Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Sadly Azura Selous is now closed. Please speak to our Tanzania specialists for alternatives in the Selous and beyond.
At a Glance
Sit by your private plunge pool overlooking the river
Great main pool and lounge area
Located in a very secluded area of the park
Enjoy the Sumbazi Spa for some relaxation between game drives
Activities from the lodge include walking, game drives, boat trips and birding
One of the most luxurious tented camps in the Selous
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, typically considered the best months for game-viewing as the wildlife is more concentrated around water sources and the grass is grazed and trampled down. Selous and southern Tanzania is typically hot and humid from December to May, without a dry period to break up the rains, so travel is not recommended during the British winter months.
To start planning your vacation to Azura Selous
Azura Selous, formally Amara Selous, is a luxurious tented camp located in the Selous Game Reserve which is the largest protected reserve in Africa. The camp overlooks the Ruaha River in a spot where the rapids are fast flowing and the hippos plentiful.
The Selous has been made a World Heritage Site, and this huge reserve, at a massive 50,000 square kilometers, has given over 1000 square kilometers in the north, to wildlife and safaris. It is the second largest protected wilderness area in the world. It also forms part of the Selous - Niassa eco-system, which covers 155,000 square kilometers across southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique.
One of most revered aspects of the Selous is the variety of activities on offer alongside traditional game drives which include walking safaris, fishing, boat safaris, spa treatments and bush dinners. Azura Selous is located right on the edge of the river so hippo are regular visitors to camp, and if you cannot see them then you most definitely can hear them!
The camp has a central area that includes an open sided lounge with comfortable sofas, wonderful books and African artifacts, this overlooks the camps main swimming pool and there is another dining area here where you will have breakfast and lunch.
The general day at Azura Selous begins with a morning game activity followed by breakfast, some time to relax at camp, enjoying a delicious lunch and reading or cooling off in the main pool or private plunge pool, before you embark on an afternoon activity of your choice. Dinner is served in a variety of locations and often in a new place every evening.
Azura Selous has only twelve suites and so only maximum of twenty-four guests can stay which means your experience is private and exclusive. Although the camp is authentic and tented, it has not compromised on luxury with each suite having its own plunge pool, indoor and outdoor hot showers and air conditioning. Your deck has a hammock and sun lounger and is an ideal spot to enjoy some downtime.
There are no specific childcare facilities at Azura Selous. However, children over the age of 6 years old are welcome, and extra beds can be put in the suites to allow families to all share together. Azura Selous runs a children's program that takes them out on wonderful adventures and teaches them about the bush from tracking animals, learning how to make fire, and fishing in the river.
The camp has a large shared swimming pool, in addition to each suite having its own private plunge pool. The main areas consist of a comfortable open sided lounge, ideal for an after dinner drink, and there is a second open dining area where breakfast and lunch are served. Both the lounge and dining area are on raised platforms overlooking the pool as well as having fantastic views out to the Ruaha River.
Activities range from game drives, walking safaris, boat trips, birding excursions, fishing and spa treatments.
Sophie Levey (Staff)
After a few days on safari, a choice of meals was a real treat and breakfast was absolutely delicious! The tents at Azura are extremely spacious and come fully equipped with all your creature comforts.
Eliza Walker (Staff)
Being the first of our team to visit Azura Selous, formally Amara Selous, since it had been taken over and renovated by Azura I was thrilled to discover that every single change made had added to the comfort, beauty and overall experience of the camp. Each of the beautifully designed tents has incredible river views and wonderful interiors. The rooms are themed - monkey, zebra or elephant - in a delightfully quirky but tasteful way. The beds are enormous and particularly comfortable and there is even air conditioning as well as a fan, although this turns off during the night so it is probably better just to be enjoyed during the heat of the day rather than when you go to sleep as otherwise the sudden temperature change may wake you up. The hosts, Gareth and Liz, are incredibly friendly and welcoming and really know how to do the little added touches that make a vacation so special. We enjoyed wonderful sundowners with them on the river bank, watching the sun set as the hippos roamed the river in front of us. The camp also has a lovely swimming pool, surrounded by lanterns, and overlooking the river, a perfect spot to relax between game drives. There are plenty of facilities that are unusual for a bush camp but that just add to the comfort and convenience of your vacation, such as wifi in the lounge area and a tumble dryer for getting you laundry back as quickly as possible. The food is also absolutely delicious and their unique take on eggs benedict with biltong hollandaise must be sampled! Look out for their resident friendly elephant George who likes to pay the camp frequent visits, at also Boris, the big bull hippo who reigns supreme in the river in front of the lodge. I had been told that the area Azura Selous is situated in could be somewhat sparse in game but as it turned out we came across a 300 strong herd of buffalo grazing and there had been very recent sightings of both pangolin and wild dog, two very difficult to find creatures, which I think really attests to the quality of the guides and their efficiency at tracking. I can without a doubt say that this was one of the most comfortable camps I have ever stayed in and it is exceptionally good value!
