Sand Rivers Selous

Sand Rivers is situated in the northern part of the Selous Game Reserve which is the second largest protected wilderness area in the world. Sand Rivers offers stylish, luxurious safari accommodation on the banks of the Rufiji River. This comfortable and stylish lodge features an outdoor pool, an open-air dining room, bar and lounge which have been beautifully constructed on a sweeping curve of the great Rufiji River, offering stunning views across the water. Sand Rivers Selous has just 8 stone and thatched cottages, all are open-fronted and raised on decks overlooking the river.

There are 5 Riverside rooms - with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, flush toilets and powerful showers - and 3 Hillside Suites. The Suites all have the same amenities as the Riverside rooms, but with the added extra of a large living space and a small plunge pool. Activities at River Sands are tailored to suit each guest, whether its game drives, walking safaris, fishing or boating. Sand rivers can also organise fly camping under mosquito nets on dry river beds with in the reserve

Days at Sand Rivers are about exploring - we use cars, boats and our own feet to access the hidden gems that define this exceptional part of the Selous.

At Sand Rivers our open-sided 4x4 vehicles are a great way of seeing things.  For covering a bit of distance when that's what's needed.  And of course there are times when they give you the best views, access and photographic opportunities.

But we like to retain spontaneity wherever we can.  Often the best way to see things, to avoid scattering animals from the lakeshore, or spooking a herd of elephant as they feed their way through a stretch of lush grassland, is to hop down and quietly work our way into a good position on foot.

And the same goes for our boats.  Just being on the river - never mind the game - is a fantastic contrast to time spent in a vehicle.  Drifting silently downstream, gently spiraling in the current, watching the river banks unfold is hard to beat.

Vast flocks of great white pelicans fishing in dwindling pools, wallowing families of elephant socialising, prides of lion sleeping off a meal.

And sometimes the best way to see game is to let it come to you.  Breakfast on a sand bank in Stigler's Gorge watching elusive monkey-hunting crowned eagles, and listening to shrill cries of Hyraxes as you dangle a hook in the water.

Or lunch in the deep shade of palm trees, watching the comings and goings on at the lakeshore: half watching, half reading a book and perhaps even dozing off. 

All in all, days at Sand Rivers aren't about box ticking, or endless driving in search of the next animal.  It's a sense of gradual absorption in this corner of the natural world that we'd love you to feel.

Flycamping is a wonderful surprise, best left unexplained. If you ask us it's simple, you have to try it.

Since Richard Bonham first came this way on his walking safaris in the 80's, to us the Selous has always been synonymous with being on foot.  But it's never about distance, or "hiking." Time on foot is an opportunity to engage your senses and this is something you'll quickly pick up on as we leave camp - accompanied by an armed ranger - in the cool of the early morning or late afternoon.

The best walks are those where you travel at a gentle pace and probably don't cover much distance - a few kilometres in an hour - stopping often to listen and look.

And when you do arrive in the softening evening light, there can be few things as exciting and plain different from every day "modern life" as our flycamp.


Sand Rivers Selous is located in the remote heart of the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania. On the banks of the mile-wide Rufiji River. 

8 spacious open-fronted cottages raised on high concrete platforms. There are 5 Standard Riverside rooms and 3 Hillside Suites. All have en-suite bathrooms, with flush toilets, powerful showers and hot and cold running water. The 3 Hillside Suites have an additional lounge area and private plunge pool. All rooms have overhead ceiling fans over the bed and epic views out over the river. 

Children over the age of 8 at Sand Rivers. However, fly camping and walking safaris for children over 12.

Our area of the Selous affords great opportunities for game viewing by vehicle, on foot and by boat and we make the most of all of them. We enjoy picnics, fishing, trips to the hot springs and fly camping. The area is quiet without many other camps and is perfect for full immersion in the bush. 

Fly-camping is a highly recommended part of any safari to Sand Rivers Selous, and is available at an extra supplement. The fly camps are shared, and guests sleep under spacious mosquito net tents. A bucket shower with hot water, and short-stop toilets is set up behind camp. A full compliment of staff provide a full breakfast, light lunch, and 3-course candlelit dinner. 

June to September; warm days and cool nights, best time of year for walking safaris. Great elephant and buffalo sightings. 

October - November; heavy concentrations of game around the inland lakes, weather dry and hot. December - March; prolific bird life, many animals calving, weather starts to get humid, with possibility of rain. 

There are numerous daily flights from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Ruaha, Mafia, Pemba and northern Tanzania. 

Year-round except April and May.   

For more information on Sand Rivers Selous click HERE


Remote Rufiji Riverbank
Free Africa Nights
Stay 4 / Pay 3 - Single Camp
Stay 5 / Pay 4 - Multi Camps
Stay 7 / Pay 5 - Multi Camps
Groups of 4-7 get Private Driver/Vehicle Free
* Valid now through May 2021 except holiday period: Dec 20, 2020-Jan 4, 2021. Book by Aug 1, 2020. Flexible payment & postponement policies. Some Nomad properties excluded (please inquire).