Reviews of Sand Rivers Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sand Rivers Camp review
We stayed in Suite 3, which used to be called the Rhino House, and it is absolutely superb. Sited a the far end of the camp, it's quite a walk but it really is worth it: we felt as if we were in our own private little corner of Africa.
Without exception, the camp staff were wonderful -very hospitable, friendly and helpful. Mike and Carol , the managers are new in post, this being their first month at Sand Rivers, but they were excellent hosts. Having been to Sand Rivers previously, our expectations were high and were exceeded: it felt more like a sharing the camp with friends than being "guests".
Our guide, Iyan, was superb, as was the variety of game that we saw, the highlight being wild dogs (fantastic!). Our time with Iyan was shared with other experienced "Africa hands" and he really listened to what we were interested in and tailored the game drives to the best opportunities for the things we wanted to see.
Going back to a camp we have previously enjoyed is always a risk: we know that teams change and the question is always "will it be as good as it was before?". In the case of Sand Rivers, the answer emphatically not just yes, but even better against a standard that was already exceptional.
See previous feedback on Sand Rivers
See previous [Ed: These travellers had two separate stays at Sand Rivers, either side of a 2-night fly-camp. See below for their comments on the camp.]]Read more about the whole safari
Great stay at Sand Rivers
A good balance with Beho Beho with different
terrain and the river bringing a new dimension .
Highlight was two nights fly camping.
Great service and friendly people ; charming new managers
who are working hard to make their mark .
Dedicated guide for the whole stay provided
a tailored programme . Good game viewing
especially lion .
First Night at Sand Rivers
After the overnight flight from the UK and a short flight out into the Selous, we received a warm welcome at Sand Rivers.
The camp is perched on the bank of the Rufiji River in a beautiful setting. We enjoyed an evening drive and a "sundowner" whilst watching a young elephant grazing peacefully amongst lush vegetation.
A good dinner and an early night in readiness for the walking safari to follow.
WHAT A PLACE!!!!!!!!!!
The accommodation at Sand Rivers has to be seen to be believed. The location looking out over the meandering Rufiji River is to die for.
As well as landrover and river safaris we did walking safaris with our children which just took an already brilliant experience to another level. Given where we were the food was frankly amazing. And as for our hosts Claus and Jill .......... I can't praise them enough, two wonderful, charming, knowledgable, delightful people.
Finally, at first I was not at all sure about the communal eating arrangements at dinner but it is the only way to do it!
Sand Rivers Camp review
Overall we were disappointed in Sand Rivers. The food and service were both very good; however, the rooms were not as well maintained as they should have been. For example, the mosquito nets had holes in them, the pillows were old, lumpy, and flat, and our toilet seat was very loose and shifted every time we sat on it. The "door" to our bathroom was broken and seat and throw cushions were stained with monkey feces. The rooms are designed to be very open concept so it is virtually impossible to prevent monkeys from accessing the rooms; however, simply wiping down the cushions after a monkey invasion is insufficient and unsanitary.
Most disappointing was the guide. Although our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, his guiding philosophy was diametrically opposed to ours. We prefer to observe wildlife, without interfering or stressing out the animals. Our guide seemed to feel his role was to get us the best photo, even if that meant driving off road and literally chasing down animals. In one instance, his enthusiasm for a close-up resulted in a very unsafe encounter with an angry mother elephant. As I said, our guide was very knowledgeable but he lacked adequate respect for the environment, the animals, and the safety of guests.
Expert Africa comments
We have sent our travelers’ feedback to the Sand Rivers management who are, understandably, very disappointed to receive such negative comments as this is very rare for Sand Rivers. The MD of the company that owns Sand Rivers, John, responded personally to this feedback, commenting on each issue individually.
He told us that “The mosquito nets are being replaced across the whole lodge as part of the refurbishment for the beginning of June 2010, as are cushions, linen etc. We have a tailor in camp and if any holes appear in nets, they are usually stitched up the same day”
He also commented that “stained cushions are usually washed in the laundry; the managers try to deal with issues like this very quickly if they are made aware of them.”
We do think that it’s worth any travellers noting that the chalets at Sand Rivers are open-fronted; it is not unusual to have wildlife getting in. The camp is working with the Selous Game Reserve management to find a way of resolving the monkey issue.
Our travellers’ comments about the poor guiding here was very worrying. The MD, John, said: “We pride ourselves on our high standard of guiding and what these travellers describe is at total odds with our philosophy. It is very tempting for a guide to get that little bit closer to game in order to please his guests but a good guide should know when is close - and when is too close, both for the game and for the guests. I am personally looking into this issue with this particular guide and will ensure that this area is particularly covered in detail for our annual Guide Training in April/May 2010 this year.”
Way, way beyond our wildest expectations.......
We had the top Guide, Masaa, which made the whole experiance a sensation.
Lynn and Steve, being the perfect hosts, made he whole experience run like clockwork
Nature and luxury at Sand Rivers Camp
What a wonderful balance of laid-back luxury and game viewing. We had a superb guide who kept conjuring up lions and elephants - amongst much other game.
Highlights included a walking safari where we came (reasonably) close to a herd of elephants; a beautiful boat trip amongst crocodiles and hippos; and a stunning game drive amidst giraffes and a host of storks and weaver birds.
Menatime the hospitality and food here was second to none.
Great Sand Rivers experience
Wonderful location, the staff were excellent as was the food! Plenty of safari options during our 4 days there and we would really recommend the fly camping experience. We saw plenty of wildlife and it was always just us watching, there were not loads of other Land Rovers suddenly appearing.
The knowledge of our guide Edson was superb and he went out of his way to make sure we were happy and comfortable. The rooms were very comfortable and had fabulous views overlooking the river where we could listen to and watch plenty of hippos. The management and staff at Sand Rivers were also very friendly and made us feel very welcome.
Sand Rivers Camp review
The team at camp (Lynne, Steve and Sarah) and our guide (Anafi) were all excellent and very relaxed. The situation of the camp is stunning.
The food was delicious and there was a great mix of being able to spend time both by ourselves and join other guests.