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“This is the perfect safari expirience!”
Review of Siwandu

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Siwandu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We stay 4 nights with our children and grandchildren in the north camp on exlusive base.
For us it was the perfect safari expirience, The people are very, very friendly. Gerald, our camp manager, was really perfect and the guides are both very well known and friendly too.
The tents are perfect and the service 100%.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank miephansnetherlands
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 reviewResponded August 23, 2012

Dear miephansnetherlands

We really appreciate your lovely review - our Selous Private Camp offers a unique experience - for special occasions or multi-generational adventures - such as yours - its the perfect place! To have up to 6 luxury tents to yourself with your own private pool, guides, manager, restaurant, bar, vehicles and boats - its the stuff that memories are made from!

Please come back and see us again

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212 - 218 of 325 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2012

This was our first Safari, in fact our first trip to Africa. We arrived in Dar es Salaam and very quickly we were on an internal flight to Selous. We arrived to Giraffes & Impalas walking across the ‘runway’ which was amazing. Our jeep and driver were waiting for us and we were soon on the move to our camp – the trip is only about twenty minutes but we saw more animals than we have ever seen in our lives!!
We arrived to a warm, friendly welcome with all the staff waving at us and introducing themselves. The camp is lovely, very well thought out and all the ‘tents’ (well if you can call that kind of luxury a tent) were really well spaced out and private. The tents were fantastic, extremely large, with amazing views, massive outside decking and a marvellous outside shower (the view whilst taking a shower is fab!!).
We had a quick freshen up and were taken straight out on the pontoon around the lake where we saw Ellies, Hippos, Giraffes, Crocs & loads more. We then went back for lunch – Every meal we had at Selous was fantastic and evening dinner is particularly good, a drink round the camp fire to regail your fellow guests stories with your safari stores , the chef then explains what he is cooking for you that night, followed by a lovely private dinner. Theres something very cool about being escorted back to your tent by a fully fledged Masai warrior in full regalia in the pitch darkness as well.
The game drives were brilliant – not too early and really well spaced out during the day which suited us perfectly as it gave us a couple of hours to chill out around the lovely pool, watched by the odd passing giraffe or two!!
We really enjoyed the walking safari and had a fabulous adventure with a buffalo, remember that Gerald!!
It was our 20th Wedding Anniversary on the trip and had a lovely surprise, when we were taken on a boat safari to a small island on the lake to watch the sun setting with a glass or two of champagne, absolutely amazing.
We couldn’t have had a better stay, it was perfect, thanks to all the staff who looked after us (Rikkas, Pietro, Walter, Gerald, Bantu, Khanidindini and all the others I've missed ), you were all amazing and we enjoyed every minute of our stay – We were moving on to the beach for the second part of our trip – it would really need to be something special to compete with Selous.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ChillaDaddy
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 reviewResponded August 23, 2012

Dear ChillaDaddy

Thank you so much for your review of our camp - so pleased your first safari, and indeed first trip to Africa lived up to your expectations! Selous is a very unique place and a wonderful location to spend special occasions such as your wedding anniversary - congratulations! May this be the first of many trips to Tanzania - let more adventures begin!

Come back and see us soon!

