Leopard and Cub feed on Impala kill, September 2016
Game at Azura Selous has been excellent, with sightings of an 8 month old leopard cub feeding in on impala killed by its mother. The cub and its mother were up on the tree with an Impala kill for 3 days.
Wild dog puppies growing fast, Jason's Blog, September 2016
The Azura lion pride is back - Jason's Blog August 2016
Jason and I had the opportunity to venture out very early one morning to go and see the wild dog and their cute little puppies. It had been a couple of weeks, for me at least, since I had had the opportunity to get out.
It was still quite dark and we had only driven about 8 mins out of camp, just past the airstrip, when we heard heavy movement on the ground. We were turning in a gentle arc on the track and our headlights picked up a herd of buffalo, about 100 strong, to the right of us. We stopped and switched off the engine. Approximately 80 metres in front of us was a waterhole which, as things get drier and drier, the buffalo love to go to.
The buffalo had a mini stampede out and away from us but then turned back and came to a standstill pretty much where they had been when we first spotted them!
Sunrise happens very quickly here in Selous because we are only 7° south of the equator. Literally within 10 minutes it goes from dark to light!
So as we were looking at the herd we noticed that some were looking at us but some were also looking towards the waterhole. As it got lighter and lighter we soon realised why!
There, lying down, and completely focussed on the buffalo, were lion! And as we started counting we soon realised that it wasn’t just one or 2 but the whole pride. The Azura pride, which had split up in the last month, were all back together again. 11 adults and 6 cubs! Balotelli, the huge male, was there as well. Click here to read more.
Spider Hunting Wasp, Jason's Blog, July 2016
Often the small things in the bush are overlooked. Driving back to the lodge after finding lions, we spotted something on the road ahead. On closer inspection we found it to be a spider hunting wasp dragging a very large baboon spider! We were all more excited to see this than to see the lions! Read more on our blog.
Lion Symphony - Jason's Blog June 2016
We had an extremely rare and unique sighting yesterday of three male lions together, grandad, dad and son. Our guests decided to follow them into the night with a spot light. We were treated with an unbelievable roaring symphony for almost two hours from all three of them! Visit Jason's blog to listen to the audio: A Wild Africa Blog
GoPro bug meets Lions - Jason's Blog May 2016
Last evening we decided to go out with our head guide Joseph for a short game drive. 10 minutes out of camp and Jason spots some tracks.
The conversation goes a little something like this:
Jason: “Hey Joseph, reverse a little, I just saw some fresh lion tracks.” So Joseph reverses.
Then Joseph says “Ok on my side I can see a lot of tracks of impala running. Let me just take walk around to your side and have a look at the lion track.”
He makes a quick scan of the area around the vehicle to check if it’s safe to get out. But he doesn’t get out. Instead he says “Hey Jason”
Jason replies “Yeah?”
“They’re definitely very fresh lion tracks.”
And Jason says “But how can you tell? You can’t see from there!”
Joseph replies: “Because the lions are right… there!” and he is pointing to in front of the vehicle where not even 30 metres away we see one then a second lion who are standing up and then another 2 stand up and they all start walking away into the bush!
We all had a bit of chuckle about that!! And then we were all really glad that Joseph hadn’t stepped out of the vehicle!
We started to follow them. As lions do, they lay down again in a nice shady spot which fortunately for us had a nice open space in front of it.
We were pleased to have found them so quickly because Jason has a new toy! We’ve named it The Bug and as you can see in the photo he has mounted 2 cameras on it. One is set to take video continuously and the other takes 2 shots every 30 seconds. Jason has just been itching to try it out.
The four lion were 2 females and 2 males. One male and female approximately one year old and the other two about 5 years old. They are part of the Azura pride but are separate from them at the moment. They are looking really good, very healthy and with full bellies.
Time to introduce them to The Bug!!
Jason got it ready and Joseph lowered it to the ground on the side of the vehicle facing away from where they were lying down. Using the remote control Jason drove it, slowly, toward the lions.
The two younger ones were up pretty quickly! They were really inquisitive. Coming toward it but then jumping back when it moved. It was so funny to watch.
We are keen to get them used to it so that we can get some more awesome footage. As you can see what we got just this first time round was pretty cool!
