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Selous in 2013

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I'm thinking about Tanzania for Sept 2013. My husband wants to climb Kili, but I don't want to, so I will go on safari instead and then we'll meet up for another week somewhere else. We've been on 4 safaris before in bots, zim, zam, sa, and am used to small camps and high quality guiding. I'm kind of hard core safari; I'm there for the wildlife, and am into photography. And while I do enjoy luxury tented camps, I am ok with standard tented camps as well.

So my thought is that while he is climbing I would spend 1 week in the Selous. I'm tossing around the idea Lake Manze tented camp or Beho Beho.

The things that are critical to me are:
Low density tourists - I don't want to line up for sightings, nor be squished into vehicles, not more than 10 units
Good guiding - they need to love their jobs and know their stuff
Chance of private vehicle and must be open vehicles
No kids
Off -roading within reason
Eco friendly lodge
Good wildlife area
Not unbearable tsetse flies (I know there will be some but it shouldn't be overwhelming.

For those that have been to either of these camps, can I find what I'm looking for in Selous?
other suggestions? Thoughts on Taragire or Ruaha?

Thanks so much for your input

  • Report Abuse

    Selous will meet many of your criteria. If you had 6 or 7 days you could split the time between Selous and Ruaha.

    I haven't been to Beho but based on my reading it is upscale and way beyond the much more modest Lake Manze. Although I liked Manze, I preferred Selous Impala for its accommodations (which had electricity and charging capability in-tent), location (on the river rather than the lake) and guiding (I had Dennis who was terrific).

    For more information, you can refer to my report:

    http://www.fodors.com/community/africa-the-middle-east/some-thoughts-on-selous.cfm

  • Report Abuse

    I've been to Selous and Ruaha (both twice) and they are both great parks but I preferred Ruaha for variety and quality of sightings. With 7 days you could definitely do both. Have a look at what fits logistically too. You can fly from Ruaha to Arusha, which means you could meet your husband there after his climb (maybe then do some Northern Circuit safari) or you can fly from Ruaha to Tarangire and meet him there. Check the Coastal Aviation schedule- they are the main operator on those routes.

    As for camps, in Selous I stayed at Lake Manze and it's a nice camp and very good value. However, I found the guiding a bit lacking, if I'm entirely honest. I'm going back (in Aug/Sept 2013 as it happens!) and have chosen Selous Impala this time. The only downside to SI is that they don't do communal dining- I usually travel alone and like the communal dining. This trip I'll be with a friend so it's fine. I have heard Beho Beho spoken of very highly (especially for the guiding) and I know they don't charge single supplements (always a bonus when you're on your own). However, they are one of the most expensive camps in Selous.

    In Ruaha, I've stayed at Mdonya and Kwihala, both in the Adventure Camps group (as Lake Manze and Selous Impala). Mdonya was nice, but I think not ideally located for the best game areas. Kwihala I would very highly recommend- some of the best guiding I've had in Africa and a great location.

    On your checklist-
    low density tourists- both parks, though Ruaha is probably quieter- some bits of Selous can be busy
    Guiding- discussed above
    PV and open vehicle- all are open, private might be a problem. I know Kwihala doesn't have enough vehicles to be able to do this, but I don't know about the other camps
    No kids- you'd have to check the minimum ages at camps. You'd be safer towards end of Sept when the European kids are back at school.
    Off roading- yes in Selous, technically no in Ruaha but there's a certain amount of rule bending
    Eco-friendly- I think most are these days
    Good wildlife- yes! Highlights are- wild dogs in Selous. Ruaha has huge lion prides (20+) and elephant herds and also cheetah (not present in Selous).

    Tsetses- yes, in parts (more so Ruaha) but not unbearable (and I am a magnet for them).

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