Reviews of Beho Beho
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Beho Beho is heaven !!!!
It is located on a hill overlooking the plains and the Msimi River, which is now a dried riverbed. Tho it is the dry season and they needed rain badly, it was greener than the other camps we have been in. The bandas are located on the hill and blending with their surroundings. These bandas, which have been built by the manager and guides using local stones and wood, are completely open at the front with an electric wire below the porch floor. You have all the amenities of home with a view. We saw all the animals from our porch, including a leopard.
The managers, Walter and Karin, are fantastic at mixing the guests and organizing anything you desire. Everyone feels like family soon after you arrive. The staff have been there for years and the The Two Brothers Laundry makes the clothes look like new. The food is superb, varied and too plentiful. The Barman, Simba, makes a wicked drink before dinner and a rousting game of Snooker on a table brought from England is played most nights after dinner. All the staff are attentive and cannot be more helpful.
The guides are some of the best we have had with Walter and Ono being the guides with the riffles for the walking safaris. Beho Beho has anything you might want from Internet to a swimming pool. We were able to see all the animals and many lovely and rare birds. Located on the Selous, one of the largest game reserves in the world, the largest being Greenland.
The Baileys, the owners for many many years have given Beho Beho it's essence. It is a place one must visit, and one that you will never forget.
We will definitely return.
First visit to Beho Beho
Our first visit to Beho Beho and we were a bit apprehensive given its reputation as one of the best and most luxurious of safari lodges and our preference for bush type camps. It was indeed luxurious but managed to give a rustic feel nevertheless. Our Banda, (as all the others) had an open front that looked out over and down a valley so that we could constantly see game. Whilst we were there buffalo, wildebeast, elephany, giraffe, hippo, impala and eland were in just about constant view. The banda was very well appointed with much attention to detail. Although we did not use it there is WiFi in all bandas and a computer is available for guest use in their library.
The camps main area has a water hole that attracted impala, elephant, hyena and hippos whilst we dined; food was top class and there was more than enough - we declined afternoon cakes and struggled not to put on weight!
The guiding was excellent with all the guides good on birds as well as game. There was an abundance of game. We saw lion hunt and kill and a daylight leopard hunt although he did not catch anything. We went on walking safaris every afternoon and the guiding on these was excellent too. We had (very) close encounters with hippo and elephant but felt safe at all times. We also visited lake Tagalala where there was another great boat trip and a visit to the nearby hot springs.
Beho Beho was as luxurious as we were led to believe. There were not many guests whilst we were there (the way it happens at most camps- they were full the day we arrived) and we felt that we could have felt out of place had it been fuller- it is the sort of experience where you might feel you had to dress for dinner, not that Karin and Walter, the managers, would have expected it. They aimed for a friendly family, Country House type of experience and achieved it well
Great walking safaris at Beho Beho
Thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Game viewing excellent went on some superb walks up to 5hours. Tree House was a good experience. We enjoyed our second visit and the 6 nights gave us flexibility to chill out by the pool and watch the game from there. Staff cant do enough for you.We had dinner at the new Bailys Banda and that really has the wow factor
Beho Beho Review
We were told Beho Beho would be a wonderful camp and so went with high expectations, which were absolutely exceeded! Quite simply wonderful in each and every respect.
Location - The location is stunning. The camp sits in a fantastic location with very far reaching views over the plains. You are able to sit in your room or in the main camp lounge area and watch a huge variety of wildlife both near and far. The camp has a small watering hole about 40 meters from the main lounge and bar area, which attracts a huge variety of wildlife, including Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Hyena, and Impala to name but a few. You never go anywhere around camp without your binoculars as there is always something to watch!
Rooms - This is on a whole different level to a tented safari! The rooms are magnificent and make the most of the wonderful views. The front of the room is entirely open to the elements with seating arranged to make wildlife watching easy and comfortable. They are very spacious indeed and had everything that we could possibly wish for to make our stay extremely comfortable.
