Sand Rivers Selous: The Lowdown

Extraordinary Africa>Tanzania>Selous>Sand Rivers

What is Sand Rivers really like?

Sand Rivers was one of the first permanent safari camps in the Selous, and owner Richard Bonham had the pick of the spots in which to put it. The main lodge gazes out over a broad sweep of the Rufiji River, complete with kingfishers diving in and out of the water and hippos bearing their tusks in mighty yawns. This is a very “bush” style of luxury and Sand Rivers is best suited to those who want to feel properly in tune with the wilderness- if monkeys on the roof puts you off, this isn’t for you!

Rooms at Sand Rivers are all made from natural stone, wood and thatch and are open-fronted wherever possible, so many of them have great views looking out over the river. Over the years we’ve stayed in both the riverside rooms and the hillside suites, and enjoyed them both. The hillside suites are a bit more of a walk from the main lodge, so blissfully private, and with their own plunge pools and seating area. When we stayed we didn’t use the plunge pool much as it was fairly chilly, but we loved the privacy of being tucked away up here.

Down in the main lodge there’s a bar (sundowners are almost compulsory on safari), a cosy seating area, and endless views out over the Rufiji River. There’s a small pool, which we loved for a post-lunch dip, and a dining area, where guests eat jolly communal meals hosted by Sand Rivers’s managers. These are often tremendous fun, and the last time we stayed, two honeymooners abandoned their romantic dinner beside the pool to come back and join the party!

What safari activities can I do from Sand Rivers?

Guides at Sand Rivers are generally very good and can take you on a wide variety of activities, from bush walks to boating safaris, as well as the more conventional game drives. We’d recommend you try all three. For adventurous souls, there’s also the chance to try a night of sleeping out under the stars in Sand Rivers’s fly camp.

Giving back at Sand Rivers:  

The owners of Sand Rivers have long been committed to putting something back into Tanzania and their glorious natural surroundings. There’s a real commitment to limiting the camp’s impact on the environment, and helping to support and train the staff up so that chefs and waiters can become guides. If you want to get involved yourself, Sand Rivers works with the Frankfurt Zoological Society to help combat poaching in the Selous.