Holiday review by Ms. Diane Blakeley
Name: Ms. Diane Blakeley
Date of trip: 18/02/2020
Number of people: 2
Boat trips up the Rufiji river that allowed us to see so many birds. Bush breakfasts. Baby giraffe. Clouds of butterflies. Bushbabies in the rafters of the dining room! Huge colony of nesting open-billed storks.
Visiting Africa in February - Green Season, after the ‘short rains’, is always a gamble. Wildlife can be hugely dispersed over large areas when there is water readily available and plenty of food, so can be hard to find and appear to be scant in numbers. However, to see the wilderness areas when they are green and lush is a wonderful contrast to the dry season. Fewer tourists travel at this time, making a stay at a safari camp so much more personal. I knew all this and was prepared for it, but to anyone going to Africa in the hope of seeing huge herds of animals, it would have been a disappointment.
Very pleasant and supportive. Errors during our early consultation and booking stages were quickly rectified.
The Vamoos ap is a great idea, so easy to use and really useful.
In Selous we were guided by the same two driver/guide team throughout our 6 night stay, and we liked that continuity. Dowdy(sp?) is an excellent driver and a good spotter, but left most of the talking to Diamond, our guide, who is such a lovely man. Personable, professional and knowledgeable, easy to spend time with. His knowledge of the birds was a bit limited, but he was gracious about admitting that, and I enjoyed looking things up in the book together with him and coming to an agreement on what we had seen. When I had the misfortune to faint on our first drive out, having not yet acclimatised, he took charge and cared for me perfectly. I will not forget him.
However there was a tendency to drive up just a little too close to the animals and cause them anxiety - never significant disturbance, but clearly a little wariness. Nowadays people have such good camera systems that there is no need to go too close for a good photo.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Eco tourism has to be the way forward for so many countries nowadays, the habitat and wildlife must be valued for its ability to generate income and employment or it will not be safe. Small safari camps such as Rufiji provide exactly this.
The places you stayed
A lovely resort for a few days chilling out at the end of our trip, nicely self contained in its walled and gated grounds. We had a room looking straight out to sea and steps down straight into the ocean when the tide was in. Fabulous. Good restaurant and service. Loved seeing the elephant shrews!