Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania – June 10-12, 2017 – Our departure from Anjajavy was mixed with some sadness as we left our furry friends behind, and yet looked forward with great expectations of getting to mainland East Africa. Our luxe Challenger Private Jet took us to Tanzania and the magnificent Selous National Reserve … the largest wildlife protected area in Africa (ahead of both Kruger in South Africa, and Serengeti In Tanzania).
It was very clear flying that while famed Selous has endured over 3 years of very poor rains and drought conditions, that was all in the past. The Tanzania ‘long rains’ had blessed and deluged Selous for over three months earlier. We were flying into green, green Africa with massive lakes all over.
Our gorgeous camp, Siwandu, is situated under the shady acacia trees along the shores of Lakes Nzekera. Our individual large tents, which were spacious and octagonal in shape, offered 360 degree views into the woodlands, beautiful wood decks with a writing desk and plush furnishings. Outside showers under the full moon East Africa skies or midday shade are one of the gifts of Africa. The greatest ‘gift’ was likely the daily morning tent-butler delivery of tea & coffee or hot chocolate along with homemade ginger cookies. The dining at Siwandu … simply delicious with an African flair. The small swimming pool was enjoyed by some for a mid-afternoon refresh.
Our days were filled mainly with game drives in our comfortable 4-wheel drive land cruisers … custom built in Africa. These ‘tanks of Africa’ go everywhere. Our safari driver guides were excellent in their knowledge of the vast areas covered and of the wildlife … from minuscule insects, to tiny colorful birds to great eagles, and all the many species of gazelle and antelope that we saw. The Masai Giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania … and we soon got to know why … seemingly, they were around every bush!! We searched hard to find the famed elephant herds and ultimately enjoyed two separate sightings of elephant families with babies. It was an extraordinary experience to be with these ‘gentle giants’ browsing their way across Selous … their vast ‘garden of Eden’. The big cats evaded us … which is unusual for here … although we searched hard and we saw a few hyenas to start our ‘furry collection’. Also at Siwandu we were able to take advantage of the vast lake … either by smaller boats or larger pontoon. All around the lake we marveled at some of Africa’s largest Nile Crocodiles usually sunning on sandbars (jaws open to stay cool) and when we got too close quickly slithering menacingly into the water so only their tiny eyes could be seen. Big populations of hippos live in these lakes too … at night several of our guests had moonlight hippo sightings as these huge beasts come out on to the shore to graze on lush grasses.
Selous offered us excellent insights to many different African wildlife species and all while ‘returning home’ to the comforts of our luxury tented camp. One of our guests commented that among her several prior trips to Africa, this was definitely the most beautiful camp in Africa. We agree! We applaud Siwandu and its excellent staff team. Asante!
Now we head on to Safari Botswana … and a great place in Africa for more herds of elephants and excellent chances for lions, leopard, and even wild dogs (“painted wolves”). We’re anxious for the big cats now … and, usually, Savute Botswana (in the north of the Kalahari) does not disappoint. We will be in the kind care of excellent Belmond Savute Elephant Camp … aptly named … and another experience of ‘ritz carlton’ camping amid the wilds of Africa.
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