User Reviews – Nyerere NP (Selous)

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Marion   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: September 2012 Reviewed: Nov 6, 2012

Email Marion  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Selous Game Reserve - An exciting, adventurous safari.
Overall rating

Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Six of us visited Rufiji River Camp in September 2012. We were welcomed by Karl and Sally with a welcome drink, given a quick show around the lounge/dining area and escorted to our tents to freshen up. These were extremely well set out, quite large and comfortable with a veranda overlooking the Rufiji River. We went to the dining area to meet Karl for a brief safety talk and be given our different safari options after which we enjoyed a simple delicious lunch.
That afternoon, went on a river cruise where we saw lots of birds, hippos and some crocodiles. Quite often elephants are seen on these cruises, but we were unlucky this time. It was very peaceful and enjoyed the beautiful sunset on the way back. We decided to have a full day safari the next day as you get to see more of the area and the opportunity of seeing many more animals. Well, we were delighted to see Lions and cubs very quickly around a kill, lots of Elephants, Greater Kudu, Giraffes, zebras, a beautiful fully grown male leopard lazing away in a rock shelf, more lions, impalas, jackals, lots of gorgeous birds, especially the Lilac Breasted Roller and very specially, after waiting to see wild dogs for eight years, we came across these wonderful dogs. There were ten in all with pups. We watched them for at least 20 minutes, such a privilege as they are so rare. We also went on a walking safari and had to stay still for about 15 minutes as a small herd of elephants were in front of us heading for the river which was very exciting. Our Guide then told us about all the trees and bushes that have special medicinal properties which are still used today by local people. He also pointed out the spoor of different animals, it was really fascinating. We walked for about three hours and it went so quickly! We had the same guide during our stay who was excellent. Being seasoned safari folk, we even learned details of the fauna and flora we hadn’t heard before as he was so knowledgeable.
The scenery was lovely, still green as it wasn’t long after the rains, quite different from other parts of Africa where sometimes it is extremely arid and dry. The weather was hot and dry in the day, turning chilly at night.
The food was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, only wish we had booked for longer. We would certainly recommend staying at Rufiji Camp in Selous for a great experience; they look after you from start to finish, never having to worry about anything.
Marion and Rod

lynetter   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: February 2008 Reviewed: Aug 22, 2012

35-50 years of age

Overall rating

It wasn't crowded and didn't feel at all touristy. There were lots of animals and we were able to go offroad in the jeep and so we saw a huge amount, more than I ever dreamed.

Alistair Tough Visited: August 2005 Reviewed: Jul 31, 2012

Overall rating

Driving in from the Uluguru mountains gave a particularly pleasing experience.

DaktariPaula Visited: November 2006 Reviewed: May 13, 2012

Overall rating

I fear the park will lose its wilderness since they built this big roads....

peter the safari maniac Visited: February 2009 Reviewed: Apr 11, 2012

Overall rating

This is my favourite Game reserve and am into game reserves other than national parks ! Sable Mountain Lodge of A tent with a view is where i have taken guests in my former life as a safari maniac! There others like Rufiji river lodge (high end ) and smaller camps but try Sable Mountain lodge! Yes I used to work for David (disclosure) Coolest Yorkshire Man ! :-)

Athena   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2010 Reviewed: Mar 16, 2012

20-35 years of age

Overall rating

While the wildlife was a bit more difficult to spot - more spread out - but the "bush vibe" was intense. We had plenty of wildlife in our camp at night - monkeys and monitor lizards during the day, with bush babies and more monkeys at night. You have to fly in - giraffes were on the runway and had to be chased off.

jonnyboy1403   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: October 2010 Reviewed: Sep 27, 2011

Email jonnyboy1403  |  35-50 years of age

Amazing, wild but luxurious, safari the way it should be
Overall rating

If you want a safari where you can guarantee what you see and when, then this isn't the safari for you. The Selous is huge, the size of Belgium if I recall correctly, which means it’s harder to find the animals but rewarding when you do, also means you can go a whole day without seeing any other people. Although there is conservation in progress there isn't 'farming' of animals and they roam free without restrictions so each day becomes exciting as you can follow the same path taking the previous day but see a completely different Selous.

Maybe we were lucky, but on the transfer from the runway, little more than a dirt track, to the lodge we came across 4 lionesses who were just resting after a big kill and feed, the vultures were now tidying up the carcass. We stayed at Sand Rivers, which has an excellent position over the river which was teeming with crocs and hippos, although be expected to share your room, which is open towards the river, with monkeys, bush-babys and various bugs, but that’s all part of being on safari. Be warned the monkeys are very inquisitive, they know when your morning coffee is coming and want the sugar and the biscuits, it’s a funny start to each day. Given the lodge is open to the wild, as night falls you must be escorted by an Ascari for protection, one night a herd of elephants decided the trees by our room were their dinner.

