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Sable Mountain Lodge
Sable Mountain Lodge
Sable Mountain Lodge
Sable Mountain Lodge

Sable Mountain Lodge


7°31’1.3"S 37°40’36.1"E

Sable Mountain Lodge: Our full report

Situated 1km outside the park's western park boundary and 12km from Matembwe Gate, Sable Mountain Lodge sits ...

... high up, north of the Beho Beho hills, and offers lovely views across the surrounding dense brachystegia forest. It is a good base to explore the northern reaches of the Selous Game reserve with guides from the camp who have a reasonable knowledge of the animals and birds.

The 8 fairly simple stone bandas, and 5 slightly more luxurious tented bandas are spread across quite a large, hilly site. This results in a bit of a walk to get to them, sometimes up and down a bit, but plenty of privacy. Two of the tents are honeymoon suites; these are larger with open fronts, outside showers and better views. All the rooms have mosquito nets over the beds, 24-hour electricity, and an en-suite bathroom, with a hot shower and toilet.

As the Sable Mountain site is quite large, there are two separate bar and dining areas, each catering to the rooms closest to it. The first area is nearer reception and has a friendly bar and dining area. The bar is quaintly named the 'cup and bucket' after the era before there was running water in camp. People had to wash by pouring water over themselves with a cup from a bucket! Thankfully that is no longer the case as all rooms have a proper shower with hot water.

The second bar area is further up the hill and based by the spring-water pool. There are some lovely outdoor tables under umbrellas around the pool as well as a comfy sofa by the bar. Walk along a short walkway to an open-sided lounge area under thatch, with plenty of wicker and cushioned sofas and arm-chairs. This is a good place to relax and enjoy the views, or just read a book in the shade.

Along a second walkway is the dining area with a few tables set up for people to sit together in small groups.

Activities include 4x4 safaris and walks in the park– these begin at 6am and return around midday in time for lunch. Then head out again at 3pm, returning slightly before sunset. The tireless can go on all-day trips which depart at 7 am after breakfast, with a picnic lunch. You head deep into the park, returning late in the afternoon after a very full day of safari activities.

Lake Tagalala is about 3 hours' drive from the lodge. Sable Mountain usually offers boat safaris on this as part of their full day safaris, however when we were last in the Selous (early 2007), the park authorities had stopped them doing this. They are hoping that this will be rectified for the start of the next season, in mid-2007.

Sable Mountain Lodge is one of very few camps which can be arranged on a FB basis, without activities – so is ideal for those on a tighter budget.


Our view

It has been a while since we stayed at Sable Mountain Lodge, however on our last visit this was a comfortable, good value safari lodge on the edge of the Selous National Park. It is in a remote location, meaning that you will see few other vehicles in this area, although it is further to drive to the better wildlife areas.

Jessica Plumb

Jessica Plumb

Country manager: Tanzania

Geographics

Location
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Ideal length of stay
2 nights
Directions
It is a 35-minute flight to Matambwe Airstrip in the Selous Game Reserve, where it is then around a 14km drive to Sable Mountain Lodge. Alternatively you can take the Tazara train which runs (rather unreliably) between Dar es Salaam and Lusaka, getting off at Kisaki train station.

If you decided to drive from Dar es Salaam, it would take around 6 hours – though during the rainy season this journey time could be longer due to bad road conditions. (If we arrange this for you, then Expert Africa will take no responsibility for any delays or mishaps that happen during your journey.)

Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
Breakfast times depend on each guests own programme for the day – you would usually decide on a time the night before. It consists of fruit, toast and a cooked breakfast – served pretty much when you want it.

If you opt for a morning safari, then a light lunch is then served at 1pm and consists of salad, a few Tanzanian snacks such as samosas, and fruit. Alternatively, if you're out on an all-day safari, then you'll have a picnic lunch somewhere in the park.

In the evening, dinner is a 3-course affair with plenty of fresh vegetables and salads. Dietary requirements can be catered for if the camp is given good advanced warning.

When we last visited Sable Mountain, the food was quite simple camp food. However it was filling and there was plenty of it - great when you have been out on safari all day.

