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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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!

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

A month in Selous

Finally!  After at least 15 years of wild and enchanting tales of a vast African wilderness, filled with characters past and present who have all played their part in the captivating and vital African story of the Great Selous Game Reserve.

I say finally, as we too can tentatively add our names to the story.  It may be only penciled in for now but we aim to make our mark on Selous, and showcase all its wondrous and unique secrets to those who are willing to open their minds and hearts to the adventurous spirit of Sand Rivers Selous

The month we have spent in Sand Rivers has been a blur of great and inspirational people, phenomenal wildlife sightings, like a leopard and her cub on an afternoon walk only a few meters away which left myself, guests and the leopards with a faster than normal heart beat.  Action-packed challenges like exploding water tanks at 1 am due to the lazy hyenas preferring the tanks to the river water only a few 100 meters away!

We feel like we have finally come home to a place where anything is possible and all our experience in various parts of Africa and the rest of the world has prepared us for the Selous.

We will keep you updated on all the new adventurous and pioneering developments of Sand Rivers Selous.

We can't wait to make this our home and give it all we have.

Tue, Sep 9, 2014

Goodbye Selous

So just shy of one year here in the heart of the Selous Game Reserve and its time to move onto the next adventure...Greystoke Mahale. The year has flown by, each day having many highlights, but there are a select few for us that stick out.

Our first experience with the Selous Dogs, a radio call from not far away and we set off and found the pack of 12 with 6 adults and 6 pups that were a handful for the adults non-stop.

Our first meeting with Forest, the male Leopard we share our territory with. He killed a Zebra foul just outside camp and took it up a Chestnut Tree.

Cheeka, the naughtiest but cutest monkey with an addiction to milk powder...daily raids on the office in the dry season were messy times.

The evening a Brown House Snake (harmless to people) decided to eat a Gecko at Kate's feet in the office.

Daily encounters with what I believe to be the most beautiful bird the Selous has to offer. 

Meeting the dominant Lion of the Sand Rivers area.

The lodge hippos have always provided us with great entertainment at a stone's throw away.

The African Golden Weavers came in and gave everyone hours of joy building the nests right in front of the lodge for days on on end. 

Our good friend with no ears and one eye gave an insight into the life of a handicapped animal, showing his feistiness among the others.

The first major storm that disrupted lunch with horizontal rain hitting the back wall at the serving station.

The Northern Carmine Bee-eater and its symbiotic relationship with our vehicles, the vehicles ousted insects for the birds to feed on and they gave us a great experience flying in and around the vehicle.

Finding this pack of 21 Wild Dogs in the Beho Beho River bed, this is the biggest pack of Wild Dogs we had ever seen.

Terrence the Terrapin was found along the path to the managers house and moved into his new home, the fish pond at the mess, where you can still see him from time to time.

Hippo fighting can be brutal and leads to a croc feeding frenzy which is a great way to see the power of the Nile Crocodile ripping flesh using it's infamous 'death-roll'

Our guide training with Sacha was a great time to get out in the field and see what we could find, but when a pride of Lions come strolling down the road it really makes a guides job look rather easy.

Getting out onto the newly formed sand banks after the river subsided to see these young African Skimmers was a fantastic experience, showing off their hiding capabilities in bare open ground was amazing.

Baby Hippos are just the cutest little cocktail sausages and when they came out of the river to see the other side of the world they got the attention of many people.

Our final encounter with Forest, having killed and eaten a baby Giraffe then slinking off into a leadwood to let his belly hang out.

Thank you Sand Rivers Selous for the amazing experience, we are sure to return one day.

Im sure that new managers Jeff and Ilze look foreward to welcoming you.

Mon, Aug 25, 2014

The Break-Aways

On a recent trip to see what the Selous Game Reserve has to offer, we came across something rather special.

A Bateleur was spotted perched atop a tree fast asleep, the Bateleur is an indicating species that guides use to find other animals as they often follow carnivores and will scavenge a meal when they can.

So whilst looking at the Bateleur, something else was noticed by a guest, Henry, in a tree and binoculars were shifted left and there they were, two breakaway leopards that have recently left the safety of mum but still remain within her territory.

They found themselves a great big Mahogany tree with many horizontal broad branches to snooze on.

These two youngsters were kind enough to give us one hour of their time while they slept, stretched, yawned, played and eventually jumped down from the tree and disappeared into the undergrowth. 

Hopefully they hang around in their mothers territory for some time more as it is very close to homebase. 


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