is waking up to the sound of trucks rumbling down the newly widened road on their way to the dam construction site. We hope this doesn’t have a negative impact on Siwandu and the reserve as a whole in the coming years." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"A warm welcome"
Food and drink: The food was less fancy than some places of this type, but was very suitable to the weather and the activity level of the trip. In some ways, actually, this type of food is ideal being relatively simple, but is less spectacular than elsewhere. Overall, we preferred the food here to Ikuka. The wine however was a weakness and not of a good standard. Just a question of getting better advice I think, because the wines at Ikuka were absolutely fine.
Staff generally: Very willing and helpful although less refined than some places. Emil, the camp manager, is highly attentive and the room butler was exceptional. The atmosphere here is more of a camp with connections to its local community rather than the "colonial outpost" vibe of some places.
Guiding: Our young guide Amos was extremely knowledgeable and competent (although not as experienced as Geofrey at Ikuka who was exceptional)
Vehicles and game drives: A weakness - the vehicle was older and the roads in the Selous were considerably worse than other areas I've been to.
Game viewing: Very good for giraffe as well as hippo and other water dependent wildlife because of the lake. We were fortunate to see buffalo and lion relatively near by as we understand this is not typically the case and the long drive to get a sighting could be quite bad (as we discovered with a drive out to see some Wild Dogs). Also only two sightings of a single elephant here. This is all relative of course, and I'm nitpicking as one of our game drives in particular was absolutely stunning. Also a very interesting and entertaining walking safari with Allen, the head guide." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania
Premises all clean, tents/ rooms had lovely decor. Safari also good, with fun guides. Walking safari a bit tame, and felt a little staged.
We all enjoyed the delicious food, and the stories around the bush tv, as they called the camp fire.
Highly recommended." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
"Excellent stay at Siwandu"
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Alternative places to stay in this same area.
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While you're staying at Impala Camp in Nyerere National Park, you can enjoy a few nights' fly-camping in the heart of the bush.
Rufiji River Camp
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Sand Rivers fly-camp
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Roho ya Selous
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Beho Beho Bailey's Banda
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Rufiji River fly-camp
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Kiba Point is the private sister camp of Sand Rivers, available on an exclusive basis, with its own private drivers and staff.
Mivumo River Lodge
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