Given the position of the lodge, we were able to take a number of river safaris, given a completely different view as you get a bit more up close to the crocs and hippos, remember the latter are the number one killer of humans in Africa, so hope your guide knows how to navigate. If you’re lucky you may get to see a herd of wildebeest or elephants drinking and washing in the river, the birdlife here is amazing as well. But there is nothing like switching the engine off and just drifting listening to the sounds. You can also do walking safari, with an armed guard, where your guide can talk to you about some of the plants and smaller animals you may come across, as well as looking for tracks of the bigger ones

You will see lots of elephant, giraffe, zebra and impala, you will see lions, but there’s no guarantee when, our encounters were more by chance than planning, in fact our day we specifically set out on a lion hunt proved fruitless until we made the journey back to camp and there was a young lion just sleeping by the dirt track. We were lucky on our first full day to see a young leopard, he had been spotted a few days earlier in the same tree, so as we approached our guide was apprehensive he would be there again but luckily he was. After this meeting he wasn’t seen again that week, despite various other parties looking for him. On our trip we were also managed to wild dogs and hyenas, both are rare sightings and we have to thank our eagle eyed guides for being able to find them. As mentioned earlier due to the remoteness, when you return to the lodge in the evenings you regale your stories of the day to others in the camp over drinks and dinner, as you are likely to have been the only one to have seen yours sights that day, it makes for plenty to talk about. Although all the jeeps are in contact with each other if a rare sighting is made and others are in the area to see it.

One highlight, amongst many, at Sand Rivers is the ability to go fly camping. This is going back to basics, sleeping out in the open, with nothing but a mosquito net above you, although they provide a small modesty tent for changing in. The advanced party had set up the camp by a lake which was full of crocs, wait till the sun goes down and shine a torch across the water and see their yellow eyes looking back at you. A bar is there, a 3 course mean by the lake and the wild all around you, plus a couple of armed guards who stay up through the night just in case.

The guides and hosts were all excellent with good food and plenty of it, breakfast is served to order just don’t expect it in a hurry, but there is no need to rush as everything is done to your timings. The evening meal is served together on big table for all guests, which makes for a great atmosphere as you all share your stories of the day, and don’t forget afternoon tea before you head out for your late afternoon drive, with a different freshly made cake each day. The lodge bedrooms are grand, with a bathroom open to the river but with trees providing enough privacy and a wonderful waterfall shower. Overall this was an amazing trip, raw safari but in luxury.

ETS   –  
Tanzania TZ
Visited: March 2011 Reviewed: Sep 19, 2011

Email ETS  |  35-50 years of age

Game Viewing on demand
Overall rating

When we arrived at the airstrip in the Selous and met our guide for the weekend, he asked, "what do you hope to see while you are in the Selous?" Being a veteran game park visitor, I aimed response...wild dogs. He laughed and said, "we don't see those very often." We sent off for the camp, intending to do a bit of game viewing en route.

About halfway through the trip to the camp, we saw some vultures circling and thought we would follow them to see if there was anything interesting. Soon we came across a pack of 4 adult wild dogs who had just finished eating their share of an impala they had brought down. They were engaging in all their post feast rituals (wild dog aficionados will know what I mean), while a nearby hyena took over the carcass, continuing to force the vultures to wait their turn. We watched this game-scape play itself out for a while- the hyena got fed up fending off the large birds alone and eventually tore off a hunk of carcass for himself, and left the bulk of it behind for the vultures to fight over. I am not sure how long we sat there- could have been a few minutes, could have been all afternoon- we were mesmerized. When the dogs were gone and the hyena was gone, it seemed time for us to move on as well. Our guide then, with a grin on his face, said, “okay, I found some wild dogs for you, what would you like to see next.” Without skipping a beat, I responded, “mating lions.” He laughed, and off we went.

We probably drove only another 5-10 minutes when we came upon a pride of lions- 3 adult females, each with cubs; a total of 7 cubs, of varying ages. Wow, this safari was only getting better. For quite a while, we watched these cubs frolic and play, as their mothers dozed, but it was getting late and lunch was waiting, so we pushed on to the lodge.

As we approached the lodge, not more that 300 meters from the gate, we came across the mating lions. It was spectacular. We watched them for nearly an hour, forgetting all about lunch. The remarkable anthropomorphic behavior- she nudges him, “come on dear”, he grunts, gets up, walks around her, mounts, nuzzles her in the ear, she complains, he gets off and flops on the other side of her, in a state of exhaustion and she rolls over on her back, as if to say, “if I put my legs up in the air like this, I think I am more likely to get pregnant.” It was fascinating!

And all of this was just on our way to the lodge!

aserlemitsos   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2011 Reviewed: Sep 19, 2011

Email aserlemitsos  |  under20 years of age

An all-around African experience.
Overall rating

Landing on a dirt airstrip is a great way to land into this beautiful reserve. Immediately you are greeted by your personal guide, who takes you first thing on a game drive to your lodge, or in my case, the Manze Lake Camp. My experience went as follows: we told our guide that we wanted to see wild dogs. 20 minutes later, they were there laying in front of us. The lodge itself was excellent, you have a personal chalet, the food was served family style and tasted great. The next day we told our tour guide that we wanted to see mating lions. Again, 10 minutes later, they were there in front of us. This whole idea of seeing anything you want, sums up Selous Game Reserve. It is a magical place with great wildlife, food, and hospitality. If I could suggest one thing, it would be to go in the month of june, july, august, when it is colder there, any other time is very hot.

squishsquish Visited: August 2009 Reviewed: Sep 9, 2011

The Selous was great-less touristy than other reserves, with just a focus on seeing amazing animals
Overall rating

We really liked our safari in the Selous Reserve - we were able to enjoy both river boat and traditional jeep safaris. It was great that everything was so open and natural - we had elephants wondering past our tent every night and even had a cheeky monkey attempt to join us for breakfast. The reserve has a lot less people than others - some days we didn't see anybody else except our driver.

Average User Rating

  • 4.7/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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