Service - Quite simply the best service that we have had anywhere in the world. The staff at Beho Beho pride themselves on making you feel like a family guest and that is exactly how we felt. There was a very happy atmosphere all the time between staff and guests which led a very relaxed feel, despite the camp being run with great efficiency. Everything they said they would do, they did. Nothing was too much trouble and whatever the request they received they seemed to be able to deliver and do so with a genuine smile! We could go on much longer but the service we received here will be remembered for a very long time and will be the benchmark against which others will be judged! Walter and Karin were fantastic, exceptional managers leading an exceptional team.
Activities - Again these were superb. At Beho Beho they are very keen that everyone experiences all that is on offer and each evening and at lunchtime you are asked what it is that you would like to do for either the morning or afternoon activities. This is mainly either walking or driving, both of which are totally different experiences but equally excellent. They rotate the guides and so on each walk or drive you will have a different guide which ensures that you benefit from all the guides knowledge and expertise. Every guest is also taken on a trip to Lake Tagalala, which again is something very different to the drives and walks and a fantastic experience.
We also took advantage of the bush night, which really encapsulated their service and attention to detail. We don't want to describe it in any real detail here for fear of spoiling the experience for others, but suffice it to say, it will certainly exceed all your expectations and you will have the most wonderful experience. It is quite a lot extra to do but in our view, it is absolutely worth it. Walter and Saning'o ensured that our bush night would be a memory that we were very unlikely to forget.
Food - The food was both excellent and varied. We had meals served in a different place each and every meal time, which was wonderful for us but must have been difficult for the staff. Our most memorable location being the lookout where as we sat having lunch overlooking a river valley a leopard quietly sauntered along and then rested in the shade! As stated above going the extra mile is what they do and what they do very well! We were there for six nights and there was not a hint of repetition at any time. Any dietary requirements were accommodated without fuss and all meals were taken together, making them happy and enjoyable occasions.
Activities ~ By now you will appreciate that we felt Beho Beho excelled in all areas and the activities were no different. We were very keen to have a high standard of guiding and Beho Beho has just that! As mentioned above, the guides rotate making the most of their individual knowledge and experience. At no time was there more than 4 guests in the vehicle and sometimes it was just the two of us. All the guides had a fantastic knowledge of the area and the wide variety of wildlife found there. The walking was excellent and the guiding experience that you are able to have whilst walking is very different to that on a driven safari. When we walked it was just the two of us and a guide and whilst we were warned that we would probably not see as much as when in a vehicle, in fact we had some wonderful sitings. When walking in the afternoon you suddenly come across a table and chairs in the middle of the bush with your sun-downers ready for you! Quite incredible! Whilst we felt absolutely safe whilst walking in very capable hands of the guides, there is no doubt that it does get the adrenalin going!
Facilities ~ Brilliant! everything we could possibly want, even a snooker table where we had several tournaments with the staff, some going on until the early hours!
We have been planning our first safari for some years and Beho Beho brought a dream to reality in every respect.
Beautiful Beho Beho
Fantastic accommodation, just gorgeous, with amazing views. An exceptional place and watching the animals across the river from our banda was fascinating .
Loved everything about the whole place - the friendliness, the obvious desire by all the staff that we should all get as much pleasure and fun out of every moment. The ethos of involving the guides in everything was excellent and rotating them meant one always learnt something fresh.
The food was simply delicious - and so sophisticated for such a remote location. The gluten-free meals were specially prepared and even ran to tea-time cakes and goodies. Loved the secret meal locations - what a fantastic idea and such fun. The sundowners were a real treat (our first safari experience of this) and our thanks to Walter for managing to come up with a properly presented cocktail out in the bush!!!!
The day at the lake and the walking safari were exciting. The camp waterhole was an excellent addition to the whole experience and the sight of an elephant spraying water into the face of an intruding buffalo was certainly a highlight of our whole trip.
Special regards to Sarah Bailey, Walter, Karin, Heribert, Onesmo and Onno and the whole team - you couldn't have done more to make our stay enjoyable and memorable. Oh, to return....
