Reviews of Selous Impala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Selous Impala Camp review
A wonderful lodge. Service was generally excellent. We had the same guide/driver and waiter for the whole four days, which was really nice. There were also just the two of us on all drives/boat safaris/walk, which we weren't expecting and made for a really special experience.
The camp wildlife also enhanced the experience - Andrea the camp hippo, Brian the camp giraffe, the visiting gennets and bush babies at dinner; and even the toilet bats and geckos!
Food was variable - some was excellent and up to restaurant standards, other meals not so good, particularly a steak that was very rare and tough. Bush breakfasts not up to standard of other lodges we have stayed at - cold sausages and bacon and quite stale bread, but plenty of cereal and fruit (though fruit was very repetitive). Biscuits before game drives were poor - small and very plain. Not sufficient to keep you going from 6.30 until 10am! We were also disappointed that there were no sundowners - we have always had these on similar trips. We did get champagne on the first night, which was lovely, but nothing on other nights. We would have been happy to pay for a couple of beers to take with us, but nothing like this was offered. We also weren't keen on the way water was provided on the drives. The guide took a flask and you had to ask for the water and then drink from a cup. But water was provided in the room so we refilled water bottles from the plane and took these instead. Other lodges we have stayed at have provided refillable bottles, which are more convenient but still avoid the need for countless plastic bottles.
Guide/driver (Ezra/Rajabu) were excellent and we had some great sightings - still remains a mystery how they spot leopards hidden in trees that we struggle to see even when pointed out! Walking safari was really interesting and boat safaris really relaxing - particularly enjoyed the last night. Our waiter was also really sweet (sorry - can't remember his name!).
Seemed a very early drive to the airstrip - we had to wait an hour for the plane. Couldn't see the necessity for going this early, as the facilities are basic (and the toilet not terribly pleasant!) I'm also quite a nervous flyer so having to sit and wait for an hour for the plane didn't help my nerves!
Great variety on foot/boat/vehicle
Excellent range of game sightings, including the elusive African wild dogs.
Having our own guide - Dennis - throughout was a special treat, and allowed a strong relationship to develop.
Guide's knowledge and competence outstanding.
Mix of transportation - on foot, SUV and boat - provided plenty of variety.
When on foot we were obliged to be accompanied by an official park ranger. As an old soldier, I was not impressed with the state of his rifle - he might have received worse injuries pulling the trigger than letting a lion have its way with him! I felt that our guide was much better prepared to cope with any emergencies.
We were delighted to find sufficient water in the river and lakes to be able to enjoy flatboat excursions, getting close up to hippos and crocs.
Surprise champagne sundowners on the river bank watching glorious African sunset was a high point.
Accomodation was fine, large fan very welcome, water pressure in shower a bit weak.
Important to keep tent zipped up to prevent cheeky monkeys helping themselves to early morning tea & biscuits.
Massai camp guards helpful and alert for wandering beasts at night.
Meal service very helpful - our regular waiter, Peter, was very attentive.
Variety of dining locations - main terrace/camp fire/edge of bush - proved entertaining, particularly enjoying antics of bush baby and gennet cats!
Menu could have been more imaginative, but food wholesome and edible.
Drinks fairly priced and decent choice.
Small swimming pool a welcome cooling off point in mid-afternoon heat.
Camp management team efficient and welcoming, and ensured things ran like clockwork.
Evening drinks round the campfire always a pleasure.
Return to Impala camp 2012
Another return to an excellent camp that also has not changed much since our last visit.
We enjoyed the same guide, driver and waiter as on our last visit and they were as good as last time. Ezra is an excellent guide and well partnered by driver and spotter Rajabu. There was just as much game as on our last visit with excellent bird life and good sightings of wild-dog in particular and even a gruesome crocodile kill of an impala. We returned to Impala in part because of the chance of boat trips which are offered by several of the Selous camps. Impala's boats did not disappoint and we saw many birds and other water life
We stayed in a different tent this time but just as well appointed and located. The food was excellent and the camp remains just as good as before.
Selous Impala Camp review
I had hoped for a better river view!
Good guides and good game viewing.
