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“A relaxing wildlife 'resort'”
Review of Siwandu

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Siwandu
Certificate of Excellence
Aalst, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
289 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“A relaxing wildlife 'resort'”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We booked for 3 nights in this lodge as a last part of our safari trip through this part of tanzania (we came in from ruaha) and this before moving on to zanzibar.

This place is split in two 'different' camps, we initialy thought although they would be at seperate parts of the reserve, in fact they are just next to eachother, each having their own facilities, only sharing the reception area...

We were welcomed by Emiel, whom travels in between the different camps and has lot's of things to tell on their history and daily life, very interesting ! The tents in this camp are great, good view on the lake, good privacy, each have two decks, outdoor shower, very nice ! There is also a pool in the camp and at night time hippo's and the occasional elephant might walk by your tent.

The boat trips on the lake were great, nice touch were the bush breakfasts, the game walk was a bit more disappointing to us, we were put together with a group of 'retired' people, we walked the first hour less than 1 km... And if the 'stops' on the walk would have been interesting it would be ok, but in fact we heard the same 'stories/explanation' we had heard during the game drives and boat ride !

In fact this is what we would consider the 'weaker' point (for us) in this lodge : we we're put 3 times with another group and other guides, which makes it obviously difficult to get a more 'personal' touch and approach. The guides we had were ok, but seemed surprised to find people asking for more detailed/different questions, and not going for the more 'obvious' questions ... (We had two game drives on our own - the other guests decided to relax in their tent - and even then with having explained our interest in 'everything - great and small' , we had the same 'experience')

This camp is great for first timers to Africa and honeymoners, the food is good, staff excellent, the setting is nice, everything is organized in time, you know where and at what time you'll eat, in fact it's a nice wildlife 'resort' ; we would recommend this place certainly to people looking for a relaxing time combined with an easy gameviewing experience .. We had a good time, just felt a bit disappointed on the guiding and missed the real 'bush experience'..

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank yvakat
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, December 10, 2013
Dear yvakat

Thank you so much for your open and honest review of Siwandu - we are delighted you were so happy with the location, tents, food, staff and organisation of the camp.

Siwandu is a total of 13 tents but for Selous Safari Company that is too big and doesn't allow the intimate nature of an authentic safari to generate between guests - so for this reason we divide the 13 tents into two smaller camps; both with their own restaurant, bar and pool.

We pride ourselves on our guiding, so we were exceedingly disappointed to read your comments - we do understand that having a driver guide, a walking guide and a separate boat guide can cause repetition and we are trying to amend this issue. We offer shared vehicles, which many guests enjoy as it allows camaraderie and shared experiences between our guests and we make every effort to pair guests together who have had similar safari experiences but as you can imagine sometimes this is more difficult - however we do offer private vehicles to hire (these can be pre booked on reservation) so guests can have the opportunity to have utterly exclusive safari experiences if they wish.

Thank you again for your candour and appreciate your thoughts - we always take reviews very seriously and we will take action to implement change within the guiding department to improve our guests' experience.
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English first
Boyertown, PA
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

This was our first trip to Africa for safari. After much consideration I chose Tanzania as our destination. We wanted to be away from the crowds and have a real bush experience. I chose Siwandu. Every expectation that I had was met and beyond. Truly a life experience. The staff, accommodations, game drives, food were all beyond anything I had anticipated. Immediately we were led aboard to glide along the lake for our first safari experience. The guides were extremely knowledgably. The staff wanted to make sure that all our needs and desires were fulfilled at every moment during our stay. I could go on forever about Siwandu. Please do not hesitate to make this part of your Tanzanian destination it is AMAZING!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank diane
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, December 6, 2013
Dear diane

Thank you SO much for your lovely review - and fantastic that you chose to go off the beaten path and find yourself your own slice of African wilderness heaven with us at Siwandu!

Please come back and see us soon and we can make your dreams come true once again!
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Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

travelled with my wife on our first anniversary and it was our first safari experience. The food and accomodations were first class. The game drives were fantastic and because the area has very little bugs you can do the game drives in shorts and flip flops if you like which is nice and comfortable. If this is your first safari the sleep experience at Siwandu is incredible. An elephant kept us up our entire first night as it was 5 feet from our tent. Hippos are also very active throughout the night. This is part of the experience.

We stayed at all 3 of the camps (Siwandu, Jongomero and Ras Kutani) and loved all of the properties. Mohammed was our guide for the week and he was outstanding. Ricas and Pietro were great hosts and provided us with a special table on our last night. Thank you for a memorable first safari. This camp is a must.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maccer64
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, December 6, 2013
Dear Maccer64

Thank you SO much for your lovely review and staying at all our properties - we are thrilled you enjoyed them all!

