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Sand Rivers, Tanzania
Southern Tanzania

Sand Rivers, Tanzania

Set on a rocky peninsula with magnificent views over a vast sweep of the Rufiji River, this small and intimate lodge has captivated seasoned safari-goers for many years with its spectacular setting, its inimitable charm, excellent food and not least, its impeccable service. Richard Bonham, one of East Africa’s most renowned safari guides, is the inspiration behind Sand Rivers. He first began leading walking safaris across the length and breadth of the Selous back in the 1980’s when it was completely unmapped territory – and he found himself continually drawn to the variety of terrain and ever reliable game in the Sand Rivers area. The region is a natural melting pot of diverse habitats - lagoons, lakes, woodlands, gorges, lush vegetation, open plains and sandbanks – all of which abound with prolific animal life – hippo, crocodile, elephant, lion, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, not to mention the myriad birdlife. That this became the site for his much-loved lodge was inevitable.


Sand Rivers


The gentle inexorable rush of the river is the soundtrack to everything that happens at Sand Rivers. Your refuge is one of eight stone and thatched open-fronted cottage-style rooms - five Riverside Rooms and three larger Hillside Suites with a small private plunge pool. The style is rustic-chic and all are built on stilts overlooking the river. The connection with the African bush was the inspiration behind the original design which is why each room has panoramic views out over the river and the only noises you will hear are those of the wildlife! Particular care has been taken to make the most of the natural light, the space and cooling breezes which come in off the water.


Sand Rivers offers the most comprehensive array of activities in the Selous. Walking safaris are an integral part of the experience – but in addition, the dedicated guides provide in-depth game drives, boating and fishing trips (all included in your stay). For the more intrepid traveller who wants to truly live and breathe Africa and get as close to nature as possible - a night's fly-camping offers a rare opportunity to forgo a night of ‘comfort’ for a night out under the stars in an especially adapted mosquito net – always an unexpected highlight! Away from the stunning river frontage of the lodge, the surrounding terrain ensures that there's always somewhere new to explore! From the river and lakeshores to palm thickets and plains with kopjes (small hills) and gorges - this area of the Selous is exceptional and the guides at Sand Rivers will make sure you see and experience the best of it!

As the first lodge of its kind in the Selous, Sand Rivers has one of the most established game areas on its doorstep. Guests enjoy regular sightings of lion and elephant. Wild dog frequently provide extra excitement at certain times of the year while the epic birdlife in the green season matches any destination in Africa. Spontaneity is the key here. There's no rigid activity schedule - instead, the guides follow their instincts and allow each day's adventures to unfold naturally. With only a handful of guests at any one time, the lodge is able to make every stay completely unique. One morning's activity might include a game drive and then a walk or a boat trip ...or all three! The guides go wherever the mood and wildlife takes them!

There is also a swimming pool set into the rocks under the shade of an ancient baobab tree.

Most guests quickly realise that a few hours spent relaxing on the verandah of their open-fronted room or cooling off in the pool, surrounded by kingfishers and bee-eaters, listening to grunts of the hippos in the river, can be time equally well spent.


The spirit of Africa has captivated romantic explorers for years and nowhere epitomises Africa's beguiling draw more than Sand Rivers! Whether you're a seasoned Africa romantic or a virgin safari honeymooner who has never stepped foot in the African bush before, this is a place that truly gets under your skin. What could be better for any honeymooner than finding yourself in total seclusion in the African wilderness, surrounded by wildlife but with all the amenities of an original authentic safari lodge close at hand? Sand Rivers is open-fronted, low-key, utterly in harmony with its surroundings and sings to the mesmerising daily soundtrack of soothing birdsong and hippo chuckles!

  • The staff at Sand Rivers are warm and genuine and with just eight rooms in total, the team are able to provide special memorable experiences - from surprise sundowners to a romantic dinner for two under the stars.
  • For intrpeid honeymooners, there's nothing more memorable than a night's fly-camping - the ultimate romantic African experience! Set out on foot in the late afternoon and arrive into the fly camp to the sight of a campfire and drinks on ice! After a delicious three course dinner under the African night sky, retire to your fly-tent and drift off to sleep on a comfortable bedroll to the sounds of the bush as your lullaby!
  • Turquoise honeymooners enjoy a complimentary upgrade from a Riverside Room to a Hillside Suite, a private romantic dinner for two and a bottle of sparkling wine in your room on arrival (based on a minimum 4 night stay).

It's been a few years now since the first stones of Sand Rivers were laid and much water has passed in front of the lodge since then but the true spirit of founder, Richard Bonham, remains the same. For honeymooners, this truly is a very special place in the African wilderness.

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Every Turquoise holiday to Tanzania is tailor-made and expertly crafted. Please contact our team of travel specialists on 01494 678 400 or via our online enquiry form for a bespoke quotation and we’ll happily source the best available offers for your travel dates.

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