Great location, people, food & bandas
A very special place, made so by all the people including Karin, Walter, Onno, Onesmo & Salum & last but not least Mama 'Sarah' Bailey whom created an extra dimension with some fantastic recollections & memories shared.
This really is a luxury Safari, with Karin & her team providing some fantastic food in great locations. The guides mentioned above are very knowledgable & attempt to cater for specific requirements / interests & the game was great to see, we never get fed up of seeing Giraffes & Elephants which we saw in abundance. The only thing we missed out on was wild dogs & leopard 'cest la vie'.
We appear to have been a little unlucky as controlled burning around the beho beho concession had brought swarm of tsetse fly into the area, which were a pain at times, however, we didn't allow this to spoil a fantastic experience
Overall the experience was first rate & made extra special by the beho beho team.
Given the praise that Beho Beho usually receives, we feel a bit like party-poopers in having to qualify some of our experiences from our 5 night stay in September!
Firstly, the lodge itself is superb. The location on a ridge gives amazing views, the bandas are superb, and the food and hopsitality brilliant (lobster thermidor around a swimming pool in the middle of the bush was memorable!). There was usually a procession of wildlife past the lodge during the day, and the waterhole received a steady stream of elephants, hippos, buffalo and hyena (not to mention a leopard) in the evening - all supported by the chorus from the hippo pool which was just out of sight (and luckily out of smelling range). We also found waterbuck on the hill behind the lodge and some spectacular racket-tailed rollers on the way to "Beho Beho International" airstrip.
My wife has some mobility problems which prevented us going on walking safaris, so our stay focused on vehicle-based trips, usually in the early morning and again in late afternoon (there seems to be no end of spectacular locations for sundowners around Beho Beho!). The Lake Tagalalla trip was superb, with large numbers of water birds, hippos and crocodiles on the boat trip, plus the brilliant "surprise" bush breakfast and the ultimate "loo with a view" (If you've been, you'll know what I mean!). There was usually wildlife in the dry river areas and "savannah" areas (including elephants, eland, giraffe and buffalo) near Beho Beho but for larger numbers (especially zebra and wildebeest - and therefore also lions), most of our drives seemed to take in the Lake Manze area. No two safaris are ever the same, and we had excellent sightings of land animals, birds and lake life - including lions withe very recent kills (one wildebeest was still alive whilst being devoured) - but we did get to know the routes fairly well!
You do not have an "assigned" guide at Beho Beho. Each days is assessed in terms of what you want to do: all of the guides were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, approachable and flexible but we were especially impressed by Salum's seemingly permanent cheerfulness and smile!
Our last night at Beho Beho was our 35the wedding anniversary - we were very pleased to find a bottle of very cold champagne in our room when we got back from the afternoon drive (thank you!)
Sarah Bailey, wife of the original owner of Beho Beho, arrived for a stay while we were there and accompanied us to Lake Tagalalla - she is marvellous company and a font of (sometimes indiscreet) stories about Africa and some well known people in the UK! We were delighted to be asked to lunch with her at Bailey's Banda on our last day (if you think that the views from the guest bandas are good, Bailey's will take your breathe away).
So, if it was all so good, what are our qualifications?
- firstly, as above, all roads seem to lead to Lake Manze. We had some excellent sightings but the routes did become repetitive. We discussed this with the guides and particularly Walter, who felt that it was inevitable that it would be necessary to travel some distance to find water and therefore animals in the dry season (and we did accept that the routes towards Lake Manze were varied each day, usually with differing results). Walter did stress theat it would be different in the green season when the savannah would be teeming with animals (which is probably just as well, as many of the tracks would be impassable, even to 4X4s). We have no concerns about the game viewing but, ideally more variety in destination areas would have been welcome.
