The only well-beaten paths you will follow in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania are those trodden by elephants or the few indigenous people who live there: this is a safari experience with a difference

Selous is the world’s largest game reserve—and it seems even larger because it remains unexplored and untouched. So what is a luxurious lodge like Amara Selous, with gourmet cuisine and chandeliers in the dressing rooms, doing in the middle of 20,000 square miles of pristine wilderness? The answer is: providing a different kind of safari experience from the northern Tanzanian Serengeti-Masai Mara style. One in which, when you find a lion with her kill, or a hippo taking a bath, you will be alone—with no other safari vehicles from neighbouring game lodges to crowd your view.




Well, perhaps not quite alone: you will have just a few friends with you, including your own armed ranger by the name of Joseph. But the difference is clear: in the Selous there are only 20 safari camps in an area the size of Switzerland. So, in the Selous they can specialise in the kind of safari that is out of bounds in the teeming north: in particular, walking safaris; and in Amara Selous, which overlooks the magnificent Ruaha River falls, they also organise river safaris—they call this camp ‘hippo highway’— fishing safaris, and bird watching. You will see elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, crocodile, and of course hippos, and you will lose yourself in the sights and sounds that abound.

For Amara Selous is remote—really remote. It has just 12 luxury ‘tents’. Its style is ‘back to Nature’, giving each guest total privacy and time—time in which to really experience each game drive, each sighting, each magical sunset. Rather like the campaign for slow food—this is the slow safari: no rushing around. Yet because this part of the Selous is true wilderness, each safari is in fact a real adventure—often you will be travelling where nobody has gone before. It is really that special.

Which brings us to the reason why Selous was created. It takes its name from Frederick Selous, a British explorer, officer, hunter and conservationist, famous for his exploits in South-East Africa. His real-life adventures inspired H Rider Haggard to create the fictional Allan Quatermain character. Selous was pre-eminent among a select group of big game hunters of the time, and a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, the first American presidential conservationist.

Selous led a fascinating life between the wilderness and civilization—a naturalist who added much to the sum of human knowledge about the animals of Africa. He was killed in what is now known as the Selous, fighting a bush war on the banks of the Rufiji River against German colonial fighters, outnumbered five-to-one—and so highly regarded was he for his valour, his hunting prowess and his conservation that the entire region was named after him.

Those were different days, but the legend lives on, and Selous would surely have approved of the walking safaris at Amara Selous, where game trails are followed through the wilderness in the same time-honoured style in which he would have tracked the animals of yesteryear. The experience lies in the thrill of the stalk and the serenity of the wilderness.

Come across the bones of a giraffe on a walking safari here, and you will notice that they have been scattered by the predators: the wild dogs and hyenas. You will feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck—and your armed ranger will be at your side—but now you will be feeling something of what the wilderness is about.

River safaris along the Ruaha reveal magical water channels, and yet more species of game. That gushing river will be among your first impressions of Amara Selous. You will see it from the windows of your light aircraft on the short flight from Nairobi, as the wide waterway winds like a glittering serpent through the wilderness beneath you for miles on end. You will land at the little airstrip, in trepidation at just how far you are from anywhere else: and a beaming waiter will be standing there, bearing a tray of drinks, chilled, of course, shaken not stirred—and a sign of things to come.



So why the extravagant chandeliers and the gourmet food at Amara Selous? Why the spa treatments and the luxurious air-conditioned lodges, part tent, part stone, with private plunge pools so you can bathe and watch the river and the hippos about their own ablutions, and the private outdoor showers which artfully splash from designer rocks rather than nasty metal shower heads? Why all these and more? Ah well, we like our creature comforts do we not? Even in the midst of all this natural beauty.

To experience the contrast of being out there in the wild, seeing Nature, red in tooth and claw, and coming home to Amara Selous and a massage in the Sumbazi Spa, followed by a superbly cooked dinner with excellent wines and a nightcap before returning to the feather-down bed you left at dawn—well, memories are made of this: what could be more wonderful?

When to go?

From June to October is the long dry season. The short rains are in November and December—much lighter than the long rains which generally run from March to May, and when the temperature is warm and the humidity high. January and February form the short dry season, another good time to visit. Amara Selous closes throughout April and May.

