Looking for a bit of ‘wow’ factor on your safari? Azura Selous has got it covered. Recently taken over by ultra-luxury brand Azura, the 12 rooms look as if they have tumbled (perfectly) off the pages of Italian Vogue and private plunge pools rub shoulders with crisp white sun loungers and plump cushions. Super swanky it may be, but stuffy it’s certainly not and the atmosphere is totally relaxed with not an upturned nose in sight. The game viewing and activities are also fantastic and the location, tucked away in the north-west of the photographic zone of the reserve, means there’s hardly another soul in sight. The best kind of safari.
At the lodge
The central area is arranged around the camp’s piece de resistance, a sparklingly turquoise infinity pool overlooking the swishing rapids of the Ruaha River below. There’s definitely no more perfect way to spend a siesta than here (G&T optional). Inside, the lounge is an impeccably-designed stone structure full of rich leather sofas, view-gazing chairs and interesting local artefacts and books. Next door is a pretty dining area – just one of many options for the gourmet breakfasts and lunches.
Sandy walkways lead to the rooms – 12 totally luxurious and tranquil stone-and-canvas creations with more than enough space to swing several cats. There are outside decks with comfortable chairs and excellent views, bedrooms with colossal king size beds and even separate dressing areas. In the bathroom you’ll find his’n’hers sinks, an indoor shower and an outdoor ‘waterfall.’ Cherries on top are the private plunge pools and air-con. New in 2016 is Villa Twiga, an achingly romantic private villa with all the trimmings.
Game drives are conducted in custom-made 4 x 4s and are made for exploring the wildest corners of the Selous. Whether going off road in search of lion or inching quietly toward a herd of ellies, the experiences are mesmerising and always private – there are hardly any another vehicles up here. Other activities include walking safaris (to really keep your senses alive!) and, when the water level is up, fishing and boating on the Ruaha River. There’s also a ‘mobile spa’ for massages in your room – bliss.