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At one with nature, there are no fences, I woke up to the smell of good coffee, the distinctive call of a fish eagle and a large breeding herd of elephant foraging through camp. On safari in Nyerere National Park, (previously named Selous game reserve) From the private decks of the huge and comfortable tents and also, the camps wow-factor, elevated dining/sundowner deck, the views of Lake Nzerakela and the BehoBeho mountains is breathtaking. The surprise lake-lunch on the pontoon and the sundowner water safari was off the charts. The soundtrack to Indiana Jones played in my head as we motored along palm-fronded waterways, up close to crocs and, not too close to noisy pods of hippo. In January it’s melt ur face off hot - here, the shaded pool, ceiling fans, the alfresco lake-view shower and the jugs of minty ice tea is sheer cooling bliss. Head chef Edmund, is a super star. His Africa - via the spice islands fusion fare is something to look forward to at every meal, albeit a full English breakfast set up right in the middle of the bush, the lunches in the middle of the lake, or around the crackling campfire under the stars. The whole team that run this authentic lakeside, safari camp is exceptional. From the camp managers, Emiel and Noah, to Alphonse and Mau on the service team, to the Sterling guides: Chris, Amos, Mohamed and John who interpret the bush, without ego, but with a lot of passion, genuinely caring for both the comfort of their guests and that of the animals. Good Covid protocols are in place.
I had come to stay here twenty years ago and decided to return because I had loved the experience so much. The camp moved to a new location and it now occupies a prominent lake view spot. Food is excellent, the guides friendly and knowledgeable and we very much enjoyed seeing all the big 5 apart from the Rhino, as well as abundant animal life in different natural contexts. We felt welcome and pampered and we heartily recommend the experience.
I wasn't sure if we should attempt this trip during COVID times, but I'm so glad we did. Family of 4, including 2 kids under 12yo. Booked 3 nights. It was the trip of a lifetime. We were treated like royalty/spoiled rotten and I learned so much about the flora and fauna of this region in just a few short days. It made me appreciate Tanzania anew even though I've been visiting for work the past few years. Tents were spacious, clean, free of insects, laundry picked up everyday (included), good storage space, views in every direction. Woke up to the sounds of grunting hippos and bird calls. Loved the outdoor open shower and partly-shaded pool for afternoon dips. Food was over the top, well-seasoned and always included fresh vegetables, fresh baked bread/pastries, enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Drinks and snacks provided at every turn, surprises that delighted (no spoilers). Ranger guides were fantastic, so knowledgeable and attentive. Taught our kids (and me) how to recognize S.hemisphere constellations in the night sky beside our nightly campfire. Many staff there for 10-20 years. Everyone from management to food staff to guides were so accommodating in every way. We left early every morning (6:30am, our choice) and the guides squeezed in every hour available to find and show us what we were interested in seeing. We did 5 game drives total (and 1 boat safari), and saw new animals new every time. Only things on we missed on our bucket list was leopard and wild dogs. The open jeep style (shaded, elevated, windy/breezy) and unspoilt nature of Selous was a balm for the soul after a hectic COVID year. There's wifi in the reception area, but I barely used it (and I usually check work email nonstop). Recommend at least 2 nights to get the full experience and not feel the pressure to see every animal in just a day or two. Don't hesitate if you have kids, my kids loved it. This is ultimate glamping, nothing close to roughing it. What did I like least? That we had to leave! And they're not allowed to do walking safaris for those <16yo.
5/5 experience. Special mention to Emile and our guide John - his knowledge was incredible, we felt so safe and saw some of the most amazing sights. The food was top standard. The accommodation was spacious, it felt very private and was in the thick of nature (seeing elephants, crocodiles and lions from the camp). The team could not have been more hospitable, thank you for making our trip so memorable! Tori & Ben
We spent 5 wonderful days at Siwandu! All the staff were simply outstanding and we felt like being part of a family rather than visiting a lodge. A special thanks goes to our safari guide Christian and our waiter Alfonso who took great care of us and we’re simply exceptional! The camp is small and intimate, the tents are nice and very clean, the view is superb and you are in the middle of nature. The food was fantastic and diverse. Everything was freshly prepared and home made - simply delicious. We always ate breakfast during the safari drive in the middle of nature at various beautiful places. Dinner started with a pre-dinner drink at the fire and took place under the star-filled sky. The safari drives were awesome and Christian shared a lot of information and insights with us. We saw plenty of animals in various environments. Due to COVID, there were still only very few tourists in the national park and therefore, we hardly saw any other cars.