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“Luxurious safari, a perfect start to our honeymoon”

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Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We stayed here at the start of our honeymoon and felt as if we had arrived in paradise. From the moment our light plane touched down on the airstrip we felt totally relaxed. We were met by a guide who offered us a glass of chilled white wine and a sweet treat while he talked us through what we could expect from Selous and our stay.

The main camp is beautiful with stunning views of the hippos and crocs in the Rufiji River. Cameron and Kate are excellent hosts and made sure we had everything we needed, nothing was too much trouble.

Our guide, Edward, was knowledgable and an excellent host. We enjoyed a mixture of activities - private game drives, a river safari, a trip to the hot springs, fishing, and a walking safari. The game was great, although we didn't see any elephant while we were there.

Food was delicious, really fresh and tasty. Guests eat together in the evenings which is a really fun way of sharing your stories from that day. Lunch is served as a buffet with the opportunity to sit individually from other guests which we enjoyed.

Our room was AMAZING! The view was incredible, the bed comfortable, the bathroom brilliant with its open views and solar warmed shower with plenty of water. After dark you are accompanied to and from your room and you will be collected promptly at the time you request.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and were sad to leave. Cameron and Kate organised a private poolside meal for us on our last night with a bottle of Prosecco which was really special, and we were even serenaded by a bullfrog!

Room Tip: All rooms have amazing views over the Rufiji River. Some are closer to the main camp, others are a 5...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nicola P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2014

I just returned from my third trip to Africa, and as a very experienced safarier, I would totally recommend Sand Rivers Selous!! The camp, which sits right on the remote Rufiji River, is breathtakingly beautiful, our guide Robert was extremely knowledgable, and out hosts Cam and Kate couldn't have been more accommodating! We had a suite, which was huge and luxurious, and our travel partners had a room, which was also very spacious and gorgeous. If you are looking to branch out from game drives, this is the place for you. Other activities include fishing, taking a sunset boat ride to a beautiful gorge, and even swimming in hot springs (a must)!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank LauraBro323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Firstly we booked our honeymoon through Catherine at Turquoise Holidays - we would recommend her in a heartbeat as from start to finish she made the whole process simple and enjoyable!

So we arrived in Selous on 2 June 2014 after a long journey, feeling excited but perhaps slightly weary. We were met on the airstrip by Joel & Milton. Joel introduced himself as our guide for the time we would be there (4 nights). He gave us a towel to freshen up with and offered us an ice cold drink from the cool box. He then said we would be heading back towards camp but that he would keep an eye out for anything of interest on the way.

The "anything of interest" ended up being a pride of lions who we were 30 feet from! Joel had somehow spotted them (with his magic eyes) and off road we went, up the hill in order to get a closer look as they sought refuge from the heat under a tree!

We arrived back at camp and were greeted by Kate & Cam wondering what was in store for the next four days given what we had seen on the trip from the airstrip. Our welcome was lovely & we went inside for another cold drink & a chat followed by a buffet lunch.

We then walked to our room which was Suite no 2. It was just spectacular - from the view of the river with the hippos bathing in the water, to the plunge pool which was much needed for a dip after lunch most days, to the gorgeous and HUGE bed and not forgetting the shower which you could use indoor or outdoor. The rooms are very open at Sand Rivers and this allows you to feel fully connected to the bush at all times. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to sleep that well as I always find myself awoken in London by city noise...however I slept better than I had in ages!

Our days were filled with adventure and discovery & Joel was just superb. He was so friendly & determined to make sure that we saw as much as physically possible in our time there...which we did! We have memories we will never forget from families of giraffes, to zebras, impalas galore, crocodiles, baboons, more birds than I can name and many many more.

The days are full on with a wake up call at 6am most days (softened by the delivery of hot drinks and homemade biscuits)...breakfast at 0630 (continental buffet with the option to order hot food - always yummy), out by 0700/0715 for a game drive, boat trip or walking safari. Then back to the lodge at 1pm for lunch (always a buffet, always incredibly tasty) before a couple of hours to ourselves to chill out. Afternoon tea was served at 1545ish and then we were off out for another few hours before coming back by sundown. Dinner was between 1930 & 2000 (we were amazed on a daily basis at the variety and high standard of the food they created given what had to happen to get the food to camp). They might be long days but there are most definitely worth it!!

On the first night we had a communal dinner with the other guests who had arrived that day. As we were the first guests of the season there were only 6 of us plus Kate & Cam that evening. On our second night we had a private dinner set up by the pool which was lovely, from there we went back to communal dinners (which aren't compulsory). We loved them and we felt very lucky that all the new arrivals (4 other couples also on their honeymoons) were of a similar age to us & were all very easy to chat to. It was great to hear what everyone else had seen & been up to during the day.

They really do think of everything, from providing water bottles which are refilled with fresh water to take out on safari, cold drinks on the jeeps & on the boats ready to help quench the thirst after a few hours in the sun, packs of tissues on the jeeps, insect repellent in the rooms and on the jeeps, fabulous toiletries, laundry service (which was a relief after being so concerned at such restricted luggage).

Kate & Cameron were incredibly welcoming and friendly over the course of our stay and we knew we could have gone to them with any issues or concerns.

In the interest of balance I always like to offer any constructive thoughts on these reviews so if I HAD to find a negative I would say....nope, sorry...can't do it! There is nothing we would have changed about Sand Rivers, their amazing staff, their exceptionally talented guides and the wonderful Kate & Cam.