Selous Impala Camp just brilliant
Selous Impala camp was an absolute joy. Incredibly friendly and striking a great balance between first class service and informality it was impossible not to feel immediately at home. Andrea and Barbara as camp managers set a lovely tone for the place with their genuine passion for the quality of your experience and everyone from guides to drivers to waiters lines up behind them with what I can only describe as an effortless charm. No wonder even the animals can't stay away with the almost resident Hippo (Mr Andrea), Giraffe (Bryant), Bush Baby and Genet Cat all regularly playing their part at this special place.
The range of activities is a major plus with the opportunities to jump from Game Drives to River Safaris to Walks and every aspect is wonderfully guided, in our case by the brilliant Mokili. He and Peter, the driver, worked so hard to make the most of our time in the Selous and were a pleasure to spend time with: knowledgeable, open, chatty and interesting.
The attention to detail is more broadly a real strength. From moving you around to different dining spots, to the surprise opportunity to watch the sun go down from the banks on the river safari, the team have thought of every possible way of making the experience of staying with them a memorable one. And the food supports the specialness of the experience wonderfully well. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Selous Impala Camp review
Very good guides - we had Mokili (young but very well qualified, especially for birding) and Khalid driver. We loved having a vehicle all to ourselves.
Choice of food, private table and waiter. Good river safari. The main animals seemed to be situated closer to Lake Manze. Laundry was included, which was very useful. Fan was appreciated. Good en suite. Staff all excellent.
Selous Impala safari
A very well-run camp, with excellent food and great facilities. Guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and it was a great experience for us and the two grandchildren.
Barbara and Andrea made everything run smoothly. There's not a great variety of things to do, and animal life was a bit sparse and the best at some distance, so 3 nights would be the maximum optimum time to spend there - but would definitely recommend it.
Selous Impala Camp review
We were very impressed with Selous Impala Camp.
We felt that the service was very personal. We had our own guide and driver for game drives and we could choose what we wanted to do. We went on 3 game drives and two river safaris. We saw all the animals we hoped to see and nothing was too much trouble for the staff.
We loved the bush breakfasts by the lake and dinner slightly away from the camp next to our own fire on one evening. It was great to sit round the fire before dinner to share stories. Barbara and Andreas, the managers, were very informative and we enjoyed looking at the stars. Food was good.
The accommodation was better than I had expected and very comfortable even though we were kept awake by bush babies on our tent every night!!
Selous Impala Camp review
An excellent camp set in a superb location next to the Rufiji river.
The wildlife experience on the river was superb, less so on the game drives, but we had been spoilt at a previous camp.
The guide's knowledge was excellent, but lacked an informal and intuitive touch
The food was excellent
The manager and staff were always on hand, very friendly and helpful.
Things to do better - style and approach of guiding as per other camp site
Seemed to be designed for honeymooners
Impala camp was easily the least memorable of the three camps I visited. The location was nice, near the river, but the camp was clearly more designed for people who wanted a couple of nights in a National Park as part of a visit to Zanzibar. I thought the dinner arrangement was unsual - rather than the usual communal table each individual/group sat at their own table. It made it less of a memorable experience for someone travelling by themselves.
The game drives were OK but wildlife was not as relaxed at in Ruaha. The boat ride again was OK but involved racing up the river at quite a high speed and getting back to the camp at a specific time.
Expert Africa comments
We were disappointed to read this review of Selous Impala, which usually receives reliably good feedback. We forwarded the comments onto the camp to see if they had any feedback on the issues raised. They too were surprised to read the comments. Selous Impala does operate a separate dining policy, which does mean that the atmosphere is slightly different to its sister camps Lake Manze and Mdonya Old River Camp, who have communal meals. Were sorry we didnt discuss these differences in more detail with this traveller and make him aware of the pros and cons of each camp. That said, the managers did advise us that they joined him for dinner on one evening to give him some company.
This traveller was fortunate enough to have been given a private vehicle which is not the norm at Impala. As a result he was able to do a full day game drive. However, unfortunately game viewing is never guaranteed, and there is always an element of luck involved!
It is unusual for the boat safaris to feel rushed at Impala. When questioned about this the camp thought that perhaps the boat captain was trying to make sure this traveller saw as much wildlife as possible. One point to note, as with the majority of national parks and reserves, is that by law, all safaris at all camps must be completed and all travellers back in camp by sunset it may be that he was rushing for this.
Again were sorry that this traveller didnt find his stay at Impala memorable. Perhaps this was the wrong choice of camp for him.