Selous Impala Camp
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
At a Glance
Lovely tented rooms overlooking Rufiji River
Use the pool to cool off in the midday heat
Great location within the park for excellent game viewing
Informal, relaxed atmosphere
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.
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Selous Impala Camp is a traditional tented safari camp with just seven guest tents set on raised stilts on the banks of the mighty Rufiiji River in the Selous Game Reserve. The camp is superbly located for some of the best game viewing in the Reserve.
Set in the shade of borassus palms and tamarind trees, Selous Impala Camp offers comfortable tented accommodation with a friendly and intimate atmosphere.
Each guest tent is set on raised stilts with its own private deck, ideal for relaxing in the heat of the day before the evening game drive or sitting out with your morning coffee and watching the animal life on the river in front of you. Two of the tents share a deck and these are therefore ideal for a family. Every room has an en-suite bathroom with shower, flush loo and twin washbasins. The decor is simple with local colours and fabrics but perfectly comfortable and remains a traditional safari feel to them.
Activities include daily guided game drives, boat trips on the river and fabulous walking safaris. The diversity of the activities are a real attraction to the Selous, you really do get to experience and explore the beautiful surroundings of the Selous Game Reserve and its diverse wildlife: from big cats, huge herds of elephants to enormous Nile crocodiles.
Guests often share stories of their day's game viewing over a pre-dinner drink in the bar before sitting down together for dinner on the spacious deck with views of the Rufiji River.
Should the midday sun become too much, there is a small pool which is ideal for a quick, cooling dip.
The Selous Impala Camp has eight safari tents set on high wooden decking with magnificent views of the river and of the forest beyond. The tents are "Meru-style" of green canvas and have double ceilings for coolness and double zipped doors, one of canvas and one of gauze, to keep out insects, and there are roll down canvas blinds on the netted windows, both inside and out. Generators supply power for most of the day. There is one family tent and the rest are doubles or twins.
The rooms all come equipped with stand alone fans to provide a nice breeeze, a safe, and flasks of drinking water. There is also a plug socket for charging cameras etc which operates at certain hours of the day.
As the camp is not really suited to small children, the minimum recommended age for children to stay at the camp is 8 years old. Please note however, that children under the age of 16 years are not permitted to take part in walking safaris in the Selous.
Near to the lodge is a sheltered, crystal clear swimming pool which overlooks the Rufiji. A dip in the pool is most welcomed during the heat of the day to help cool you down.
Game viewing can be done in a variety of ways. The experienced guides can take you out by boat to discover the secrets which lie in the waters of the Rufijj River. Boat safaris can be organized in the morning or in the afternoon. It is a unique experience to see the wildlife from a different point of view. The camp has six landrovers and four boats as well as a walking safari team with an armed guide. It is also possible to arrange fly-camping. If you wish to go fishing the camp can also arrange this for you at an additional cost for the rod hire.
Eliza Walker (Staff)
I visited Selous Impala Camp on my recent visit to Tanzania and it is exactly what comes to mind when one says authentic bush safari camp. With no wifi and very limited mobile signal it offers a true escape from the stresses of the outside world. The Italian manager Fausto is a wonderful host and provides a great experience, unfettered by any pretensions. The camp itself is situated right on the river banks so has a wonderful location for river activities and at night you can lie in your comfortable bed and listen to the hippos plodding up the river bank to graze and all of the other sounds of the bush around you. The guiding at Selous Impala is absolutely spectacular with beautiful scenery on your drives around the lakes and along the river banks. Whether game viewing by car or boat you will get to see some spectacular bird life as it is particularly prolific in this area. Also remember to request sundowners on the river bank to enjoy a really spectacular view of the sun going down across the water.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
I loved Selous Impala when I visited - it's a great little camp situated right on the banks of the Rufiji River, teeming with hippos and crocs so the sound of hippos is never very far away. The main lodge is set high on stilts to give great views, and is split into a seating area and then a dining area on the other side. Meals are taken separately rather than at a communal table; a nice touch for travellers wishing for a bit more privacy. A little further down from the main dining area is the fire pit and then a separate bar complete with a cappuccino/espresso machine which wouldn't look out of place in an Italian coffee bar! Our hosts, Barbara and Andrea, are both Italian and very proud of this, and it did provide the most delicious coffee!
The rooms at Selous Impala are tented on fairly high decks, giving great views of the river, and there is also a family room, two tents, separate but on the same deck, so perfect for families of four travelling together. They are bright and colourful, with kikoy curtains and bedspreads. At night you are escorted to your tent and the camp has four askaris; Maasai warriors who patrol to keep an eye on things.
Unfortunately our trip was quite brief so we weren't able to experience any of the activities that Selous Impala offers but the range is excellent; from day and night game drives to walking safaris with a guide and armed scout to river trips on the Rufiji, a highlight for many guests who love the relaxed pace and being able to drift quite close up to game and waterbirds - a river trip is a must for any keen birder! The camp is very flexible with activities; if you wish for an early morning walk followed by a mid morning river cruise, anything is possible!
We had lunch at Selous Impala and the food was utterly delicious and presented beautifully in hollowed out baobab fruits; a nice touch.
Mr Robert Reynolds (Guest)
Impala Camp was quite wonderful. We had a vehicle/boat to ourselves throughout our stay and our guide was exceptional. Accommodation, food and service were outstanding.
Having the boat option was a massive asset as we were not only able to have a rest from being bumped around in a land rover but also saw as much - though different - from the boat as from the land rover.
We saw wild dogs twice and had a wonderful and lengthy leopard sighting. Birds were so numerous and Mpogo knew every one. We sat in the boat for 15 mins while three elephants ate, drank and sprayed themselves within literally 4 yards of us.
We cannot thank you enough for arranging it all.
Mr Clive Pinder (Guest)
Selous Impala Camp was an inspired choice and having stayed in other tented camps I am delighted to say the standard of accommodation and service at Selous Impala Camp matched and in most cases exceeded the best of them, as did the cooking, management and guiding. Barbara, the management team and Gerrard our guide were exceptional.
The fact that the camp has the added benefit of sitting on the banks of the Rafiji River, with all the variety and experience that has to offer, makes it all in all the best camp we have visited.
It gave us a high end experience at mid-market prices and we are delighted you recommended it and they opened early to accommodate us.
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.
Flycamping in the Selous
For those safari aficionados who are looking for a bit more adventure, there can be nothing more exciting than spending a night in the middle of the African bush. Sleep in a mosquito net dome with all the sounds of the bush around you.
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.
Sunsets over the Rufiji
Sunsets on the Rufiji River are some of the most spectacular we have ever witnessed!
Tanzania for Teenagers
Selous & Bwejuu Beach
from £5400 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights
- Experienced guides can take you out by boat to discover the secrets which lie in the waters of the Rufiji River
- Witness the diverse wildlife of the Selous: from big cats, the elusive African wild dog to enormous Nile crocodiles
- Explore the tropical reefs of Zanzibar on fantastic diving and snorkelling excursions.
Location & directions
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Selous Impala Camp is located on the banks of the Rufiji River between Lakes Mzizimia and Siwandu in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
How to get there
11 hour international flight to Dar es Salaam via Nairobi. From there it's a 1-hour light aircraft flight to Selous Game Reserve. It's then a 10-minute safari drive, or boat ride back to camp. Alternatively, it is around a 6-hour drive from Dar – depending on the weather and therefore the state of the roads.
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