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“Honeymoon of a lifetme”
Review of Selous Serena Camp

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Selous Serena Camp
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Honeymoon of a lifetme”
Reviewed 27 August 2013

I am extremely late in writing this review as we went here for our honeymoon last summer but have only just gotten round to getting myself a trip advisor login. My husband and I spent 3 nights at this luxurious camp in June 2013. From the minute we landed and were greeted by our warm-hearted driver, Ahmed, we knew we were going to enjoy this experience. The staff at the camp are attentive, courteous and will make every effort to make your stay comfortable and idyllic. Everyone from Eliette the lodge manager and his entire housekeeping and catering team treated us so well and made us feel so special. The luxury tents are better quality and more kitted out than many hotel rooms I've stayed in! Power points, twin sinks, lovely bath tub with aromatherapy bath salts, even a hair dresser! There was a bottle of wine awaiting the lovely comfortable bed and the beautiful decor and dimly lit tents combined with the sounds of the bush make this an incredibly beautiful serene honeymoon spot.

We chose Selous rather than heading for the usual route of Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara like most people do as we thought this would be a bit off the beaten track and a bit less touristy. This couldn't have been more true as often on game drives, we would spend the entire day passing only one or maybe 2 other trucks - there were no queues of trucks or tourists lining up to photograph the animals and we and it left us feeling as if we were the only people around for miles. Selous itself is huge, bigger than Belgium if I recall correctly. I would love to visit Tanzania again and to travel to the other parts but for a honeymoon, this was ideal. I suppose the thing that may put some people off (as compared to Serengeti) is that you can't necessarily guarantee which animals you'll see, whereas in some of the larger national parks, there's more certainty of seeing the big 5. We saw impalas, wildebeest, zebra, crocodiles, came face to face with a hippo, saw mating hippos (!), monkeys, baboons, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, monitor lizards, water buck, warthogs and all manner of beautiful wild birds. We also heard the shrill of hyenas late at night one night! The only thing we missed out on were cats - seems it was a quiet week cat-wise but we appreciated how much time and effort Ahmed put in to try and find some cats for us. In mid June when we went, it was just at the end of wet season so there were only a few watering holes around, which can make it harder to know where the big cats will be gathering. We were delighted to have seen as many animals as we did so were not put off by this at all as we felt that is part of the bush experience.

The 3 days consisted of a short game drive, a long all day game drive and a river safari, which was so serene and peaceful. The wonderful staff surprised us not once but twice during our honeymoon. Don't read on if you're planning to go there on honeymoon so that I won't ruin it for you....

On our final day, Ahmed took an impromptu turn in the road telling us it was a common sight to spot cats....what actually awaited us round the corner was a surprise sun down picnic and 2 other members of staff from the hotel. This was so romantic and a perfect end to our final safari trip. We then went back to the lodge and after a typically scrumptious (and very filling) dinner, we were surprised to a huge congratulations cake!! Shamefully we were only able to eat a couple of slices and we hope the staff devoured the rest amongst themselves. The entire team (including all the housekeeping staff, the manager, the waiters and all the chefs) came out singing a traditional celebratory Swahilil song (the song which has since become the anthem of our honeymoon) to greet us with this cake. Since we were there at a quiet time of year, we were at that point the only people at the lodge - we felt WHOLLY spoilt rotten by this display of kindness and knowing all these members of staff were essentially waiting on us.

The food is fantastic - a la carte always with a great changing menu and generous portions - even though it's all inclusive, we struggled to eat everything that was being served and were incredibly impressed at how well these chefs can cook considering they receive weekly or monthly shipment of food and considering they are in the middle of the bush! There was always a perfect balance of traditional food and international fare. Breakfasts were served in the same restaurant and you had the option to sit outdoors which we did most days. Eating by the sound of the river next to you was lovely and on the day of the long game drive, they packed us a lovely lunch which we all picnicked on - be prepared to use the bush toilet that day!

I loved the small touches that the hotel provided, such as the guest book in the restaurant - it was endearing to be able to read other people's experiences and they ask you to list the animals you've seen so it's fascinating comparing your own spot with those of other people. I cannot find one thing to fault about the experience from the quality of the accommodation, food, tours, vehicle (which comes with a cool box complete with drinks and water) but the highlight of this wonderful lodge is the warm nature and friendliness of the staff, which just made our honeymoon perfect.

