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“Honeymoon Safari”
Review of The Retreat Selous

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The Retreat Selous
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We spent 5 nights at The Retreat which was the most amazing place. It was made so special by the lovely staff who couldn't do enough for us. We were met at the airstrip by our driver and a ranger and given refreshing pink soda and tasty breakfast bites. At the main fort we were welcomed and introduced to all of the people who would be looking after us. The view from the fort was brilliant, a perfect spot for a lovely lunch which we did enjoy. The setting by the river was perfect with hippos to watch all day long. We did game drives, walking safari's and even spent a relaxing afternoon at the spa overlooking the river. Our guide was full of facts about the bush and great at spotting animals and giving us information about them as we went along. On a full day drive over to the lakes we spotted hippos, lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, wilderbeast, velvet monkey, eland, waterbuck, crocodile and lots of beautiful birds. On our last few days a couple of elephants had come to the river and it was great to watch them just below our banda one afternoon. We had a magical breakfast in the bush set up by the river with freshly cooked eggs, delicious sweet mango and great coffee. We had dinner at hippo point and counted about 25 hippos in the river below. On our last night we had a surprise dinner in the bush which was just great, arriving at the river bank to see a fire set up and lamps set around a table for 2, just behind that was the bar and then the chefs arrived and prepared a delicious 3 course dinner, out of this world.

The Retreat is a really special place and I would love to go back.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fiftyfiftyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 64 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2013

Just came back from our honeymoon. The Retreat is really the greatest place I've ever been. The view from our room with a huge terrace was magnificent. The rooms and the whole Retreat were extremely clean. They have a very good and oh so friendly staff. They were so caring. It was like heaven. Also a big thank you to the general manager who arranged everything very well. The food, the gamedrives, ... everything was more than great. The romantic diner at the hippo pool and the meals in het middle of the bush were unforgettable. I certainly would recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ElkeP86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We stayed here for the first 3 nights of our honeymoon! This place is spectacular in every way! I totally agree with the recent reviews. This hotel gives you fantastic game viewing, beautiful rooms in the heart of bush, outstanding staff who provide an exceptional service! They do make you feel as if everything is for you- just want you want on your honeymoon. They provide a truly 'once in a lifetime' African experience. Since I have returned home, I cannot stop talking about this place. I have been on several safaris and this one out shines any other. I hope to go back soon, as no other safari retreat could top it!

Room Tip: The river suite is exceptional!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank debbie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

The retreat has the perfect name ! An out of this world place to relax and enjoy and step back from our busy lives.

We have just spent 3 nights in the Retreat Selous and have had a wonderful experience.

The lodge is the most remote in the big Selous game reserve, settled on a hill overlooking the Ruaha river.you have almost 240 degrees of  river views call the hippo sounds that come with it :-) The nature around the lodge is magnificent.

We were staying in a eagle hill suite.The rooms are nicely decorated in rustic style combined with nice handcraft made pieces gathered round the world by the owner(India, marocco, Zanzibar and Tanzania of course)

The staff is helpful and very well trained to meet all your needs. The chef cooks great yet simple dishes.

What is really special in the Retreat is the effort the team makes to create unforgettable memories in the bush. From cooked breakfast in the middle of the savannah,to sundowners by the river at the sound of hippos, to under the stars dinner by the hippo pool.

What one needs to know is that the game is rare and shy here, as a result of the fact that animals are close to their natural state and not used to cars at all.  Net, it is not the place to go if you want to see the big five in one day ! Instead I recommend the retreat for 2 nights in combination with a more busy reserve in Selous (like Safari camp).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank jeansilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

Just spectacular. With is unique blend of exoticism, great game viewing, amazing experiences, friendly staff, Tanzania safari enters a new phase. This is everything you could wish for - no tourist crowds, you have the feeling everything is for you only. They say it in French - mal d'Afrique. This is it. Once you've been to Selous - the Retreat, there is an instant urge to come back and back again. We stayed at the Hippo Point which is - let's admit it - the pearl of Selous. The whole concept is to have an intimate safari and the best service you can get in Africa. The guide was just amazing as well as the owner, Doctor Uma. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner the first night, full of stories from the bush, while the hippos are just in front of us. Selous is ideal for both the adventurous souls and people who just want to have some relaxed, no-wires time in Africa. This is the authentic, unspoiled African experience - the accomodation/food/service is of the highest quality and I feel the urge to come back as soon as I can. We were traveling with our 11-year old daughter and this trip was a mind-blowing experience for her. She even started to write a safari-book, so impressed was she. The ladies there made an African haircut for her and a wonderful one-hour massage for my wife. Thanks to all the stuff and hope to see you soon.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank konstantinvulkov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2012

We were told we might not see as much wildlife staying here as elsewhere in the Selous but as a honeymoon couple on our first trip to Africa and first safari, we wanted to stay in the luxury tent-style accommodation and The Retreat was the most affordable option. We were not disappointed. We were treated like royalty for our whole stay. We stayed on the river in one of the beautiful suites with plunge pool - and my favourite, the outdoor copper bath!

