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“Our return trip after 5 years !!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Siwandu

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Siwandu
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Lake Nzerakera, Tanzania (Formerly Selous Safari Camp)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Shepperton
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Our return trip after 5 years !!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We spent four nights in this amazing camp. The staff were lovely and could not do more to make our stay so memorable. Everything from the glamourous tents , to the food, and game drives could not have been more perfect !!!! A return is a must for us !!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Heidisue_12

Many thanks for taking the time to leave Siwandu a review - we really appreciate it! And we were delighted to hear you had such a wonderful you are coming back! Perhaps on the next holiday include our sister camps - Jongomero in Ruaha National Park and Ras Kutani on the Swahili Coast - they create a wonderfully complimentary itinerary - and if you enjoyed our food, service, tents and game drives then I'm sure you would appreciate the same service in our other camps!

Karibu tena and by the sounds of things - see you soon!
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (33)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This was a very beautiful camp. the food was excellent and the accommodations were top notch. They had some nice little extras like lunch on the river, boat safari's and meals where the visitors included the vervet monkeys and the elephants! Our guide was average at best but the animal viewing was still good! The lesson of the day - the guide can make the difference!

  • Stayed July 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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Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Gary C

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review - we really appreciate all feedback because we always want to act and make the experience as best as possible for our guests. Our guides at Siwandu are constantly trained but we have made a concerted effort for the next season to bring in a trainer to ensure they have fresh ideas and information to pass on to guests. So we thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Karibu tena
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed 3 nights here while on our honeymoon. After coming from Selous Safaris other camp, Jongomero, we didn't know if Siwandu would top the experience we had at the other camp. This place was wonderful, and such a contrast to Jongomero - each with its own specialties.

Room
Our room was in the middle between the two main areas, and so it made for a bit of a walk - I was always worried that we would encounter an animal, but the masai were always there as guides and I felt very safe with them. Bring a small flashlight with you so that you can see where you are going! The room was spacious and the outdoor shower was a treat. The weather here is much warmer than in Ruaha and so the ceiling fan was much appreciated. The deck was wonderful to sit on as you have a view of the lake, and many impala and giraffe walk by. The camp is also on the hippo trail - so keep your eyes peeled, one wandered right through our camp whilst we were eating dinner!

Meals
Siwandu is right on the lake, so you get to experience a variety of animals. Our first lunch we were eating beside a giraffe, while a baboon was playing around in front of us! The meals here were absolutely fabulous, very high standards. A variety of food was offered at breakfast and a lovely lunch that always included a few salads, protein and a dessert. Dinner was always 3 courses as well as some pre-dinner snacks - if you have a chance to eat the fritters, they are to die for - so much so that we ate so many we almost didn't get to try all the food for dinner!

Safari
We had a few different guides here who each had their specialties. We met "captain" mukaka first - he was our boat guide. He was very personable and tried to answer all of my questions even though sometimes I don't think he understood what I had said. But he was very patient with me and always made sure we had lots of time to take lots of pictures. The sunset that we saw the evening that we were on Lake Nzerakera was stunning - I'll never forget the experience!

Mwita was our main guide as he took us around on land. He was a hoot! Very personable. He answered all of our questions and kept the conversation going. We were very privileged to have him share some of his life stories with us and we were so glad that he was our guide. He was very perceptive, always looking for a good place for us to shoot as we were snap happy! He stopped quite a few times so we could get a perfect picture of a lilac-breasted roller! Mwita always checked in with us if we were ready to go, or if we needed more time to get the pefect picture.

Siwandu also offers a walking tour, Mambo was our tour guide. Unfortunately, I got sick while I was there so was unable to go on the walk, but my DH said that it was very informative and he liked the little surprise at the end.

Service
Omari was our room attendant. What a kind and thoughtful man - he always made sure that our room was just perfect and he was always very friendly.

Maxi was our server - what a guy! We must have asked him a million questions - but he was always very patient with us and even helped us with our Swahili so we could surprise Mwita on our game drives! Maxi was excellent, always very attentive but never overbearing

Gerald was the manager at our camp and he was very welcoming. Always checking to see that you had everything you needed. He always came around to every guest and made sure that he asked how your day was. He is a huge soccer (football) fan - so if you enjoy the game, strike up a conversation!

I really appreciated these 3 men, especially when I got sick (no fault of the camp). They made sure that I was comfortable, checking in on me every few hours to make sure that I was ok, sending me bread and butter when I couldn't eat anything else. Offering to make other food in case I couldn't eat the meal. Absolutely wonderful, I can't thank them enough!

Overall, an amazing trip, Selous Safari company is excellent, you can't go wrong when you book here! I could go on and on, but you don't really get to see how fabulous it is until you are living it!

  • Stayed August 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.
Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear princess_lacontessa

Thank you so much for your detailed review - and the way you singled out all your staff - as I say many times - for us the staff in our camps make the safari and can bring colour and experience to guests' holidays. We are sorry you got sick and hope you are better now, very pleased to hear you were well looked after.

We really appreciate your review bringing up the contrast between Jongomero and Siwandu - its a wonderful complimentary itinerary - from flora & fauna and landscape to climate and camp - it ensures guests can have the same high quality service as well as see the best that Southern Tanzania has to offer.

Congratulations on your wedding and hope you have very fond memories of your honeymoon with us - you must come back and visit on yout anniversary!

