Selous Impala Camp: Our full report
Selous Impala Camp is situated on a wooded stretch of the stunning Rufiji River within the Selous Game Reserve.Simply though stylishly designed, it offers a varied safari experience.
Selous Impala’s breezy lounge and dining area sit on spacious wooden decking with spectacular views across the river, making it a wonderful place to watch game come down to the water to drink. A number of individual tables are set up for guests (the camp does not do group dining), and attentive staff are on hand to offer you a drink. There are plenty of lounge chairs, all made of solid carved wood with woven seats and backs of natural fibre. Touches of African art dotted around give the central area a homely feel. Here’s a place to stretch out, put your feet up, and leaf through some of Impala’s wildlife and bird books, or just enjoy the view.
Across a short walkway, in the bar area, high chairs are set against a small bar made from an old mokoro (dug-out canoe), and a few comfortable sofas with beautiful rustic-coloured cushions line the edge.
Extending further still from the bar area you can enjoy an evening drink around the campfire whilst relaxing on canvas directors’ chairs.
Walk a short way through the acacia woodland to your privately located tent on the river. Raised high up on decking, each of the eight Meru-style tents has a veranda with two comfortable chairs and a table from where you can enjoy a lovely view of the Rufiji River and land beyond. A family unit comprises two en-suite tents sharing a single platform.
Inside, Impala Camp’s tents are reasonably spacious with wooden floors, large (and very comfortable) beds with kikoi-style bedspreads and a writing desk. The rooms make use of plentiful creams and neutral colours, giving them a traditional safari feeling. Each room has a fan, electronic safe and a USB charger for phones. There are no plug sockets in the rooms, but items such as camera batteries can be given to camp management for charging. Impala’s tents all have large gauze windows that help to protect against the mosquitoes, though (even visiting when it was raining steadily) there are so few that nets are not necessary. Canvas flaps can be let down for increased privacy.
At the back of each tent, curtains separate a fairly spacious en-suite bathroom. Here you’ll find large white ceramic ‘his and hers’ sinks set into a beautiful wooden surface. Behind a partition is a proper flush toilet, and a second partition conceals a hot shower. There is also hanging space for your clothes. Soap, shampoo, shower gel and mosquito spray are useful extras.
Safari activities at Impala Camp include game drives in open-sided 4WDs and boat safaris along the Rufiji River and on the nearby lakes. We really enjoyed our time on the water with Selous Impala, spending time watching African Skimmers against the setting sun. Walking safaris are also available at additional US$50 per group. Fishing is also available at an extra cost of the park fees for this activity, with the main species caught being catfish, mudfish, and the prized, predatory, tigerfish. The more adventurous might try a night or two fly-camping. In the bush you will always be accompanied by a camp guide who has a good knowledge of the game found in the area. On one stay we had a lovely Prosecco sundowner after a leisurely bird walk. And one morning included an entertainingly informative bush walk. For relaxation between safari activities, guests can enjoy a swim in the pool while looking out over the river.
Impala has very good 'back of house' infrastructure, which you are welcome to visit - allow 30 minutes for a guided tour, which includes the water treatment system and their impressive laundry and battery banks.
On our last safari here in September 2019 Impala Camp had a really friendly atmosphere with an attentive team who tried their utmost to ensure you enjoy your stay. It’s a comfortable and down-to-earth camp that doesn’t charge top prices and has become a firm favourite in the Selous.
- Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- 3 nights to make the most of all the activities.
- From Dar es Salaam, it’s a 45-minute flight into the Selous Game Reserve, where you will land at an airstrip 14km from Impala Camp. It’s then a short safari drive or boat ride back to camp. Alternatively, it is around a six-hour drive from Dar es Salaam – depending on the weather and therefore the state of the roads.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- The food at Impala Camp was beautifully presented when we were last there in September 2019 with lunch and breakfast being served on large wooden platters and in little coconut-shell dishes. Everything was very fresh and tasty, and the meals offered a real mix of international cuisine.
Breakfast at Impala Camp is usually fruit, a variety of cereals, bread and homemade jam. The chef will cook hot breakfast items to order in front of you on the large gas BBQ.
Lunch is a two-course meal with a main course and side-salad, followed by fruit for dessert. On our last visit we had Nile Perch with potato rostis and a colourful salad, followed by a tasty date and cashew pie.
