Sand Rivers Selous

Life in the Selous Game Reserve

Hi. We live and work in the Selous Game Reserve, overlooking a wide bend in the Rufiji River. People from all over the world visit us, and tell us how lucky we are to live here. We're inclined to believe them.

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  • Visit Sand Rivers Selous Camp

Fri, Mar 18, 2016

A great end to a great season!

I have only been here 3 weeks, but it has been a very exciting time indeed. Lion hunting Hippo in camp, Wild Dogs roaming the plains near Lake Tagalala, Fish eagles and Osprey catching fish in front of the lodge, and the ever so elegant Giraffe always present. The Selous is teaming with wildlife and i have experienced so much in such a short amount of time. 

I leave you with the highlights of my stay and i look forward to sharing more stories with you when the new season opens.

Wild Dog on the lookout

Black-winged Stilt feeding at Lake Tagalala

Hippo moving into deeper water during an early morning boat ride

Yellow-billed Stork searching for food

Giraffe, Fish Eagles and an Oxpecker

Egyptian Geese posing for the photo!

Bad hair day! Young male Impala with deformed horns

Gemma fishing for Tiger Fish

A Gecko eating a Dung Beetle Larvae

Common Waterbuck (The bachelors)

This 3 meter Croc moving into the water!

This Lioness has found a new chew toy!

See you all in a few months!

Tue, Mar 15, 2016

The Sand Rivers Pride

It has now been 3 weeks since I arrived at Sand Rivers and I am taking every opportunity I can to go into the bush. However, It will still take a bit of time to get to know the wildlife in this area - I don't mean what wildlife we have - I mean their personalities. Every animal is different based on past interactions with humans and some will allow you to get closer than others. 

I have seen the Sand Rivers Pride 3 times in the last 3 weeks, with the last viewing being 2 mornings ago as they were hunting Hippo in the camp. Each and every lion is different, and each one is more confident than another. On this occasion, we found them before Lake Tagalala, at the base of a ridge, watching Giraffe in the distance. You could tell they weren't too hungry, but if the opportunity to hunt arose, they would take it. 

One lion got quite inquisitive and decided to take a closer look at the car!

The perfect chew toy! At least we have 2 spare tyres!

Giving up on her new found toy, she decided to see where the others where.

A quick peek in the car, before scouting for the Giraffe again.

Hamadi, one of our guides, took this opportunity to turn the car around as he could sense their may be a hunt - Giving his client a perfect view.

This pride kept watching the Giraffe move closer and closer, so one of the Lionesses decided to take up her position at a nearby bush.

No such luck today though! With their incredible eyesight, the Giraffe spotted the lioness and slowly moved off. Not too phased by being seen, the pride kept relaxing in the same position until sunset. 

It was great to be able to spend so much time with this playful pride. We got to see so much of their character and how they live. It was very tense at times, when they were stalking, and you could feel it in the air. I look forward to getting to them over the next few months and years. We may need to get a new tyre cover though!

Thu, Mar 10, 2016

Africa is born in you

I had heard the name Selous spoken about, as if it was a distant land from another world. I knew very little of this place…. its history, its character, its meaning… its soul. This vast land with its forests, bushland, river ways and lakes were completely unknown to me, hiding a wealth of wildlife and history beneath its canopies. 

(Image 1. Hippos emerge from Lake Tagalala at dusk to graze)

The first time you go to Selous, you feel like you have gone back in time a few thousand years. Just a short plane ride from the bustling city of Dar Es Salaam, it doesn't take long until you can't see a single trace of human kind. Now you know you are alone…. now you know you are in Africa…. now you know you are in the Selous. This vast land stretches across 4 regions in Tanzania and is as large as Switzerland. Full of Elephant, Hippo, Lion, Crocodile, Buffalo, Wild Dog, Leopard and more, The Selous offers an experience you can't get anywhere else. You are able to drive all day and not see a single car. It makes you feel like you are the only person there, sharing its incredible stories only with you - stories that will stay in your heart forever.

(Image 2. A Sandpiper keeping an eye out as he walks though the water)

(Image 3. A Northern Carmine Bee-eeter waits on his branch for insects to jump away from the car)

(Image 4. A Wild Dog catches his breath in the heat of the day)

Even though i was born in Africa, i feel like i have only recently experienced the true Africa. The untouched land that has hypnotised and dazzled explorers for centuries. I look forward to sharing my stories with you over the next few years, and hopefully see you all here soon!

Tue, Dec 30, 2014

Getting our spots in a row.

Getting our spots in a row!

The Leopard sightings at sand rivers have been great in the last few months and they can only get better!

We are trying to Identify each and every leopard we see with the help of close up photos taken by our guide’s and guests to get an idea of how many we have as well as get to know who belongs where. 

How do we do this you may ask?  we use spot patterns.

A spot pattern refers to the upper most row of spots on the leopard’s cheeks. These are the spots above the upper line of whiskers. It gets slightly tricky from time to time as often these spots aren’t all in a straight line.

The second part of interpreting a spot pattern is that it refers to the number of spots first on the right cheek and then the left cheek. This means that this male has 3 spots on his right cheek and 2 on his left cheek. so his new name is Milk Wood Male 3:2 (Milkwood refers to the tree he was first seen in.

This male was seen yesterday with an Impala up a tree. 

when we have a database of Leopards we can start putting together a family tree to get an understanding of how these mysteriuus cats live there lives.

If any previous guest's from Sand Rivers Selous have any mugshots of leoperds we would love to add them to the database.

Tue, Nov 25, 2014

The Truth about Cats and Dogs

The last few weeks in Selous have been manic, in regard to cats and dogs or to be specific lions and wild dogs!

The action started when our guide extradoinaire Ernest Onesmo was leading a walk from camp when out of a thicket came 16 wild dogs yapping and playfully showing interest in the mildly shocked humans.

In order to get a better look Ernest and the group retreated and called for a vehicle. As they hastily retreated they managed to almost trip over two rather annoyed lions who where sleeping in a bush nearby…. they proceeded to eyeball each other for a few seconds before Ernest was forced to alter his route yet again to eventually find welcome relief in a vehicle.

The following events all happened within seconds. The lions had by now seen the dogs and were stealthily making their approach, unfortunately the dogs saw the advancing lions too late and one of the wild dog pups was rapidly killed by the lions.  The rest of the pack started making loud, high-pitched calls, and began vigourously running circles around the lions to make them leave the area, which they did but leaving behind a young lifeless wild dog pup. Ernest and guests did not quite know how to take in what happened and sat motionless for a while until the silence was shattered by the unmistakable laugh of two hyenas closing in on the lifeless pup.

Two days later they were at it again!!  Same lions, same dogs different scene.  Two vehicles from Sand Rivers Selous were in hot pursuit of the pack as they brought down an impala and then quickly went after another.  When the second impala was down guests spotted a lioness barreling down on the wild dog who where franticly feeding.  This time however the dogs picked up the lioness as there was no cover for her to sneak up on them, the dogs gave way and disappeared leaving the lioness to devour her easy and undeserved meal.

There is so much action going on around Sand Rivers Selous at the moment that we can't keep up, next week we will introduce you to a verry special leopard!


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