Sand Rivers

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Set on a sweeping curve of the great Rufiji River, the lodge is both an expedition base and a safari retreat that has been well loved by safari buffs for years. It was originally built in 1984 by Richard Bonham who used this area of the Selous for his famous portered walking safaris throughout the eighties, when the area was all but unknown.

The lodge is at the centre of a natural melting pot of very diverse habitats – gorges to open plains, woodland to lakes. It’s the base for some of Tanzania’s best safari guides to take you out on adventures; boating on the Rufiji, up to Kidai Island or Steiglers Gorge, game drives on the trail of lion, or wild dog, an elephant bush walk, a night sleeping under the stars, or fishing in solitude, barefoot off a river rock.


Accommodation at Sand Rivers is in spacious open-fronted cottages raised on the banks of the Rufiji River. There are 5 Standard rooms, 2 Suites, and the honeymoon cottage – The Rhino House. All have en-suite bathrooms, with flush toilets, powerful showers and hot and cold running water.


Standard Rooms
The five standard rooms at Sand Rivers Selous have been recently upgraded. There are newly-designed river facing bathrooms, and fresh new interiors in the bedrooms. All the rooms are open-fronted with spectacular views out over the river, and surrounding woodland.


Tagalala & Kipalala Suites
The Suites are built of stone and thatch, and both are within walking distance of the main lodge. The rooms are expansive, and openfronted with large king-size beds, and a private lounge area. A plunge pool overlooks the river. All meals are served in the main dining room at Sand Rivers Selous, and all activities are shared. The Suites offer more private space; the rooms are fabulously stylish and welcoming, and the private pool is the perfect place to retreat to in the heat of the day.


The Rhino House
This is the private ‘honeymoon’ house; a one-bedroom cottage set high up above Sand Rivers, looking way out over the Rufiji River and surrounding woodland. The living space is generous and stylish; the large open-fronted bedroom has a king-sized bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Guests can choose private dining, at a time to suit, and the plunge pool has a well-stocked mini-bar close at hand.

A private 4WD vehicle and guide are on hand to take you out on game drives, and they also offer walks (shared with guests at the main lodge) and the option of exclusive fly camping, available at a supplement). It’s the perfect hideaway for two, offering total bush bliss, day and night, and the greatest luxury of all: a private piece of the great Selous.


Fly Camping
Fly-camping is a highly recommended part of any safari to Sand Rivers Selous, and is available at an extra supplement. The fly camps are shared, and guests sleep under spacious mosquito net tents. A bucket shower with hot water, and short-drop toilet is set up behind camp. A full complement of staff provide a full breakfast, light lunch, and 3-course candlelit dinner.
June to September – Warm days and cool nights, best time of year for walking safaris. Great elephant and buffalo sightings.

October to November – Heavy concentrates of game around the inland lakes, weather dry and hot.

December to March – Prolific bird life, many animals calving, weather starts to get humid, with possibility of rain.
Sand Rivers Selous, and The Rhino House are open all year round, except from late March to late May each year.



Our Opinion
Sand Rivers has a beautiful rustic homely feeling which instantly puts you at ease from the moment you arrive. The guides and staff are consistently excellent and surpass all expectations, a sentiment shared by virtually every visitor. This coupled with the stunning location overlooking the Rufiji River and its population of hippos and crocs makes this a very firm favourite for anyone wanting a luxury Selous experience.


Would you like some advice?


If you have travelled with us before you will know we love nothing more than creating bespoke safari adventures across Africa and beyond. If you’re yet to do so please get in touch, we’re here to help.

Call: 01227 753 181

Price Promise: We guarantee that booking with us is the same or better than with the property direct.


  • Category
    5. Ultimate
  • Location
    Selous Game Reserve

Additional Information

Additional Information
  • Guide Price
    From: $625pppn.
  • Reservations
    Call: 0044 (0)1227 753181 or Email:


Sand Rivers


Sand Rivers
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