Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Selous Impala Camp review
I made this return visit with my daughter for whom it was her first safari. I knew Impala camp would be an ideal contrast with Kwihala in Ruaha and this proved to be so.
Fausto was a very welcoming host ,very attentive to detail . Without being asked he supplied us with a few more hangers because he 'remembered i had requested these last time when i was here with my sister'.
It was good to have Ezra and Kharidi as our guides once again. This time together with Moshe we took a longer morning boat safari ,which meant the light was different and we could go further. We left at 6 as usual taking a bush breakfast with us.I thought we'd eat this on the boat but oh no. On finding a safe mooring spot out came the tables and chairs and they even constructed a platform of palm leaves for us to walk safely and dryly to land .
Although i prefer communal dining it isn't a reason to stay away .However on the last night Fausto arranged a BBQ which was shared with other guests.
I have been before at this time of year and so thought i was prepared for high temperatures and considerable humidity .On the last day i felt very befuddled and it transpired the temperature had risen to 43 C. Its a credit to all the staff that they continue to provide such excellent service in such conditions -and no even they don't get used to excessive heat.
LOVE this place !
This place is just perfect for us. We visited 9 years ago, loved it & loved it again.
The fact that you cannot see anyone else's tent from your own is a huge bonus. Tents are comfortable, plenty of charging time for cameras etc., lighting available constantly. Fantastic view of river with exciting sights & sounds of bush.
We had our own personal guide (Dennis) throughout our 5 night stay who was AWESOME. He knew so much about the bush, took time to explain it to us, was excellent at tracking & locating game.
We had a lovely warm welcome from Chania, the manager, and also Fausto when she was on leave, both friendly and very helpful.
A fishing trip was arranged for Mike, which he absolutely loved.
Our waiter, Victor, was such a kind man. He patiently was teaching me some Swahili words. On our last night he arranged a private dinner away from the main dining area with our own fire & Masai ! It was very touching.
Also, the surprise sunset champagne on our last day, a really lovely touch.
The Masai who escorted us to and from our tent several times a day, A kind and friendly man.
We loved that every night before dinner, you got to chat with manager/guide about your day, and what you wanted to do tomorrow.
I actually shed tears when I left.
I really hope that nothing changes here.
Fantastic time at Impala Camp
Our key criteria for camps is the quality of the guiding, and we had an outstanding experience with Ezra (guide) and Aridi (driver/spotter). Both have an incredible ability to spot wildlife that to our eyes - even with binoculars - is very well hidden. Ezra is highly knowledgeable about every aspect of flora and fauna and showed us things we've never seen before, including the beautiful Impala Lily.
It's a very stylish camp, with the main communal areas and tents on wooden raised decks. Our tent overlooked a spot in the river occupied by a very large hippopotamous, and from our verandah we also saw buffalo and watched a goliath heron catch an enormous fish.
The food is excellent. Unusually (from our experience), dining is at invidual tables rather than communal. Guests are rotated around the tables, which at night are spread across the verandah, lower down on decking and beside the river. We had breakfast out in the bush on our game drives and the camp produced an amazing spread every morning.
Perfect Start to our First Safari
Our 4 night stay at Impala camp was a perfect start to our first safari.
The service at the camp was impeccable; we were made to feel ‘special’ by all the staff at the camp. The camp had a very relaxed atmosphere.
We were met at Mtemere airstrip and given a warm welcome (with a drink and a snack) by our guide Andrew, before our transfer to the camp where we welcomed by the camp manager (Chania).
Our accommodation (tent 6) was of a good standard with a large bed and ensuite shower and WC. There was a 3 pin socket available to charge electronic items. The tent was located on a raised wooden platform with a large verandah overlooking the river from where we able to see hippos and various birds. We had an early morning visit from a couple of Black-faced Vervet Monkeys hoping to share in our tea and cookies.