If you are trying to decide between another safari in Tanzania and Sand Rivers just BOOK it! Do not hesitate!!!

Room Tip: We were in Suite 2 which has a hillside view. It was just perfect!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MullinsSE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

My new husband and I traveled to Sand Rivers in June 2014. We stayed for four nights and had an awesome time. The lodge is beautiful and the rooms were great with awesome views. The staff was very friendly and really helpful.

The guides were very knowledgeable and its very private and exclusive.

The camp managers, Kate and Cameron were very welcoming, knowledgeable and so helpful.

Overall we had a great time and would definetly come back or recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Morgan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

I should probably start this review by saying that we came to the camp from one of Conde Nast's top-rated lodges, which definitely put the place at a slight disadvantage. I just can't bring myself to give it and the other lodge both 5 stars.

The location is spectacular, at the bend of a river where you can watch hippos and crocodiles from the veranda. The game drives were different than in the Serengeti, but nice. We liked the river and the lake as a change from the flatter plains.

The rooms are nice, open to the river and the natural sounds. The lodge is gorgeous, built around a tree. Meals were good, but occasionally less well prepared than they could have been.

We LOVED the fly camping experience. And our guide Mosa was excellent.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bmalloy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

This is the only camp we have returned to for a second visit in 20 years of visiting Africa so we had high hopes and were not disappointed. Sand Rivers is a classic amongst lodges and camps and offers a relaxed safari experience for bush enthusiasts who like their comforts too. The new suites are perhaps a bit far uphill for those not used to the smells and sounds (and bugs) and the nightwatchmen were hard to rouse at times so most people might prefer rooms nearer to the reception, bar and restaurant but they do offer privacy, wonderful views and plenty of space. I am not sure that the plunge pool is worth the trouble as we never had time to use it for more than cooling off our feet as we were there to enjoy the game drives and river trips. Food and ambience remain excellent but the all inclusive drinks were slow to be refilled on occasion which we found rather disappointing given the cost of a stay here. Ernest was a brilliant driver, guide and boatman - full of information, smiles and very capable. Kate and Cameron were brilliant hosts and we were only sorry they had to go off on leave before we left. All in all still great but in slight danger of resting on its' laurels perhaps although it still takes a lot of beating.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms or suites nearer the reception if you are nervous of the bush or do not want a longish...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gumbo44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

My husband and I stayed for five nights in January 2014. The lodge is an open sided thatched banda set on the banks of the river Rufiji, beautifully furnished it offers comfortable bar, seating and dining areas with wonderful views. The rooms all enjoy the same amazing views and are also privately set in thatched bandas, the fronts of which have beautiful verandahs and are open to the outdoors (be aware if you are of a very nervous disposition). Suites offer even more seclusion and privacy along with sitting rooms, sun terraces and plunge pools. Beds throughout are huge and amazingly comfortable and bathrooms have two sinks and indoor and outdoor showers.Our guide, Emanuelle, was briliiant. He spoke perfect English, was exceptionally knowledgeable about both the game and the area and had a great sense of humour. Game drives were taken in comfortable, open sided landrovers able to cope with any terrain and we saw plenty of lion, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, elephants, wildebeest, wild dogs, hyena etc. Hippos in their hundreds swim in the river right below the lodge.The unique thing about Sands River though is the activities they offer outside of the normal game drives and, because of these, it is worth spending at least 4/5 nights here to ensure you take full advantage of everything on offer. We experienced a boat trip up the river to Stieglers Gorge, swimming in the hot spring pools, a sunset river trip and, most amazingly, a night's fly camping. I would recommend this unreservedly, a fly camp is set up on the shores of a beautiful lake, complete with camp fire, full bar and table dining service. You sleep in structured mosquito nets so have 360 degree view of the area and the stunning stars at night. It is a once in a lifetime experience and not to be missed. You are perfectly safe with experienced guides, night watchmen, gas lamps etc so can just relax and enjoy the extraordinary peace and beauty.The camp managers, Kate and Cameron, were friendly, attentive and charming and ensured everything possible was done to make our stay memorable. Dining can be either communal or on individual tables as you wish which offers excellent options to suit everyone. Food throughout was delicious and of high quality. Everyone at the lodge from catering,Pauline and Francis, to camp guides Hamandi, Kobis and Jumbe were excellent. Choose this lodge is you are looking for beauty, serenity and a wealth of safari options without hoards of other tourists. You will rarely see another vehicle during your stay but be aware that although game here is plentiful, it does not compare with that in the Serengetti. If you are first time safari goers desperate to see the big five I would combine the Selous with the Serengetti for the best experience. One thing to bear in mind - the Selous is very hot in Jan and Feb so if you aren't fond of the heat go from May - October.

Room Tip: Five rooms (1 closest to lodge) set along river offering privacy and excellent river views. Three su...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MicheleSomerset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania

Address: Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range: £394 - £406 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When Richard Bonham built Sand Rivers, he was offered any area in the Northern Selous. There were good reasons why this site, overlooking the mile wide Rufiji River, was the only place he wanted to be. At the heart of an intricate network of sand river channels, oxbow lakes and open plains, Sand Rivers opens a window on the private lives of Africa's big mammals. Creep up on elephant as they wallow in hidden lakes; drift silently by boat down the river at dusk or sleep out under the stars at night in our unique flycamp. With just eight open-fronted rooms looking out over the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers offers variety, spontaneity and a gradual immersion in a seductively wild part of Southern Tanzania. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sand Rivers Selous Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania Selous Game Reserve

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