Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Camps & Lodges
View images of Kiba Point: Kiba Point
KIBA POINT -
SELOUS GAME RESERVE, TANZANIA
Kiba point is our private camp in the selous; a totally exclusive little retreat in the heart of one of the most game-rich areas. with family, or a group of friends, safari life doesn't get much better than a few days here.
Sometimes you just want to get away and have your own safari, be it with your family, kids, or just another. Whilst safari camps generally are social affairs, and great that they are, we know that sometimes we just want to do a safari on our own. And this without having to meet anyone else, to be able to do our own game drives as and when we want, or sleep in late and do nothing; and if we didn't want to say another word to another person for an entire day, well that would be alright to!
Kiba Point has its own small team of guides and staff, all of whom can help you plan your activities. Head out every day either on foot, by boat or by vehicle - as you want and when you want - that's the beauty of your own private camp.
images of Kiba Point, click Kiba Point
Kiba Point It a mile downstream from our other Selous camp, Sand Rivers, but it operates completely in its own private world. It's set back off the river, with only 4 impressively large and open-fronted rooms. Bathrooms are bush deluxe, with flush toilets, indoor and outdoor showers and hot and cold water as and when you want. Each room has its own plunge pool set into the edge of the deck, and there is also a large pool at the main thatched mess, where you can also sink into comfortable sofas and chairs for an afternoon of general laziness.
At Kiba Point all your activities are totally exclusive. Just you and your guide, meaning you can take things entirely at your own pace.
Our open-sided 4x4 vehicles are a great way of seeing things. For covering a bit of distance when that's what's needed. And of course there are times when they give you the best views, access and photgraphic opportunities. But we like to retain sponteneity wherever we can. Often the best way to see things, to avoid scattering animals from a lake shore, or spooking a herd of elephant as they feed their way through a stretch of lush grassland, is to hop down and quietly work our way into a good position on foot.
The same goes for our boats. Just being on the river - never mind the game - is a fantasic contrast to time spent in a vehicle. Drifting silently down stream, gently spiralling in the current, watching the river banks unfold is hard to beat.
But here again we like to take time to stop. Creep carefully through paths in the thick riverine bush and you'll emerge - unseen - in magical secluded flood plains. More often than not there are treats in store; vast flocks of great white pelicans fishing in dwindling pools, wallowing families of elephant socialising, prides of lion sleeping off a meal. All in all, days at Kiba Point aren't about box ticking, or endless driving in search of the next animal. It's a sense of gradual absorption in this corner of the natural world that we'd love you to feel.
Sometimes the best way to see game is to let it come to you. Breakfast on a sand bank in Stigler's Gorge watching elusive monkey-hunting crowned eagles, and listening to shrill cires of Hyraxes as you dangle a hook in the water. Or lunch in the deep shade of palm trees, watching the comings and goings on a lake shore. Half watching, half reading a book, and perhaps even dozing off.
Walking in the Selous has more to do with state of mind than the state of your body. It's about an approach to game viewing - a receptiveness that's just hard to get in a vehicle - rather than a question of fitness.
Since Richard Bonham first came this way on his walking safaris in the 80's, to us the Selous has always been synonymous with being on foot. But it's never about distance, or "hiking." Time on foot is an opportunity to engage your senses and this is something you'll quickly pick up on as we leave camp - accompanied by an armed ranger - in the cool of the early morning or late afternoon.
The best walks are those where you travel at a gentle pace and probably don't cover much distance - a few kilometres in an hour - stopping often to listen and look.
Learning even a few of the myriad bird calls can be deeply satisfying, finding and identifying fresh tracks brings with it a sense of expectation and suspense. Nowhere is it truer that to travel is as rewarding as to arrive.
And when you do arrive in the softening evening light, there can be few things as exciting and plain different from every day "modern life" as our flycamp.
This is a peculiarly East African passion and the way things were done in the old days; with the minimum of fuss, but not scrimping on any of the comforts. As is so often the way, when you limit the frills, it allows you to really see what's special and what's going on around you.
Watching elephant as they pass by your camp in the moonlight, silent feet in the warm sand, or simply gazing through the mosquito net roof of your tent from the comfort of your bedroll.
We've been doing this now for close to 20 years. People's reactions vary, some find it quite emotional, others feel a child-like sense of freedom and release (one man ran round in small circles crying like a 5 year old) and of course quite a few admit to feeling a little scared.
But it's simply no exaggeration to say that in all those years, virtually nobody regrets trying this most special of experiences.
It was while leading a portered walking safari through this part of the world in the 80s that Richard stumbled upon this particular bend of the Rufiji River. Straightaway he knew he'd found somewhere special.
He'd spent months crossing the whole African continent by river and walked extensively throughout the Southern Selous, so he had some grounds for confidence in his judgement.
Building a lodge was far from his mind at that point, but when - many years later - with many more miles of the Selous under his belt, the chance came to replace his beloved old (and by that time decrepit) base camp with something a little more permanent, he knew for a fact that there was nowhere better to be.
It's been a few years now since the first stones for Sand Rivers were laid at the beginning of the 90s and much water has passed in front of the lodge since then, but we like to think that the spirit of Sand Rivers remains the same. This is somewhere that gets under the skin and rewards those with time to take things...well, a little slowly.
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