Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Selous Impala Camp review
This was our second visit to Impala, chosen because of our previous experience.
We were pleased that overall, their standards have been maintained, and, although the food was generally good, there was room for improvement, wasn't terribly inspiring. Delighted that we had Ezra and Rajabu again as our guide and driver - they were excellent! Barbara the camp manager was friendly and very welcoming.
Actually had time to use pool this time in it's new location!
A truly memorable experience at Impala Camp
Where to start?! Our stay at Impala was truly memorable. We arrived at the camp and were met by the very friendly staff and shown round the amazing grounds. The camp is very luxurious.
The main dining area, lounge and bar are all on a stilted platform which allows you to relax and view the surrounding area. The pool area has just been built and is great way to cool off in the afternoon heat. In the evening you can dine in the main dining area or in more secluded spots on the ground with fires and candles burning all around you. It was fantastic to stay in the Selous itself as many other camps are outside the reserve.
We would regularly see animals in the camp but always felt safe as there were lots of staff and Massai around at all times. The setting is fabulous. The camp overlooks the river and so you can see hippos, elephants, crocodiles and a variety of birds on the banks of the river below. Our safari delivered in every way. We had the choice of game drives, boat safaris and walking safaris each day and other activities such as fishing in the Rufuji river. The staff were very flexible in arranging activities to suit our needs and combining activities to ensure that we got the most out of our stay.
We had the same driver and guide throughout most of our stay. This was perfect as it enabled us to build up a rapport with them so that we got the most out of each day as they knew what we wanted to see and what we had seen already. We were mainly interested in game drives (but experienced and enjoyed all of the other activities) and saw everything we wanted to see and more.
The most notable aspects of our safari were spotting a leopard, the African wild dogs and being up close by boat to witness a herd of elephants crossing the river. The food was excellent every day and they have a fully equipped bar and a good wine selection. On the early morning game drives the guide and driver would select a spot and unpack a whole array of breakfast dishes for us to sit and enjoy on the banks of the river. On boat safaris in the evening we enjoyed champagne while watching the sunset!
There were a number of people travelling alone at the camp and it was good to see that the staff (and other guests) made them all feel very welcome. As the camp can only take a small number of guests people tended to chat about their experiences and socialise without it being too forced. Overall our stay was outstanding - the service was incredible and, even though we were there for just a few days, the staff were all so friendly it was hard to say goodbye.
Selous Impala Camp review
Attractive site; good game viewing with the plus of boat trips. Our guide, Mpogo, was quiet but very knowledgeable and interactive. We were served at table by Mohammed who was also excellent. But we would have preferred the more normal style of communal eating. Barbara ran the camp very well and was superb at interacting with the guests to check on possible difficulties.Read more about the whole safari
Selous Impala camp stay
What a contrast. Impala camp must rank amongst the best camps we have ever visited and a match for the excellent Kwihala- more of an upmarket feel perhaps but retaining a bush ambience. An excellent location with well thought out siting of the tents and guest buildings. Excellent tents with excellent furnishings, lighting, water and those little touches that make you feel welcome in a camp- evidently due in no small part to the influence of the camp manageress, Barbara. The food was absolutely wonderful, the service first class and again with little touches that really made the stay- surprise bush sundowners, our table placed privately and romantically by a fire on our last night and our own 'private' genet in attendance!
The guiding was personal with a knowledable and friendly guide (Ezra) and (separate but also knowledgable) driver dedicated to us for the whole stay and the guiding was deliberately designed to our personal likes with all effort made to find things we wanted to see and done with enthusiasm, empathy and really good regard for the environment- no driving fast past baby impala for instance. We also went on walking safaris and these were proper walks with guiding adapted to our level of knowledge
An excellent camp and a credit to Barbara and Makumba (the head guide). We would definitely go again
Selous Impala Camp review
Impala was a great camp in everyway, we had a super time, saw lots, and I would recommend it to anyone.Read more about the whole safari
Great Birds at Sellous Impala Camp
The wildlife at Selous particularly the bird life was tremendous.
As it was meant to be better than its sister camp manze we were slightly disappointed, We prefered manze that we visited last year.