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Reviewed August 11, 2012

This was our first safari and the Selous Safari Camp was recommended as it fitted our brief of wanting to see animals in the wild, but not wanting to be with hordes of other tourists. Good food and comfortable accommodation were main requirements but most of all we wanted to spend time together as a family, just relaxing and sharing new experiences.
In every respect, the camp far exceeded and fulfilled all our expectations. The management and staff have one overwhelming desire here, and that is to ensure that guests have the best safari experience they could wish for.
The hospitality and welcome began immediately when our small plane landed at Siwandu airstrip. We were greeted by Mashaka from our camp, who introduced himself as our family’s guide and driver for our stay. He asked where we were from and we said ‘London, where there are no lions’. Mashaka quickly replied with a laugh, ‘Yes, but there are always human lions!’
The camp itself is a very short drive from the airstrip and when we arrived we were further welcomed by the camp managers, Ricus and Pietro.
Bearing in mind that 14 hours earlier we had just left London, it was incredible that we were now being ushered onto a floating wooden pontoon for a boating safari on the lake. This was overwhelmingly relaxing, peaceful and quiet. We sat on safari chairs and had drinks and snacks whilst Mashaka told us all about the habits, traits, nature and behaviour of the crocodiles, hippos and birds which he so expertly pointed out to our untrained eyes. With a bit of help, we then managed to spot impalas, giraffes and elephants which had come to drink from the lake. You can imagine our excitement!
In addition to the boating safari, we enjoyed classic 4WD safaris where we saw a lot of different animals and birds, and in good numbers. There was also a novel walking safari. The minimum age for a walking safari is 16 but Ricus and Pietro organised a separate extra-special activity for our 12 year old. This is the kind of care and attention you can expect at this camp.
Accommodation and food: The tents are spacious and well-equipped, and are set well apart from each other, so if you come as a family, the children appreciate not being right next door to you. We enjoyed every meal we had at the camp. Everything was so fresh, so delicious and presented beautifully. We marvelled at how such good food could be produced in the middle of nowhere, in such generous portions, and at such frequent intervals.
On our final day, instead of going on a safari, we went fishing. Our daughter caught two catfish and was delighted her brothers did not land anything. The staff were delighted they had catfish for lunch...
As a family, each one of us agrees that if we had to choose a first safari all over again, we would choose to come to the Selous Safari Camp. In fact, the experience was so special we even said we would probably choose it the next time round.
We would like to say a warm and heartfelt thank you to Ricus and Pietro and the staff at the camp, who made us a part of their family for the duration of our stay.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jonathan R
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Dear Jonathan R

What can I say, apart from a massive thank you for such a superb review - fantastically detailed which I am sure will help other first time safari go-ers! We are absolutely delighted you and your family found your perfect safari haven! Its a wonderful family holiday - with joint adventures and new experiences for both parents and children - which produce some life-long memories!

Please come back to Tanzania and as you mention in your review, choose us - we would love the opportunity to host you again

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Reviewed August 8, 2012

My husband had never been sure about going on a safari - but after visiting Selous Safari Camp, he wants to go on more. From the moment we arrived off the plane the service was excellent. All the staff - especially the manager Emile - worked so hard to make sure we had the best four days on safari. Our guide in the jeep wanted to make sure we saw as much wildlife as possible and we were lucky enough to watch a pack of wild dogs - something many people never get to see! The bonus of this camp is that it is on the lake. We had two lovely trips on the lake and it was so relaxing, and we got wonderful photos of crocodiles, hippos, elephants etc from the comfort of our boat. The walking safari was exciting - we had to avoid a 22+ herd of elephants with their young getting a bit to close to us - but it was so interesting to be able to look out for signs on the ground of the animals and to see the habitat of the different birds in the area. However, the evenings were just as good. Every evening was treated differently. One evening all the guests sat at a table together - the conversation was fantastic. The food was of such a high standard and the service always impeccable and with a smile. Thank you Selous for taking such great care of us.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent with wonderful views of the lake.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank abs
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Dear abs

Thank you so much for such a delightful review - it really sounds like you sunk straight into your environment and really relished your time at our camp! Between the wonderful sightings of wild dog and near-miss with ellies to your convivial camp fire conversations and delicious food.

Please come back and see us soon - or come and visit one of our other camps - Ras Kutani or Jongomero Camp!

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Reviewed August 6, 2012

We had a wonderful time at Selous Safari Camp. When completing their feedback form on departure we could not fault or suggest improvements in any areas. Food was amazing. After 7 days in the Serengeti we really enjoyed less time in a vehicle and enjoyed the walking and boat options. Management was excellent as well as the staff we encountered. Overall, it was great!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank XmasIslanders
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Dear XmasIslanders

We really appreciated your fabulous review of Selous Safari Camp - wonderful that you took the opportunity to take advantage of all our activities - as you say Game Drives can get a bit repetitive but doing river cruises or experiencing our wonderful pontoon is very special; not to mention the walking safaris and fly camping where you really begin to understand the root of African bush life - true African authenticity!

Come back and see us again!

