According to the season the roads that can be taken are along the shorelines of the Rufiji River and of the various lakes: Mzizimia, Siwandu, Nzelekela and Manze.
For the most classical of the safari activities, the traditional game drive, Impala Camp uses its six open vehicles (with a canvas roof to protect clients from the sun) which can accommodate a maximum of six people in addition to the driver and guide occupying the front seat.
There are two rows of seats for the guests, and generally (except for family groups who want to be together) we would only put up to four people – one at each “window”. The exception can be for airstrip transfers – then there may be 6 people on rare occasions.
Impala Camp offers as much as possible private game drives; this together with the fact that the guide/driver team is almost always accompanying the same guests on all their game drives gives us the chance to organize a tailor-made service to the guests’ desires.
The half day activities are advisable in the dry season when the heat of the day can become too heavy or for those people who think that 8/9 hours in a car is a little bit too much. You can leave the camp early in the morning and have a full breakfast outside in the bush under a nice shady tree, or if you prefer, start out a little bit later after your breakfast in camp. You will be back at the camp for lunch and there will be time after that for a rest or a plunge in the pool.
The afternoon game drive starts mid-afternoon and you will be out until sundowner time.
In the dry season we can organize full day or half day game drives. The full day activity usually starts after breakfast at the camp and includes a bush lunch. The guests can enjoy a long drive in the wilderness coming back to the camp at sunset. This is suggested at least once for “safari lovers” who are coming to the Selous perhaps with some specific game or bird viewing aims. What a pleasure sitting together with a pack of African wild dogs or a pride of lions watching them in their daily “business”.
Spending a lot of time with one animal or group of animals, gives you the chance to get really close to them. Full day game drives also offers the opportunity to visit areas of the park not normally possible with the Half Day.
Our experienced guides can take you out to discover the secrets which lie in the waters of the Rufiji River. Boat safaris can be organized in the morning or in the afternoon.
It is a unique experience to see the wildlife from a different point of view. Hippos and crocodiles, together with the hundreds of different species of colourful birds, will escort you while you quietly move on the waters of the enormous river or the beautiful lakes that form this incredible ecosystem.
We personally recommend to all of our guests to do at least one boat safari in the afternoon. The light of the setting sun rejected in the water is a magical show which no words can describe.
Boat safaris can also be arranged in the morning and this is a good idea for the guests who want to have a better look at the life of the “water animals” which populate the Selous. You will be surprised by their numbers and their features!
What to say… in our opinion this is the activity that takes you most “inside” the real bush, which shows you not only the big things but also the small ones. Our trained guides can teach you everything you want to know about trees, grasses, insect, tracks and spoors. Walking in the bush lets you feel a part of the scene.
The walking safari is usually organized early in the morning or late in the afternoon, for coolness. After a cup of tea and some body fuel prior to departure we inform our walking companions of the etiquette when walking in the African bush; what not to do and what to do, should a situation arise. The walk starts from the camp (so no prior transport has to be done).
Morning walks usually finish with a full breakfast in the bush. From here you can decide whether to continue with a game drive or a boat safari. The walk is long or short, after discussion with other guests who may also be going out. The maximum length is about 2 hours.
An afternoon walk is also a special experience to be remembered. The fading light of the day gives a magical colour to the world in which you are silently and slowly moving through.
For the safety of all our guests all the walking safaris are accompanied by our ranger with a rifle. Very often you will first find the spoor of an elephant and then you find the one who left it!
Believe us, an elephant from a safari car looks big; an elephant during a walk is “immense”!
Children 16 years or younger are not permitted on walking safaris for safety reasons. Guests should be in a reasonably fit condition.
Please note – it is not always possible to offer walking safaris, if we cannot get the armed Ranger for example, or if it has been raining – the bush is then too thick for safety.
The term “Fly camping” stems from the early days of safaris where outings took the form of several successive nights on the trot in a different location each night. To make matters more practical each person would carry their own tent; consisting of a fly sheet and not much more.
These days fly-camping is usually based in one camp location and provides one with the same intimate experience of sleeping out in the bush away from distractions, but on a slightly grander scale. Guests are provided with simple yet comfortable accommodation.
A safe haven in the form of a canvas cocoon is what separates us from the creatures of the night, whilst providing that same ultra thrilling wild experience as before. Deep inside the bush you will be in a basic-but-comfortable camp set up only for you.
Privacy at its best. A dedicated team (including waiters, cooks, and guide) will create the dream for you.
This is highly recommended for deep bush lovers, or for the ones who are looking for a romantic adventure.
The fly camp can be set up for a maximum of 4 pax (of the same party). You can decide to walk into the fly-camp or to arrive by boat, and once there all the activities including game drives and walking from camp are available and organized directly by you and your private guide.
The fishing is excellent in the Selous.
We have at our disposal a river and lakes which are virtually untouched, be it by commercial or sport fishing, so the waters are full of fish, though they are regularly hunted by the resident crocodiles!
Large tiger fish occur in the Rufiji river and numerous happy clients have enjoyed fishing in this pristine environment.
The tiger fish, Hydrocynus Tanzania (Brewster, 1986), is famous for being a fighter with heart, with tools to back it up. They are powerful swimmers, often leaping several feet into the air whilst being fought. We have seen tigers bite through 30 pound wire trace with their impressive set of dentures. This particular species is plentiful in the waters around Selous Impala Camp and grows to a size of 15 kilos, 5-8 being the average caught.
The second species is the catfish. There are four kinds caught, Bragus Orientalis (Boulenger, 1902), Heterobrancus Longifilis (Valenciennes, 1840), Clarias Gariepinus (Buchell, 1815) and less common Clarias Ngamensis (Castenau, 1861).
Heterobrancus Catfish can grow to be monsters 1.5mt long 50kg in weight and you can be left at the side of the river staring at your spooled reel in shock, while the fish that you hooked calmly surfaces just for a moment as if to give you a look at what you had foolishly tried to take on, and laughs at you. They can grow to be over fifty kilos and are the most commonly hooked and landed fish.
The bait used is spot tail, common name for three species; Petersius Conserialis (Hilgendorf 1894), Brycinus Affinis (Günther, 1894), and Brycinus Imberi (Peters, 1852), small silver fishes. Bait is caught by casting, fly fishing style, a fresh green pea on the surface of the water.
While on the activity you move between fishing spots, travelling by boat, inevitably spending large amounts of time in a good location. It’s a good way of just watching and listening to the sounds of the bush. Occasionally an elephant will wander down and cross the river in front of you, or a hippo will, in their usual lazy way, bob out of the water to have a look at you. There is always interesting bird activity to watch as they carry on with their busy daily routines, or if you are lucky a king fisher will swoop down and show you how it is done.
Other fish species such as, Rufiji Tilapia, Oreochromis Urolepis Urolepis (Norman,1922), Elephant fish, Marmyrus Longirostris (Peters, 1852) assist to enhance the joy of your safari. The season starts in June and lasts until the end of February.
For bird lovers Selous Impala Camp also offer an activity focused on birds.
Thanks to the unique environment, the Selous Game Reserve, is home to over 400 species of resident and migrant birds.
In the cold months, in the morning, you will either go out on a boat safari focusing on the aquatic species or on a game drive focusing on woodland and forest dwelling species.
Afternoons we will take a walk in the surrounding areas of the camp.
The immediate area of the camp has over 100 species which can be viewed either by strolling around or by just relaxing on the verandah with a cold beer.
In the hottest months we will start with an early morning bird drive and in the afternoon a boat safari up to sunset. Birds, especially raptors and vultures are best viewed early morning and late afternoon to sunset.