Selous Impala Camp review
This camp has a great location. However, I have serious concerns about how it is run. Customers are not given a personal water supply on game drives. This means that to have a drink, the truck has to stop, the driver pours out a cupful of water, which you have to drink on the spot and then return it to the driver, in order to set off again. This actively discourages you from drinking as it delays the drive and leaves you dehydrated. Unfortunately, the water supply in the rooms were not adequte to make up for this - we ran out one day and had to ask for the water to be filled up twice a day.
I also got the impression that they were actively discouraging customers from going on game drives:
1) after our first full day we were asked what we wanted to do the next day (two game drives) to which the reply was "not a river cruise?"
2) when wanting to go out at 6.30am "not at 8am?"
3) and on our last day (short transfer to another camp) "would you like a lie-in, late breakfast and enjoy the use of the pool?". We had to argue for a game drive, which they then cut short by an hour - depositing us at our next camp an hour prior to what they had expected.
I do not pay the amount per night that these camps charge to be palmed off onto cheaper and easier activities. If I am staying 3 nights, I expect 6 game drives at my convenience.
The atmosphere was not as welcoming as the other camps.
According to the guide book, this camp is only fractionally cheaper than selous safari camp - if this is the case, then safari camp is infinitely better value for money
Expert Africa comments
Impala Camp has rapidly acted on these travellers comments about the distribution of water, and have already put a new system into place for the drives. Each traveller is now given their own flask at the start of each game drive, so you no longer need to disturb the driver. They already refill the water in each travellers rooms three times a day, and will of course gladly offer more on request if that is not enough.
In regards to the activities from Impala Camp, we apologise as we think there must have been a misunderstanding between these travellers and the camp team. These travellers were keen to do a lot of driving, and the Impala team had wanted to make sure that they knew about the other activities on offer such as walking and boat safaris – as most travellers enjoy the variation of having different activities. They had not intended it to appear as though they were discouraging them from drives.
It is of course up to the traveller to choose their activities here, and Impala Camp are more than happy to facilitate this. The camp’s team apologise profusely if this did not come across properly and will try and be much clearer in the future.
The travellers also compare Impala to Selous Safari Camp. The latter is a much more luxurious tented camp, but it is usually between £70 – 120 per person per night more costly than Impala Camp.
Still the ideal safari destination
After two years we returned to Tanzania and felt compelled to revisit Impala Camp as we had enjoyed it so much previously. It did not disiappoint and it is still our ideal safari destination. This is because of the isolated beautiful setting on the river, it's small size, the relaxed atmosphere, the perfect balace of camping/comfort and last but not least the warm, attentive staff.
The river settting adds such variety to the available activities, i.e boat safaris and fishing, plus wallking and all day safaris are available which we have found not to be the case in some other camps.
The food was very, very good and beautifully presented and we enjoyed being looked after by the same waiter throughout our stay. David was excellent. The Management were relaxed, chatty and helpful which set the tone of the whole camp.
Our guide Ezra is, judging from our experience of various camps, second to none and has a very good command of English. His knowlege of plants, animals and birds is extensive and he has the knack of telling stories and giving information about the small things while we are waiting to spot the big things. Hence you are never bored and always learning. He is also great fun and looked after us well at all times. He is ably assisted by Rajibu his driver and they are a great team.
We can't wait to go back!
Selous Impala Camp review
The staff we spent the most time with were outstanding. Ezra, our guide, and Rajibu, our driver were an excellent team. In retrospect, Ezra was the best guide of entire trip and we had excellent guides throughout. His knowledge of the birds and wildlife went far beyond identification and general knowledge. They were both personable, helpful and endowed with a great sense of humor as was our meal attendant, David.
It was a bonus to have both a guide and driver which wasn't always the case in other locations. It allows more focus on finding wildlife.
The location of Impala with access to both the river and bush and the camp itself with its comfy tents made it the perfect introduction to an amazing country. There isn't one thing I would change about the place or the experience.
Amazing start to an amazing holiday!
Fantastic camp! From the moment, we arrived and met our guides gerad and arrid, to the time we were waved off to our next resort - the experience was faultless.
Our guides were fantastic - showing us all the things we wanted to see, plus educating us with their knowledge and understanding of the local enviroment and animals. It was really nice having the options for both game drives (the driving is very exhilarating compared to the UK roads!) and boat drives (which are very relaxing and chilled out after the bumping around in the 4by4s)
The tents were great - enjoyed falling asleep to the sound of the hippos and waking up to a giraffe eating the tree by the tent.
The food and service within the camp was varied and very tasty.