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
"Amazing stay at Siwandu"
Location fabulous, food was really, really good, accommodation excellent, guide and activities brilliant, attention to detail spot on!
Would love to go and stay there again!" See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
We cannot rate every part of the service, facilities and experiences highly enough. The safari tours were so personalised with extremely knowledgable guides who were so enthusiastic. The food was on par with Michelin star quality! The personal touches such as the river boat lunch,sundowners,camp fire and our private dining experience were sensational.
All of the staff,especially Conrad, Kim, Onesmo and the Massai did everything they could to make our stay the most memorable experience we have ever had.
A huge thank you!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zanzibar; 4n in Tanzania
The camp is well located in the sense that it provides good views over the lake, but not in the sense that it offered satisfactory game viewing. The rooms are in many ways beautiful, but lack a certain practicality in some respects. The very personal service provided was excellent." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
They stayed here 7-12 Feb 2017. After the El Nino flooding of 2015, the Selous had a severe drought. During this time, the reserve’s game congregated close to the sources of permanent water: the Rufiji and its adjacent lakes.
The long drought broke in mid-Jan 2017, prompting an exodus of animals from the over-grazed areas around the permanent water – to abundant grazing sprouting elsewhere across the park. Sadly, this hugely depleted the concentrations of animals around Siwandu, as these travellers found about four weeks later.
Although they still saw elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, eland, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, warthogs, giraffe, and other common animals like monkeys, baboons and impala – we are really sorry that these were not in the normal concentrations that we’d expect for Selous.
We have visited Siwandu and the Selous many times ourselves over the years. February is never the best month of game-viewing, and we wouldn’t pretend otherwise. (We’d usually consider Sept and Oct, at the end of the long dry season, as the prime time for game.) However, it’s usually much better than it was this year (2017).
I did not like the fact that the toilet & shower facilities of the room were simply an extension of the bedroom so that to obtain a modicum of privacy one had to lower a curtain that in turn cut off all cross ventilation. I also did not like the fact that there was no way to communicate with the lodge in case of some emergency or other. A walkie talkie would have been welcome.
My cousin & I were also annoyed by the fact that drinks at this place were charged as extras. My cousin found that non bottled water disagreed with her. Both she & I agreed that while it might be acceptable for a place for which one was paying many hundreds of dollars to stay might be justified in charging guests for alcoholic drinks, to charge them for non-alcoholic drinks was simply cheap & unacceptable.
I loved the bird life in the area." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania; 10n in Kenya; 3n in Zanzibar
There can be some long (and bumpy) drives.
Very pleased with our stay here and will stay again." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
"Unforgettable safari at Siwandu"
The staff were fantastic: friendly, approachable, professional. The facilities were beyond our expectations. The 'tent' was luxurious and provided us with everything we needed. The laundry service was excellent and the food was first class - plenty of variety and catered totally for our needs. The extra touches such as the bush breakfast, coffee and sundowner stops during the game drives and lunch on the boat were unexpected and made the holiday so special.
We couldn't fault any part of the trip and would highly recommend this to anyone considering going on safari." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"A wonderful camp"
The accommodation was just about perfect. Everything was really well thought through, down to the smallest detail, and it all worked. The banda we had was a very clever and pleasing design, and really comfortable. And all sorts of game just sauntered past! All it lacked was a hammock on the veranda (although the beanbag chair was a pretty good substitute).
The activities were very well organised and planned. As well as the game drives, we had a really interesting walk with George and Mohammed, and a couple of excellent boat trips with Mohammed. We saw a large variety of animals, birds and plants, and were given very good explanations of how they fitted into the ecosystem, and how it all worked. We had some up-close (but very well handled) confrontations with elephants, and got very close to lions, crocodiles and lots of other animals.
The food was really excellent – up to London restaurant standards. The locations chosen for sundowners were amazing.
We saw and did so much it didn’t seem possible it had all happened in only 4 days. However it was never rushed, and always felt very comfortable and relaxed. All together a very comfortable, relaxing, but intensive experience: just what we came for." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 8n in Zanzibar; 1n in Kenya
"Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review"
Game drives were great and they were very flexible on letting us go out early every day and also for a full day drive to the hot springs. Our guide Dula was great and we got to see all five lakes in the time we were there. Very varied terrain and beautiful area.
Unusual to see many other trucks which was just what we were looking for." See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
"Luxurious tented camp"
One minor complaint is that you have to pay for drinks. They aren't particularly expensive, but it is something extra to think about, and requires an extra step in settling the bill at the end of the stay. The other camps we visited included the drinks in the accommodation cost, and I would recommend Siwandu to do the same even if they have to increase prices a little to cover the cost.
Safari drives started later than at other camps (8am to 11am and 4pm to 7pm), which made for a more relaxing start to the day. The guiding here was very good. During one drive, our guide Kim was able to find some lions that others had been unable to locate. He was very experienced, knowledgeable and patient with our many questions." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 5n in Rwanda
Holiday styles & special interests in Tanzania
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in Tanzania.
Other lodges in Nyerere National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Impala Camp is a comfortable, excellent-value camp with colourful tented rooms raised on platforms, good guiding and tasty food.
Lake Manze Camp
Lake Manze Camp is a rustic, lakeside bushcamp in Nyerere National Park that offers a great wilderness experience and doesn’t cost the earth.
Beho Beho is one of the best camps we work with in Africa, with gracious hosts, fantastic food and most importantly, excellent guiding.
Sand Rivers Camp
The stylishly put together Sand Rivers has an outstanding reputation, with a wonderful location on the Rufiji River and great guides.
Beho Beho Tree-house
Beho Beho Treehouse is a satellite tree platform for just one couple, managed by Beho Beho and ideal as a one-night honeymoon retreat
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
Rufiji River Camp has a lovely location right on the edge of the Rufiji River and while not luxurious, it is one of the lowest-cost camps in the park.
Sand Rivers fly-camp
Sand Rivers fly-camping safaris in Tanzania's Nyerere National Park operate out of Sand Rivers Camp, on the Rufiji River.
Roho ya Selous
Roho ya Selous is a smart tented camp on the west side of lake Nzerakera, close to the park’s best wildlife-viewing areas.
Beho Beho Bailey's Banda
Bailey's Banda at Beho Beho is a luxurious safari lodge in Nyerere National Park which can be booked exclusively for you and your party.
Rufiji River fly-camp
Fly-camping trips can be organised from Rufiji River Camp in Tanzania's Nyerere National Park
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
Mivumo River Lodge is Serena's main lodge in the Selous. Although comfortable, the windows and air-conditioning dispel any wilderness feel.