Siwandu

Reviews of Siwandu

Excellent(97%) From 68 travellers
Excellent
59
Good
8
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 68 of our travellers who have visited Siwandu, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr S. from Abergavenny
Arrived on: 5-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Siwandu review

The staff and the activities organised at Siwandu were excellent. The rooms were comfortable and well appointed.

The only thing that let the camp experience down was the food served in the evenings....the Chef tried too hard to serve fusion local/Western food and failed spectacularly...suggest he simplifies his menus to serve straighforward meat and vegetables.

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R & J from Richmond Hill
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Siwandu Camp

Siwandu is a well run professional operation with very good rooms and meals. The managers take great pride in supporting ecological endeavours and making the camp a part of the environment. The meals were very good and it was wonderful having a pool available during the day. We saw a great variety of wildlife which often required some off-road exploration.

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Polybin from Stubbington
Arrived on: 7-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Good but not the best

Siwandu was our 4th safari lodge in mainland Africa starting in the Masai Mara, then more recently Botswana and Kruger. We chose Selous because of its reputation as a less touristy reserve as was the case. The welcome was very good from the airstrip and to the lodge. The tents (really?) were excellent. Lovely views to the lake with wildlife wandering through regularly. Facilities were very good with good protection from bugs and mosquitoes. We can't fault the accommodation.

We are not fussy and fully understand wildlife can be fickle and unpredictable but viewing was not as good as Botswana or Kruger (Kenya was 32 years ago so not a fair comparison). Surprised leopards were rare and we expected more buffalo (we saw one lone bull). If you want to see a giraffe, then go here! We got the impression that the wildlife on the other side of the lake was better during our trip over there. We were very surprised that safari's normally started at 8am. Everywhere else we've visited started at dawn and we wonder if that may account for it. We were invited to an early start on one morning which, co-incidentally, was a boat trip across the lake to meet up with the land rover and the best viewing. By no means was it bad but, on our visit, not the best.

The food quality and quantity was very good. The service generally was excellent and any specific requests (tea in the tent) were no bother. The breakfasts in the bush, lunch on the lake and dinner under the stars were great.

We had one trip where the guides forgot to offer a coffee/rest break so we spent some four hours in the vehicle. We feel sure this was due to our guides trying to find some wildlife and just forgetting the sensitivities of tourists. We mentioned this to Conrad and he dealt with it for future trips.

We certainly enjoyed the safari experience here and would thoroughly recommend it for location, accommodation and food. The variety of wildlife may deter some visitors (if ours was typical).

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The S family from UK
Arrived on: 11-Jul-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Excellent Service at Siwandu.

Siwandu is beautiful and your photos on your website do not do it justice. Your advice on rooms was spot on and we had the two that we requested.

The service that we received was outstanding, being allocated our own 'Bush Butler' , room cleaner and guide. It felt as if there was a fabulous culture at the camp, with all enjoying their jobs. Max and Mohamed did a fabulous job of looking after us and we were sad to leave them.

It was nice to have a range of activities, along with the flexibility of being able to choice what we did and when. A highlight of the stay was to be told that we were having lunch on the boat on the lake one day. There we were as a family of four with Max, a chef and boat driver being served a beautiful lunch amongst the hippos and crocodiles. Very special.

We specifically enjoyed drinks around the 'Bush TV' (the fire) with all, before being able to eat as a family under the stars, watching the elephants stroll past and the bush babies in the tree.

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Mrs T from Andover
Arrived on: 6-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Fantastic bush experience

This was our first safari in Tanzania having been to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana previously.

The selous was so different in terms of the diversity of the terrain and it didn't disappoint. We had some great sighting aided by the passionate and knowledgable guides. Siwandu camp was superb and every member of staff seemed genuinely pleased to have us there. The food was great with plenty of choice.

Our luxury tent style accomodation was also very good although I think the lavatory needs to have a bit of a screen around it for a little bit of privacy.

Would definitely recommend Siwandu to anyone.

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Mr & Mrs D from UK
Arrived on: 17-Jan-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Top class camp in a beautiful location

We spent four nights at Siwandu. It is an excellent camp, very well managed by Conrad and his team. Very comfortable tented rooms well spread out from each other and overlooking the large lake. We enjoyed the variety of game viewing activities - drives, boating and walking.

It had been unseasonally wet for two weeks before we arrived, so there were areas of Selous that were inaccessible. Consequently we were unable to find most of the predator species during our stay, although we did see a pack of wild dogs. However, there were remarkable densities of several other animals, notably giraffe and zebra as well as impala, along with sightings of less common species such as kudu, waterbuck and eland. Being the green season, the bird life was prolific. Flocks of carmine bee-eaters around the safari vehicle were particularly spectacular.

Our guide, Mohamed, was very knowledgeable and competent, as was Allen, who led our game walk.

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Lonely traveller from Bens
Arrived on: 8-Jan-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Wonderful place and surroundings.

Very good service from helpful and attentive staff. Dinners under the stars as in the bush. The tents are very comfortable, too dark, lamps should be brighter.

Game drives were well organised and lunch at the boat perfect! I enjoyed Allan our guide, he really is very experienced.

The airstrip could not be used for arrival nor for departure due to the heavy rains, but everything was an adventure.

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Mrs S from france
Arrived on: 8-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing stay at Siwandu

Incredibly friendly, efficient, professional team at Siwandu made our stay an absolute delight!

Location fabulous, food was really, really good, accommodation excellent, guide and activities brilliant, attention to detail spot on!

Would love to go and stay there again!

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Miss R from Barnsley
Arrived on: 7-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing!

Simply stunning! From the moment we were collected at the air strip we were made to feel extremely special and welcome.

We cannot rate every part of the service, facilities and experiences highly enough. The safari tours were so personalised with extremely knowledgable guides who were so enthusiastic. The food was on par with Michelin star quality! The personal touches such as the river boat lunch,sundowners,camp fire and our private dining experience were sensational.

All of the staff,especially Conrad, Kim, Onesmo and the Massai did everything they could to make our stay the most memorable experience we have ever had.

A huge thank you!

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Mr & Mrs G from Surrey
Arrived on: 7-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Good
Good

Siwandu review

Our experience at this camp was spoiled by the scarcity of wildlife to be seen. Whether this was because there had been some rain before our arrival or whether there is always a scarcity, we do not know. We suspect that the rain probably made it unnecessary for wildlife to visit the lake in as great numbers as it would have done in drier conditions.

The camp is well located in the sense that it provides good views over the lake, but not in the sense that it offered satisfactory game viewing. The rooms are in many ways beautiful, but lack a certain practicality in some respects. The very personal service provided was excellent.

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Expert Africa comments

We were really sorry that these travellers found less game than expected.

They stayed here 7-12 Feb 2017. After the El Nino flooding of 2015, the Selous had a severe drought. During this time, the reserve’s game congregated close to the sources of permanent water: the Rufiji and its adjacent lakes.

The long drought broke in mid-Jan 2017, prompting an exodus of animals from the over-grazed areas around the permanent water – to abundant grazing sprouting elsewhere across the park. Sadly, this hugely depleted the concentrations of animals around Siwandu, as these travellers found about four weeks later.

Although they still saw elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, eland, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, warthogs, giraffe, and other common animals like monkeys, baboons and impala – we are really sorry that these were not in the normal concentrations that we’d expect for Selous.

We have visited Siwandu and the Selous many times ourselves over the years. February is never the best month of game-viewing, and we wouldn’t pretend otherwise. (We’d usually consider Sept and Oct, at the end of the long dry season, as the prime time for game.) However, it’s usually much better than it was this year (2017).

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