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“Off season safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania

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Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania   |  
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7for5 combo
corvallis, oregon
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Off season safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We stayed for 3 days mid November. The service and game viewing were excellent. We had excellent guide Hamza to ourselves...one of the advantages of coming pre-Christmas peak season. Enjoyed the river excursions and fishing. We were hosted by both Mark and Kristen and Mark and Chloe. Really great place!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Sand Rivers is top notch. My wife and her parents spent five days at Sand Rivers and enjoyed every minute (even though the weather was hot hot hot). The lodge and the views are stunning and well maintained. The hosts are great, Mark and Kristen made us feel right at home. Ian was our guide and was very accommodating and knowledgeable. We saw plenty of wild animals and enjoyed every minute a the lodge.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
London
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We have just enjoyed the best holiday trip ever!

Sand Rivers Lodge is run by two wonderful people: Mark and Chloe. They went out of their way to make us feel very welcome. In fact all the staff were so friendly and attentive, and always greeted us with a smile and 'Jambo!' Such warm people. We had our own safari guide - Hussein - who, like everyone at Sands River, was both sincere and humble. Hussein instantly put us at our ease. He promised us a holiday to remember and how right he was!

The Selous is breathtakingly-beautiful. Peaceful and surrounded by the wonderful sights and sounds of the animals and birds. In terms of the accommodation, we had two comfortable treetop cabins overlooking the Selous river and lake with many hippos and crocs. One cannot describe how serene and moving it is to fall asleep to the sounds of nature on the lake just a few feet below.

A typical day would begin with a gentle wake up call with tea and coffee. Everything has been thought of here - with the drinks being served in the room, in a secure cupboard, away from the mischievous monkeys! After a scrumptious breakfast in the dining area, Hussein would take us in the jeep for a morning safari. Lunch back at the base with hippos bathing in the water to cool off and crocodiles lazing on the banks. And so the day goes on - an afternoon safari then the highlight of the day - dinner at a long table with fellow guests. Here we would share our experiences of the day whilst enjoying home cooked cuisine and African wines. Mark and Chloe are the perfect hosts. As one other reviewer said they involve everyone in the conversation. We have two sons - aged 15 and 13 - and Mark and Chloe involved them in the conversation, asking them about their interests, what they enjoyed most during the safari drives etc.

We were all sad to leave the camp saying 'au revoir' to such nice people. We felt as if we were saying goodbye to a special family. Will we return? Absolutely!!

  • Stayed July 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

After much trepidation about going on a safari, we finally arrived at Kiba airport. We were met by our guide, Emmanual, who was to be our guide for the rest of the stay. Not only was he very friendly, but also very knowledgable, with all sorts of information about everything from the birds and bees to the carnivores and trees!

Arriving at the lodge, we were met by Chloe and Mark...both of whom are amazing hosts! Nothing was too much trouble, and we felt really looked after during our stay there!

The rooms are stunning with fabulous views over the river! Beautifully decorated, exceptionally clean, and constantly being tidied, altho this never felt like an intrusion! The hungry hippos outside the room were a constant presence, but after one night, it's as tho they are part of the family, crashing about at 4 in the morning!

The food, and there was alot of it, was very good!! After breakfast, there was always an elevenses snackette to help see you thro to lunch time! The buffet lunch was always very good, with lots of variety over the course of the stay! More food follows at afternoon tea...homemade lemonade and cakes aplenty! Followed by a three course dinner, which again was very good, a few random flavour combinations at times, but it all worked well and tasted fabulous! All drinks were free flowing with Mark and Chloe ensuring that your glass was never half empty!!!

The actual safari experience was fabulous! Not only are there the usual game drives, but also walking and boat safaris. You are free to choose whatever you want to do and when! We saw a multitude of elephants, lions, giraffes, to name but a few of the big animal, altho we didnt manage to catch sight of the elusive leopard, that so many of the other guests saw!!

From speaking to other guests, the Selous wasn't as commercial a place as the Serengeti! We pretty much saw no other cars or people from other areas whilst we were there, and it very much felt like we had the whole of the Selous to
ourselves!