Lion Cubs Galore - Jason's Blog March 2016
It is hard to find the words to describe just how incredible this sighting was. The lions had been spotted early in the morning by one of our field guides and they seemed settled in for the day in the shade along Hyena stream, a dried up river bed quite close to camp. So Jason and I decided to head out in the late afternoon to go and see them.
By the afternoon, they had spread out but only a little. Balotelli is the pride’s dominant male. He was given this name because he has a very stylish mohawk. The Selous never gets cold so we believe that the lions here, particularly the males, may have evolved to grow smaller manes in order to keep as cool as possible. He was lying under an overhanging bush with a female and their 3 week old cubs. Balotelli is a huge male, each of those cubs are currently just a tiny bit bigger than his paw!
The other 3 females, 2 of which have also had cubs recently, were lying together a little further up the riverbed. The one lioness had her 3 cubs about 3 months ago and the other about 2 and half months ago.
As we were driving up toward the females we spotted in shade under another overhanging bush those 5 little cubs. One is quite a bold little thing and we think quite naughty. Already having landed itself in trouble a couple of weeks ago which resulted in a scrape along the back of the neck. This time we notice that there was now a nick at the top of his ear. Goodness knows the mischief it had been up to! As soon as we pulled up and cut the engine, the cub immediately came out of shade and with its inquisitive nature took a good look at the vehicle before heading back into the shade.
They were beginning to get quite playful with each other. But after about an hour, one by one they came out of the shade and started to walk towards the 3 females. Once they were all there, we drove a little forward to catch them up. There was plenty of affection and then they all settled down again. Stump tail, the oldest female and so called because she is missing the black tuft of hair on her tail, was lying next to the vehicle. The 5 cubs now even more emboldened with an adult close by, all came to check out the vehicle and then promptly lay down in front of it.
We turned to the back to see that the other male had come up behind us. There was puddle of rain water off at the side of the dry riverbed where he enjoyed a good drink before laying back down.
Finally the female with Balotelli got up and we were so lucky to then see the two tiny 3 week old, along with their mother, walk right by our vehicle to join the others. The male then got up again and went to join them all.
Finally after about 10 minutes Balotelli got up. He also took a large drink of the water before walking past us. The whole pride then pretty much moved and settled altogether for half an hour a little further up the riverbed in the shade. Again we drove a little way up.
Wow! All the pride together and all the 7 cheeky cubs playing with each other and jumping on the adults and even one of the 3 week old cubs who kept chasing and biting Balotelli’s tail before he got a little bit of a telling off!
Guides Training, March 2016
At Azura Selous we recently invited a field guide trainer from Eco Training, one of Southern and East Africa’s largest guide training institutions, to give our guides some more training in the field. It was a huge success with many aspects of guiding covered including botany, animal behaviour, geology, night drives and guiding skills. We have always been proud of how knowledgable our guides are, of the Selous in particular, and now their skills have been even more refined and bush knowledge broadened which can only enhance the experience our future guests will receive.
NEW: Night Game Drives at Azura Selous - Read Jason's Blog
During a walk in the evening we came across a freshly killed warthog with lion tracks near the staff area. We decided to do some night drive with the guides, and went to see if there was any activity by the remains of the carcass, hoping to find some hyena, but we found our old male lion, Ostace, walking away. Naturally we followed him, leading us into an open area where he had a quick drink. Not 5 minutes later he started roaring less than 10 metres from the vehicle. Balotelli, his partner in crime, proceeded to walk out from behind the bushes, and together they started a roaring symphony! Amazing Experience.
We now offer Night Game Drives at Azura Selous (National Park fee charge is applicable).
Contact us now to find out more or book on +27 11 467 0907 or email email@example.com
Night Game Drive, January 2016
Our guests at Azura Selous came across this beautiful leopard during a night game drive! It was the most amazing sighting. Our GM at Selous sent us these images and said the leopard wasn’t quite sure what the noisy vehicle with bright lights was, and it proceeded to hang around. The leopard was behind a small bush, and then slowly moved through the open to the next bush, all only 15 metres away from the guests. It did this for a whole hour before they left it to be. Amazing!