Special interests

Birdwatching
Walking and heading out into the dense brachystegia forest offers superb Tanzanian birdwatching at Sable Mountain. You can expect to see a host of forest species including Livingstone's turaco, hornbills and the vociferous forest weaver.
See ideas for Birdwatching
Wildlife safaris
The surrounding woodland is a lovely place to experience a variety of wildlife. Whilst on guided safari walks, you might have the opportunity to see forest associated species such as blue monkey, black-and white colobus and the amazing chequered elephant shrew.
See ideas for Wildlife safaris

Children

Attitude towards children
Children are welcome children at Sable Mountain Lodge
Property’s age restrictions
Children under the age of 5 years are not allowed to stay at Sable Mountain Lodge.
Special activities & services
There are no special activities or services for children
Equipment
There is no special equipment for children
Generally recommended for children
Yes - if over 5 years old.
Notes
Parents should be aware when staying there with young children that the paths leading between the rooms and main areas are very uneven with lots of loose stones. Children should also be supervised by their parents.

Communications

Communications
There are no central communications available for guests at Sable Mountain Lodge, however there is mobile phone reception.
TV & radio
There is no TV or radio – this is deepest Africa!

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
There is a dispensary in the nearby town of Kisaki and a first aid kit on site.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
There are 3 guards on site.
Fire safety
Sable Mountain Lodge had no fire extinguishers or other measures in place when last visited. However, all the buildings are single-storey and open-sided, so escape routes in the event of a fire would be very obvious.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

Extras

Disabled access
Not Possible
Laundry facilities
Extra Charge
Money
There are facilities to change money at Sable Mountain Lodge.
Accepted payment on location
The camp prefers payment for any extras in Dollars, Pounds and Euros cash. However you can also pay using travellers' cheques.

Room types at Sable Mountain Lodge

The honeymoon suites are decorated with authentic African materials.
They have a big comfortable double bed, complete with a mosquito net.
The ensuit bathrooms are partially covered by a thatched roof with an open-air shower.
1 of

Honeymoon suite

The honeymoon suites at Sable Mountain Lodge are lovely rooms, with open fronts that look out over a wonderful view of the forest. Each has an enormous bed beneath mosquito netting, some comfortable armchairs, a writing desk and some hanging space for your clothes.

Grass mats and rugs cover the floors and African materials decorate the walls and mosquito nets

These rooms have electricity 24 hours a day, though there are no sockets for re-charging batteries. For this you need to use the power points at reception.

The en-suite bathroom in the honeymoon suite at Sable Mountain Lodge is partially under thatch with one side completely open, extending out to the open-air shower. The shower has a large double seat in its deep base which will be filled up with hot water for when you return from safari – perfect for a relaxing soak.

There is a stone veranda which is a good place to avoid the heat of the midday sun.
The rooms have a simple dressing table with a mirror and a stool.
There is a sturdy four poster bed with a mosquito net.
The rooms also have two wicker chairs and a small wooden table.
1 of

Stone cottage

The stone-and-thatch bungalows at Sable Mountain Lodge are slightly more basic than the tented rooms – but generally pretty ugly. On the positive side, they are reasonably spacious, comfortable and very cool inside – which is important given the lack of any fan in the rooms.

They each have sturdy beds under mosquito netting, a few chairs to lounge in during the heat of the day, and a simple rail is used for hanging space for clothes.

These stone cottages have electricity 24 hours a day, though there are no sockets for re-charging batteries. For this you need to use the power points at reception.

All the stone cottages have simple en suite bathrooms – with a sink, a proper flush toilet and a hot shower. Sable Mountain have set quite large stones into the corner areas of the bathroom floor, and decorated them with clumps of dried flowers, to try and add a touch of character to an otherwise drab room. It's original and entertaining, but anyone with design sensibilities should consider themselves as pre-warned about Sable Mountain Lodge …

The tented rooms are discretely tucked away into the forest.
There are two wicker chairs out on the balcony.
The bed is a simple four poster design.
The ensuit bathroom is located at the back of the tented room...
...they have a flush toilet and a basin which has hot and cold running water...
...as well as a shower and towel rails.
1 of

Tented room

The tented rooms at Sable Mountain Lodge are spacious and light, with their own balcony affording lovely views over the forest. Though the rooms are quite simple in style they are comfortable, with grass mats covering the floors, a rail for hanging your clothes and a sturdy bed under mosquito netting.

The balconies have comfortable wicker chairs with cushions on the seat and back – making it a lovely peaceful place to sit and enjoy a wonderful view.

None of the bedrooms at Sable Mountain Lodge have either fans or air-conditioning in them. However, they do have 24-hour electricity, albeit without any sockets in the rooms for re-charging batteries. For this you need to use the power points at reception.

The bathrooms are en-suite and situated at the back of the tented rooms at Sable Mountain. You pass through a door into an open plan bathroom with stone floors and palm-thatched walls and roof. The bathrooms are simple, yet pleasant: with a flushing toilet, a wash basin and a hot-and-cold shower. Toiletries are not provided.

Other lodges in Selous Game Reserve

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