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Tanzania (Selous): Trip Report for Selous Impala Camp

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Jul 21st, 2014, 02:39 PM
  #1
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Tanzania (Selous): Trip Report for Selous Impala Camp

Interesting experience. Excellent guide (Girard), comfortable tents w/solid wooden floors and great verandah overlooking the river, good food. Incongruities: hoses and sprinklers watering the grass daily (!), swimming pool, Poland Spring water cooler in dining area. My first thought was, hmmm, this doesn't sync up with eco-tourism but by the end of my 4 days, I had succumbed to the luxury.

Tent (#6) was very nice; particularly liked the writing desk and chair; large porch that wasn't buggy; full-size bed net as requested; large table in sink area was handy for organizing clothing, etc. I liked the location since the hippos had a river exit/entry area literally five feet from my porch, so was able to hear & see them grazing and snuffling their way back into the river. Food quality and variety was good to excellend (still remember an amazing chocolate creme caramel dessert and pieces of fruit stuck onto acacia thorns). I liked the individual tables (versus communal) since I'm quite happy on my own. When I mentioned that I don't eat fish, the kitchen provided tasty alternatives.

Bar area was nice for pre-dinner gatherings; the lounge section was a great spot to while away a few hours between lunch and the game drives since it got a very nice breeze. Pool was also a treat during those hours (or a quick pre-lunch dip).

Drives: I liked the 6 hour boat safaris since the length provided enough time to go further afield and having a bush breakfast on a beach was a novelty! Girard did a super job tracking animals, including hyena tracks that led us to their den & cubs; a civet midden; not to mention numerous elephants and lions. He provided just the right amount of information. He arranged a special trip to a local village which was a highlight for me.

Went on 2 boat safaris (two w/2 other people; and one by myself) and 5 game drives (excluding to/from airport) in a Toyota Cruiser w/2 rows of seats (shared the vehicle w/1 other guest on 3 drives and was by myself on 2 drives).

Saw hyenas; bush pigs; cape buffalo; impala; baboons; hippos; crocs; zebras; dik diks; wart hogs; mongoose; zebras; elephants; giraffes; lions; lioness; goshawk flying w/snake, gets into tree, other hawk lands on his branch, he drops the snake and the other hawk swoops down and flies away with the snake.

Not as much sense of camp management & employees & guests all being "in it together", as in the other 2 camps (hard to define, but in the other two places the camp managers were around at all meals and had real conversations with each person where topics touched on animals, other experiences, and were a two-way sharing of opinions.)

I think I would return since the location and the physical camp itself was hard to beat, and I did like the fine dining aspects, plus the guiding was superb.
vickiebypass is offline  
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Jul 21st, 2014, 04:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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I think your assessment in many ways mirrored mine: I was quite happy eating alone, loved the boat safari, enjoyed the sundowner on a small spit of sand in the Rufiji that was inhabited by crocs til we arrived, had excellent guiding, and appreciated the tent's decor and amenities.

I don't know that the sprinklers and water cooler are at odds with ecotourism. They have a ready source of water in the river and maybe they're using that. When I was there they purified their water and provided it in carafes, certainly reducing the plastic bottle footprint that is so prominent at most camps. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the PS bottle at the cooler for dispensing their water. Then again, maybe they changed things since I was there, ~3 yrs ago.

Is tent 6 the first tent to the right of the steps heading down from the dining area to where cars depart on game drives? If so, we might have occupied the same one.

Thanks for the report. My bottom line is like yours: I'd certainly return.
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Jul 21st, 2014, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Thanks for the report. When was your visit?
Femi is online now  
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Jul 21st, 2014, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Just saw your other report; June-July 2014.
Femi is online now  
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Aug 1st, 2014, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 79
Thanks for the interesting account.My brother-in-law and I will be at Impala mid-Nov.this year,and I was wondering about the tent arrangements vis a vis wildlife movements.I believe our agent has requested this tent,or the family tent next door.We have a private vehicle booked-hoping to encounter some wild dogs,and hook into a tiger fish at some point!After Selous we head to Ruaha for a week with Moli and Noelle at Kichaka for a bit of walking in the bush,so I also appreciated reading about your Ruaha visit.
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