Karibu tena
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Ellenton, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

One of our best lifetime experiences. My wife showed me the brochure with the pictures of the accommodations, and I threw it back and said "these look nice, but where are we staying?" I sort of pictured we would be sharing a smaller tent with maybe some other people. Oh my gosh, was I surprised! It's the dream safari you always hear about, but so much better. I felt like we were in a dream. I'm not kidding. Every time we left the "tent" someone came in and made it spotless. My wife called them fairies. Not a speck of sand or dust anywhere. No wrinkles on the very nice bed. They even replaced the toilet paper, and tied it with a little bamboo string with a nice little piece of art paper. Very privet. She woke me from a cat nap to show me a hippo walking right past our steps. The staff was top notch. The meals we fit for royalty. The safari's we unbelievable. We saw elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons, wild dogs, impala, water buck, monkeys, crocks, hippos, and the list goes on and on. Like I said, I almost didn't want to leave this review so the price didn't go up, and we could keep it to ourselves. There ya go.

  • Stayed December 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.
Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear JohnMys1

What a review! Thank you so much for taking the time to post it for us and I love the idea of bush fairies! We really appreciate your words on the service and the wonderful work of our staff - we endeavour to make every guest stay special and unique; like the environment we work in and its clear from your review that you, like us, believe we have something very special and we were so pleased to share it with you

You must come back!
Karibu tena
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Westmount, Canada
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I have been on 3.5 safaris, and our stay at Siwandu was as good as it gets. What makes this a special location is the combination of water, drive, and walking safaris...and very few other Land Rovers around. This is a nice remote choice versus more popular Norther Tanzania. But more than that, the "tents" (such a weak term for what you will experience!), the food, the service, the atmosphere, and overall delivery was top-notch. For example, our "south camp" was at capacity at a total of 14 people! You can imagine the personal attention and seclusion this offers. Well done Ricus + Pietro. Thanks for your fantastic service and memories

Room Tip: Bring lots of white shirts to reflect the heat. But do bring one beige or dull colour shirt for the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear John H

Thank you so much for taking the time to review Siwandu - and thrilled you had such a wonderful time and enjoyed the delights of southern tanzania and "the road less travelled" - that feeling of privacy and having unique experiences is incredibly special and so pleased you mentioned it. All our camps reflect our desire to offer exclusive, stunning locations away from the madding crowds.

Come back and see us again soon
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Luton, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This place is magical! We went here as part of our honeymoon and have never been on safari before. As animal enthusiasts it was always likely to please but it massively exceeded our expectations! Giraffes stroll through the trees next to the pool, hippos walk past as you have dinner by a campfire (and keep you awake at night!) and on the drives you see so much wildlife.

I couldn't write a review without mentioning the staff! They are so friendly, make you feel so welcome and are very keen to ensure you have the most amazing trip. The rooms are lovely and your housekeeper ensures it is always clean and tidy! Also the food was outstanding and as a vegetarian that is a rarity on holiday!

I can't recommend Selous Safari Camp enough, it's pricey but worth every penny! Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear Emma S

Thank you so much for your review and sharing your great photographs with you. We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us, especially it being your first time on a safari and also celebrating your honeymoon!

We look forward to hosting you again - maybe consider one of our other camps - Jongomero in Ruaha National Park or Ras Kutani on the Swahili Coast

Karibu tena
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed 3 days and nights at Siwandu in mid-December 2012 and loved every minute of it! From the moment we were so warmly welcomed to the last farewell, we felt right at home with the Siwandu family.

Our butler Mohamed took such wonderful care of us, anticipating our needs and really going above and beyond... always with his beautiful smile and friendly demeanor. I know having a personal butler may make this camp sound snooty and pretentious, but it was anything but!! We are not the kind of people who are used to having someone watching out for us in this way, but I could sure get used to that ;)

Emiel is a wonderfully personable camp manager, and very engaging. He runs this camp extremely well -- the entire staff is friendly and their actions coordinated -- I can't name one thing they missed! And Emiel is on top of it all.

Our game drives were superb, with our guide Mohamed (not the same man as our butler) working very hard to ensure we had a wonderful experience. We saw the African wild dogs, lions, gnu, buffalo, giraffes aplenty, impala, waterbuck, baboons, warthogs, hippos (up-close and personal) crocodiles, and innumerable gorgeous birds. No elephants this time at Siwandu, but they were waiting us at Jongomero!

We also took a walking safari and enjoyed getting to know the plants, smaller animals, and insects... including a gorgeous green snake who was hunting gecko.

We highly recommend Siwandu!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lyndsey F, Public Relations Manager at Siwandu, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear jdselby

Thank you so much for your review and we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us - Emiel and the rest of the staff are delighted you appreciated their service and felt at home - as they put their heart and soul into looking after our guests.

Thank you too for the photos of our camp!

Come back and see us again soon!
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Additional Information about Siwandu

Address: Lake Nzerakera, Tanzania (Formerly Selous Safari Camp)
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Selous Safari Camp is delightfully situated within an open palm forest on the shores of Lake Nzerakera, a massive lake adjoining the Great Rufiji River. All safari tents are widely spaced along the lake shore ensuring maximum privacy and wonderful views. Blending in superbly with its natural surroundings in what is one of the most photogenic areas of the Selous Game Reserve, with incredible game viewing including the rare African Wild Dog. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Selous Safari Camp Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Siwandu Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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