I returned recently from an incredible Trip to the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. I was very excited about this opportunity for a number of reasons – 1. I had never been to Tanzania and 2. I was really looking forward to exploring a completely new and different Game Reserve.
I started my trip at OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) where I embarked on a 4 hour flight to Dar es salaam in Tanzania. Once I had arrived in Tanzania I then caught a small plane into Selous Game Reserve which took a further 45 minutes. The short flight in is absolutely beautiful, seeing the endless landscape that is dedicated to wildlife and the incredible terrain left me mind blown.
On arrival at Azura Airstrip, I instantly felt welcome. The staff were all standing waiting for us with big smiles on their faces. The beauty of the Airstrip is that it is a mere 2 minute drive to the camp, which is great after a day of traveling. On arrival at camp, I was blown away by the setting. The lodge is situated right on the banks of the Ruaha River, which at this time of year is flowing very strong.
Once we had our briefing, we were shown to our rooms/tents that would be our homes for the following 4 days and all I can say is WOW. The tents very well thought out and evenly spaced, this means that you have plenty of privacy. The tents are all set out along the Ruaha River and from my room I watched a small pod of hippos that, on a daily basis would keep me company. The tents themselves are very spacious and comfortable.
The tents are absolutely exquisite, each tent has its own plunge pool and is the perfect spot to sit back and relax during the middle of the day.
There are a number of activities offered by Azura, from game drives, walks and fishing to a beautiful sunset boat cruise up the Ruaha River.
Although the rainy season is generally tough in terms of game viewing, I was very surprised with the abundance of bird life and general game. On our very first morning we managed to find a male lion just out side of camp (we had heard him calling throughout the early hours of the morning). Soon after arriving in the sighting, he decided to get up and move, now with the wet conditions, our effort to follow him resulted in us almost immediately getting stuck in the mud.
Driving through the reserve, I was impressed with the constant flow of general game. With it being the wet season we were quite restricted with the areas we could drive, especially after all the recent rain fall the roads proved to be challenging.
Have said the above, looking through all the images that I took over the 4 days, I am very happy with what I managed to get capture photography wise considering the time of year. Have a look at the table below to see what you can see and at what point during the year. Its not to say you won’t see it all, it just shows what time of the year is best to see certain species.
On our last afternoon, we decided to do a boat trip up the Ruaha River. I must say, I was a bit apprehensive to begin with but really started to enjoy it as time went on. This kind of safari adds huge value to the experience. Its gives a completely different perspective and feel. Being in a boat you are almost on the same level as everything around you. Cruising up the river we listen to the beautiful sounds of the bush, including african fish eagles and hippos grunting and communicating with each other. The photographic opportunity along the river are absolutely spectacular, especially of the large pods of hippos that surround you as you cruise upstream.
We parked the boat on the banks of the river, got off and enjoyed our sundowners while watching the sunset, it really was a very special ending to our last full day at Azura.
If that wasn’t enough, on our drive home, Vitus (our guide) told us he has one more surprise for us…
We came around the corner only to be greeted by an incredible setting, dinner in the bush. The fire was going, the lanterns were lit and the staff were all there to greet us with a friendly smile. While enjoying the beautiful setting, throughout dinner we had lions calling and interrupting our conversations as they went about their evening patrol.
All in all, a pretty incredible few days spent at Azura in Selous Game Reserve and I am really hoping to get back there soon.
For now, enjoy a few more highlights below of some of the sightings we had…
Until next time,
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