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Sable Mountain Lodge.
  Sable Mountain Lodge
Getting there
Selous looks as close to Dar es Salaam as neighbouring park Mikumi, which is only four hours by road from Dar. But Selous is far off the main road, and the dirt roads leading there are poor and seasonally difficult to pass. Therefore, you should plan for a full day travelling to Sable Mountain Lodge by road.
To avoid the long drives, most safari-goers visiting Selous go by air. The lodge is a 30-minute drive from the airstrip by Matambwe Gate, which has daily scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam (and from Zanzibar via Dar). The flying time is about one hour. Smaller one- or two-prop planes are used for these flights. The lodge handles your transfer to and from the airstrip.
There is also a railway station close to Matambwe Gate, serviced by regular trains and by the private Safari Express trains. Travelling from Dar es Salaam is a four-hour trip.
Selous map
Selous map.
Tanzania map
Tanzania map.
Safari glossary
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Sable Mountain Lodge
Selous Game Reserve
Sable Mountain Lodge is a basic to tourist class lodge in Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. It's situated just outside the park border of northern Selous.

The lodge is fairly small, but spread over a large area on a hillside, facing north towards the Uluguru Mountains. It is surrounded by forest vegetation, and is thus not a lodge where you may see a lot of animals around. There is an observation hide facing a forest water hole, though, where you may see some animals, especially during the dry season.

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Built in two levels
Sable Mountain Lodge is built in two levels. The lower level has a small bar and restaurant, a handful of bungalows and the parking area. If you are not very mobile, you should book one of these bungalows, as the second level is quite a long walk uphill. This second level has more bungalows, a few honeymoon tents, the water hole and, at the very top, a swimming pool.

The rooms are in stone bungalows and have normal beds and a bathroom with WC, washbasin and shower. The view from the bungalow veranda is wide, overlooking northern Selous and its surroundings. The honeymoon tents have a similar layout, plus a plunge pool.

The lodge offers game drives in open safari vehicles in the park. This is of interest mainly to guests arriving by air or train; if you arrive by road, you will probably do game drives in your own vehicle. From out experience, the lodge has good guides.

The bar and restaurant.

Hilltop swimming pool.

Stone bungalow.

A gigantic park
Looking at the map, you'll see that Selous is a gigantic park, covering 54,500 km2/21,000 sq mi. All normal safari-tourism takes place in the area north of the Rufiji River, though, and about half of this area can be reached in day tours from Sable Mountain Lodge.

Selous has fairly few visitors, and you will probably not see very many other safari-goers when game-driving in the north.

Safari seasons
The major parks of southern Tanzania – Mikumi, Selous and Ruaha – have the highest concentrations of wildlife during August to October, which is the end of a long dry season, when the animals congregate along the rivers. Most visitors come during this time of year (the parks still have significantly fewer visitors than the major parks of northern Tanzania, such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro).

November to May brings rain, but there is a drier spell during January and February, when safaris are possible.

Wildlife around the lodge
Sable Mountain Lodge is set in forest nature, which is rarely good for game viewing. Monkeys, birds and stray antelopes may be seen. To see the giraffes, elephants etc, you need to game driving in the park.

The lodge water hole may attract animals, especially during the dry season. A trophy species to spot is the sable antelope, which sometimes shows up by the water hole at dusk.

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Page updated 18 February 2009