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Selous and Pemba: Ted’s trip report

Selous and Pemba: Ted’s trip report

I have just landed into chake chake the capital of Pemba island after 4 nights in the Selous game reserve.

After Beho Beho I visited Impala camp which is a permanent tented camp right on the Rufiji river. The tented en suite rooms are set up on stilts with large verandas looking out onto the water where there is plenty of hippos and elephants. I was impressed by the guiding here and the level of service, it is very different to it’s very affordable sister camp Lake Manze but I would probably still consider Selous safari camp which is only $40 more expensive…

The next morning I took a boat from Impala Camp up the Rufiji deeper into Selous to Sand Rivers, the trip was a great way to see the Selous and was only just possible as the water level in june starts to drop more and more so as the dry season goes on. However the water levels at the actual camps are perfect for boating all yearn around. We saw hundreds of hippo and this stretch of river is great for birding.

Sand Rivers is one of the oldest camps in Selous they certainly know how to run an excellent wilderness experience with great comfort, high quality guiding and probably one of the best boating safari spot in the Selous. I spent my first afternoon on a game drive exploring the area which has a mixture of hills, swamps, river, lakes, forested areas and also some open spots which gives a very varied game experience.

I spent the morning on the river up at Steiglers gorge fishing, I caught a couple of cat fish and had one tiger who really fought hard and in the end snapped my line! After lunch i headed out on foot with Mark who is the camp manager and selous walking expert and one of the nomad scouts for a 4 hour walking safari where they had set up an excellent fly camp. The fly camp tents at sand rivers are just simple mosquito nets which means you can watch the star filled night sky as you drift off to sleep. The next morning we walked around lake and up some very steep hippo tracks onto a ridge which gave us great view of the surroundings tracking some very fresh lion tracks which we stumbled upon later on in the vehicle. A mother and a few young White faced whistling ducks strolled passed and the lioness could not resist a quick easy snack!

I then spent a night at a new property, Amara Selous which is in a different area in the hills in Selous. This new camp is still establishing itself and differentiates itself by one of the few camps to have air conditioning, the rooms are very comfortable, the guides are new to the area but seem to be very promising. They offer boating safari but the river level is too low as they are located on the Ruaha and not the rufiji like the majority of the other camps so this is a slight draw back. Full report to follow…

After safari there is nothing better to just chill out and relax on the beach and fundu lagoon on Pemba island is a great option for those who want some where remote, very chilled out and fancy some snorkelling and diving. I am staying in a superior suite which is very private with views out on the bay, lots of shade from the trees where bush baby and ore primates swing in the trees.

Each night we eat in a different spot, by the infinity pool, on the beach or in the main area and there are a choice of 3 bars to enjoy the sunset or why not just order food to your room and sit by your private plunge pool.

This afternoon I am heading off to manta reef which is another hotel in this very remote and quiet island… And then my last two nights are at the residence on Zanzibar before flying back to London on British airways…

More to come !
Ted Archdale

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