Exclusive Club rates

Our Members enjoy exclusive rates and VIP treatment at Amara Selous, starting at 32% off rack rates. A stay here makes an excellent start to a safari-beach combination with our recommended beach resort, Fundu Lagoon, on the spice island of Pemba in the Zanzibar Archipelago (see separate article).

To check Club rates and availability, please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or follow the link below. If you can tell us your preferred period of travel, and number of travellers, so much the better.


Enquire about availability.

 
TOP DEALS

CARIBBEAN

Cotton House
Mustique
Free private jet flights
Click for details

Los Altos Condo Residences
Dominican Republic
Up to 51% off
Click for details

Casa Colonial
Beach & Spa
Dominican Republic
Up to 40% off
Click for details

Kamalame Cay Private Island & Residence
The Bahamas
Up to 30% off
Click for details

Private Villa
Tobago Plantations Beach and Golf Resort
Tobago
From £87 per night
for four
Click for details


TRANSYLVANIA

HRH The Prince of Wales's guesthouses Rates from 36 euros
Click for details


ITALY

Ca' Sagredo Hotel Venice
Up to 60.77% off
Click for details

Laqua Spa and
Terrace Suites
Sorrento
Up to 71% off
Click for details

Relais Villa Roncuzzi, near Ravenna
Up to 70% off
Click for details

Villa Spalletti Trivelli
Rome
Up to 35% off
Click for details

Hotel Brunelleschi
Florence
Up to 20% off
Click for details

Villa Mangiacane
Florence
Up to 50% off
Click for details

Castello Banfi Il Borgo
Tuscany
Up to 47% off
Click for details

Grand Hotel Majestic
Lake Maggiore
Up to 44% off
Click for details


SPAIN

Hotel Condes de Barcelona
Barcelona
Up to 58% off
Click for details

Hotel Espana
Barcelona
Up to 52% off
Click for details

El Palauet Living
Barcelona
Up to 40% off
Click for details

Las Casas de la Judería
Cordoba
Up to 52% off
Click for details

Corral Del Rey
Seville
Up to 40% off
Click for details

Hacienda De San Rafael
Near Seville
Up to 40% off
Click for details

Castel Son Claret
Majorca
Balearic islands
Up to 40% off
Click for details


FRANCE

Hotel Lancaster
Paris
Up to 40% off
Click for details

L'Abbaye de Talloires
Lake Annecy
Up to 30% off
Click for details


BELGIUM

Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
Brussels
Up to 57% off
Click for details

Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie
Brussels
Up to 54% off
Click for details


GREEK ISLANDS

La Mer Deluxe Spa Resort, Santorini
Up to 60% off
Click for details

Antinea Suites
& Spa Hotel
Santorini
Up to 60% off
Click for details

The Boathouse
Hotel & Studios
Santorini
Up to 61% off
Click for details

Melian Hotel & Spa
Milos
Up to 40% off
Click for details


IRELAND

Sheen Falls Lodge
Kenmore
Coumty Kerry
Click for details


PORTUGAL

Lawrence's Hotel
Sintra
Up to 40% off
Click for details


AUSTRIA

Romantikhotel Im Weißen Rössl
Lake Wolfgang
Austrian Alps
Up to 30% off
Click for details


MOROCCO

Les Deux Tours Marrakech
Up to 20% off
Click for details

Domaine De La Roseraie
Atlas Mountains
From about £60
Click for details


AFRICA

Msambweni Beach House & Private Villas
Kenya
Up to 40% off
Click for details

Garonga Safari Camp
Limpopo River Valley
South Africa
Up to 20% off
Click for details

Fundu Lagoon
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Click for details


DUBAI

Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
Up to 35% off
Click for details


¶ Our exclusive Club rates are available to Members and their travelling companions only. To check the hotel's availability on your preferred dates, please click the specific hotel link (above or left) or visit the Club website Travel pages to browse more hotels (click here) or call Member Services on 020 7399 2960.




All rates and rooms are subject to availability and price fluctuations at the time of booking.
Bookings are made subject to our full Terms & Conditions (please read them by clicking the link below).


11 Princes Street, Mayfair, London W1B 2LJ. UK. Tel: 020 7399 2960. Web: www.countryclubuk.com.