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Safari in Style at the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania

June 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM | by | ()

Last week we tempted you with the outdoor shower at Selous Safari Camp in Tanzania; today we'll take you on a little tour of one of the luxurious tents (if you can still call them that) these showers are part of, as well as some of the things we saw while out and about in the reserve.

Selous Game Reserve lies about 200km southwest of Dar Es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania (the state capital is Dodoma). Much less known than the famous Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater, it's nearly twice the size of Belgium and actually four times as large as the Serengeti. We spent some time here following a journey through the northern part of Tanzania, and would highly recommend fitting Selous into your itinerary if you can.

Its landscape and vegetation is different from the drier plains in the north, with East Africa's largest river - the Rufiji - making it the home and migration stop for countless bird species. You'll find plenty of larger animals as well, as you can see in the gallery, but more on that later. First, a few words on the camp itself.

We're not ashamed here at HotelChatter of our love for glamping, and Selous Safari Camp seriously delivers on that front. Each "tent" is a massive stand-alone structure, built on a wooden platform with canvas walls tied high up in the thatch, pitched roof.

A king-size bed takes center-stage, facing a private terrace looking out towards Lake Nzerakera. We loved the desk and chair with red velvet cushion on the terrace, writing a postcard here felt very "Out of Africa" all we needed was a fountain pen and the experience would have been complete. To the right of the bed as you walk in is a spacious bathroom with double brass washbasins, flush toilet, and just outside, that shower.

Divided into two camps, there are only 13 tents in total (six in North camp, seven in South camp). Each camp has its own swimming pool, dining and lounge area, staff, and jeeps, so intimate scale and personal attention is guaranteed.

There are a number of different activities you can do aside from the traditional open-top jeep game drive. A putter around Lake Nzerakera on a small pontoon, complete with deck chairs, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks? Done. A cruise up the Rufiji in small boats for a sunset cocktail on a sandbank? Of course. Breakfast on a remote peninsula following an early morning walking safari? Why, certainly. This kind of camping we could get used to very quickly.

Selous offers some truly spectacular scenery and wildlife-spotting, and not just outside the camp. As we mentioned in our earlier post, don't be surprised if elephant and giraffe walk by when you are taking a shower. At night, you'll hear bellowing hippos as they come on land through "hippo highways".

In order to make sure you don't have any (too) close animal encounters, local guards, or Askari, accompany you to and from your tent during the hours of dusk and dawn, and during the day if necessary or preferred. And believe us when we tell you that the Askari will hear and see an animal way before you with your western city eyesight and hearing; we experienced this first hand.

We saw some amazing things on our game drives and boat safaris as well. We sat and watched breathlessly for over an hour as a leopard rested from hauling a recent kill up a tree, not even 30 yards away. We spotted rare wild dogs (Selous is one of the last places these survive) around their dens. Impossibly graceful giraffe drinking from the river, birds of all colors and sizes, crocodiles, turtles, and hippos, we could go on and on.

We'll let the pictures do the talking, but suffice to say that for a safari in style, you really couldn't go wrong at Selous Safari Camp.

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