Sign up for Azura Retreats news
Wild dogs video, November 2015
Amazing video of wild dogs playing around the vehicle on one of the game drives at Azura Selous.
New Land Rovers, June 2015
After travelling a combined 16,000km from Johannesburg through Botswana and Zambia to Tanzania our 4 new Land Rovers have finally arrived at Azura Selous!
Guides Team Building at Azura Selous
Our Group General Manager recently visited Azura Selous and had team building with the guides team. The camp was closed for the rainy season and has recently opened and there has been lots of game and activities. The guides, together with the GM and the Retreat Manager, Jason, went out for game drives, following tracks and enjoyed a day of fishing at the river flowing in front of the camp. It was a very succesful event . The hosts also had a fun butter competition and the winner was Emmanuel with his elephant. Writing personal messages on the butter served with the food is one of the special things our hosts at Azura do for their guests.
Amazing Wild dogs encounter, June 2015
Our guides had just departed from the lodge for their evening drive when within 200 metres they spotted a pack of wild dogs, about 18 of them! The dogs appeared to be just waking up from an afternoon siesta. The guides immediately noticed that the alpha female is heavily pregnant, with perhaps only 2 weeks to go, so the guides believe the pack will remain in the area for a while. As the vehicle drove away the pack began to follow the vehicle! When the two guides began to set up for Sundowners all the dogs came around and spent nearly 15 minutes checking out the vehicle, the guides and the guests! They then lay down for another quick rest before heading off again into the bush. It was an amazing experience for our delighted guests!
Amazing video of guests surrounded by Wild Dogs, March 2015
This is what a walking safari looks like at Azura Selous Game Reserve. Guests were just a stone throw away from the Wild Dogs during their walking safari. What a way to get an adrenaline rush! Thanks to our guide Vitus, for capturing this amazing moment. This video is amazing and shows what a safari should be like! Up close and personal.
On The Wild Side, March 2015
Life on the wild side has been fantastic at Azura Selous. Our guests recently experienced a raw and authentic walking safari when they saw 19 wild dogs roaming the fields of the Selous.
Azura Selous February 2015
We have had some interesting sightings at Azura Selous. Our favourite lion couple was seen taking an afternoon nap. Wild Dogs have also made a brief reappearance, showing up at the staff village after sunset and managing to kill one Impala. There were 4 adults and approximately 10 puppies.
The New York Times, Travel, January 2015
Azura Selous in Tanzania is mentioned as one of the 52 places to go in 2015 by The New York Times. Azura opened a new camp in southern Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, home to large concentrations of elephant, wild dog and leopard.
Life in the Wild, January 2015
If we were not called Azura Selous, we would definitely be called the "Lion Park". All our guests got to see lions and elephants during their game drives at Azura Selous recently. George II “the elephant” brought a beautiful big-tusked friend into the camp on Christmas Eve and they were also seen in the river and across it for 2 days. A giraffe was also seen by guests drinking at the waterhole a few meters away from the camp.
“GEORGE II” The Elephant
Our dear Elephant friend was spotted at the new water hole. You might remember him from drinking from the pools at the tented villas. Our General Manager stood very close to him during this encounter, and he looked very relaxed with his presence. He has also been given a name, we now call him "George II".
Nest of the African Paradise Flycatcher
Also very exciting is the paradise flycatcher babies which hatched approximately one week ago. The African paradise flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine bird. The African paradise flycatcher is a common resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. This species is usually found in open forests and savannah habitats. Two or three eggs are laid in a tiny cup nest in a tree.
During a morning game drive, guests saw a large herd of Buffalo and found tracks of a small pack of wild dogs with pups. Wild dogs have been denning this past few months and we are excited that they have now come out and we will see them roaming the Selous fields very soon. Lions and their cute cubs have been plentiful
Krista and Carli visit Azura Selous
Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Krista, together with our Reservations Manager Carli, have recently visited our latest addition to the Azura Retreats collection, Azura in the Selous Game Reserve. They explain the transfer process through Dar es Salaam Airport and the connection down to Sumbazi airstrip as a breeze.