And what would a game drive be without spotting some lions? Our guests also followed a male and female lion for some minutes during their night game drive.
African Safari Dream, January 2016
We have had amazing sightings since the year started. Here are a few images of the lions and cubs, the Wildebeest and their babies, group of elephants and some more game.
Meet Balotelli- The King of the pride at Azura Selous
Meet Balotelli, the leader of the lion pride at Azura Selous. He is named after the football player for AC Milan because of his handsome mahawk. He is in his prime years, around 7 years old. The male lions in the Selous do not have big manes as they have adapted to the heat. Click here to see his video.
Festive surprises at the camp, December 2015
George II the elephant popped in for a quick holiday season greeting. Our young guest were pleased with his visit and even followed George to the river flowing infront of the camp!
We had a pack of wild dogs around the camp. The puppies are growing very fast and enjoy being around our guests. Our guests enjoyed this exclusive viewing!
A pride of lions led by "Balotelli" spent a lot of time around the camp also. The pride has been lounging around the camp for a few weeks now.
Game at your doorstep, November 2015
Our guests saw 3 elephants next to the staff area, George II and 2 of his friends, who later led the guests to a pack of wild dogs. We have had our first rains of the season and the flora and fauna has already turned into a lush paradise and it is looking absolutely beautiful.
Wild dog fiesta, November 2015
We recently had an amazing sighting of 16 adult wild dogs and 8 really cute puppies about 2 and half months old! They have been hanging around the camp for 5 days. We also had a pride of lion consisting of 2 males, 3 females and 1 cub around the camp for a few days. All our in-house guests have had great sightings with 2 sets of guests witnessing a fantastic kill. George II the elephant has also visited the camp.
Our GM at Azura Selous shared this amazing video of crocodiles feasting on a dead hippo at the river flowing in front of the camp.
Lioness steals waterbuck from a crocodile, September 2015
Lioness steals Waterbuck from Croc:
Our guests saw a lioness in action right across the river from the camp and we caught it all on video! A crocodile had caught a large Waterbuck and was holding onto its leg to try and get it back into the river, but alas, the lioness jumped right in the middle and stole the prey from the croc. The crocodile unfortunately had to let go, and after securing the waterbuck, the successful lioness was joined by her two young cubs to feed.
More lions in action, and a leopard was seen:
A few days before and old male lion killed two young buffalo within 10 metres of each other and has been guarding them since. This happened about 5 minutes from the camp. And our guests Carly and Phil saw a leopard up in a tree in the morning, and took this amazing photo of it. Thank you Carly and Phil for sharing your beautiful images of the leopard and lions with us.
"George II" the elephant visiting Villa 4, September 2015
Our guests at Azura Selous are enjoying daily visits from George II the elephant. Some of our guests enjoyed an exclusive viewing of George II having a mid-day snack on their tented villa deck. Other sightings include lions, buffalo and other elephants around the camp.
Spotted this week at Azura Selous, August 2015
Our guests saw 13 lions with some cubs during their game drive this week. George II the elephant was also spotted on the island in the middle of the river in front of Villa 4, with some resident hippos.
Exclusive viewing right in front of the camp...
Sometimes you don’t have to worry about being late for your morning game drive. The game will find you and come to you. Our guests this week ejoyed an excellent viewing of a bull elephant that was passing accross the river that flows right in front of the camp. The guests also saw lions, buffalo and lots of giraffe!
Also spotted, were impalas next to the river. Here are the images:
Amazing sighting of 12 wild dogs near the camp! August 2015
This amazing pack of 12 wild dogs was seen playing 10 minutes away from the camp. Also seen was 12 lions, 2 herds of buffalo, and 2 elephant across the river flowing in front of the camp.
All Selous Wild Drama Captured! July 2015
Battle of the River Giants. There was some serious hostility between these two hippos in the river right in front of main camp at Azura Selous, fighting over prime territory spot and females!
The Best Guest in the Selous. Next time you come visit at Azura Selous, “George II” the elephant will be there to welcome you. He has been spending a lot of time at the camp and we are not complaining. We enjoy every moment of it
Amazing Game Viewing at Azura Selous, July 2015
What a fantastic week it has been at Azura Selous! Our guests had amazing sightings with some of our guests seeing a total of 4 of The Big 5. Other sightings included wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, baboons, giraffes and lions just to name a few.