Rose Gemmell (Staff)
After a long days traveling we landed at Sumbazi Airstrip and were greeted with welcome drinks and snacks before a ten minute drive to Azura Selous situated right on the banks of the Rufiji River.
The rooms are really well spaced apart from each other and are hugely spacious each with their own unique and very private view over the river where you can see and hear the hippo as they wallow in the rapids. In the summer months in the Selous the weather can get scorching hot so the private plunge pools provide a welcome relief from the heat.
You will never go hungry at Azura Selous and the food is absolutely fantastic. We were treated to an incredible three course bush dinner with chocolate and banana pancakes cooked on the barbeque; delicious!
The staff at Azura Selous are absolutely charming and make you feel so welcome and nothing is too much trouble here.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
This was heaven from start to finish. Arriving after a very long and bumpy drive we were greeted by the managers, Peter and Anita, a tray of ice cold drinks and very cold flannels - bliss!
The camp itself is stunning - up some steps and the whole main area opens out before you with a deliciously cool-looking infinity swimming pool right in front, very comfortable loungers (we tested these thoroughly!) and then up stairs to the right the beautifully designed lounge. We were ushered into here and plied with more ice-cool drinks while Peter told us about the lodge and the surroundings, pointing out where wildlife was often spotted and where dinners were often held. Opposite the lounge is the dining room, with an outside deck where we were treated to an absolutely delicious lunch - in fact the food at Amara was among the best of the whole trip and we both came away clutching sheaves of handwritten recipes provided by Anita.
The whole main area overlooks a stretch of river with rapids, but not fierce enough to dissuade the hippos, who seem to enjoy the sensation of water rushing past; there were a number of old bulls just sitting happily in the middle of the current.
We were then shown to our rooms, which are little oases; reached by gravel paths and each one clearly marked. Amazingly, the main entrance boasts a chandelier! To the left is the bathroom, and to the right, the bedroom - wonderfully cool thanks to the air conditioning unit disguised above the bed. And the most comfortable beds! Outside the room is the deck, where we were treated to a fabulous massage (thank you Anita!) and each room also has its own plunge pool overlooking the river.
The game in the area is not prolific, but if you look you will see - we found a relaxed family of wild dog resting in the shade on our transfer, and our morning walk - lovely after so much bouncing around in the vehicles - showed us the smaller secrets of the bush, guided by our excellent guide Joseph.
Amara is nothing short of blissful - you are spoiled at every turn, and everything has been thought of. From the moment you arrive - those flying in are met and greeted at the airstrip by Peter with a table freshly laid with white tablecloth, uniformed waiter, cool drinks and towels and snacks - and Peter has even taught the pilots how to land so guests are not sandblasted as the plane turns to take off. Our evening meal was set down on the sand by the river, and was delicious - spirit lamps dotted around gave a gentle glow, and every now and then we heard the reassuring footsteps of the askari as he patrolled the riverbank keeping an eye out for hippos.
The focus here is on relaxed gameviewing and a bit of luxury in the bush - and Amara ticks both boxes - it's a beautifully designed camp in a remote area and one we were both really sad to leave.
Animal tracking and footprint castings
Azura Selous runs a wonderful activity program for children to help keep them entertained during their stay and also teach them all about the Selous and its wildlife.
Boat safari in the Selous Game Reserve
Get up close and personal with the hippos in the Selous' mighty rivers and lakes on a boat safari, perfect in the late afternoons when the wildlife often comes to the shore to drink.
Fishing in the Selous Game Reserve
While in the main the Selous Game Reserve is an arid area, certain sections are blessed by the permanent waters of the Rufiji River and the northern lakes. These water sources are home to great volumes of catfish, and the fierce fighting tiger fish.
Selous walking safari
Follow your guide on foot as you explore the Selous, focussing on the smaller details that make up the ecosystem which you often miss on a game drive.
Location & directions
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Azura Selous is nestled along the great Ruaha river, in the heart of Southern Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, the largest Game reserve in Africa.
How to get there
11 hour international flight to Dar via Nairobi. From there its a 45-minute flight to Simbazi (the nearest airstrip to Azura Selous). Simbazi airstrip is then just 1km from Azura Selous.