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Planning An African Safari To Nyerere (Selous) In Tanzania? Scroll Down..


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Set on a branch of the Rufiji River, not far from the scenic Beho Beho Hills, “Maji Moto” hot sulfur springs and the grave of Frederick Courtney Selous, the soldier and adventurer after whom the reserve was named, Sand River Selous offers an individually tailored African safari experience to lovers of wilderness and high adventure. “Maji Moto” simply means “hot water” in Kiswahili, so the name recurs in other volcanic regions of Tanzania.

Sand River Selous is a fabulous wilderness lodge built on one of Richard Bonham’s favored camp sites in the wilds of Nyerere National Park (Selous), Tanzania. Richard, son of Kenya’s pioneer game warden spent many years leading portered safaris through Selous, and was convinced that the Sand River location was the most beautiful site he had ever found.

Eventually Sand River Camp was built to realize his dream of sharing his love for the area with the discerning visitors, and today benefiting AfricanMecca guests on holiday in Tanzania with maximal wildlife experiences. Nyerere National Park (Selous) is an area of unspoiled wilderness more than 30,000 square kilometers in extent, of which the Northern strip of interconnected rivers, internal deltas and oxbow lakes form a perfect environment in which to enjoy unique opportunities for bush activities including boating, fishing and superlative birding not possible in more popular and highly regulated National Parks in Tanzania.

It is a magnificent sanctuary for vast herds of thousands of elephant, buffalo and many species of ungulates, assorted antelopes, cheeky monkeys and prides of lions, not to mention African wild or painted dogs and over 350 species of birds. Reached by air and vigorously on road from Dar Es Salaam, it offers a luxurious, relaxing environment laced with high adventure, making your Selous trip the highlight of a lifetime.

Accommodation At Sand River Selous

8 quiet and comfortable stone-built thatched cottages on decks overlooking the stately Rufiji River, providing a fantastic base from which to view the abundant wildlife of the area. Open fronted rooms are designed to afford maximum light and total immersion in the local environment, catching every cooling breeze from the river and every natural sound of water, birds and mammals.

Hippo rumble, elephants trumpet and birds call by day and by night. Surprisingly, you will not hear a true purr from lions since their hyoid bones are ossified to allow them to produce their resonant croaking roar. Five of the cottages are beside the river. They have en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets, hot and cold water and vigorous showers. The other three are larger hillside suites with more extensive living areas, additional outdoor showers and private plunge pools – perfect for Tanzania safari honeymooners on an AfricanMecca tour.

There is a main mess area with lounge, open dining room, library and bar all commanding panoramic views. A large swimming pool with a river view is the place to chill out. Fly camping expeditions are a key add-on offering on a Sand River Selous safari: leisurely rambles to appreciate the natural space and beauty; with light weight tents to pitch in selected more remote areas to enjoy the fullest possible wilderness experience. River and lake boating trips and game-viewing drives are carefully arranged for maximum interest with opportunities to visit sites of special geographic, cultural or historical interests to add spice to your unique secluded vacation in Africa.

Safari At Sand River Selous

An average of two different Nyerere Park (Selous) tour activities can be included each day on your Tanzanian safari at Sand River Selous between relaxing intervals in camp enjoying the swimming pool and the view. The main activity is a driving safari in a comfortable game viewing vehicle equipped with a two way radio, on board refreshments and 4 x 4 drive. This is the quickest way to reach distant objectives such as the hot sulfur springs in the Beho Beho hills or the grave of Frederick Selous.

Game driving is also the safest way to see the prides of lions, herds of elephants or the great masses of buffalo. But you are free to get out and walk with your armed guide to see passing wildlife without startling nervous herds of elephant or skittish antelopes. You can emerge un-noticed from woodland onto wide flood plains rich with feeding pelicans and other wading birds. You can even breakfast by the river at the impressive Stiegler’s Gorge, where the river narrows between steep cliffs echoing to the screeching trill of a stooping crowned eagle.

Another favorite African adventurous tour activity well worth trying is the relaxed guided walk focusing on flora, general ecology, insect and birdlife viewing combined with footprint and droppings analysis and tracking amidst transitory wildlife (view map of Nyerere National Park (Selous)). Boating and fishing trips on the lakes and river with expert boatmen allow you to appreciate the fearsome yawn of a hippopotami or the toothsome smile of a crocodile from the safety of your metal boat with its powerful outboard motor. AfricanMecca guests may even catch a voracious tiger fish for supper.

Dining At Sand River Selous

There are many and varied places to dine at Sand River Selous, in the cool, spacious, open sided mess hall, at individual tables or in convivial company at a shared table where the social manager ensures brilliant conversation, or in secluded spots in the lovely grounds and around the pool or more adventurously at Stiegler's Gorge as a picnic breakfast or lunch. Food is of superb quality, skillfully prepared, artfully spiced and delightfully presented.

Both carnivore and vegetarian menus are imaginative, and house beverages are included in the standard tariff. From the moment you awake, when aromatic Tanzanian tea or coffee with freshly cooked biscuits is brought to your cottage, you will be aware of the unique ambience of your AfricanMecca tour in Tanzania.

A hearty breakfast follows a morning wildlife safari. You can choose muesli, fruit, newly baked bread, cheese, toast, and jam and honey preserves, or you can opt for a traditional full English breakfast cooked on an open fire or in-house kitchen, the norm for travel in Africa. A variety of hot and cold luncheon platters are prepared in the dining hall, including meat, salads, vegetables, soups and poultry.

After a refreshing siesta, afternoon tea sets you up for another safari, perhaps a boat trip before sundowner cocktails as the day ends in a display of glorious sunset skies reflected in the sliding river waters. Back at camp by the mandatory 6.30-7.00 pm. Aside a friendly reserve curfew, enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner served in high style before ending the day around a leaping camp fire sharing competitive wildlife tales (read more on when is the best time to visit the wilds of Selous).

Related Pages

1. Nyerere (Selous) Safari Park Guide 2. Best Time & Weather To Visit Nyerere (Selous)
3. Nyerere (Selous) Map 4. Safari Lodges, Camps & Hotels In Nyerere (Selous)

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What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWSfive star africanmecca safaris reviews

  • AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
    Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
  • We have just recently returned from our trip to Tanzania. Our last stop was at the Retreat in Selous. The arrangements made by AfricanMecca were spot on. Our thanks to the AfricanMecca team and Raza for a most exceptional trip!
    Warren & Sharon Hanselman - California, United States
  • Dear Altaf, We had a really remarkable time in Tanzania and Zanzibar. Our favorite was Mivumo River Lodge in Selous. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and we will never forget it. Thanks to everyone at AfricanMecca Safaris for making our trip so special!
    Rachel Flynn & Family - California, United States
  • We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
    Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
  • We had an absolutely unforgettable time. Both our guides were outstanding with so much knowledge. At Nyerere National Park (Selous), we found a group of wild dogs cooling off near a pool of water. The safari was everything we had hoped for.
    Gunnar and Liz Kristiansen - Ontario, Canada
  • I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
    Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
  • AfricanMecca's professionalism and care understands that what distinguishes Africa is its authenticity, the land, people and wildlife who do not share our world of fashion and fanfare that distinguish so many travel companies today.
    Cyril Christo & Marie Wilkinson, Conservation Photographers, Authors & Wildlife Documentary Producers - USA


When staying at Sand River Selous in Nyerere (Selous), we recommend combining it with offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Ruaha or Katavi ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale.

You may optionally extend out to Northern Tanzania safari parks such as Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti (wildebeest migration). End your trip with a Swahili cultural tour and beach holiday in Zanzibar.



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