On our arrival in the early evening we were given a comprehensive tour and shown our suite. Then whisked off to Tiger point for dinner. We arrived to the sound of hippos on a lantern lit peninsula jutting into the river. We were given a sundowner and then taken to our private table to be served dinner in the darkness (romantic candle-light) to the sounds of the Selous. Dinner was yummy this first night. We did notice that each meal was only slightly varied each day but I think this is due to resources. It was enjoyable but not wow. However, the dining expereiences overall were sensational and truly unforgettable. Hippo Point was another favourite. We were taken there after a day on the road and shared stories with just one other couple who were staying there. We wtached the sun set over the river and hundreds of hippos emerge for their nocturnal strolls! Then were served a wonderful dinner. Wow!
Our final night (of 4) we stayed in the love nest - a treehouse - basically a platform, double bed and mossie net, and simple shower and toilet attached to the trunk! It was on eof the most amazing nights of my life. I stayed up all night not because it was scary but because it was unbelievable to hear the hyenas, hippos, dawn chorus and all the other nosies (some unrecognised). I was so buzzing I couldnt sleep. Other guests we know "chickend out" of this option but I'd really recommend it!
One last point. I developed a horrible vomiting bug. I don't at all believe I got it from the resort due to timings etc... and I managed to fight it off through sheer determination but for 24 hours I was very very poorly. The staff were absolutely fantastic! They took it very seriously. They even got the hotel owner who happens to be a doctor, on the satellite phone from Switzerland. She spoke to my husband and helped with my treatment. I'm so grateful. The staff ensured I had all the first aid and medicine I needed plus cooked to order everything I needed to try and stomach food again - lots of plain rice, porridge etc. If it wasn't for the staff (and my hubby) I think I could have been out of action for a week, not justa mere 36 hours. I'm so gratefukla nd just shows what a wonderful team there are here.

Casear, our own private tour guide was amazing. He was funny, intelligent and vitally, great at spotting animals plus he was so knowledgeable.

I would highly recommend this place and want to return however I would suggest incorporating with another safari location where you are more likely to see more animals.

For the record we saw,
elephants, gazelle, hippos, hyenas, baboon, wildbeest, zebra (fleeting), giraffes, lion (fleeting), warthog and lots of birds!

ALso the free spa treatment was wonderful. I really like massages and am not too fussy. My husband usually thinls they'e a waste of money. This one was the only one he's had where he says it would have been worth paying! We had it by the river in beautiful open-sided tents, listenign to the birds.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank MrsJH2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

Spent 4 nights at the Retreat. Not our first time on Safari but easily the best. Normally whenever there is game around there is also a traffic jam of 4x4's. Not here! We never new from one minute to the next what we'd meet around the corner but we knew that it wouldn't be another 4x4. Nearest village is 6 hours away. The tents were absolutely great, we heard the hippos leaving the river at night passing by our tent and coming back in the morning. Two swimming pools to cool down in + our very own splash pool. You have the choice of 2 activities per day - choose from a 4x4 trip a walking safari (that I would strongly recommend with a bush brakfast) or a massage in your tent. The food was very good and the service excellent. All in all a very very good venue.Thank you very much to all at the Retreat

Room Tip: We preferred the river tents however I can see that the tents up on the hill would gaive a better al...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank richard m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Retreat Selous

Address: Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Selous Game Reserve
Price Range: $725 - $1,176 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Retreat Selous 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Retreat Selous has been built into pristine land, untouched for centuries far away from anybody else. A mystical and historical spot with an all-suite tented lodge with only twelve units, where the journey to experience the power of the African nature and undisturbed behavior of wildlife roaming freely around you is getting a new dimension. Seek adventure, rejuvenate the soul, re-define the balance of life in taking a breath from the hectic world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Retreat Selous Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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