Reviews of Sand Rivers Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sand Rivers Camp review
As previous [Ed: see below]Read more about the whole safari
Sand River Camp
A very nice camp in a good location overlooking the Rufji river. Spacious and comfortable suite, excellent food, attentive manager (Eric) & overall friendly staff. Activities are varied (but there are no night game drives).
Previous guests had great sightings of wild dogs, but the game drives turned out to be rather quiet while I was there. Sadly, the effects of poaching in the area can certainly be felt (rare sightings of skittish elephants..). You cannot fault the camp itself, but I found the proximity of a hunting lodge and the evidences of poaching in the area somehow upsetting.
FLY CAMPING A MUST
great host, and a lot of work for him until his partner joins later in year. Relaxed atmosphere, wonderful location. For us the buffet lunches were better than the more 'casserole' dinners. A bit too safe.
The fly camping was the highlight, beautiful, magical evening with shooting stars and gin!
I guess the rooms could do with a small uplift, just starting to look a little tired.
River trip also a pleasant change.
Game drives disappointing due to scarce wildlife, and some of what we saw was very skittish due to hunting over river and poaching. We were luck in seeing 2 elephants, others saw none during their stay, and no lions.
Wild life on the river bank
This is a really comfortable camp with great guiding. It's even more comfortable than when we were there 12 years ago as they have added plunge pools to some of the rooms and a lot of white sofas. The location on the river bank is amazing and means the activities are really varied - trips on the river, fishing, walking, as well as wonderful game drives and bush breakfasts.
The staff are all very friendly and professional. The rooms have high thatched roofs and are open sided - so you can hear those hippos and hyenas at night. They do have electricity in them and big bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. We were lucky enough to be given a hillside suite which had an outside sitting area and little pool.
The highlight of our trip was the fly-camping - we'd really recommend this. You sleep out under a mosquito net - so the stars are amazing. The bucket shower and long-drop toilet remind you of the old safari days and the team produce wonderful food from the bush oven. The camp fire, lanterns and your ranger with his gun make sure that the animals don't come and inspect you during the night. Thanks to Eric, Edward our guide and all the staff who made the trip so memorable.
Five day stay
Accommodation and service was very good.
Ernest, our guide was excellent and went out of his way to make our stay so good, very knowledgeable and persevered in difficult conditions to find wildlife.
Unprecedented rains made game viewing difficult and challenging.
Our fly camping experience was very well organised and well worthwhile.
Tanzania in the ( very ) Wet Season
The camp has been built along the side of the Rufuji River and all the bandas as well as the central area with the dining room and swimming pool have a good view of the river. At the time of our visit the river was very full due to the exceptional rains that the area has had this season
The bandas are very private and well equipped with an enormous double bed with mosquito net and adequate storage for clothes. There is a comfortable sitting area looking out through some trees to the river and a good en suite bathroom with a 'water fall' shower. There was always plenty of hot water and the toiletries provide were lovely - made locally.
All the bandas are open to the surroundings and monkeys play in the trees around them - this was not a problem ( though could be if food is left out) and any adventurous monkey wishing to join us was easily deterred by a clap of the hands. It was great to sit and watch them leaping through the trees accompanied nay the sound of hippos in the background!!
The food was generally good though, occasionally, a little too spicy for our tastes. On a couple of occasions, when it was far too spicy for one member of our party, an omelette was provided without any problem.
Seating at meal times was in our travelling groups except on the evening of the barbecue where all guests sat at one table on the pool terrace. If we had a choice we would choose the larger group as it is good to chat with folk outside of our own party and to share experiences although there were other opportunities to talk before and after meals.
The game drives were interesting due to the unusual weather that had been experienced this season. Many of the tracks had been washed away or badly damaged but Ernest, our brilliant driver / guide , and the Land Rover coped well. Game spotting was particularly challenging as the grasses were high and the foliage thick but that made anything we saw even more rewarding..
We had visited this area before both in February and in September but this year it was like visiting a totally different place - it would probably have be a little disappointing for first timers.
The walk and the two river trips were good, interesting and added another dimension to our experiences.
The Selous is a game reserve and not a National Park which means that off roading is allowed and Ernest took advantage of that trying to find the elusive leopard. All his efforts were in vain but the experience was fantastic.
All the staff at Sands River were helpful and charming and could not be faulted. It was especially nice to meet up with some old friends whom we had met at other Nomad camps on earlier visits to Tanzania.
We would definitely return to Sand Rivers Camp
g Sand Rivers stay
Fabulous place. Attention to detail on every level - our suite was wonderful, the food great and the location stunning. The staff were friendly and helpful and had a huge knowledge of the wildlife. We packed a lot into our three days there.
We saw lots of animals at close quarters. We had an elephant visit our terrace at 1am on our final night. A little scary but he meant no harm and only damaged a couple of boulders!
Luxurious safari at Sand Rivers
We stayed 4 nights at Sand Rivers for our last lodge in Tanzania.
We had very good gamedrives even if we saw less animals than in Katavi. We saw lions, leopard, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, waterbucks, kudus, wildebeests.
The setting is great with a splendid view on the river. It was very good to be able to do boating trip as well as walking safari or a trip to the hotsprings.
We stayed in one of the hillside suites (no 1) which was very spacious and comfortable and had a great view down the river. We had a private pool which was really convenient for the hot hours of the day. The service and the food were very good. The main communal areas are lovely and comfortable.
A safari experience with 5 star accommodation
Accommodation is stunning. Food is excellent and worthy of some of the best restaurants we have visited throughout the world.
Location is spectacular and the option of the river trips gives the variety of experiences that some camps lack.
Fly camping is a must do experience - particularly on your wedding anniversary.
The only disappointment is the dearth of elephant in Selous - poaching has decimated the population and left those elephants that remain scared of human contact - such a shame for these noble beasts.
the grand finale
Sand Rivers had the least game and I would have been disappointed had that been our only camp. But we had seen so much in Ruaha and in the Crater that it was fine to focus on other things like the walking safaris, boat rides ( altho we could only go upriver, not down to Lake Manza) or relaxing at camp.
The pool was an important feature for the midday heat and there were fans in the common areas and above our beds.
It was a beautiful camp with impeccable service.