Amy Green, our fabulous Client Experience Director, visited Tanzania to see how the beautiful Azura Selous experience is able to make our clients dreams come true.
The Selous Game Reserve is located in the south of Tanzania, covering a total area of 21,100 square miles. There are no permanent human residents or structures permitted. The lodges within the reserve are all built with a minimal footprint, and can be dismantled leaving behind little impact. This wild terrain enables one to see elephant, rhino, hippo, lion, wild dog, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, crocodile, numerous bird species…the list can go on and on! The rivers and lakes afford activities not always found in the bush, such as angling for the fierce looking tiger fish or river boat excursions getting, somewhat, up close and personal to the resident hippo.
One of the biggest draws for the Selous is the lack of crowds. Being far to the south of the more well known Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti areas, you find yourself feeling you have the whole bush to yourself with hardly any other vehicles around.
Azura Selous is the newest in a luxurious line of lodges, and definitely rises to the expectation of the Azura family. Located in the western part of the Selous Game Reserve, along the banks of the Ruaha River, the lodge was easily reached by a 45-50 minute charter flight from Dar es Salaam. On arrival we were greeted by Jason (1/2 of the camp’s managing couple), Hasan (our host for our stay) and Joseph (our jolly guide). Hasan presented us with cool rags to wipe our hands and faces, and ice cold tea to refresh us after the flight! A short 5 minute drive saw us quickly to camp for orientation with Karen (the other ½ of the managing couple) and being shown to our rooms.
With camp being situated directly at the river’s edge, we were immediately greeted by the resident hippo pods, busy telling each other all sorts of who knows what. The feel of the safari camp is luxurious without losing the sense of being in the bush. The elevated main area is well appointed, open and airy, with several seating areas to enjoy the views and company of other guests to share in tales of the day’s adventures. The infinity pool over looking the river beckons one to take a dip and become lost in the relaxed pace of the Selous. Hippo were always in view, but other game often rambled along the river’s edge, providing a ‘poolside safari’ to enjoy.
The 12 tented villas are spacious and well appointed with comfortable beds, a large en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers, a plunge pool, a roomy deck with outdoor seating to enjoy the view of the river, and amazingly enough air conditioning! The Selous can get hot, so having the private plunge pool and AC were a welcome treat. At night, you can sleep with the canvas tent flaps down and zipped up (all snug as a bug in a rug) or left rolled up (my preference) to allow the breeze and sounds of the bush to flow freely. Its not often you go to bed with the sound of a rushing river to lull you to sleep. Of course, the hippo add to the chorus, but I enjoyed that reminder I was far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Villa Twiga is the newest top-end villa at Azura Selous, and offers the most astounding accommodation for a couple. With a wonderfully private location at the far end of the property, its perfect for honeymooners, with larger layout, outdoor sitting pavilion, plunge pool and a bonus outdoor tub. The villa offers additional services for guests staying here, including being collected directly from the villa, a minibar, Nespresso machine and a gym in a bag in the villa.
Daily activities at Azura Selous include morning and afternoon game drives, afternoon tea & special sundowner stops, as well as options for bush breakfasts, full day outings with a picnic lunch, guided walks, fishing, boat excursions and in room spa treatments.
Guests can expect to be treated to wonderful food at every meal, and a bush dinner is sure to be in store.
After our afternoon game drive and sundowners, we thought we were returning to camp for dinner. However, we soon rounded a corner to find a blazing bonfire, lanterns scattered about and the kitchen staff busily tending to the finishing touches on our gastronomical delights for the evening. We joined the other guests in camp and settled in to enjoy a glass of wine and share in the day’s adventures by the light of the fire, or ‘African TV’ as it’s fondly referred to. They even had a proper temporary ‘bush loo’ for our comfort. Dinner was very traditional…and delicious…pap (similar to polenta, but thicker), ‘gravy’ (stewed tomatoes, peppers & onions), grilled veggies, hot ‘slaw’, oxtail stew, grilled boerwors (sausage), chicken kabobs…it seemed a never ending array of offerings! And to top it all off, a decadent dark chocolate tart for dessert. I cannot believe I ate like that for 2 solid weeks!
After dinner, Jason guided us away from the fire and regaled us with a bit of star gazing. Armed with his iPad presentation, to help illustrate just how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things, and his laser pointer, we enjoyed a lesson in the stars from the southern hemisphere point of view. I was delighted to see Scorpio out bright and clear (my birthday is in November) as well as other lesser known constellations for those of us hailing from the northern half of the globe.
A visit to Azura Selous will find you deep in the heart of the bush with hardly another soul around, but with all the comforts one may expect at the finest safari camps throughout Africa. Let us know when you are ready to step out and enjoy the wild Selous!
Are you ready to make your “I wish one day” come true? Call us at 1-800-940-9344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning your African Safari Vacation.