Opulence and warm hospitality in remote location
20 April 2012 | Bruce Dennill
The venue is built on a river bank, with a communal area – a deck built around the branches of an ancient tree, alongside a shallow infinity pool – overlooking a bend where animals occasionally come to drink.
There are only 12 luxury safari tents on offer, which means noise levels are low and privacy is more or less assured. And “tents” suggests something less enjoyable than the Edwardian opulence you’ll discover when you retire to your room.
If you’ve ever read stories of colonial explorers roughing it with their entourage of 80 sweating porters, staying in one of these tents will have you thinking that such safari staff complements should be necessities rather than the ridiculous notion they appear to be in history books.
You certainly won’t need more than what Selous Luxury Camp’s current staff can offer you, though. Because of the intimacy of the venue, they get to know guests quickly and so anticipate their needs in a way that will spoil most of their visitors for meaningful interactions back in the rat race, where being looked after in this manner is the exception, not the norm.
The bewildering scale of Selous Game Reserve means that your daytime activities – long, hot game drives, generally – can be exhausting. So being treated to surprise sundowners on the return leg of a drive is a much-appreciated treat as well as yet another extension of the staff’s incredibly warm hospitality.
And back at the lodge, this is the ideal time, before partaking of the uniformly excellent food (don’t think too much about the logistics of getting such fine, fresh fare to such a remote location – you’ll get a headache) to head to the pool.
Float there on your back, staring into the sky at what appear to be shooting stars, until you realise that they’re tiny bats doing their bit to keep you unmolested by the insect life. Five minutes of that and the heat and dust of a genuine safari – Selous is no tourist trap – melt away, leaving only happy memories.
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