Without exception everywhere we stayed was amazing with the highlights being Magwusi and Sand Rivers. The staff at both these camps were really first-rate as was the food and the locations were mind-blowing!
Good flight into Sand Rivers camp where we were met by the deputy manager. Camp just as wonderful as when we were last there in 2004! Great food and our 2 Guides – Joel and Hamza – were great. Did a morning walking safari with Hamza which was interesting although Game was sparse!
It’s been now a few weeks since the end of our safari in Mwagusi & Sand River last october, and I’ve been quite busy at work since. But Bertrand and I really wanted to let you know that we found your services simply perfect in the preparation and the booking of that trip. We notably appreciated your promptness in email responding. And once in Tanzania, everything ran smooth, without a glitch, and the program was exactly as scheduled and expected. So thanks for everything!
Sand rivers was spectacular, beautiful facilities and really genuinely nice people. Our guide (Edward) was very good and we had great experience with people running the lodge as well (Tash & Erik and Barbara and Fabio filling in before taking over managing the Mahale camp).
Fantastic hosts and staff, excellent and outstanding food and an absolutely awesome guide in Ernest. The suite was stunning, with great views of the river and perfect for people who don't mind sleeping 'outside'. The only minor things we fed back to the guys there was that we had soup a little bit too often as a starter (also given all non-soup starters were absolutely amazing), but that is really complaining on a high level. The Selous Reserve itself was beautiful and the fact that we really had to look for game was part of the fun. Missing out on lions was okay, as I knew we'd see some in Ruaha...Lucy had no idea where we'd go next, so she was sad about that when we left ;)
Staying at Sand Rivers was truly a once in a life time experience. The minute we stepped into the lodge with it’s open fronted lounge looking directly onto the river we knew it was somewhere special. When we stepped foot into our room we were truly blown away. From our bed we could look out for miles onto the river, and hear the hippo splashing about. We went through a long deliberation process with Africa Odyssey on where in Tanzania we’d go for our first safari. We were torn between the famous Serengeti and the lesser known Selous. We had heard that although the Seregenti may be more game-rich, it was also more people-rich. So although you might spot more abundant wildlife, you could be sharing this experience with 20 other jeeps. On Africa Odyssey’s advice we went for the more remote Selous, for a more authentic safari experience. And we’re so glad we did! We had private game rides, just the two of us, and didn’t see another jeep while we were out on our morning or evening drives. The moments we spent with the animals felt so personal. Another bonus of the Sand Rivers is how close you can get to the animals. At one point we were trekking hyenas on foot, at another we were meters away from an elephant and her calf, and when we saw the lions we were so close we could have reached out of the jeep to stroke them (although this is not recommended!). Sand Rivers offers so many different safari experiences; along with our jeep rides, we had a sunrise river cruise and morning picnic, walk safari, we even spent a morning at a hot springs! One of the highlights of our trip has to be our guide Godfrey. If you can request him as a guide we highly recommend you do so! We spent one of our nights at Sand Rivers fly camping with Godrey. A mosquito net covered tent was set up in the middle of the bush, and we slept in the wild to the sounds of the lions roaring in the background. This was glamping, rather than camping, with our own bar set up, a three course dinner on the banks of the river, and a hot water shower. I could write an essay on how incredible Sand Rivers was, from the hospitality, to the food, to the interiors. We can’t recommend it enough.
We had the most amazing time, better than we could have ever expected! The staff was incredible (Our guide Hamza was SO knowledgeable), the food was amazing, and our room was to die for. Our stay was full of little surprises everyday. We went on this trip as a once in a lifetime thing and we are already planning to go back
This is a dream holiday destination for a family with teenage boys.. Woken by mugs of hot coffee and tea in the back of your room before a dose of real adventure every morning. Hamardi our extremely knowledgeable guide showed us leopards up trees, leopards out walking, elephant babies, trees that weep red sap, herds of galloping buffalo and lions feasting on kills and one very special afternoon drive brought us to chilling wild dogs. We saw so much. That wasn't all though as there are so many different options which our fabulous hosts Eric and Natasha helped us plan every evening over delicious dinners. You could choose to sit with the whole group or have a private table but the former were great fun and the boys loved hearing everyone's stories. We loved the boat trip into the gorge and got great shots of crocodiles leaping off the bank and we fished and caught several big catfish. We had sundowners on a sand bank where the boys did handstands when the sun set. The nights fly camping was amazing. Sitting around the fire and then looking at the stars through the mosquito nets as we fell asleep to the sound of hippos. We also took a trip to the hot springs where we had them to ourselves and little fish massaged our toes. its really great to have so many different options of things to do and we didn't even have a time for a game walk (for the over 12s). The guides have all had training in photography and are wonderful at finding just the right angle for your photo, which is a real plus and we got some great shots especially as we never saw more than three vehicles on our drives. Never without a hot shower, no mosquito bites in 5 days, a great pool to relax by between activities and wonderful company at dinner. All the staff have a certain real warmth and add to the holiday. You don't need to pack a torch as they give you one and there is plenty of bug spray and water on every drive. My husband didn't need his 6 fishing rods- theirs were great!!! They did a great job of our laundry so you don't need to pack a lot , "coastal aviation" who flew us out here weren't too strict with luggage weights as we feared and all our soft bags were a couple of kilos over. We saw bush babies and a jennet in camp. The mosquito nets made us feel snug in our rooms and not even a 14 year old felt nervous at night. The boys didn't even want to connect to the wifi - which is an indication of how great this place is and it's our favourite safari camp that my husband and I have stayed in over the last 25 years. When we left our youngest son said that it was arguably the best few days of his life' and we all agreed, this place is really special.
Sand Rivers - 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'd rate it 5, but that would mean we loved it as much as Kigelia, so I had to take a half point off. The hosts (Michelle and Julien) were great. They greeted us with gin and tonic when we arrived and were excellent hosts throughout our stay. Our guide ended up being Promise, who is actually the host and lead guide for Kiba Point camp, which was empty during our stay. We could not say enough great things about Promise. His English was strong, his spotting skill was unbelievable, and his hospitality as a guide was great as well. We felt like we really lucked out getting him as our guide. The camp itself was almost over the top nice. The open air rooms were beautiful. The showers were warm if you used them at night, but not so much in the morning. The humidity and temperature at night wasn't perfect, so I imagine that it might be less comfortable in the warmer periods of the year. The food was top notch. We had a slow roasted lamb dinner the first night that was the best meal I had during the entire trip. Since they knew we were shorted by a night, the staff made sure to fit as much as they could into our short time there. Promise took us just about everywhere he could with the time we had, and it didn't allow us to spend too much time just sitting and watching, but it was OK because we wanted to see as much as we could. The boating safari was great and they surprised us with a bottle of champagne on an island up the river. We hated to leave in the morning, but Promise turned the trip to the airstrip into a game drive so we were pleased.