The food served for lunch and dinner was excellent. Both lunch and dinner were 3 courses with a choice of main dish at dinner. Be wary of the bush babies and genet who will happily share your food! Our waiter Lowassa was smashing, very friendly and informative. Before dinner we gathered round a campfire for drinks (reasonably priced) and a chat with the other guests. Breakfast was usually taken during the morning game drive; tables and chairs were set-up under the shade of a tree and the food (juice, cereals, egg, bacon, sausage, bread, fruit and tea/coffee) was shared with our guide and driver. You certainly will not go hungry on safari. The ‘facilities’ could be found behind a close-by tree!
During our stay we did game drives (morning and evening), evening boat trips and a morning walking safari. Our guide Andrew and driver Rajabu were excellent. Andrew was extremely well informed and shared his knowledge with us, he was also very enthusiastic about guiding. Rajabu was a great driver and we felt very secure whilst being driven about the bumpy terrain, his ability to spot animals was amazing. We were lucky in that the camp was not full and we did not have to share on our game drives or boat safaris. We were not overly bothered by flies or mosquitoes at the camp or when out on the drives.
On the boat trips we saw Hippo, Crocodile, Nile Monitor Lizard, Waterbuck, Elephant, Buffalo, Black-faced Vervet Monkey and many birds including Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, African Fish Eagle, African Wattled Plover and various Egret, Stork and Heron.
We saw plenty of game on our drives including Impala, Giraffe, Zebra, Warthog, Bush Pig, Baboon, Greater Kudu, Hippo, Colobus Monkey, Helmeted Guineafowl, Lion, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Elephant, Bushbuck, Spotted Hyena and last but not least a Leopard (How Rajabu spotted it hidden in a tree was remarkable) and many colourful birds. A lot of the game, particularly the Impala and Wildebeest, were very skittish, but the lions were very laid back. We were able to spend as much time as we wanted to watch the animals and take photos with no pressure to move on.
On the walking safari we were accompanied by an armed ranger and Masai warrior. We did not meet any dangerous animals but it was nice to know they were there. On the walk we investigated various skulls and poo. Andrew also identified the tracks we came across and explained the basic differences between the prints of the cats and dog’. We saw Giraffe and a Martial Eagle.
At the end of our last boat trip we had a ‘special surprise’ when we stopped at the side of the river where a table had been set-up with a bottle of Fizz and snacks. We relaxed and sat watching the sun set over the river. A nice touch.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Impala Camp and have no reservations in recommending the camp and also Selous Reserve as a Safari destination.
Wildlife with a smile
Selous Impala camp is a very well run affair - the service was excellent, the staff very friendly, the food was amazing (but too much for a small stomach) and overall there was a nice atmosphere. The option of river safaris is a big plus - a nice relaxing way to spend the late afternoon after a hectic 6 hour morning game drive! The flexibility of all the staff was noticeable, especially the safari guides - their knowledge was good and they showed us a good mix of wildlife, always doing their best to accommodate our wishes/preferences. There was never a rush to get back to camp. If there were things to see we got to see them - lunch could wait!
The setting of the camp is good, right next to the river - the communal areas were spacious, the pool was an added bonus and our tent was simple but comfortable. The fan and power points were useful features, and once we got use to the animal noises and things that went bump in the night (ie hippos brushing past!) we felt very much at home. The little 'surprises' that were laid on were a nice touch - these included a stop on the boat safari to watch the sunset with a bottle of champagne and nibbles thrown in, and our dinner table being in a different 'romantic' location each night - at first we wondered if we had offended people as we were shunted off to a lone sight near the river or by the pool, but it made us feel very special.
The range of wildlife in Selous was excellent and the birdlife was amazing - the herds of zebra and wildebeest were very impressive, as of course were the lions, which we saw at very close quarters! We even had the privilege of seeing them stalking zebra & wildebeest, albeit unsuccessfully. No leopard or cheetah, but you can't have everything! The only slight disappointment was the walking safari, which was rather tame - we spent most of the time walking very slowly and then stopping to examine animal dung, bones, trees etc, followed by a biology lesson which largely went over my head. This may be what some people want but personally it was not what we expected.
