Beho Beho (Selous Game Reserve) Tanzania
The Selous Game Reserve is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and at 55,000 km² is almost twice the size of Switzerland and just 200 km south west by air from Dar es Salaam. It is the largest protected wildlife sanctuary in Africa and is widely accredited as being the most pristine wilderness.
Beho Beho was the first camp to be sited in The Selous, not on the banks, or the flood plains of the mighty Rufiji River, but in the cooler highlands so as to enjoy the 'cooling breezes' from which its name derives. Always designated as a 'private camp' it has fiercely protected its individuality and privileged location as one of the most 'magical' places it is possible to visit in safari Africa.
Strictly for safari aficionados
Beho Beho has created the true 'essence' of a safari refuge, for safari travellers who have 'been there and done that' throughout the big game countries of Africa now there is a camp that takes the 'best' of each safari and combines it into one remarkable experience. A luxurious base camp from which to explore on foot, by boat or by open safari cruiser the splendors of one of the largest game preserves in the world.
The choice is yours
Beho Behr's experienced guides will plan your safari programme, whether you need time to relax and be pampered or need to do a 10kms game walk before breakfast in the bush. From sunrise to sunset, from early morning tea to sundowner a Beho Beho safari is planned to your requirements.
Designed for comfort
Beho Beho's stone built and palm thatched cottages, are not only a refuge from the equatorial sun, the bouncy seat of a game vehicle and the red dust of Africa nor are they just for sleeping, these spacious 'suites', which open up to reveal unrivalled vistas of the African bush, are designed as private 'homes' with individuality and flair. The open sided lounges and dining areas together with the cocktail bar and 'billiards room' provide a sophisticated setting for post safari relaxation and the swimming pool and deck an ideal place to cool off.
Beho Beho is not really a camp in the true sense of the word, as it has individual bandas or stone built, palm-leaf thatched cottages, rather than the tented accommodation one might more readily associate with a camp. But also it is not really a safari lodge as it has only eight bandas, four on one side of the main house and four on the other, one tends to think of a safari lodge in terms of something quite a good bit larger. So we like to think of Beho Beho as being more of a home, a very private home situated in the middle of the African bush.
Owned by the Bailey family for over thirty years, they are now prepared to share their 'home in the bush' with a fortunate few who are able to share their enjoyment of Beho Beho, one of their favorite places in the world.
Banda is an East African term for a permanent 'solid structure' erected to give protection from the elements and the animals, as opposed to the impermanence of a tent. Bandas were erected in or near the National Parks and could be rented from the park authorities on a kind of self-catering basis, where guests provided everything, even their own sleeping bags.
The Bandas at Beho Beho couldn't be more different! Yes
they are solid structures built out of local stone and palm
leaf thatch and do indeed provide shelter from the elements
- but they are also a comfortable haven from which to enjoy
the delights of the true African bush of The Selous Game
They are spacious and airy and have been designed to capture even the slightest breeze - at seven degrees south of the equator this is an important consideration - of course there are a couple of wide-blade ceiling fans to assist nature if required. This feeling of spaciousness is accentuated by the fact that the main suite area has no front wall or windows, but is totally open on to the front verandah of the banda, with its magnificent views across the wilderness of The Selous.
For those a little nervous of sleeping with just a mosquito net between them and the 'great outdoors' there is an ingenious arrangement of a curtain made out of tenting material, complete with gauze windows, which can be drawn across at night and securely fastened. The verandah itself reveals what must be one of the most magnificent views in Africa. Wild, wild, unspoilt, wilderness dotted with animals, and a tripod mounted telescope for closer game viewing.
The brief for the interior designer was that the banda should be a comfortable home away from home for intrepid travellers and to be planned as a sophisticated haven where guests could relax in privacy in order to enjoy the 'holiday' part of their safari. So you will find huge comfy chairs big enough to curl up in, a truly 'king-sized' double bed, a Zanzibari day bed to while away the odd hour in the afternoon when it is too hot to go into the bush, a proper writing bureau (with post cards supplied) and verandah furniture to sink into rather than perch upon.
