The group of seven left Zanzibar and boarded a flight into the wild and largely undiscovered Selous Game Reserve. They were met at the remote but well appointed Stiegler’s Gorge airstrip by Simon & Jumbe, their guides for the next three days, and driven to Selous Luxury Camp, spotting zebra & giraffe on the way.
They’d be spending the night in tents but you couldn’t call it camping, not when the tents had huge beds, thick rugs, crystal chandeliers and ensuite bathrooms with showers and Victorian claw-foot baths. The main lounge had big comfy sofas and arm chairs where the group gathered to play Scrabble and Pictionary while the attentive staff took care of their every need. After a sumptuous dinner the group sat under the stars drinking hot chocolate before retiring to their tents and falling asleep to the hypnotic sounds of the bush.
The next day after a breakfast that included a plethora of different fresh fruit juices and the obligatory full English they drove to Mivumo River Lodge which had a lot to live up to after Selous Luxury Camp but didn’t disappoint. The huge air-conditioned rooms were completely luxurious and each had a deck with an outdoor shower and jacuzzi overlooking the Rufiji River.
The group congregated for lunch in the main lodge and ate while watching a distant group of twenty or more elephants drink from the river. After lunch it was impossible to resist a cooling dip in Mivumo’s infinity pool before their afternoon cruise on the river. From the boat they got a new perspective on the Selous wildlife and a crocodiles life of soaking up the sun on the riverbank then floating down the Rufiji seemed very appealing. The boat came to a stop on a sandbank in the middle of the river and the group were surprised to see chairs set out and staff from the lodge waiting with drinks and nibbles which they enjoyed while watching the sun go down.
The next day was an early start as they planned to explore the Selous on an all day game drive but with the reserve being larger than Switzerland they could only scratch the surface. However they did come face to face with a pride of lions, hyena and a herd of buffalo that stretched as far as the eye could see.
On their final night at Mivumo they had a five course dinner and like all the other meals they’d been served in the Selous the presentation and taste was equivalent to what you’d expect in a top city restaurant. The next day they flew out of the Selous and after stops in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi they arrived back in Heathrow the following morning. The group of strangers who met a week ago were now all friends……………. on Facebook anyway.