What is it like being a guide in the Selous Game Reserve?
Joseph spills the beans...
02 Aug 2018
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Azura Selous is unfenced, can you tell us what that means?
Without a fence, or physical barrier, the animals are free to roam and create their own pathways through the bush.
For example, our resident hippos have created a ‘hippo highway’ between our camp and the river. That means our guests can observe the natural behaviour of a variety of nocturnal and diurnal animals without even leaving the camp.
What are the benefits of being in an unfenced reserve?
The biggest benefit to our guests is that in an unfenced reserve, the animals are not forced to change their natural patterns of behaviour. With more room to roam, they remain wild and don’t come into conflict with humans or look for ways to avoid them.
A safari at Azura Selous Game Reserve is the closest you’ll ever come to experiencing what the first explorers to this area would have encountered over 200 years ago – a vast wilderness of exceptional natural beauty, populated with wild animals.
What wildlife do guests regularly see at Azura Selous?
We’re fortunate to be located on the banks of the Great Ruaha River and our resident hippos are a real feature of the camp. We also have packs of African wild dogs that den close to the camp and produce the most adorable pups every year. Recently, we’ve had an abundance of leopard sightings which has delighted our guests and resulted in some once-in-a-lifetime photographic opportunities.
There are also prides of lions, herds of elephants, towers of giraffe and an abundance of plains game such as kudu, impala and buffalo to see here in the Selous.
Are there any experiences that are unique to Azura Selous?
At Azura Selous Game Reserve there are no fixed schedules which means guests can set their own pace. You can do morning and afternoon game drives, half-day game drives and even full-day game drives – it’s entirely up to you.
Besides game drives we also offer boating and walking safaris which let our guests experience different aspects of the bush. On the boat, you can get closer to animals such as hippos and crocodiles, while walking through the bush with a trained guide will give you the opportunity to meet the ‘little five’. Whether you’re an experienced angler, or you’ve never held a fishing rod before, fishing on the banks of the great Ruaha River is lots of fun and a must-do activity for young and old.
Your butler-host not only looks after you during your stay with us, he’s also responsible for setting up your dinner in a different location every night – this is a key part of the whole Azura experience.
What has been your most memorable animal encounter whilst working here?
It has to be the morning I took a family out on a morning game drive. When I noticed it was getting warmer, and the children had settled down, I knew it was a good time to set up for breakfast in the bush.
I chose a spot with a great view of the river and large shady tree. Before I laid the table, I checked the nearby bush to ensure there were no dangerous animals about. But, as I returned to my guests who were waiting at the vehicle, I spotted a large male leopard lounging in the very tree I thought would provide good shade for our guests.
A ranger never panics, so I calmly made my way back to the Land Rover and asked my guests to get back in the vehicle. Once they were safe I pointed out the leopard to them. They were thrilled with the sighting – even more so when the leopard came down from the tree practically asking us to take his picture.
It’s an encounter I will never forget.
What is your favourite animal?
I’m a real fan of the feisty honey badger. They’re not only tough, they’re smart too and even use tools such as sticks and stones to get what they want.