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“Great view and personal service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Selous Great Water Lodge

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Selous Great Water Lodge
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16km from the Mtemere Park Gate, Tanzania (Formerly Big 5 Lodge)   |  
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great view and personal service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

It's a very small lodge with four bungalows, so the owner (John) and other personel will soon know your name. They arrange great meals, your drinks and will help you out with any questions you have.

The view from the lodge is great. It lies about 20 meters above the water and looks across the river where canoes and animals come by often. The sunset is beautiful and enjoyed with a cold beer every day.

The bungalows are simple but decent and have good mosquito nets, towels, soap and enough space. They are still quite open, so bugs are around most of the time, but they will spray for you if requested (and those little gecko's on the wall are awesome anywhere).

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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103 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    85
    13
    2
    0
    3
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26
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Caen, Basse-Normandie, France
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

As soon as we arrived, we realized how magic this place was. A beautiful view on the rufiji river, camp fire in the evening, drinks and dinner overlooking the river with hippos chanting in the background! The owner (John) and staff did all what they could (and more) to make our stay, safaris and visits as good as it could be. They were also flexible and accommodated all our wishes. The food was very good as well. In brief, we strongly recommend Selous Great Water Lodge for tourists in search of a warm, quite and beautiful place few miles away from Selous game reserve.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the river
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We really like enjoyed our stay at the Selous Great Water Lodge. We decided to stay in Selous Great Water Lodge because they had a good tripadvisor rating, informative and friendly web site (you will learn about the staff from about section) and "free bottled water" during your stay. Believe me, you will need bottled water more than anything and it is a real hidden cost !

The lodge has a breathtaking view over the Rufiji River. We arrive to the lodge after a 16 hour trip and everything was set up perfectly. John is one of the best hosts i have ever met, he set up everything perfectly by paying attention to every little detail for us to feel like home. He is like "genie in the lamb" :) If you have special requests, just let him know, be sure that they will do their best and believe me they can even exceed your expectations :)

Accomodations are great, we stayed at Great Family Room and Luxury Tent (as a group of 4!), Luxury Tent is strongly advised if you want to see Baboons and other animals around while sitting in your balcony.

Food was phenomenal, "Swafi"; the cook is doing spectacular job there, you must try his special roast duck ! John was kind to ask if we have any special meal choice everyday, we just decide to eat regular and it was excellent. "Juma", waiter and barmen was always around with his warm smile when we need him.

Our driver "Paul" was excellent too, in safari he did everything to find us a leopard in day light ! Well, by some luck, he even did it :)

Our guide "Patrick" is an excellent guide, he knows everything about trees, birds and animals around...just ask him about a plant and you will see that he can even tell you how to use its root, leaf for medicine, how it grows etc.

Everything was so well arranged and we feel like at home while we were 16 hours away from home :) I am sure that you will get first class service from beginning to end from a team who really want to make your stay as best as it can be.

Selous is one of the lesser visited national parks in Tanzania, so you can do your safari without waiting que for a lion, lanscapes and wildlife is stunning, and i bet the team in Selous Great Water Lodge will do everything perfect for your stay. I would highly recommend you to stay here. Thanks again to John and his wonderful staff for everything, until next time :)

Room Tip: Try luxury rent if you think you can handle to feel "into the wild", it does not have rive...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

This was my first trip to the area of Africa, but when I arrived to John's place, it was a great relief for me, because I was little bit nervous about the places and the area. When we arrived there we felt big trust and we were in a very nice place. John was very kind and interested with us during our stay. His team was also interested and they were so friendly that we felt like we were at home. We stayed at the big tent for 2 nighst, which was a great experience for me :) When we stay there the baboons came in front of our tent, which was really interesting. The foods were very good, also we had such a nice dinner with the company of John and his friend Michael. When we went to game reserve we saw lot of animals, such as elephants, giraffes,lions, zebras,crocodiles, lot of baboons and leopard:)) yes we were so lucky that we saw leopard even though it was a sudden. This safari experience was really great adventure for us. During our stay everything was perfect. I highly recommend John's place, if you want to have safari experience. Especially you should choose to stay in big tent near to the lake:) Thanks John, Patrick, Juma, Paul and the other member of the team.

Room Tip: Tents are quite interesting and you can feel the safari experience well ...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyattsville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We really enjoyed our stay at the Selous Great Water Lodge. Everything was set up perfectly, including: the boat safari, Game drive and walking safari. The food was excellent and the accomodations were very nice, super clean

Pros: Great value for the price, super introduction to the Selous

Cons: Distance to the park entrance, the boat needs a stronger motor, and the beds were very firm.

I would give it 4.5

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Off the sandy main road, through a wooded area along a narrow track, a short distance before getting to the amazing national park at Selous, you emerge onto a small cliff top that houses this wonderful place to stay. The only thing that beats the breathtaking view over the Rufiji river (which conveniently places you to witness beautiful sunsets) is the welcoming atmosphere provided by the team of staff and the owner John. If you have the same experience as us, you will get first class service from beginning to end from a team who evidently really want to make your stay the best it can be. When combined with the stunning landscapes and wildlife you can experience on the lodge's special "river safari" and on land in the park, in one of the lesser visited and therefore less crowded national parks in Tanzania, we would highly recommend you to stay here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

It was a pleasure staying at Great Water Lodge. The service and the food are excellent, the lodge is set in a total relaxing atmosphere overviewing the Rufiji river, John is the best host we ever met, the tours on Rufuji and the game drive in Selous were breathtaking. We will definitely come back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Selous Great Water Lodge

Address: 16km from the Mtemere Park Gate, Tanzania (Formerly Big 5 Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Selous Great Water Lodge* is located outside Africa's largest and wildest protected sanctuary for game. Here a million large animals roam amid a spectacular landscape that has far fewer human visitors than other reserves. The lodge is right beside the mighty Rufiji River, lifeblood of the Selous. Comfort and security are combined with the sheer excitement of being in such a place! We are a small, friendly lodge and pride ourselves on our genuine hospitality, offering a personal service to guests, and all at a very affordable price. From the outskirts of Dar es Salaam we are only four to five hours away by road. Otherwise you can fly to a nearby airstrip, perhaps on your way to or from Zanzibar or Mafia Island. Whichever way, we can organise it for you. Activities include game drives with an excellent guide, river boat safaris into the reserve, riverbank walks through the forest, and cultural tours to villages and to meet local people who live from farming and fishing. Accommodation is in luxury en-suite tents; two tents have a stunning view over the Rufiji river and two tents overlook the bush and an animal water hole. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks while admiring the spectacular view over the Rufiji river. Fresh river fish, game meat and local duck are on the menu when available. After dinner you can sit around our fireplace under the stars, listening to the sound of the river and animals in the night. *Formerly Selous Big5 Lodge - under new owner/manager from December 2010 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Selous Great Water Lodge Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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