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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Eternity pool with views of the Great Ruaha River.
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.
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.
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.
The love nest.