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  The Retreat
Getting there
The most comfortable way of travelling to The Retreat is flying. There are daily flights from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, and also flights from northern Tanzania, for example Arusha. The flying time from Dar es Salaam is 70 minutes.
In Selous, Sumbazi airstrip is a 30-minute drive from the lodge. Lodge staff handles the transfers from and to the airstrip.
Driving to The Retreat from Dar es Salaam may take you up to one full day, depending on weather and road conditions.
Selous map
Selous map.
Tanzania map
Tanzania map.
  Glossary
Safari glossary
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Tanzania:
The Retreat
Selous Game Reserve
The Retreat is set by the Great Ruaha River in northern Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. It is further west in the park than any of the other lodges and camps in the area. The standard offered is very good.

The Retreat has a philosophy that each guest requires a different kind of stay, depending on individual need, personality and mood, and adapt to it. The architecture is inspired by Feng Shui, while the tents are spacious and set far apart.

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View of the river and the woodland surrounding The Retreat.
View of the river and the woodland surrounding The Retreat.

A tented lodge with a fort
The Retreat opened in 2007 and is a tented lodge with 12 tented suites. The main building is a fort, a military observation post from World War I. It's built on top of a hill near the Great Ruaha River, and has wide views of the surrounding woodland savanna and the river. The fort has a restaurant, a bar, lounging areas and a roof terrace, a gift shop, medical emergency facilities (one of the owners is a doctor) and an eternity swimming pool.

A spa set by the river offers various treatments, Jacuzzi and sound therapy, and meditation and yoga weeks at special times of the year.

The fort is the main building at The Retreat.
The fort is the main building at The Retreat.

Spacious tented suites
The Eagle Hill suites (the standard suites, 100 m2/1,075 sq ft) are set around the fort, i.e. elevated and away from the river. The River suites (160 m2/1,720 sq ft) and the Lion's River suite (220 m2/2,370 sq ft) are built on the river bank and have private observation decks with plunge pool and loungers. The Lion's River suite has its own dining area and can be transformed to house additional guests, which may suite for example families.

Hippo Point is a private and secluded lodge within the lodge, and has its own staff.
Hippo Point is a private and secluded lodge within the lodge, and has its own staff.

Finally, Hippo Point is a private lodge within the lodge, set by the river some 2 km/1.2 mi from the fort. It has two suites (160 m2/1,720 sq ft each) with private decks, private plunge pools and a shared eternity pool. Other private facilities not shared with the rest of the lodge are a bar and a dining area. Hippo Point has its own staff, safari vehicle and boat.

Interior from an Eagle Hill suite, and loungers by the Hippo Point pool.
Interior from an Eagle Hill suite, and loungers by the Hippo Point pool.

All tents are custom made and built on raised teak wood platforms. The walls are two-layered: an inner mosquito net layer and an outer canvas layer. The walls may be closed or fully or partly opened towards the surroundings, depending on how you prefer them.

The tents, which are set between 30 m/100 ft and 50 m/165 ft apart, have ensuite bathrooms with showers and washbasins, and an outdoor deck with a copper, brass or silver bath tub.

Fly camping as arranged by The Retreat.
Fly camping as arranged by The Retreat.

Sleeping under the sky
Like other lodges and camps in Selous, The Retreat also offers fly camping off the lodge, i.e. overnights in small tents right out in the bush. The Retreat has an unusual type of tents for this – you sleep under mosquito nets only, held up by posts. A private cook is responsible of your food, and a game scout of your safety.

The lodge also has a love nest where clients, for example honeymoon couples, can stay overnight. It's built on a wooden platform close to the river. The nest has a large bed surrounded by mosquito nets, an outdoor shower, views of the river and a hippo path passing below.

Eternity pool with views of the Great Ruaha River.
Eternity pool with views of the Great Ruaha River.

Safari activities
The retreat offers activities in the game reserve such as game drives, escorted bush walks, boat safari on the river, and fishing for tiger fish and catfish.

Outdoor spa and roof terrace lounge with wide views.
Outdoor spa and roof terrace lounge with wide views.

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 good safaris are possible.

African wild dogs in Selous Game Reserve.
African wild dogs in Selous Game Reserve.

Wildlife around the lodge
The Retreat is set far from the other lodges and camps in Selous, and faces the western parts of the park, which have no lodges or camps and thus very few visitors. As the wildlife is mainly undisturbed, any animals out of the local fauna may appear around the lodge, including elephants and lions. Hippos spend their days in the river next to the lodge and appear on land at night.

African wild dogs in Selous Game Reserve.
The love nest.

 
© Copyright 1998–2010 Safari Patrol AB
Page updated 18 February 2010