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Sand Rivers Camp

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Sand Rivers Camp


... is located in the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania.

Upsides ...

This very high quality permanent lodge is in a peaceful setting in Selous, an extremely large and important game reserve with an unusual languid atmosphere. It is an elegant and comfortable camp, with eight guest rooms and a small swimming pool, really well hosted. The lodge is in an unusually low traffic area of the reserve. Activities include vehicle safari, motorboat safari, walking safari, bush meals and swimming in hot springs. Wildlife viewing is particularly strong during the Jun/Nov dry season, whilst the reserve remains a beautiful place to visit during the converse Dec/Mar green season.

Read more about the upsides for this lodge ...

Downsides ...

The main potential downsides are that the lodge is relatively expensive and it has open-sided rooms which makes it quite an outdoorsy experience. Guests are often asked to share safari vehicles and the quality of the guiding can be variable. The reserve can be particularly hot and humid throughout the year.

Read more about the downsides for this lodge ...

When to visit ...

Since Selous is down on the coastal plateau it experiences high humidity, making for a potentially very hot and sticky climate. The climate is characterised by high temperatures and humidity year round, as well as much higher levels of precipitation and a much less pronounced dry season. This is in stark contrast with the majority of game reserves in East Africa, which are at much higher altitudes and have generally more dry and comfortable climates. This can be a major deciding factor for people who do not enjoy this kind of tropical environment.

The best time of year for safari is generally considered to be the Jul/Oct dry season, when the wildlife is concentrated along the river, although is also the period when visitor numbers and prices both peak.

Read more about seasonality in Selous ...

A few words about prices ...

We are specialists in helping our guests to build the very best and most suitable safaris for the lowest possible prices. A safari can be a very expensive undertaking and we always do everything we can to meet your target budget.

Further up this page you will see our guide price for this place. This is the high season rate per person per night sharing a double room. For most people this should represent a worst case scenario, since various discounts usually apply at other times of year.

We guarantee that the prices we charge will be the same or, more often than not, considerably less than if you were to book directly with the owner. We also guarantee to match or beat any legitimate competitive quotations. Additionally, all our itineraries have fully itemised pricing, so that you can see exactly how much each element costs, which should provide you with great reassurance and help you to make decisions when fine-tuning your trip.

Check the detailed prices and availability for this lodge ...

How we like to include this lodge in trips ...

Selous is a very impressive reserve, one which is certainly worth visiting, largely because of the superb motorboat safari out on the Great Rufiji River.

But because of the sticky climate and lower quality guiding we generally tend to keep stays here down to 3 to 4 nights in a single camp, preferring to deploy more time in other areas.

Having said that, if you are a real safari connoisseur then it can also be great to spend much longer in the reserve, maybe 5 to 9 nights, travelling overland between two or even three camps, the different sectors of the park have very different atmospheres and it is nice to get a wider experience than simply the area around a single camp. But those kinds of trip are few and far between.

Sand Rivers Camp is a famous lodge, the best known in the Selous. It has long enjoyed a reputation for being in an excellent location, being wonderfully hosted and offering a very high quality safari experience.

There are things we love about this place. Flying into a 'private' airstrip, there is a good chance that you will not see a vehicle from another camp during your whole visit, there really is a greater sense of remote wilderness in this corner of the reserve. The view out from the lodge is stupendous, there really is no better experience than to spend a lazy afternoon by the pool. We also love the buzz around the lodge between the return of the afternoon game-drive and dinner, with guests and staff coming together in the lounge for cocktails. It's really very relaxed and pleasant.

But in recent years the lodge seems to have been resting on its laurels a little. The more outdoorsy aspects of the lodge design are less than ideal for some of today's top-end guests and the quality of the safari guiding has slipped to 'variable'. Sand Rivers used to be the stand-out option in Selous, but right now there are at least two other lodges which have caught up with it.

We tend to most often include it in longer high-end safaris where guests are also staying in other Nomad-owned camps in western and northern Tanzania. It is ideal for experienced safari travellers who are looking less for a hard-hitting game experience and more for relaxed and elegantly hosted time in the bush.

Usual stay duration is 3 to 5 nights.

The park is also commonly visited as part of a flying safari through Tanzania South, usually combined with Ruaha, perhaps spending a week or more in the two locations before heading on down to the coast. This trip can be extended by 3 to 4 nights by adding the rural retreat at Mufindi Highland Lodge. On very rare occasions some or all of the connecting legs on a trip like this may be done overland, although this can be rather arduous.

Increasingly we are combining Selous with the parks of Tanzania North, centred on Serengeti and Ngorongoro, or the remote western parks of Katavi and Mahale, although this inherently adds up to a long and expensive trip.

These safari areas are also commonly combined with nights down on the Tanzania Coast, especially on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia or Fanjove.

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Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
We specialise in helping
our guests to build
superb trips to Africa,
easily created, reliably delivered
and for the best possible price.
Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
There's no time too soon
to get in touch,
please don't feel that you have to
have everything all lined up
before giving us a call.
Ida Du Preez
Ida Du Preez, Purchasing
We really can help you create
an awesome African adventure,
so please do get in touch
and give us the chance
to shine.
Clare Grim
Clare Grim, Senior Safari Consultant
When you do get in touch
there's no obligation.
no high pressure sell,
just genuine safari people
chatting about what we love.
Contact Us
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