On their arrival they were taken to their newly refurbished villas, Krista stayed in the zebra themed tented villa, and Carli in the monkey themed tended villa. Carli explains the experience as “breath-taking”. The villas were everything they imagined and more. Very welcoming and cool with from the heat of the day with the added bonus of aircons. Then it was dinner time. Dinner was set up by the banks of the Great Ruaha River, with the snorting of hippos in the background. Fabulous!
On the Saturday, they couldn’t wait to go on their first safari experience in the Selous. So off they went on a custom made game drive with a 4x4 where they had beautiful sightings of 2 bull elephants on an island in the river. The elephants were grazing and as the vehicle moved closer guests could see the 2 elephants kneeling down, with grass in their trunks, rinsing the grass before eating it. This is what we call healthy living!
While on the elephant territory, 2 other elephants were spotted. As they saw the vehicle coming towards them, they started ‘mock charging’ as elephants are wont to do, stomping their feet on the ground and shaking their heads. They clearly didn’t want anyone next to them.
On Sunday morning the conditions were just perfect for a boat trip, which is one of the experiences that’s so special in the Selous. With all the hippo in our river you are always entering hippo territory, so they were expecting to bump into the hippos at some point. Just a few minutes into the river, they came across the hippos, tons of them, excuse the pun, relaxing in the river, minding their own business. As the boat slowly approached the hippos, they started moving to the side, making way for the boat. A fantastic close up experience.
Overall it was a beautiful stay, the meals where fantastic throughout with a different venue for dinner every night. The highlight being the bush dinner and a star talk under brightest stars they had ever seen. “the massages on the tented villa deck, the cuisine, the warmth of the people, the entire experience was all amazing, everything was just perfect “ commented Carli.
“ but best of all I loved the sundowner on the bank close to the river, with a spectacular view of the African sunset, to end a perfect weekend”.
Stella’s Blog –Azura Selous Photographic Trip – October 2014
It’s always exciting to see a refurbishment project come to completion. All those days spent with GDF, our interior designers, poring over fabric swatches, debating the merits of monkeys versus ardvaarks as potential styles, and of course focusing on our ‘designed to give back’ theme where we want to bring in items made by local communities. And then finally it all comes to fruition, the moment we capture those first new images on film, to hopefully grace the world’s travel magazines and have everyone just desperate to come and visit. At least that’s the plan! I am just back from a few days at our newest Azura, in the Selous Game Reserve Tanzania, where we have been busy doing just that.
Even before the Azura makeover, it was a beautiful place. The elegance of the tents, with their views over the great Ruaha river, the sense of wildness, the hippos at play in front of you, always enough to take your breath away. On this particular trip the hippos were taking centre stage. I awoke at 6 one morning to meet Kim our photographer, only to be waylaid at my tented villa by the dominant male hippo putting on a huge performance in front of me(admittedly the hot chocolate and cookies they had already dropped off to my deck was also delaying me!). He was spraying and thrashing and making a huge racket over a young male trying to take him on in his own turf. He was having none of it, and I sat mesmerised for half an hour while he chased the poor intruder away some 150m downstream from my tented villa, past the front of house, and all the way to where Kim was taking photos of exactly the same thing!
We have some very unique hippos at Azura Selous. They have something called leucism, which changes their pigmentation and makes patches of them appear pink. Yes we have pink hippos! One of them is completely pink, which I was lucky enough to get up close to while testing out our new boating safari, and several others with pinkish bits, including one who looks like he is wearing pink wellington boots.
The hippos aren’t the only ones with leucism, as we also had some guests recently spot a white buffalo amidst a big herd close to camp. At first we thought it an albino, but the ever knowledgeable Garth was quick to point out the difference, including photographic evidence!