This place will always hold a special place in our hearts and we already dream of going back there one day. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank hungryforcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

I have just returned from a four night stay at this fabulous camp. We stayed in one of there 12 lodges, spotlessly clean, shower and bath on suite, the pictures do not do it justice.
A variety of freshly prepared food each day, the presentation and quality was impressive.
One of our friends celebrated their birthday, they made a cake. The four chief's, Ellieta (camp manager), the waiters and our guide Jumbe, sang and danced their way to our table to deliver the cake. It was good fun .... great singing and dancing.
Safety was high on the agenda both around the camp and out on Safari. Very unspoilt, quite different from the more commercialised Serengeti. Jumbe was a brilliant guide and and very informative. We also experienced a walking safari and was accompanied by Joshua the ranger. A great experience!

Room Tip: I slept in No 3 quieter than, 1 and 2. No1 has a water hole in front of it, which can be noisy with...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank 2sheshe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2013

Just returned from a wonderful trip with my daughter and grandson. I have reviewed the Mivumo River Lodge, which was actually the second part of the trip. We started at the Selous Luxury Camp and it is wonderful. The rooms, staff, food are all top notch! Each "tent" is identical and all beautiful. If you look at the web site the tents look exactly like pictured. It is incredible to be in a tent, even if it does have a foundation, that can be that luxurious. It is wonderful the Selous Luxury Camp and Mivumo River lodge are operated as one unit even though they are in different parts of of the Reserve. Our guide started with us at Selous and then went with us to Mivumo. Chris is an amazing guide and it was wonderful to have him as a guide through the whole trip. Again, the staff and food in both camps are outstanding and well worth the long trip to get there. I would go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Here, as in Mivumo, the rooms are identical with the only difference being the distance to the lodge...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank azmame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tanzania
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

fantastic location for those who wish to mingle with nature, enjoy the peace and quite in more isolated manner.

great excursions from the camp (walking Safari, Boat Safari, Game drive, and fishing safari).

the sounds and echoes during the night are fascinating, and lots of birds seeing.
the luxury tents are tastefuly designed and decorated in Victorian style, very comfortable and spacious.
the place is well kept and maintained, staff are very experienced and food is delicious and the Chef is flexible with choices.

Room Tip: all the tents are the same layout and size, Tent 3 and 2 are closer to the lounging area, and provid...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shay M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2013

My daughter, husband and myslef just has a 3 day stay and safari. Jumbe was a brilliant guide, well informed, eyes like a hawk and a fabulous driver which you will find is really important. Glad we went to Selous instead of the more commercialised Serengetti. It really is just luck on what you see, but the brilliant guides give you a fighting chance. Its strange to see them following tracks which ou can only just about see when pointed out! We had a 3 hour drive upon getting picked up from the airport, another 3 hours the following morning 8am-1030am, a river safari at 1500-1900 and a final 90 min drive on the way to the airstrip. No Complaints for the safari!
The luxury camp was stunning. Really wired feeling to be in the bush in the middle of nowhere and to have this hut, which is like a tent on the inside, with victorian style bathroom. Really nice and luxurious. The main area where the restaurant/bar/pool lounge area as really nice. The staff were friendly. The food was amazing, a 5 course meal each time, so tasty and a surprise each evening. My only issue with my stay was that the stay was very regimented. We felt extremely restricted, like we were living to a timetable. We got the feeling we were not wanted in the day around the camp when on our second day we asked after our morning drive we could be dropped back of at the lodge to have a chill and a sleep on the loungers around the pool before our afternoon safari. We felt extremely uncomfortable, there was a bad atmosphere from the staff. We had also paid to be all inclusive, now i realise that it is not a drinking style holiday and we wasnt after that. However after the exhausting days on safari we really wanted to sit down after our evening meal,let it digest with a drink away from our table. After one drink by around 930pm we felt pressurised to go to bed. We were getting watched all the time, maybe as there ws only a few guests there, but i still felt unable to relax and enjoy my time at the lodge.

Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Jess123England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Littleton, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2013

We stayed at the Selous camp for 4 nights and it was truly wonderful. The tents were beautiful and functional, the staff was friendly and helpful and the food was excellent. The fresh mango juice and orange juice were heavenly. We arrived on New Year's Day and other than one other couple, had the camp to ourselves. It was a little slice of paradise. Our safari guide, Ahmed, was very knowledgable and tried to make sure that we saw every kind of animal - and we did. We also took a river cruise and a walking safari. Everything was laid back and unhurried, making it a very relaxing trip. The staff at the camp is extremely well-trained and help make this a true luxury experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
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3 Thank Mary405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

Our visit to the Selous Luxury Camp far exceeded our greatest expectations -- it was amazing. The camp itself is beautiful -- a little paradise. The staff is professional, kind, and extremely accommodating. Our Safari guide was very knowledgeable -- far more so than either of the guides we have had at other camps. The food is delicious. In other words: Not a single complaint. We didn't want to come home!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank BusyTraveler2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Selous Serena Camp

Property: Selous Serena Camp
Address: Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Selous Serena Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Selous Serena Camp Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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