Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
At a Glance
Beautiful setting by the river
Amazingly designed tents
Very remote area
Great bush spa to relax and enjoy during the day
Lovely pool with great views
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.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to The Retreat or take a look at our itineraries to Selous and southern Tanzania
The Retreat is a unique, tented safari lodge, found in the remote far north of the Selous. It is situated on the banks of the wide Great Ruaha River ant the main house - The Fort - is high up on a rocky hillside with stunning views.
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest, protected wildlife sanctuary in Africa and is widely accredited as being the most pristine wilderness area. Elephants, lions, black rhinos, leopards, wild dogs, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles and more than 400 different birds can be seen among many other wildlife.
The Retreat is situated in wild bush on the banks of the wide Great Ruaha River. The centrally situated main house - The Fort - is high up on a rocky hillside, allowing guests one of the best vantage points in the whole reserve. Private space, seclusion and individual services in harmony with nature are the hallmarks of The Retreat. Besides relaxing in the lodge’s various areas and observing the wildlife and scenery, guests can partake in various activities with expert guides- activities include walking through the bush, game drives, boat trips down the Ruaha River, fishing along the shorelines or camping under the stars.
The Retreat has one of the first spas to be established in the Game Reserve, great thought and attention to detail were given to create a treatment program that captured the spirit of the land, Africa; its nature, its holistic healing powers and its remarkable ability to awaken the soul. The Retreat is a safari with a difference, it puts a strong emphasis on being a place for relaxation. You can even subsidise your game activity for a massage in the spa.
Six of the standard hill tents are located within a comfortable distance of the main lodge on top of the hill, each enjoying magical views to the river below. Alternatively you can choose to be on the river bank, close to the water, in one of three private river suites, with an individual plunge pool and look out deck. The forth river suite is a special honeymoon suite (also great for a family) on a 200m2 platform with two separate tents and a plunge pool with roofed chill out area.
For guests wishing for even greater privacy, the private Hippo point with two bedrooms, its own infinity pool, bar, dining, and butler services will appeal.
For those looking to unwind and relax in one of Africa's most unspoiled and remote locations this is a wonderful lodge to choose.
The camp has six standard hill tents, three river suites, one honeymoon suite and Hippo Point. The spaciously set tented suites have been constructed to correspond with the surrounding habitat, whilst guaranteeing privacy. The owners have carefully blended ethnic elements, bespoke furnishings, African antiques, natural materials, and precious stones – to create a unique sense of comfort and natural luxury
Although there are no specific childcare facilities, The Retreat welcomes children in camp but those not yet in their teens must share a suite with either a parent or an adult guardian. Children can accompany their parents, particularly on game drives. Additionally children can be taken by one of the experienced guides separately onto a game tracking experience and draw their own bush diary.
The Retreat offers an outdoor natural river spa, situated on the shores of the Great Ruaha River. The camp has three bars serving favorite drinks and snacks: at the Fort, the sunset bar with additional infinity pool and at the Hippo point. Besides the restaurant at the Fort, there are several attractive areas in which to dine in. Bush dining is a regular feature where freshly prepared food is cooked in situ over an open fire. The Retreat runs a small boutique with special African items.
Activities include game drives deep into the bush and escorted safari walks & hikes. Also on offer are boat excursions on the Great Ruaha River as well as line fishing which may be rewarded by bagging the likes of Tiger Fish and Catfish. The Retreat offers an outdoor natural river spa, situated on the shores of the Great Ruaha River for enriching and relaxing treatments.
Camilla Smith (Staff)
The Selous is one of the most beautiful game reserves in Tanzania and The Retreat offers a safari with a romantic twist. The camp is located in a remotes part of the reserve on the banks of the vast Rufiji River so guests can often watch a variety of antelope and other game from the privacy of their private deck as they come to drink at the river bank. The rooms themselves are quite unique in terms of anything I have seen in the bush, with plenty of flowing white drapes and a star-embroidered ceiling. Wooden floors and antique-style furniture complete the look. Some of the rooms are located on the riverbank (so offer great game viewing from your deck) while others are set further up the hill with far-reaching views. The main area, designed along the lines of a small fort, is reminiscent of a Moroccan kasbah, with high, battlemented walls, Moroccan doorways and cool stone flooring (a relief in the hotter months!). There also a large roof terrace for lunch and a good-sized pool. Game drives do not disappoint and it is possible to see all of the major species here. Dinners can be arranged privately in your room, on pool decks by the river or in the main fort area. As an additional touch of luxury, if you do not fancy partaking of one of the twice-daily game drives, guests are welcome to an hour's massage instead! This camp is heavenly for honeymooners and couples looking for a relaxed safari experience in romantic surroundings.
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.
Sunsets over the Rufiji
Sunsets on the Rufiji River are some of the most spectacular we have ever witnessed!
Location & directions
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
The Retreat is situated on the banks of the Rhuaha River in the remote Northern part of the Selous Game Reserve, Southern Tanzania.
How to get there
11 hour international flight to Dar es Salaam via Nairobi. From there it's then just a 45-minute light aircraft flight to Simbazi airstrip. You will be met at the airstrip and transferred the remaining 30-minutes to camp in an open 4WD vehicle with a personal guide.