Siwandu Camp is formerly Selous Safari Camp, a luxurious tented camp beside an ox-bow lake in a beautiful spot in the north of Southern Tanzania’s vast, unspoiled Selous Game Reserve.
Siwandu Camp stands on the shores of Lake Nzerakera, a large lake adjoining the Rufiji River. It is divided into two discrete camps, North and South. Each has its own facilities, so you can relish your seclusion in this remote wilderness area and benefit from personal service and attention. South Camp has 7 tents and North has 6.
The tents at Siwandu Camp are spacious, private and attractive, with soft furnishings of natural colours. The tents stand on raised platforms under a thatched roof and each has a good view of the river — and a sofa on your private verandah from which to enjoy it.
Each tent is open-plan. A canvas flap can be lowered to isolate the bathroom — with double basins — from the bedroom area. Beyond the bathroom, the open-air shower has lashings of hot water and various toiletries.
At Siwandu Camp, there is a ceiling fan above the king-size bed in each tent, power points for charging your equipment and a safe. There is also a second verandah at the rear of each tent.
The thatched lounge and bar area of South Camp stands on a high platform and is a comfortable place to relax on one of the comfortable armchairs and sofas while watching the animals at the river. There is a good size pool, with sun-beds and shaded areas, and a shop with various essentials, as well as curios.
Because the animals only start to make their way to the river once the sun is up, game-viewing usually begins after breakfast. Your guide will arrange your game-viewing activities around your individual interests and preferences.
One option is morning and evening game drives is specially adapted, open 4WD safari vehicles with an expert guide. In addition to enabling you to observe some of the Selous’ magnificent game, game drives allow you to roam through a wider area of this vast wilderness area and understand its topography.
Boat safaris are a particular feature of the Selous. At Siwandu Camp, the metal boats are sturdy and equipped with a canopy. Boat safaris provide an unparalleled birding and an exciting opportunity to observe the abundant crocs and hippos. The boatman guiding your safari has grown up on the river and is well-versed in hippo and crocodile behaviour.
Walking is the exception to the "after breakfast" rule: you start off early, before the sun becomes too strong and too hot. The pace is gentle because the focus is on the ecology of the area, tracking and bushcraft. A bush walk is a good way of birding. An armed qualified walking guide will lead you through the bush — elephant encounters are not uncommon.
If you are really into walking or want to immerse yourself deep in the bush, you can arrange a night or two fly camping from Siwandu Camp. You won’t be deprived of SSC’s fine meals out there in the bush, either. Fly camping should be arranged in advance.
And, between activities, you can continue to watch the animals as they wander through the unfenced camp.
June to September is typically dry. The vegetation is sparse and, as the water supplies diminish, increasingly large concentrations of animals congregate near the Selous' lakes and rivers.
There should be some showers in November and December, and a profusion of flowers.
Meals are served at individual tables at Siwandu Camp and guests are usually impressed by the quality and variety of the food they enjoy here in the remote bush.
Morning tea or coffee is brought to your tent. At breakfast, served from 7 — 10, there is a generous selection of fruit, cereals and baked goods, as well as the opportunity to tuck into a full cooked breakfast. Lunch is usually a lighter, two-course affair, with a variety of salads and breads followed by dessert — just right in the heat of the day. Afternoon tea sets you up for the afternoon game activity and dinner is a delicious three-course meal.