- secondly, we had one somewhat surreal day when we set off on a full day drive in search of some wild dogs which had been reported in the area of Selous Safari Camp. As we had to go fairly near to the Selous Reserve HQ, our guide decided to take us there to see the school and dispensary and to talk to some of the managers to get a view of how the reserve is run. Although it would have been nice to be consulted on this first, it was not in itself a bad decision. However having initially been told that the overall reserve manager (who had visited Beho Beho the previous day while we were out on a drive) was not available, we were subsequently told that he was now free and would like to see us: he was an engaging man who shared his views on how to manage the reserve with limited resources and then regaled us with his experiences in Aberdeen and Clacton-on-Sea! Incidentally, somewhat to our surprise (and that of our guides) there were a lot of tsetse flies near Beho Beho - the manager said that this was a fairly new experience for Selous and he was considering getting advice from Ruaha on how to tackle it. This extended our visit somewhat, which was compounded when we had a puncture half an hour later. Unfortunately our vehicle did not have a serviceable spare tyre - a major issue in an environment where punctures are so common. There were 2 spares on the vehicle - but one had not been repaired since a previous puncture and the other had been secured with an additional locking nut for which the vehicle did not carry a suitable spanner! Another vehicle had to be sent out from the lodge with a spare tyre and a spanner. These delays meant that we did not reach Selous Safari Camp until early afternoon: we then found out that no-one knew exactly where the wild dogs were but it was thought that they'd moved towards Lake Manze - when we got to Lake Manze, it seemed that many other guides had heard about the dogs but no-one had seen them, and we therefore got much conflicting advice! Our guide made extensive efforts to find the dogs from the info he had but, given the earlier delays, our time was limited. And then we had a second puncture on the way back to Beho Beho (at least we had a spare this time)! I understand that there were some red faces in the Beho Beho maintenance area about the lack of usable spare tyres on the vehicle!
If these comments appear hypercritical, I believe that we are entitled to expect the highest standards from a lodge of the reputation (and cost) of Beho Beho. I am certainly not saying theat these factors spoilt our holiday. I doubt whether we would have found the wild dogs anyway and, in retrospect, we can laugh at the puncture situation and the way thee day evolved - but it shouldn't happen at Beho Beho (and they were suitably embarrassed!). And, we had excellent game viewing - despite the lack of "variety" in routes.
Beho Beho review
This place exceeded our expectations and well deserves it's reputation. It has a unique friendly atmosphere which quickly makes one feel a welcome part of the Beho Beho family.
The bandas are well positioned, well equipped and comfortable. Being situated on a hill there are lovely views and we especially liked the one from our room. The food was inventive and excellent with much wonderful baking which we could not do justice to.
The meals were communal and served in different locations. The guides (Walter, Onno, Onesmo and Salum) were very good and rotated for each drive. We very much enjoyed the surprises which were arranged. The drive to lake Tagalala and hot springs was excellent. We saw a leopard at our first lunch and another at an evening meal. We saw lion with cubs on a kill, buffalo herds, wilderbeest and zebra herds. The waterhole always had interesting animal visitors, hyena, elephant, hippo, civet, buffalo and impala. We had problems with the tsetse flies on some drives.
Walter and Karin were excellent hosts.
Awesome safari at Beho Beho
Beho Beho certainly lived up to its reputation. The accommodation, guiding, hospitality and food were all top notch.
We had an awesome stay with the only complaint being the weight we put on due to the constant provision of top quality cuisine.
Beho Beho is not cheap but certainly delivers.
We were fortunate to meet both Charlie and Sarah Bailey who shared their passion for the Selous and set up of Beho Beho.
The only minor downside we would flag is the distance to the lakes where we ended up driving to frequently to better game viewing but need to add that all Elephant encounters were local to Beho Beho.
Beho Beho review
A very luxurious camp with excellent levels of service and food
Very isolated and quiet location with no nearby camps or vehicles.
Lake trip was excellent.
I did not like being seated seperately from my family for the communal dinners. Guests were expected to sit next to other guests and not members of their own party. On the first evening I sat next to a 12 year boy and an old lady, neither of whom I had met previously - my wife and daughters were guided to seats at the opposite end of the long communal table. This issue was resolved after speaking to the camp manager.
We saw the same family of three lions twice in four days of safari - otherwise no big cat sightings. No rhino and only very small family groups of elephant. Overall therefore, slightly disappointed with game sightings, although the hippo pool was very entertaining.