A separate dressing room with ample space to unpack and store clothes and belongings, including a personal combination security safe, leads into a spacious fully equipped bathroom with twin wash hand basins, a high flush W.C. and a spacious open-air shower where it is possible to shower and view big game at the same time. The bathrooms are supplied with Charlotte Rhys toiletries, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and soaps as well as a hair drier and his and hers bathrobes.
The entire family at Beho Beho are committed to one thing - your enjoyment of this very special place. Like any home with eight guest cottages and extensive grounds we need a number of dedicated people to make sure that everything runs smoothly, but unlike a hotel, not everyone has a clear job designation. So you may bump into any member of the family, whatever their position, cleaning your room, changing your bed, serving your breakfast in the bush, or putting clean towels by the pool. Of course some of them concentrate their areas of expertise behind the scenes in the kitchen, trying to impress you at mealtimes with their wonderful creations, or taking you out on a game walk or other activity, but all share the love of the wild African bush and have a desire for you to experience this love during your stay.
From the moment you arrive in camp until the time it is time to move on, this is your home and we want you to enjoy it. Sometimes it feels to us like a huge and never ending house party, new arrivals are soon 'embraced' by the family and established guests, friendships are made whilst being 'awed' by the natural beauty of the Selous and around candlelit dinner tables under the stars, and when it is time to leave there is no sadness for it has been fun and we can always come back to rejoin the party - as many of our guests do.
You are on holiday. Relax, feel at home and let the Beho Beho family look after you. Because we like to think of Beho Beho as a home the rates are fully inclusive so there is nothing to pay whilst you are staying there. You want to send laundry everyday, or have a drink or a snack, or a glass of fizz with your breakfast - go ahead.
We try our best to get a good selection of food and drink to the camp, but you must appreciate that we are really situated in 'deepest bush' so perhaps there is not quite the selection you might be used to.
But if you let us know in advance if you have any special likes or dislikes then we will try our best to make sure that your stay is complete with your 'favorite things'
Meals at Beho Beho tend to be a 'moveable feast' and are not always confined to the 'breakfast, lunch and dinner' of a normal safari itinerary. But this does not mean that you will go hungry - far from it, we are conscious that the fresh African air stimulates a good appetite. So it is not unusual to have a snack breakfast on an early game drive, followed by an early brunch, or a late bush breakfast followed by an early afternoon tea. This is easier than rushing back to camp for meals and allows the guides to see how the game situation develops and to allow you the best opportunities to see the wonders of The Selous.
Dinner is always the main event of the day and is taken 'family style' around a large table with guests and guides mingling together to discuss the events of the day. Again this can be either under the stars, on the 'parade ground' or by the pool, or in the Eagle's nest, or even in the bush - but you can rest assured that wherever it is it will be a great experience. Afterwards we usually move into après - safari mode either around the bar or billiards table, or just quiet conversation after yet another wonderful day in the bush.
Beho Beho, being the first property to be sited in the
reserve, was placed at the very centre of wildlife activity
and diversity, in the cooler hillside location near to the
Beho Beho river. Beho Beho (or light breeze) is certainly
very welcome at the hot times of year, the hunters of times
gone by obviously knew a thing or two about siting camps!
Successive camps were sited along the banks of the Rufiji
river giving close proximity to the many resident hippo and
crocodiles. From Beho Beho it is possible to explore a
unique array of varying biodiversity, from riverine forest,
miombo woodland and plains to the fascinating lake regions
of Tagalala and Mwanze. The speciality of the camp is to go
on guided and guarded walking safaris, usually starting
early in the morning before the heat of the day, the walks
can last from an hour to three hours culminating in
breakfast at a prearranged shady spot or at a rendezvous
with a vehicle to go back to camp for a relaxing brunch.
