The Selous Game Reserve, at a massive 50,000 kilometres square, is wilderness on a huge scale – the largest in Africa. Originally built in 1984, Sand Rivers Selous is set on a wide curve of the mighty Rufiji River. The lodge is both expedition base, and safari retreat; it’s small but beautifully formed, with an imposing mess, swimming pool, excellent cooking and careful, at-your-whim service. From here, you can indulge in daily adventures including boating on the Rufiji, weaving past hippopotamus and crocodile; driving on the trail of lion or wild dog; an elephant bush walk; a night sleeping out under the stars, or fishing in solitude, barefoot on a river rock.
Accommodation at Sand Rivers Selous is in spacious open-fronted cottages made of stone and thatch, and raised up on the banks of the Rufiji with amazing views out across the river. There are five standard rooms, two suites, and the new one-bedroom private house – The Rhino House. The standard rooms all have spacious, open, en-suite bathrooms, with flush toilets and powerful showers.
The main mess and dining area is set close to the river, and is a generous space. It’s grand yet cosy, the atmosphere is familiar, and the service at-your-whim.
There are two Suites at Sand Rivers, TAGALALA AND KIPALALA. Although separate from the standard rooms, they are within walking distance of the main mess/dining area and large swimming pool. Whilst all meals are eaten in the main mess, the suites have their own private lounge area, and plunge pools set into the main deck. Throughout the day, the cooling sounds of the river run add to the tranquility of the setting.
The bedrooms, with large and comfortable beds, are open fronted and the en-suite bathrooms are bush-deluxe with flush toilets and powerful showers. The two Suites expand the space and luxury with big sofas and plunge pools for constant wallowing.
The Rhino House
The Rhino House is the new private and exclusive one-bedroom ‘house’, located near to the main lodge. A perfect private hideaway; meals are served in the private dining area, and you have your own small pool for an afternoon of chilling out, with the fully stocked bar close by.
The bedroom is romantic with a wide open front looking down over the river and open woodlands. The ‘house’ is perched up on a hillside, providing the ultimate view and it’s a great hide away home for two, offering total bush bliss, day and night, and the greatest luxury of all, a private piece of the great beyond. As well as this guests staying in Rhino House have their own private car and guide to take them out for game drives when they wish.
Game viewing at Selous Game Reserve takes diverse angles and thrilling pace. There is always something to see whether its game drives, walking safaris, fishing, boating, or a combination of all of these, it never disappoints.
The Rufiji River provides an interesting corridor for a unique view of life in the Selous Game Reserve. Upstream from the lodge, the river narrows into a deep ravine called Steigler’s Gorge. The steep sides are thick with lush forest, and huge boulders where leopards are often sighted and monkeys leap through the treetops. Meandering slowly through this amazing place, downstream the river is wide and expansive with vast tracts of sandy banks, and elephants and giraffe are often seen at the waters edge.
For the more adventurous, fly-camping at Sand Rivers Selous offers the outdoor experience of a lifetime, and is one of the most raved about things to do. Mosquito net tents are set up on sandbanks, or near to a busy waterhole. A four day walking safari can be added as ‘extension’ to you safari whilst at Sand Rivers Selous. A four day wilderness walk in the most remote parts of the park, guest get to explore the remotest corners of the area over a set period, with fly-camps moving every night. Walk through magical and diverse landscapes, seeing things not always visible from a vehicle. Each day is designed to be different, and to offer unrivalled exposure to the area. Walks are concentrated around the early morning and late afternoons, with opportunities for fishing, and relaxing in the middle of the day.
If you choose to stay in the lodge itself, you can loll by the pool, play games in the mess with an iced cocktail in hand or read books on your own veranda.