Overall, Selous Reserve is an amazing experience and the service provided by the Impala camp staff was the icing on the cake.
Thank you to everyone!
Excellent Guiding and Service at Impala Camp
Camp is in an excellent position next to the river. The tents are set well apart and were well equipped. We enjoyed being on the end in tent 1 as it was very secluded and have us the opportunity to stretch our legs. The Masai were always there to accompany us.
Service was excellent in both the restaurant and bar. David, our water was very attentive and personable. The food was acceptable and portions were too large. There were some strange combinations and the food seemed to have been kept warm for some time. All meals were served at our table but we would have preferred buffet style service for lunch.The manager on duty at the time was a bit hit and miss in her dealing with us.
We were fortunate to have both a guide and a driver on our game drives and were on our own for every drive. Ezra, our guide, and Khalid, our driver, were excellent. We especially enjoyed the river trips and the surprise sundowner with fizz. The walking safari was a bit boring and the information could have been given to us in a fire side chat. e.g.: the history of the Masai.
Boating trips from Impala Camp
For us seeing game from the comfort of a boat was a great way to travel.
The feeling of game coming towards you as you cruised quietly along was very enjoyable.
Impala Camp - a great location & wild life
Our guide/driver, Dennis, was excellent. All the staff and the two managers made us feel most welcome and by the end of our stay we felt like 'family'. This was our second visit to Selous and didn't disappoint. Wonderful animal spotting including leopard! Without Dennis this sighting would not have happened. The river safari was excellent with good bird activity and lots of crocs and hippos.
Breakfasts in the bush were very good and the sundowner on our last night a lovely touch as we watch the sun sink over the river.
The camp was in an ideal position on the river and the tents were fine with good verandas. Only one minor irritation the lighting in the tent was poor - it only needs to be a little brighter so that you can see what you are looking for. Lighting in the bath room area was good.
Great Return Safari to Selous Impala Camp
We stayed for four nights and I travelled with my brother. As the camp was not full, we were given a tent each next to each other which was a great surprise. Having stayed at Impala Camp four years ago, it was wonderful return to this beautiful camp. Although under new management, the camp remains very well run, with large comfortable, clean tents, very good food and excellent guiding. The ceiling fan over the bed was a welcome addition!
The location of Impala makes it such a special place. We had great views of the river from our tents and Andrea, the old hippo, was a regular visitor to the camp. The views from the raised dining and bar areas are simply stunning. Not only did we enjoy the great views, but we also enjoyed the company of bush babies and genets during our evening meals whilst at breakfast we were joined by all the gorgeous sunbirds.
We had superb guiding during our four night stay from Dennis, Dustin and Captain Moshi on the boat safaris. We enjoyed an early morning walk with Dennis and an armed ranger which was particularly good. Walking with giraffe and warthogs is a totally different experience to seeing them from the jeep, not to mention trying to avoid soldier ants going about their busy business! Finishing the walk with a bush breakfast by the lake was just superb!
We had two lovely boat trips thus seeing different parts of the river system which was fascinating. Watching elephants crossing the river from our boat as the sun went down was a real thrill and delight. We loved watching the bea-eaters and various kingfishers close up too, not to mention the largest croc on the river!
We had very personal attention during our time at Impala which made our stay all the more enjoyable. The camp was not full so we did not have to share the jeep or the boat. We were able to spend long periods just observing the animals, for example at a lion kill, and our guides were extremely patient with us!
We have taken away yet more lovely memories of Impala and we were able to buy a few souvenirs for family members who did not accompany us this time. It was hard to leave.
Selous Impala Camp Reserve
We had a wonderful stay at Impala Camp.
The staff were kind and welcoming and our tour guide was brilliant - his knowledge and passion was infectious.