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Destinations | Africa | Tanzania | Selous | Sand Rivers

Sand Rivers Properties

Sand Rivers
8 Airy Cottages

Discerning travellers consider Sand Rivers to be one of the finest lodges on the continent, with its unique blend of timeless safari elegance combining with the rigours of a genuine bush adventure. Sand Rivers is set on a rocky peninsula with magnificent views over a vast sweep of the Rufiji river, its exposed sandbanks home to hippo, crocodile and spectacular bird life. The lodge is small but perfectly formed; the cottages are grand and open fronted, the mess imposing, the cooking excellent, and the service excellent and at-your-whim. Outside the central mess area is the swimming pool, set into the rocks on the river's edge, and shaded by an ancient baobab tree throught to be more than 1500 years old. This is the perfect place for relaxing, and gazing out over the view of endless water. Armchairs and sofas abound, and the bar is close by along with a library well stocked with books on the area. The main dining table is made of an enormous tree that was washed down the river by a storm, and is the focus for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is generally a relaxed affair with guests either eating in the lodge, or having a bush breakfast under the shade of a tree. There are eight large and airy double, or twin-bedded cottages, each with its own spacious bathroom with flush toilets and powerful showers. Beds are four-postered with soft mosquito netting that ties back during the day. Each cottage is completely open-fronted, with an expansive veranda set on stilts, giving each a stunning and private view over the river. Electric lights, standing fans, and hot water are solar powered.

Selous National Park, Tanzania


June - October; December - March

The best months for travelling to Tanzania are June through the end of October and then December through the end of March. July, August and September, are the busiest times along with the Christmas holidays as this is when school holidays fall. If you prefer to travel when the game is still superb but it is not so busy then the following months are recommended: June, September, October, November, February, March, April and May.
Walking Safaris, Fishing, Boating, Game Drives, Fly Camps

It's not what you see, it's how you see it. In the Selous, game viewing takes on a slower pace. Whether its walking safaris, fishing, boating, game drives, or a combination of all these, its possible, exciting & rewarding at Sand Rivers. Spend a lazy afternoon in one of our hides, concealed beside waterholes, where guests are a silent and unobtrusive audience to the drama unfolding on this vast African stage. For the more adventurous, fly camping offers the outdoor experience of a lifetime. Large mosquito nets are laid out on sand banks or near to a busy waterhole. Simple yet fully equipped, these camps have ice cold drinks, great food, comfortable bedrolls, and toilets & bucket showers set just behind the camp; it's the perfect combination of intrepid adventure and bush comfort. Each camping spot is chosen for its view or the game in the area and allows you to utterly absorb yourself in the Selous wilderness. The river provides an utterly unique view of life in the Selous and Sand Rivers. Upstream the river narrows into a deep ravine called Steiglerīs Gorge, the steep sides thick with lush forest and huge boulders where leopards are often seen and monkeys leap through the treetops. Downstream of the lodge the river is wide and expansive with vast tracts of sandy banks, home to monitor lizards and bee-eaters. The lodge has several aluminium boats to take you out for daily river adventures. Of course, you might just choose to stay in and loll by the pool, iced cocktail in hand, watching some intrepid soul depart on the lodge's most coveted trip - a four day wilderness walk in the seriously remote parts of the Selous. Our walking safaris explore the remotest corners of the area over a set period, with flycamps moving every night. For all walks, you will be joined by an armed guide, whose knowledge and understanding of the game and wildlife allows you to watch them undisturbed as they go about their daily lives.
Local Info

Thirty years ago, it would have been extremely disappointing if you didn't spot at least one magnificent black rhino whilst on safari in the Selous Game Reserve. Today, the picture could hardly be more different. The once strong and healthy population of 3,000 black rhino thatroamed here during the 70s has been decimated to no more than a handful. Ten years ago Richard Bonham, and Bimb & Lizzy Theobald , the creators and inspiration behind Sand Rivers Selous, set up The Selous Rhino Trust. Their aim was to save what was rapidly becoming one of the world's most endangered species, from becoming extinct in their beloved Selous. Lizzy became the voice for the Selous' Rhino and was instrumental in building the project until her death in 1997. Her family have since taken on the mantel and have continued to develop the Trust which is a lasting testimony to her dedication. Sand Rivers Selous has been a committed supporter of The Rhino Trust since, during which time 16 rhino have been positively identified in the area. As caretakers for this part of the Selous, we feel we have a responsibility to help protect and conserve what is here, and as a Lodge operating in the area we all dream that one day, as the population begins to regenerate, we will be able to add rhino to the list of experiences that the Selous is able to offer.
Guest Reviews

"I was alone when I first began safaris in Selous more than twenty years ago. I traveled the length & breadth of this amazing reserve on my portered walking safaris. But always I found myself returning to the Sand Rivers area with its variety of terrain and its ever reliable game. When we finally decided to create Sand Rivers Selous, it was obvious where we should settle." - Richard Bonham
Owners & Hosts

Ross Cumming was born in Malawi, and brings considerable safari experience to Sand Rivers Selous. He has spent the last few years working as a safari guide/camp manager for Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia (managing their camp Tena Tena) , and prior to that was the operations manager for Malawi's Nyika Safari Company as well as overseeing the running of their two safari camps. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Tourism Management, a private pilot's licence, and is also a PADI certified diver. Antonia Morris hails from the UK, but has just spent the last year working in Sri Lanka doing voluntary aid work after the 2004 tsunami devastated the region. Prior to that she was in India where she assisted the Jaipur International Arts Festival as their hospitality and projects manager, and also worked in the Ranthambore National Park for Save The Tiger. Her career has taken her from the catering industry, to the fashion industry, to the travel industry. She brings all the experience of her travels and varied career to Sand Rivers Selous.

Set on the banks of the Rufiji River, Sand Rivers is one of the most luxurious and remote lodges in the Selous Game Reserve.
Sand Rivers Selous has been a well loved hub for safari buffs for years, and is at the centre of a natural melting pot of very diverse habitats, from gorges to open plains, and woodlands to lakes. We have a squadron of some of Tanzania's most committed safari guides, and one of them will be on hand to take you out for adventures; a day on the river, weaving past hippo and crocodile, drives on the trail of lion or wild dog, an elephant bush walk, a night sleeping out under the stars, or simply fishing barefoot off a large rock. The Selous Game Reserve is home to such a Noah's ark of wildlife that it's been made a World Heritage Site. Thick Miombo forests give way to grassy flood plains and skeletons of leadwood trees. The Rufiji River changes course constantly, creating oxbow lakes fringed with palms. Surrounded by varied topography unique to this northern area of the reserve, Sand Rivers lies in close proximity to Steigler's Gorge, Lake Tagalala and the Beho Beho hot springs.

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