For dinner you can expect a four-course meal, with a few main-course options. We found it tough to choose between the beef steak in a curried sauce and the calamari risotto!
- Family holidays
- At night when you mustn’t walk unaccompanied on the ground, Selous Impala’s family tents allow passing between two tents as they’re set on one platform. Come with up to three children (all ages) for boat trips and flexible durations of drives on your Tanzania family safari.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Impala Camp has a beautiful and romantic setting, on the edge of the Rufiji River. The rooms are very private, each with its own veranda and wonderful views. The team have told us the efforts they go to for spoil honeymoon couples – an ideal treat for a Tanzania honeymoon.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- While birdwatching at Selous on our last visit to Impala Camp we spotted malachite kingfishers and regal African fish eagles. We were also fortunate enough to see dozens of carmine bee-eaters building their nests in the river’s banks.
- See ideas for Birdwatching
- Walking safaris
- It is possible to organise walking safaris from Selous Impala Camp. You will be accompanied by a knowledgable guide and armed ranger. There is an extra charge for walking safaris from this camp.
- See ideas for Walking safaris
- Wildlife safaris
- Selous is an excellent game reserve with great populations of big game from elephants and buffalo to lion, leopard and a good population of wild dogs.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Impala Camp welcomes families with children aged 6 or older.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Only children over the age of 16 years may go on a walking safari or fly-camping.
- Special activities & services
- Impala Camp are flexible about the length of their safari activities – they will happily do shorter drives and boat journeys for families with children.
- There are special children’s lifejackets available for boat-trips.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes – there is a family room here that consists of two tents together.
- Parents should be aware that Impala Camp is not fenced and dangerous wildlife can, and does, pass through at any time – so children should not be left unaccompanied.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Impala Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Selous Impala Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- The lights and fans in the tents work 24 hours a day. There is a back up generator but this is rarely needed.
- Impala Camp has a satellite phone and basic email in the office, but these are for camp use and emergencies only. Although there is now intermittent cellphone reception in the Selous, the camp requests that guests refrain from using phone in the public areas. There is no WiFi.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Water is pumped from the river and filtered, with jugs of drinking water provided in the rooms. Bottled water is available on request.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There are first-aid kits at Impala Camp in the office and on all of the vehicles for minor injuries and illnesses and some members of the team are trained in basic first aid. For emergencies, Impala has links to the flying doctors’ service in Dar es Salaam, which is a 45-minute flight away.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- The camp is not fenced and wildlife does occasionally pass through, so traditionally dressed friendly Maasai, armed with spears, will always escort you to and from your room; there’s also an armed park ranger at the camp. Every room has a safe for valuables.
- Fire safety
- Impala Camp has a pump to pump water from the river in case of a fire and there are extinguishers in all rooms.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Included. Usually returned within 24 hours weather permitting.
- No money exchange is offered. Electric safes in all tents for storing valuables.
- Accepted payment on location
- The camp prefers payment for any extras in US dollars, Tanzanian shillings, English pounds or euros cash. They are unable to accept travellers’ cheques or credit cards.
Room types at Selous Impala Camp
Walk a short way through the acacia woodland, to your privately located tent on the river. Raised up on decking, each tent has veranda and two comfortable chairs and a table from where you can enjoy a lovely view of the Rufiji River and land beyond.
Impala Camp's tents are reasonably spacious with wooden floors, large and very comfortable beds with kikoi-style bedspreads and a writing desk. Much use is made of colourful, local fabrics to create a comfortable feel. Each room has a fan, electricity and a useful power point, with a UK style plug socket. There is also an electronic safe in every room.
Impala's tents all have large insect screen windows with canvas flaps that can be let down for increased privacy. These help to protect against the mosquitoes, though even we visited when it was raining steadily, there are so few that nets are hardly necessary.
As you walk through to the back of each of Impala's tents, you pass through kikoi-style curtains into a spacious en-suite bathroom. Here you find large white ceramic twin wash basins set into a beautiful wooden surface.
Behind a partition is a proper flush toilet and then behind a second partition, on the other side, a hot shower. There is also hanging space for your clothes. Little touches such as soap, mosquito spray, shampoo and shower gel are welcome additions.
Other lodges in Selous Game Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.