I cannot recommend this place highly enough! Chloe and Mark have done an amazing job, and obviously everyone else who works there contributes to this! All in all, we had an amazing first safari experience, and we can't thank everyone at Sand Rivers enough!!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

Sand Rivers is a stunning luxury lodge in the middle of the Selous Game Reserve. The lodge is strung out along a beautiful river plain with great views and every detail is taken care of. The managers, Mark and Chloe are fantastic and take care of everything. Despite being 5 hours drive from the nearest village, the food is worthy of a top city restaurant, with plentiful and delicious meats, salads, fresh breads and fruit and vegetables. The rooms are strung out along a small hill and the suite we were staying in was extremely spacious, with its own plunge pool, terrace overlooking a beautiful African plain (with elephants wondering past) and hills in the distance. Rooms are extremely comfortable with large beds, and open to the bush (although totally safe) so monkeys, squirrels and bushbabies are frequent visitors, which all adds to the safari experience. One of the best things about the lodge is the ability to take walking, driving and boat safaris all straight from the lodge itself, offering a diverse set of scenery and animals/birds to see. The game viewing is fantastic and a special mention must go to Hussein, our guide, who really made our trip. Incredibly knowledgeable, with fantastic eyesight, a great sense of humour and very friendly, he really made our stay even better. Cannot recommend Sand Rivers highly enough.

Room Tip: The suites up the hill have the best views and are bigger with their own plunge pools. Definitely wo...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

What a great place! Everything was first class. Mark and Chloe, the managers could not have been nicer or more helpful to make our stay more enjoyable. Our guide was great and knowledgable and game viewing was exceptional. Breakfast in the bush is a super touch. I wish we could have stayed longer..One of the places that made our trip one of our best vacations.

Room Tip: We had a suite with a plunge pool that overlooked the river and had great African sunsets.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

We stayed at Sand Rivers Selous for 4 nights on our honeymoon in September 2011 and it was our first experience of a safari.

We flew in from Dar Es Salaam, met at the airstrip by our guide Mussa and jeeped through to Sand Rivers.
Driving along our guide pointed out various birds etc, then he mentioned 'can we see the Elephants in the lush garden area ? & there they were ................
What a start and it got better and better during our excellent stay.
Your guide stays with you for the whole of your stay and our guide Mussa was incredible, with great knowledge and humour and his eye sight was mind-blowing ......
In my world, the people always make or break a holiday and the management and guides at Sand Rivers are superb and top class.

The lodge is on a bend of the Rufiji river and it's a amazing location and view is stunning, with hippos right in front of the main lodge and the separate rooms / suites.
Meals are taken at the main lodge, food is very good and bearing in mind it's in the middle of nowhere and a 3/4 day drive to a main town, the menu is excellent and varied.
All food and drinks are included and you won't be let down.
One of the highlights of our trip was sitting down to dinner with the rest of guests and management, chatting about the days activities and swapping stories.

The private villa / suite was massive and well decorated with everything you could need. They are open backed with amazing views across the river and valley.
So yes some monkeys and other small animals wander in to have a drink from the open shower, but no worries
As we were on honeymoon, our suite had a private plunge pool and seating area, again amazing.
You do have staff that escort you to and from the main lodge at night, nothing to worry about, just you're in the wild, so the hippos and lions will walk through the camp at times, so safety is paramount.
We did have an issue with ants when we stayed, we are in the wild, but Chloe and her staff were excellent, apologised and dealt with it and thanks for the funny certificate.

Regarding the animals and safari trips etc, per other reviews people say that the amount of animals is lower than in other parts.
As it was our first safari experience I can only go on our experience !
It was like our guides had vans of animals parked up ready for release at certain times,
i.e. 'would be nice if we saw some lions now ?', turn the corner in the jeep, lions hunting warthogs in front of us.
'How about a gang of giraffes, need about 40 of them including babies running through and past our jeep ?' turn the corner ...........
From my point of view it was absolutely incredible Lions, Giraffes, warthogs, elephants to name a few and an amazing amount of birds etc
On our last afternoon we did a boat trip, the leopard was the last animal we need to see and on cue, the leopard appeared and sat around 20 feet from our boat, staring right at us .........................
When researching the trip I wanted a lodge that had amazing views and location, would tick the majority of wild animals and most importantly wouldn't be too crowded with jeep loads of people all chasing the animals trying to get the best views.
Sand Rivers is that place.

The guides are superb, knew where and what to look for and I can't recommend Sand Rivers highly enough.
Recommend all of the activities that they have on offer and too many things to mention in review like this.
Go find out for yourselves, it is amazing !

Also a quick mention to recommend Nick at 'thetanzaniaspecialists.net'
Our honeymoon was obviously the best holiday we'll ever have and Nick was excellent in producing the trip of a lifetime. including the safari in Selous, our stay at Stone Town and an amazing stay at Kilindi on Zanzibar.
He got us some incredible deals, saving us a fortune and helped us when the flights got mixed up at 3am GMT.
I cannot recommend Nick highly enough and many thanks for helping to organise our amazing honeymoon.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
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
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania 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 down the river at dusk or sleep out under the stars at night.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 
Also Known As:
Sand Rivers Selous Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Sand Rivers Selous, Nomad Tanzania Selous Game Reserve

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