Karibu tena on your second anniversary!
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Sherborne, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

a really well-run camp; nothing too much trouble. Really exceptional food served al fresco. Excellent game drives, though the amount of game is surpassed by Ruaha. We suspect that the area suffers slightly form the fact the the majority of Selous is dedicated to hunting, which we abhor, but must help the Tanzanian economy. However, the game is rather more skittish than in, for example, Ruaha.
The very comfortable tents all have a lovely lake view and the safaris on the water are excellent, many bird varieties, loads of crocodile and hippo. really good Kudu sightings as well as lion, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo etc. Disappointed at the number of elephant seen as we understood the park has some 70,000!
Claire a most efficient, charming and friendly hostess, always determined to deal with every whim and make us welcome.
The layout of the tents meant that there is no privacy twixt bed area and loo, without laboriously unhooking and then re-rolling flaps.

Room Tip: keep the zips closed and locked with the carabinas supplied as the baboons visited our tent during b...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank William C
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, December 6, 2013
Dear William C

Thank you so much for your review of Siwandu - the elephant population is a travesty - and as passionate conservationists we are doing everything we can to help put a stop to the murder of these beautiful beasts. If nothing is done elephants will be extinct in 7 years time - so please help us by joining support groups, donating money to fund anti-poaching patrols and spreading the word to help this worthwhile cause!

However we are really glad you enjoyed your time at Siwandu
Karibu tena
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Oslo
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Just arrived back from a few days in Siwandu.
Fully furnished luxury tents, authentic, outstanding quality, bespoke furniture. The location makes combining boat safaris and game drives super easy.
The wildlife is amazing - coupled with the fact that there are so few people here! You spot wildlife alone, without being ambushed by tons of other vehicles.
Food, service attitude, the place it self is simply top notch - this is the best you can get in Africa.
The camp is not protected by fences - masais are guarding it at night. Still - waking up at night with lions, elefants or hippos passing *through* camp, is just an amazing experience.

Room Tip: Tent #4 with good views to the lake. Sip coffee in the morning watching crocs or hippos roaming the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Gnargnar
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, December 6, 2013
Dear Gnargnar

Thank you for your fabulous review of Siwandu and picking out the unique experiences our guests have as there are so few vehicles in the reserve in comparison to northern parks - it makes every sighting and tracking exceedingly special

Karibu tena
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2013

This is a wonderful safari camp. Amazing "tents" which are more like five star hotel rooms, terrific food, and wonderful service. The camp is really well run and everything that could be complicated is made easy and delightful. It's luxurious without losing touch with its surroundings, and it is unusual in that it is next to Lake Nzerakera, which gives on the chance to see animals from a boat in addition to the usual driving or walking expeditions, and the lake boasts an abundance of bird life, hippos, crocodiles and plenty of animals which come to visit for a drink. This is a great camp in a great national park. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MWC58
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, December 6, 2013
Dear MWC58

Thank you for your lovely review - when you say "It's luxurious without losing touch with its surroundings" - that's exactly what we are aiming for at all of our camps - its important to feel part of the wonderful landscapes we inhabit without feeling like we're imposing on it - we're just visitors here..lucky, lucky visitors!

Karibu tena
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West Sussex
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Just returned from three nights at each of the three Selous Safari Company properties in Tanzania: Siwandu in the Selous Game Reserve, Jongomero in the Ruaha National Park, and Ras Kutani on the beach just south of Dar es Salaam. I would highly recommend all three ... small, personal and luxurious, with attentive (not over-attentive!) staff, fabulous food and great game drives. In both safari camps we saw elephants, hippos, zebras, impalas, crocodiles, giraffes and lions, not to mention numerous exotic birds. Although all the properties were amazing, I would have to say that Siwandu was my favourite ... I think this was mostly due to Claire, the amazing host ... or it could be due to the brilliant up-close sightings of the animals which we had with our guide Mohammed, or it could just be that this was our first, magical, breath-taking view of Africa.

Room Tip: I don't think there could be a bad room!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LouWestSussex
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, December 6, 2013
Dear LouWestSussex

Thank you for the gorgeous review of all three properties - Selous Safari Company prides ourselves on our intimate service and special characters at each of our trio of properties to ensure guests have a wonderful varied and wonderful safari with us. But all guests leave with a favourite! And the lovely think is they are always different - even in the office we cannot decide!

Karibu tena
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Additional Information about Siwandu

Property: 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 #4 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Siwandu 4.5*
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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