Selous Ngalawa Camp
- Office In:
- 5-10 employees (Founded in 2015)
- Member Of:
- TATO, TTB & TANAPA
- Tour Types:
- Custom budget & mid-range tours that can start every day
- Price Range:
- $80 to $190 ppper person per day (USD, excl. int'l flights)
Average User Rating
Email Heidi | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
A budget safari with some challenges
We booked this safari well in advance with Donatus from 'selousrufijihippoadventure' who works with Ngalawa Camp. We tailor made the safari to be 4 days including a boat safari, 2 days of game drives in Nyerere, a visit to maasai village and a walking safari. Our day 1 drive from Dar Es Salaam to the camp took about 6hrs. It had rained the night before so our car got stuck in the mud twice and had to be pulled out with some help of locals. We also spent 2hrs just getting out of Dar as the "guides" went to do their foodbuy for the trip after picking us up. The person who was our driver was also told to be our "guide" but throughout the whole 4 days he did not give us any information and was purely the driver. In Ngalawa we got another local expert who joined us for the boat safari and the game drives. The boat safari was really nice and we enjoyed it a lot. On Day 2 we got a bit unlucky as it was raining and we didn't see so many animals during the game drive. In the morning we got stuck in the mud again and had to be pulled out with some help. To be noted, our safari car was not a 4 wheel drive so it got stuck very easily and our driver wasn't experienced with driving in mud. After lunch our driver headed to a route where we specifically told him not to go as we had seen the condition of the road. Immediately after we got stuck in the mud and spent the next 3hrs trying to push the car out of it without any success. Our local guide didn't have a radio to call for help and the mobile reception was coming and going. This part especially felt quite unsafe. He told us that some help was coming but didn't know when and after 3hrs trying to push the car out of the mud we ended up hitchhiking 50km on a truck to get to the gate of the park and to get out before dark. During the Day 3 game drive we told our driver to stay only on routes that didn't give us a chance to get stuck. Of course this limited our chances of seeing all possible animals. In the end of the day we visited a nearby maasai village. This visit wasn't really planned beforehand and the maasai didn't seem to know that we were coming. On Day 4 we did a morning walking safari with Didi who was a great character! He really made the walking safari very interesting and fun! The Ngalawa Camp itself was nice and the staff were friendly. It would have been nice to have a choice of dishes for meals instead of set plates. Our drive back to Dar took about 5hrs and in the end we had to renegotiate the price of the safari due to the circumstances.
Email Nadine | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Nice tour with a need of improvement
We booked a five day tour in Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park with this operator.
Before departure, communication was easy and quick with the office in Dar Es Salaam.
Upon request I was told that we have a private room and bathroom in a cabin/large tent, power and WiFi in all the camps. Also I was told that we could store our suitcases in the operator’s office while being on the safari and that we would be able to catch the last ferry to Zanzibar (4pm) on the return day.
However, none of these expectations were fulfilled.
Luckily, we could store our luggage at the hotel and I decided to book a flight to Zanzibar in the evening of return day instead of taking the ferry, which we never would have made in time.
As to the other promises: when we finally got to the first camp in Selous the first day after driving for 6 hours, our expectations were not fulfilled at all. Our cabin was rundown, there was no water in the sink and very little (and only cold) water in the shower. Power kept failing and of course there was no WiFi, which is fine but could have been told us in advance instead of lying to us. Provided food was eatable but not great (both nights for dinner we had rice with a little bit of vegetables and sauce).
In the afternoon of the first day we had a boat safari (as stated in the itinerary) which was quite disappointing because we merely saw a few hippos from great distance somewhere in the water.
The full day Game Drive the next day, however, was great!
Our driver Michael did a great job showing us lots of animals like giraffes, zebras, elephants, hippos, wildebeest, impalas and lions. This day as well as the full day tour in Mikumi Nationalpark two days later were a really great adventure for all of us.
What‘s really disappointing is the fact that three out of five days are spent in the car driving from one spot to another. So besides the 6 hours on day 1 we had to drive 10 hours from Selous to Mikumi on day 3 and then again 7 hours on the last day to get back to Dar Es Salaam. Surely, the operator cannot be blamed for bad road conditions, but it would be nice to know in advance how much time is really spent in the car.
Last but not least: the Bastian Camp in Mikumi is a great place, I would definitely stay there again! Even though we only got a tent with a shared bathroom on the camp site (instead of the promised private bathroom) this place was much nicer and cleaner than the camp before. For dinner there was a small buffet with soup, various main dishes and desert and for breakfast you could choose among various options.
It was mostly for this place and our great driver Michael that I decided to rate three stars for the tour.
Email Fenna and Levijn | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
great safari with very good Gide/driver and amazing cook.
We just had an amazing safari in selous-mikumi-ruaha (7days). The driver (William) drove really safe and had al lot of knowledge about the animals and provides answers to every question. He's really experienced, knows the parks and the surrounding areas. Even when the car broke down he made sure it was fixed as quick and possible and that the safari wasn't compromised. The cook (Amos) was really friendly and happy all the time. He made delicious food (even for us vegetarians). We loved his veggie pies and he even made bush pizza! He made a lot of delicious food (often more than we could eat) and enjoyed taking care of us.
All the places we stayed where good especially the one in Ruaha which was inside the park! Because it's a rather new company we didn't really know what to expect. Just make sure to check beforehand if you sleep in or outside the park!! There where some small misunderstandings in our case but the company is open for feedback and we are happy with the way they solved the issue.
The only thing we didn't like was the walking safari. You won't see any animals and it outside the park. We also didn't like the way the bushman acted out all the things the local people did in the past. Some of the information was interesting but he was pretty loud and he was pretty focused on elephant dung (drinking from it, smoking it etc).
Concluding: great safari with very good Gide/driver and amazing cook.
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