Talking of the guests, we had some great ones staying while I was there. I always love hearing our guests’ stories (we read every guest feedback form personally). On the day I arrived, 3 sets of honeymooners had joined up and were relaxing for drinks on my new lounging deck – great to see what was just a concept being used and enjoyed! We always have an area at Azura for lounging about, carefully designed so that you can be alone as a couple, or together as a group. And of course this one has lovely views out over the infinity pool and river, a great place to chill by day or to meet for drinks before dinner. Anyway, they were enthusiastically chatting about the third pride of lions they had seen on their stay, as well as the leopard and her 5 month old cub they had seen just outside camp. Now that’s what a safari is all about! Take a look at one of my amateur shots of the new lounging deck..
Another lovely couple, American via Alaska and then Oman, was telling me how they had chosen to stay at Azura Selous based on the wife’s extensive research (with our air-conditioning apparently being a decisive factor), and of course tripadvisor, where our great recent reviews have been pushing us right up near the top of the rankings. I just loved their story. Apparently she does all the work, then does a full presentation for her husband complete with champagne while they discuss where to go. I hope they enjoyed the bottle of sparkling cremant we give all our guests on arrival, which comes from our Estate in France.
With all of the photography going on, and of course some inevitable tweaking of rooms now that I had seen them refurbished in the flesh for the first time, there wasn’t much time to go out on a vehicle. But it was great to see our new water hole in action, bringing hyena tracks through camp every evening, and the lovely bull elephant who wonders into camp every week or so. We hope to see the buffalo herds plodding past next.
It’s super dry at the moment, but some unseasonal rains just last week have brought the trees into bud, and a flash of green across the landscape. The animals clearly think it’s spring, with some impala having their babies over a month sooner than we would expect. Following suit, a new pride of lions (we are home range to 6 prides) has also just come in from the north, with 2 cubs that are just a few weeks old. Look at proud Mum who is just so relaxed around our vehicle in this picture. So between the impala, the lions, and the leopard all with their young, and the wild dogs that have denned somewhere to the north of us, its definitely been a month for progeny. And sadly that meant I had to leave and get back to mine. Another fantastic trip up to Azura Selous, and can’t wait to share the new photographs with you all soon.
Update on Azura Selous
Our team on the ground has been hard at work in the closed season refurbishing the Camp, with a new lick of paint throughout, as well as new decking and gumpoles for the tents and main area. Our Group General Manager Thomas has been onsite for the past couple of weeks, checking all our maintenance works were complete, and welcoming the first guests to what will soon be Azura Selous. We are in a period of transformation which is expected to be complete 1 August, when all the legal work is done and the camp will be fully Azura-ized! Our vision for Azura Selous design wise is ‘bringing the outside inside’, and we are delighted to show you the mood boards for the first 9 tented villas we will refurbish.
Our new look is on its way
Our Elephant tents reflect the bright greens of the surrounding bush, and the vibrant pinks and yellows of the sunsets we see while enjoying sundowners on the banks of the Ruaha.
‘Bringing the Outside Inside’
The Monkey tents reflect the earthy deep rust tones of the soil, as well as the riverbed rocks that are scattered all around, tempered by the calm aqua shades of the river, home to our resident hippos.
With an Azura Chic Twist
The Zebra tents speak for themselves, with a lime green and yellow twist to add the unexpected. Watch out for our next update to see the crocodiles we are planning for the main area!
Wild dog vs Lion
Our guests this week were delighted to see the wild dog that roam our area, a pack of 22 that had just killed 2 impala minutes away from our camp. One of the male lions from tented villa 6 obviously picked up on the scent and tried to get in on the action. He appeared from behind our vehicle and a fight ensued with the pack of dogs fiercely defending their turf in a cacophony of noise and action. The lion lost out and turned away across a stream to hide in the bush. It’s not often you see a lion running scared!