Our guide tracked down "George II" the elephant, he was so easy to find, and he was ready to pose for some pictures before heading off. He came back the next day for a snack at the camp. He trapped our guests from Villas 1 and 2 in their rooms during afternoon tea as he was having a munch outside their front door, before walking around to the front of the villas by the river where he posed for some more pictures. It was an amazing encounter for our guests. Did you spot the hippo yawning in the middle picture with "George II" the elephant? Yes, we thought so :) !
We had amazing overall feedback from all our guests about the game, the seclusion of the camp and the service from the staff. They also raved about the food from our new improved menu and the setups of the bush breaksfasts, sundowners and dinners!
Below are some lovely images of the lion cubs ,giraffes and buffalo from one of our guests at Azura Selous. The bird on the ground is called a Coqui Francolin and the other is an African Open Billed Stork.
Game at Azura Selous, July 2015
Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Krista North has just returned from hosting a successful UK fam trip at Azura Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. They have enjoyed having a pride of 14 lions around the camp and a surprise visit from a hippo at Villa Twiga. Also spotted was the first Kudu of the season, hyenas which were feasting on hippo skin, giraffes and zebras.
Breakfasts, sundowners and a Bush dinner were served in stunning locations, during or after game drives. Nothing beats a breakfast next to the river or waterhole while being entertained by the game or driving around the corner thinking you are heading back to camp but ending up at your dinner in the bush under the stars. Morning entertainment on this trip was a hippo attacking a crocodile who tried to go after her young, how exciting!
Another Camp visit from "George II" the Elephant, June 2015
Could this be another picture of George II, our almost resident elephant who shows his face in camp often? Yes, it is. He is back for a site inspection this time.
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 re-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!
Enjoying some cool weather at Azura Selous, April 2015
There has been a lot of interesting movement at Azura Selous Game Reserve. The staff at the camp recently received a friendly visit from a female lion while they were resting at their staff lounge. Our Head Guide was also under house arrest when a pride of lions decided to camp at his door step at Villa 5. They left after a few days and went to the thick bush nearby the camp. We are conviced that they were sent for a fam trip or camp inspection.
Due to the rainy season, the trees are green and rich in fruit, and clearly our friendly guest "George II " the elephant is having a blast at the camp. He has been visiting the villa 4, not for a drink in the pool this time around, but for a midday snack from the marula tree.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Azura Selous, October 2014
This past month our guests experienced fantastic game viewing on the magnificent open plains of Azura Selous. Very good sightings of lions, elephant and buffalo and other regular sightings of the hippos and crocodiles. Elephants have recently become regular visitors at the villas. The water levels and conditions were just perfect for boat trips. Some of our guests even did 2 boat trips. Plenty of hippos and lions were spotted during the boat trips.
The highlight must be the sighting of the pangolin at the airstrip, which all guests saw. It was just crossing from one side of the airstrip to the other. It really took the spotlight. Many people travel the world to see one of this very rare and endangered species, but there it was roaming around the Selous. Wow!
In our fishing world, things have been getting more and more interesting. Our guest have been very successful with their fishing, pulling out a number of Tiger Fish, one of them measuring a whopping 4.5kg. Amazing!
Krista and Carli visit Azura Selous
On their visit to Azura Selous, our Sales and Marketing Manager, Krista and our Reservations Manager, Carli experienced the most amazing encounters.
On the Saturday, 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.
Azura Selous, September 2014
September has been an exciting month with fantastic game viewing on the magnificent open plains of Azura Selous. With the experience and knowledge of our guides, guest were able to spot 4 of The Big 5 , in just 2 days of game viewing. Namely the buffalos, which came out in numbers, a herd of over 200 buffalos was spotted, lions which were plentiful throughout, elephants which came to greet the guests during a game drive and lastly a leopard cub was spotted crossing the road following its mother from one stretch of thick bush into another. Talk about an exciting bush experience.
Over and above The Big 5, giraffes and hippos were plentiful. During a boat safari trip, guests made a very heart pounding encounter. A dominant bull hippo in the flat water was seen aggressively defending his area and the females from a crocodile.
