Selous, Sand Rivers

The Selous is vast and most of it is given over to hunting safaris. North of the Great Rufiji River a few areas are for the few photographic operators with concessions here. This is not the Serengeti plains type of experience and for me the wonderful Rufiji River is the only place to be based at on a photographic safari.

The Selous - Steigler's GorgeThe Selous - Steigler's Gorge

Lanterns at sunsetLanterns at sunset

I first visited the Selous in 1986 and walked for two weeks- what a trip – but they were poaching days and wherever we walked we found evidence of poachers and their nasty ways of making a living. The economy of Tanzania was flat in those days and the magic of the place was somewhat eroded by finding a fresh Rhino carcass – the poor beast’s horn freshly removed, drying racks full of meat and a reluctance shown by the rangers we were with to follow up.

Sand Rivers dining roomSand Rivers dining room

A room at Sand RiversA room at Sand Rivers

Having now spent many years in Tanzania and knowing first hand what places like The Selous and Tarangire went though in the eighties I am full of admiration for the people who have stuck with a place – have sown the seeds of recovery and helped to curtail abuse. The people that established Sand Rivers have done/ are doing just that and I salute you.

Sand RiversSand Rivers is an easy placed to relax in

Sand River deck viewSand River deck view

Today the stylish yet not over the top Sand Rivers Lodge is an ideal place from which to explore the river, the nearby lakes and the bush lands in this northern section of a protected area of over 50 thousand square kilometers. Walking, fly camping, boating, fishing, exploring by vehicle, lazy afternoons by the pool (don’t swim in the river!) – all this is possible and very worthwhile. Spend at least three nights here – a very painless short flight from Dar es Salaam gets you there and let this mighty river become your life for a while.

Rufiji RiverExplore the Rufiji River


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