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Reviewed August 5, 2012

It was a great experience to be in the Selous Safari Camp. Great hospitality, the out of Africa atmosphere, well equiped tents, the guide did his utmost to 'spot' as much as possible. We really became fan of the Selous Safari Company. We had the privilege to visit all three accomodations of this company, and although they vary each, if you are looking for great accommodations, best service and unspoiled surroundings, we feel this is the best. The staff are all very friendly and well trained, campmanagement is very knowledgeable about all elements, wildlife, hospitality and service. And all three chef's are doing a great job.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ester N
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Dear Ester N

Thank you so much for your wonderful review on not only Selous Safari Camp but also our other two properties Ras Kutani, located on the Swahili coast and Jongomero Camp, in Ruaha National Park. So pleased you were stuck by not only our attention to details and standards at all our lodges but how well the three properties work together to make the most amazing itinerary and adventure for guests - each camp having quirks and individual novelties which makes each property so very special

Please come back and see us again!

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Reviewed July 17, 2012

We stayed here 4 nights. We arrived early around 10 am and were whisked off to the camp via a game drive which lasted maybe an hour, this was nice.

When we arrived at the camp we were fully briefed by the two managers of the camp. We were told about what activities that were available being game drive, water safari and walking safaris. We were informed about meal times, generator operations etc.

Then we were off for our first water safari and it was only 11 am! Over the days we were there we had at least 2 activities per day, which commenced at 8 am and 4pm.

The room was beautifully appointed, with nice open air bathroom. One of the highlights about this camp is it has no outside fence around it so animals, elephants, hippos, Giraffes, and Buffalo can wander around during the night and day, it is a great atmosphere hearing Hippos at night and waking to find an elephant on your doorstep. At night a guard comes and collects you to take you to dinner and takes you back later to your tent. Very comforting.

Food was excellent, the chef is very proud of his creations and I think he should be given the environment he is cooking in.

Guides we good and informative.

You should note that the camp offers two basis of staying, Full board and Fully inclusive, the former excludes all alcoholic drinks at meals and Sun downers which you have to pay for at the end of your stay. Drinks are quite expensive here, so it would be worth checking on the price difference between the two packages from your agent.

Finally, we stayed here 4 nights which was too long in my opinion, as there were only 3 activities to do, so with the day of arrival and 3 days you did 8 different outings seeing the same animals and landscape a number of times over. A number of other visitors at the camp (and other camps we have been too), often were doing only 2 or 3 nights at a camp, then going on to another camp, thereby staying at maybe 3 camps in one whole trip. The benefit of this is you get to see different landscapes and animals and experience more. I feel many tour operators do not mention this option, maybe due to increased costs or that it is easier for them to have you sit in one place and earn their commissions doing less work, for which some are earning up to 30% of the total trip price.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank saphie9999
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 reviewResponded July 27, 2012

Dear Saphie9999

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about our camp - so pleased you took full delight in all our excursions and enjoyed the fabulous atmosphere of being so close to nature - it truly is a special place.

We do offer a drink supplement on top of usual costs so guests do not have to pay for their drinks in camp - some guests like this idea but we have both options as some guests do not drink or perhaps as its an active day may not feel they would drink their "quota"...so it is a personal choice but as you say it would be great if agents / tour operators could mention this on booking.

Concerning the longer stay - once again its personal choice - it is hard if you have not been on safari before, to know what your preferred itinerary should be. Some guests enjoy the longer stay - not having to continually have to pack, repack and travel and also be able to fit in some relaxing time and not go on every excursion. Others want to see as much as Tanzania has to offer - and this country does offer some amazing sights, different climates, scenery, game, even cultures. All our camps are in the Southern Circuit and yet their climates and scenery could not be more different - so well worth spreading your stay over Jongomero Camp and Selous Safari Camp.

Thank you again for your comments and your advice to future guests - great to have first hand knowledge!

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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 27 Specialty Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Hotel Class:5 star — Siwandu 5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Siwandu 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 considered the prime wildlife area of the Selous Game Reserve, with incredible game viewing including the rare African Wild Dog. Offering a range of activities from 4WD game drives, dawn game walks and boating cruises. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Selous Safari Camp Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Siwandu Tanzania/Selous Game Reserve

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