Sand Rivers Selous
(8 rooms) 022 286 5156; 022 286 5731; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Set above a wide, sandy bend in the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers has been regarded as the top camp in the Selous for many years, and still puts up very stiff competition to Beho Beho. Sand Rivers' pedigree is top-notch, it's run by Nomad Safaris and is the sister-camp of Chada, in Katavi National Park, and Greystoke, in Mahale Mountains National Park – both of which are top camps and names to conjure with in the safari world.
Like Beho Beho, Sand Rivers is situated in an isolated area of the Selous, the wild southwest of the public part of the reserve, which is visited by vehicles from the other lodges infrequently. It is another very comfortable lodge with a large thatched boma dotted with large sofas sporting sumptuous heavycotton cushions, but in contrast Sand Rivers stands on a wide curve of the Rufiji River; being able to watch the life of the river adds greatly to the special feel of the lodge. For those who need to be closer still to the water, there is a stylish curved swimming pool under a large baobab tree. Meals are high-quality and eaten together, at the same table. The camp's 8 stone-and-makuti units are large and elegant, though a touch dark in places. Each has a large dbl bed, with walk-in mosquito net; an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet, shower and wash basin; and a private balcony overlooking the river.
Sand Rivers' activities focus on 4x4 game drives (the plains around nearby Lake Tagalala are one obvious goal); boat trips along the river and up through the impressive Stiegler's Gorge; and walking safaris. The standard of guiding is exceptionally high, and in recent years Sand Rivers has often been the base for at least one top Zimbabwean professional guide. Sand Rivers also run very popular fly-camping trips, whereby a couple of guests sleep out on a dry riverbed with their guide – usually having had a lovely meal under the stars, complete with tablelinen, crystal glasses and some fine food. Usually these are run for 1 or 2 nights as part of a longer stay at the lodge, although they do offer 5-night set walking trails (on fixed dates throughout the year) for die-hard walking-safari addicts. From US$545/840 to US$660/970 sgl/dbl, inc FB and activities.