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We snuck up behind a pair of lionesses in the Selous

Our favorite location was Sand Rivers. It’s hard to believe how a place could be that remote and still provide such a high standard of accommodation. The kids’ jaws dropped when they saw their open-fronted hillside suite – none of us had ever stayed anywhere so exotically luxurious – and even though Tom and I saw and heard a hippo grazing at our doorstepthat first night, we felt relaxed and safe (another reason why it was good Sand Rivers was last on the schedule!). 

The friendly staff treated us like royalty and thoroughly spoiled us with a picnic on the beach midway through our boating trip, sundowners after a short hike, and a fully cooked breakfast after a long one. I will never want to camp or hike any other way! Although the food everywhere surpassed expectations, the meals here were the best -– I’m craving the butterbean pate as I write. The chef even fried up the fish we caught. Nomad’s attention to detail is impressive: Apparently, the organization monitors the guests as they travel from camp to camp so as not to duplicate meals. 

We loved the variety of activities (especially being on the river, crocs and all) and not seeing another car or boat all day. Even the game drives, in an open-sided Land Rover on roads that were in themselves adventures, were a change of pace from those in the Serengeti. As our guide slowly drove along, he leaned out to study the tracks and droppings; based on what he saw, we snuck up behind a pair of lionesses, for example, and followed them as they went about their business. We’d seen lions in the Serengeti, but this was a more personal experience.