There are some very big crocodiles visible in the waters at this time of the year, and guests spotted crocodiles patiently queueing to feed, causing one guest to remark that ‘they queue so well they must be British’.
Azura Selous, July 2014
Recent guests had excellent a wonderful stay and an excellent bush experience during stay at Azura Selous in July. On their first game drive they saw lions eating a baby hippo, later they saw elephant, baboons, monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, impala, fish eagles, rollers and martial eagle ground-hornbills while they also enjoyed their first sundowner drink in Africa. Talk about an opener for your trip to Africa!
Later during their stay on another game drive they came across the lions again who were still feasting on the hippo caucus, and now the guests also had the chance to take photos of this from close up.
On their walking safari they learned so much from plants, insects, animal tracks, dung and all other signs. In the afternoon they saw lots of giraffe, wildebeests, hippos, waterbucks, zebra, as well as a good variety of birds. And they mentioned that their picnic breakfast at the river side was a highlight of their stay.
A Recent Stay at Azura Selous, June 2014
Day 1 afternoon game drive
Wow! Guests saw a pack of 23 wild dogs while they were still in the plane arriving at Azura Selous. The welcome table at the airstrip was surrounded by wild dogs and they had their drinks watching them. After checking in they went on a drive and saw the same pack of dogs but this time hunting impala. The dogs killed an impala while the guests were watching and within minutes there was nothing left of the impala. They also saw lots of hippos, impala, giraffe, lots of crocodiles and birds, and enjoyed a great sundowner by the Ruaha River.
Day 2 morning and afternoon drives
Today the guests encountered wild dogs hunting again, and having a feasting on another impala. Later they saw lots of giraffe, wildebeests, zebra, eland, waterbuck, baboons, monkeys, warthog, crocodiles feeding on a hippo, mongoose, impala, hippos, vultures, ground horn bills, eagles, bee eaters, and a lot more of the small birds, trees and plants. At 1930hrs they watched a lion walking past camp while they were standing at the pool deck.
Day 3 morning and afternoon drives
Our guests saw lions feeding on a hippo. Later they saw zebra, elephant, wildebeests, baboons, monkeys, mongoose, warthog, waterbuck, crocodiles, impala, hippos giraffe, lots of birds were explained about the trees and plants that are found in the bush.
Day 4 morning drive and afternoon fishing
It was quite an experience for the guests to enjoy an early morning bush walk, identifying animal spoors, dung and all other signs of game, looking at trees, plants and insects, especially termites. During the fishing experience they had a good catch and enjoyed seeing hippos and birds while having a bottle of champagne at the river after fishing. The day ended up with a lavish bush diner under the stars where they enjoyed the tranquillity of the night, one lion roaring in a distance and the lovely menu developed by the chef.
Day 5 morning drive
On their last morning drive before departing our guests saw two male lions just after killing a big hippo, the lions were still trying to open up the hippo and start feeding right in front of the guests. On the same drive they saw giraffe, zebra, hippo, impala, waterbuck, wildebeest and birds
Our guests comments on departure: ‘Amazing start to our honeymoon. Thank you so much!’
Azura Selous, June 2014
Since we have opened Azura Selous on 1 June, our guests and our team have experienced the most amazing encounters on game drives but often also while being in the camp.
Our Group GM has had the company or a roaring lion next to his tented villa for a number of nights, and jumped into one of the vehicles regularly for a few minutes drive to watch the wild dogs that are close to the camp.
We currently have a pride of lions and large group of wild dog 25+ right outside camp that our guests are seeing daily. The guests are enjoying hearing the lions roar through the night as well as the honking hippos right in front. Guests are also seeing large herds of Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe as well as all the usual buck, warthog and a huge variety of birds.
Today morning tea had to be served by vehicle to the tented villas because of lions at tent no. 3 with an impala kill. And other guests on their early game drive encountered the wild dogs right outside camp with their own impala kill, and a lion trying to get a piece of the pie. The wild dogs didn't allow him however and chased him straight back into the bush, and this all right in front of our guests. How about that for a start of a day at Azura Selous!