Home to an impressive wealth of wildlife, Selous Game Reserve is the largest of its kind in southern Tanzania at 19,000 square miles. Safaris and walking tours are among the most popular activities in the park where visitors can spot elephants, giraffes, black rhinos, cape buffaloes, crocodiles and many more. But don’t feel like you have to stay in a hotel in a nearby city and make your journey to the park. Instead, enhance your safari experience by staying in the heart of it all — at one of several game lodges and camps on the premises. Here are our picks for the the top lodges and camps in Selous Game Reserve.
Selous Butembo Lodge
Nestled along the Rufiji River, Selous Butembo Lodge provides an upscale camping experience where guests get to stay in fully-furnished tents with all the modern amenities. Guests especially enjoy the boat safari rides offered by the lodge where they can go on an idyllic ride to see crocodiles and hippos. Afterwards, come back to the lodge for dinner at Mtoni Restaurant, where you can watch the sunset as you enjoy your bush meal. Or take your experience up a notch and join the walking tour from the lodge with a skilled guide. On occasions, guests are invited to visit a nearby village of Butembo to meet the locals.
Selous Ngalawa Camp
Situated along the Rufiji River, Selous Ngalawa Camp is another fantastic destination to camp out and take in the full splendor that is Selous Game Reserve. The camp offers three ways to see the animals, by boat, walking tours and game drives. Guests can also go on a fishing excursion on the river as well as visit a nearby village to learn about locals’ culture. It’s common to receive visitors from longtime residents, the Angolan black and white colobus monkeys. For visitors looking to impress their significant other, reserve the honeymoon package which involves an 11-day itinerary throughout the Swahili coast and includes massages and unwinding on a private beach.
Serena Mivumo River Lodge
Get treated like royalty at Serena Mivumo River Lodge, a scenic luxury campsite with elevated huts rocking thatch roofs facing the river. Guests are invited to join a bush dining by the river in a private area that feels like a secluded beach, or lounge the day away in its luxury pool overlooking the water filled with wildlife. Amenities include boat rides, game drives and a soak in a nearby natural hot spring. For a romantic outing, reserve a spot at the Sandbank Sundowners, where you’ll picnic by the river during sunset hours.
Selous Serena Camp
The Serena Hotels has more than one location in the game reserve. Selous Serena Camp takes you deeper into the wilderness and provides a true meaning of “glamping.” Luxury tents with crystal chandeliers, lavish furniture, Victorian clawfoot tubs and canopied beds are scattered across the campsite, because who said that camping has to be rustic? In between game drives, guests are invited to lounge in the luxury pool with tiki torches surrounding it and retire to the main room to socialize in a highbrow atmosphere.
Azura Selous Game Reserve
There is paradise on earth and it’s at the Azura Selous Game Reserve, where repeat visitors include lions, zebras, elephants and more. The lodge has only 12 tents available per night, giving guests an isolated feel to relax and unwind in gorgeous scenery. Once you’re ready to explore, the lodge has plenty of amenities such as walking safaris, game drives, fishing, boat rides and stargazing tours. The lodge is designed to be boutique-chic and make its guests feel pampered.
Beho Beho Selous
At Beho Beho Selous, guests will have a choice of staying in the main camp, a banda or a treehouse for a true bush experience (with a touch of luxury). The campsite has an outdoor shower surrounded by bamboo and Moroccan lamps for a refreshing experience with nature. Guests can join a game drive, guided walking tours and a boat ride to explore Selous Game Reserve. The campsite was formerly a hunting lodge but now focuses purely as a safari and relaxation retreat to ensure the well-being of the animals.
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