Thursday, 3 May 2007

Selous National Park

Visiting by train

Selous National Park is the only Park that you can drive through by train – a very particular experience, having wildlife passing in front of your railway cart window. One can then easily beam oneself back into the colonial times in Kenya, when the railway was built from Nairobi to Mombasa through endless plains full of wildlife; Karen Blixen describes these journeys in her book “Out of Africa”.

Sable Mountain Lodge
(Tel. 022 211 05 07 or 022 215 11 06 or 0741 32 33 18;;; The booking office in Dar is in Osman Towers, 5th, floor, just at the corner of Bibi Titi Mohamed road and Zanaki Street, Doubles are 145US$ per person and night sharing)
is located on forested hills just outside the Selous National Park, with splendid views over the wooded plains towards Uluguru Mountains. It is also next to Kisaki railway station of the TAZARA line leading from Dar es Salaam to Zambia (Tel. 022 286 03 44 or 022 286 03 47; timetables see Sable Mountain Lodge does pick ups at the railway station. The beautiful bandas have all individual terraces on stilts, the dining area looks into lush green hills, and there is even a refreshing swimming pool despite its location on a hill top! They do safaris into the park and walking safaris in the woodlands around the lodge.
Visiting by car
The round trip Dar - Kibiti- Mbega Gate - Kisaki Gate - Morogoro - Dar es Salaam make for a great adventure. Driving down on the main road to Mocambique through endless coconut land, you turn inland at Kibiti and change on a sand piste along Rufiji river, and some sleepy villages.
Mbega Selous Camp
(Tel. 0784 62 46 64 or 0784 74 88 88; e-mail:;, about 60US$ per person and night resident rates)
Located just outside the park, but equally spectacular right on the banks of the Rufiji River, this German owned camp is very good value. The round bar has direct looks on hippos, tents are simple but greatly located, and food not bad at all. If you want to go for an even more bush flavoured night, pitch your tent in the adjacent camp site and get your cold beer at the Mbega bar. Be aware, an elephant visited us on the camp site, stepping right over the fire place! Rather than rushing further, it is well worth to go for a slow day trip into Selous and stay another night in Mbega, wildlife is very rich in this part of the park!
On your way further through Selous, Sable Mountain Lodge is recommended for a further stay, or if you prefer camping, the Ranger Station in Jukumu, some 20km outside the park on the way towards Morogoro maintain a beautiful and simple location, with friendly staff, and loads of black and white colobus just adjacent in the forest to watch and get entertainment.

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