Reviews of Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp)
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Siwandu Selous camp exceeded all expectations
Absolutely wonderful! The accommodation was really outstanding, gorgeous setting, the food was delicious and all the people that worked there were incredibly friendly and helpful.
We were made to feel really special and were especially impressed by the extra effort that was made to make our stay so individual. We were served a surprise lunch on a boat and the next day a surprise breakfast was laid out on a local beach. Amazing! This was after a walking safari that our youngest son ( aged 14) was too young to come on, but he was taken out fishing on a boat and then brought to join us for breakfast.
We really appreciated these extra touches and organisation that made our stay so memorable.
Fantastic in every way
Love the camp, the staff were all friendly, helpful and gave great service. The safari experiences were excellent.
Didn't have time to even look at the pool.
Siwandu, beautiful area in Selous.
We spent 3 nights at Siwandu last November .
This is a very nice camp in a great location . Accommodation is fantastic , with huge tents and bathroom . The best part is the veranda with a view to the lake. We saw lots of animals around our tent during siesta time like giraffes , elephants, hippos , waterbucks , impalas , bushbucks , baboons , monkeys and of course lots of birds. At night we also had company with elephants , hippos and hyenas !!
Service and attention was excellent . Food quality was always good , even it was not our style .
The area where Siwandu let as down a bit were activities . Morning drives starts at 8 a. m. and this is not what we are use to after 10 safaris , everywhere we have been in Africa activities start early after sunrise , something that increase your chance to see some animals that don´t like to move during the heat of the day and also to take advantage of the best light for photography .
Also guiding level was not on par with other places we have stayed before , and for us quality of guiding can enhance hugely your experience .
If your priority in Selous is to have an amazing and beautiful tent , a personal butler looking after you and special food then Siwandu is for you . If you are after hardcore activities with great guiding i will try some other camp.
Yet ,we did see plenty of animals and birding was excellent around the lakes areas . Almost in every drive we saw , giraffes , buffalo , grater kudu , zebras , gnu and lions. We did see elephants but not as many as we were hoping , maybe the poaching problem in Selous area has something to do with it ? This is the time when impalas drop their baby so it was great to see impala babies everywhere !
The boat safari is great for birding and also you will see lots of hippos and crocs but we saw also buffalos , giraffes and elephants from the boat .
Overall we enjoyed very much our stay in Selous Reserve , the landscape is fantastic , very green and with lots of water , a great contrast and combination with Ruaha if you are doing the southern circuit .
Fortunate with the weather!
Our third venue and made every bit as welcome as at the previous two.
Emil's long experience and local knowledge is a great strength and Claire is an excellent people person.
Clear evidence of concern for guests safety in terms of after dark escorts, also true at Jongomero.
Guide, Holle, made every effort to locate species which had dispersed rather more than usual due to the early rains.
Holle, an excellent driver in difficult conditions, has a very good knowledge of the animals in terms of their behaviour,
Appeared at times rather less confident in identifying birds but always willing to follow up, may well have been hampered by a lack of binoculars.
Bird section of the species list poorly arranged would strongly recommend modelling a revision on the Jongomero leaflet ie group 'types' together ie all beeeaters, egrets, eagles etc .
Overall current booklet does not do credit to an excellent operation.
Boat safari marred by fumes from engine.
Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review
this was our first experience of Africa and Siwandu set an exceptionally high standard for the other camps to follow,our guide Allen was superb, with a detailed knowledge of bird life as well as the larger animals, and he coped with the rather difficult driving conditions ( deep mud) very very well, at no time did he say "I cannot get there"
The condition of our tent, the food, and the service were of the highest standard.
A Perfect Introduction to an African Safari
Siwandu was our first taste of being in Tanzania and in a safari camp and we loved it. The care and attention given to the guests by Ricus and Pietro and their staff, especially Alphonce (our personal waiter and language tutor!) were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble.
The accommodation was amazing - clean and spacious - and the chef performed fantastic meals in what must have been difficult conditions, e.g., tropical heat and without modern equipment. A wonderful start to our Tanzanian adventure.
Great stay at Siwandu!
We had a wonderful 3 night stay at Siwandu that delivered exactly what we had hoped and more!
It was incredible to look up when having breakfast and see a couple of elephants who had suddenly appeared a few meters away! We had a wonderful warm welcome on arrival and were introduced to our host Emiel, our butler Mau and our lovely guide Mohammed. All the staff around the camp were very attentive and charming and we felt very well looked after. The chef proudly announced his dinner menu every night and made a lot of effort to accommodate my vegetarian daughter and on our last night there was a very entertaining procession as the staff followed chef through the tables singing and dancing as birthday cakes were delivered to two tables one of which was ours! Thank you Liz for passing on the info!
We did a walking safari one morning which was very interesting culminating in a fabulous bush breakfast that had arrived by boat and was laid out on the lake shore much to our surprise! I am very glad that we visited Siwandu first as originally I had planned to go to Ruaha first but had switched due to lack of availability. Siwandu is definitely more luxurious and although the guiding was very good, as the guide was also the driver, maybe another pair of eyes would have made the guiding even better as we were to discover in Ruaha. If I could I would award Siwandu 4.5 paws just because what we were to experience next was a notch above.
On the morning we left we had to hurry after breakfast as we were told the plane had arrived and wanted to take off half an hour early to make a second stop en route to Ruaha and so we had little time to explore the shop which is located in the main reception area (not south camp as in your notes!) and is well worth a visit with some lovely locally made items for sale. Also FYI there are hairdryers available for guest use!
Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review
Siwandu was awesome to say the least. The mishaps in Dar was quickly washed away and I realized Expert Africa were truly experts.
The majesty of the lake, the abundance of wildlike, the solitude, the vastness of the bush, and the sheer variety of things to see and do between walking, Range Rover, boat -- were sensational. Ricus and Pietro run a quality flawless operation -- the camp hums with precision. A 0630 wake-up with coffee is just that -- steaming coffee on my deck watching the baboons frolick at sunrise rendered me speechless.
The guides were all experts: split between walking, driving, and boating. Getting up close and personal by doing the morning walk is not to be missed: seeing a day-old giraffe with its mum or seeing two lions mating roaring, while seeing hyena cubs being weened in their shelter...all amazing. The room was spacious, the bed cosy, the toilet first world, the outside shower and hot water were magical.
However, as far as the food is concerned, you are more likely to die of a heart attack at Siwandu than you are at the hands of a wild beast........deep fried, oozing with mayo, bursting with cholesterol -- healthy eating was simply not in the cards.
Siwandu (Selous Safari Camp) review
Fantastic camp with amazing accommodation and staff very friendly, helpful and accommodating.
Daily plans well set out and great game drives and boat trips. Guides informative and accommodating. Really enjoyed our time there. Peaceful and relaxing.
Good stay at Siwandu
Very nice camp set up on the picturesque shores of a large lake. Boating activities provided a change from the typical game drives. Good game viewing. Good, knowledgeable guiding. Great "tent" on the lakeshore with game walking by.
Expected more elephants. The few that we saw were vehicle-shy.