Nyerere National Park
Located beside the Rufiji River in the vast Nyerere National Park, this intimate safari lodge offers 8 luxurious cottages, excellent dining options and a host of unforgettable activities, including game drives, walking safaris, fishing trips and fly camping.
The style is chic, the views across the water are divine and there are outdoor pools to cool off in. It’s an ideal choice for wilderness seekers and adventurous families with older children (over the age of 8 years).
Facilities & Activities
The camp itself has a shared outdoor pool that overlooks the river, ideal for cooling off after a day’s safari. Slip beneath the water, or head to your open-fronted cottage, and watch the wildlife including hippos, crocodiles and the occasional baboon from your private verandah.
But the main attraction here is the abundance of activities on offer, which are tailored to suit individual guests. These include game drives, walking safaris, fishing and boating trips. A highlight is fly camping under the stars – bed down under mosquito nets on dry river beds and listen to the nocturnal sounds of the African bush around you. To add a touch of luxe, a chef and bar will be brought along with you so all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset.
Depending on the season, the lodge offers either two safari drives per day (morning and afternoon) or one full-day drive with a packed picnic lunch. Led by an expert guide, these 4×4 safaris are a chance to spot a wide variety of game, birds and Africa’s ‘Big Five’. Another, slower-paced, option for glimpsing wildlife is on foot or by boat – with opportunities to spot everything from pelicans fishing to elephant families wallowing in the water and a pride of lions dozing beside the river.
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You can dine in the privacy of your own cottage or with other guests at the open-air restaurant, which has sweeping views across the river. Expect excellent food – bountiful breakfasts, afternoon tea, three-course dinners and weekly barbecues.
There is also a bar and lounge, which has been beautifully carved into a curve of the river and also offers mesmerizing panoramas.
Al fresco dining is done well here – from breakfasts of fresh fruit and toast on the sandbank to safari picnics and candlelit dinners on the edge of the river.
There are 8 cottages to choose from in this intimate camp. The 5, open-fronted Riverfront Rooms are perched on the banks of the Rufiji and feature en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot showers. The décor is African chic – thatched roofs, whitewashed stone and plenty of wood throughout.
For even more space, the 3 Hillside Suites offer an extra sitting area. These also have river views, but come with the added luxury of a private plunge pool.
Whichever room you choose, you’ll experience indoor-outdoor living at its finest – from your private verandah to your four-poster bed with its canopied mosquito nets. These rooms are designed to immerse you in nature – prepare to hear, see and smell the African bush from the moment you wake to the moment you fall asleep.
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Sand Rivers welcomes children over the age of 8 years. However, children need to be 12 years and over to take part in walking safaris and fly camping (occasional exceptions can be made if a family is travelling with a professional guide who will take responsibility).
Family units, with en=suite bathrooms, are available. A family unit comprises a standard double room with an open-air walkway leading to a children’s annexe. Triple rooms are also available for families. Please note that the rooms are very open due to the heat.
The lodge has been classified as “Carbon Smart” through Carbon Tanzania. They use solar energy to heat water and are expanding to use more solar energy where possible. Other sustainable initiatives include supporting local businesses, with everything from meat to jams and honey being produced and supplied by local partners. The vegetable gardens use natural and organic fertilisers and lodge toiletries are made using natural ingredients.
Sands Rivers is positioned in southern Tanzania’s Nyerere National Park – one of Africa’s largest protected areas. Set beside the Rufiji River, it’s an outstanding location for wildlife watching – a few moments on your private balcony could offer up anything from hippos wallowing in the water to a baboon sighting.
The lodge is an hour’s flight from Dar Es Salaam to Kiba airstrip, followed by a 20-minute drive.