Afternoon walks can also be very rewarding, along the Beho
Beho river or through the first World War trenches to meet a
vehicle well supplied with welcome 'sundowner' drinks,
before the darkness comes and it is time to head back to
Beho Beho has a fleet of specially designed open - sided, but shaded safari vehicles used for game drives to farther flung areas in the reserve. These are not the pop-up roof type of enclosed safari cruiser found in the popular National parks, at Beho Beho you really do get 'up close and personal' with the wildlife!
Beho Beho also has a number of boats stationed at Lake Tagalala, about 30 minutes drive away from the camp. This excursion, usually done in the morning, gives a very close encounter with the resident hippos and crocodiles as well as an amazing number of bird species, culminating in breakfast under a shady tree and a walk to the nearby hot springs for a therapeutic swim in the warm mineral waters.
But it is not always necessary to leave the camp to witness excellent game viewing as there is always something 'happening' around Beho Beho. The camp appears to be on a crossroads of animal migratory routes, the animals seeming to appear totally unconcerned about the human habitation. Whether it is elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, wild dog or hyena to name just a few, wandering through the camp at any time of the day or night.
But it is the guiding that is for us the most important part of your stay with us at Beho Our guides are amongst some of the most experienced in this part of Africa who not only freely share their love and knowledge of the African bush, but also act as your hosts, sharing meals and experiences so that there is always someone there to answer your questions and to relate wildlife experiences. Whilst in some camps you are allocated a specific guide, at Beho Beho we do things slightly differently and you get to experience different guides, so you may walk with one, drive with another and go to Lake Tagalala with another, but as they are all part of the Beho Beho family you will know them already and delight (as we do ) in their diversity.
We have operated the bush night experience at Beho Beho for three years – it has been very popular and many of our guests have had some quite spectacular and scary encounters in the bush, ably guarded and guided by our trusty ‘walking guides’.
We have given Bush Nights a ‘makeover’ and the 1001 nights theme has evolved into ‘bush chic’. We have also moved the site, due to troublesome elephants, and connected ‘proper’ flush toilets – so ‘roughing it’ under the stars is not quite so rough! >
Bush Nights are an optional extra available to all guests who stay for a minimum of four nights at Beho Beho. Starting in mid afternoon guests leave the camp on foot accompanied by an armed guide and walk for approximately one to two hours through the splendid isolation of the Selous wilderness until they arrive at their stunning Bush Camp.
As you can imagine in true Beho Beho style, this is no ordinary Bush Camp, there are only two tents, suitably located for privacy in an area of riverine forest . Each tent, or bush gazebo, is mostly constructed from gauze to increase the bush feeling and is totally insect proof. It also has the added advantage of an en-tent shower and flush loo, a 'proper' double bed and of course is sumptuously decorated in ‘bush chic’ style which will no doubt surprise, if not delight! Is this camping?
Guests will be able to have a sundowner and a hot shower on arrival, be served a full 'camp style' dinner around the camp fire and then enjoy an evening under the stars being entertained and protected by their safari guide.
After a romantic night of star gazing and listening to bush sounds, the dawn will bring birdsong and early morning tea, before heading off on foot to see the animals at their most prolific, returning to the bush camp after two hours to find the breakfast table all ready and waiting and a suitably attired chef to cook up a gourmet breakfast.
The intrepid guests will then be taken back to camp by safari vehicle or on foot and resume the rest of their Beho Beho safari itinerary.
Bush Nights are a supplementary cost on a 4 night Beho Beho stay. Bush Nights must be prebooked and will not be available to be purchased in the camp.
This kind of option is fraught with local difficulties, rain, heat , dust, mud, insects, animal movements etc - so all bush nights will be operated at the discretion of the senior guide in camp at Beho Beho. The guide will decide which is the most suitable night of the four nights stay that guests will be able to enjoy this activity. If for whatever reasons the guests are not able to participate in this activity a full refund will be given to the booking agent and a complimentary voucher for a bush night in the future will be given to the guests.
Accommodation Rates:- From $750 per person per night sharing. Please contact us for a quote and suggested itinerary.