“Traditional home style luxury at wildlife central!”
“Traditional home style luxury at wildlife central!”
Beho Beho was the first camp to be sited in The Selous Game Reserve, not on the banks, or the flood plains of the mighty Rufiji River, but in the cooler highlands so as to enjoy the ‘cooling breezes’ from which its name derives. Always designated as a ‘private camp’ it has fiercely protected its individuality and privileged location as one of the most ‘magical’ places it is possible to visit in ‘safari Africa’
Beho Beho, known locally as ‘wansalishi’ which in Swahili means ‘the pioneer’ was the first permanent camp to be located in the northern sector of the Selous Game Reserve. Originally established as a hunting camp in 1972 by the well-known safari company Ker and Downey, it was purchased by the Bailey family in 1977 and converted into a permanent camp. Mostly used as a private camp for the family it was not until 2004 that the whole camp was rebuilt and promoted to safari enthusiasts.
Sited on Kipalala Hill, above the Msine tributary of the Beho Beho river, it enjoys uninterrupted panoramic views over the Rufiji river flood plain. The camp is unique in the fact that it sits in the centre of five different eco-systems – riverine; mountainous; water systems; open and lightly wooded savannah; and mixed to miombo woodland.
Beho Beho has seven individual very spacious ‘bandas’ (stone built and palm thatched cottages) furnished with king-sized beds, Zanzibari day beds, writing desks and comfortable ‘suite’ furniture. The front of the banda is totally open and extends on to a spacious veranda – the banda can be secured for the night with ‘tented curtains’ or left open as desired. Each banda has a separate dressing room leading into an en suite bathroom with twin basins, high flush WC and an ‘open air’ shower. For the 2019-20 season plunge pools and individual sunbathing decks were constructed alongside each banda allowing guests to sunbathe privately and enjoy a cooling dip whilst enjoying uninterrupted game viewing.
The Treehouse is a wonderful experience that will certainly enhance your safari and give you an even greater fund of stories to take home. Just for two people, The Treehouse is an optional extra available to all guests who stay for a minimum of four nights at Beho Beho. The Treehouse experience starts in mid-afternoon when guests leave the camp on foot, accompanied by an armed guide, to walk for approximately two hours through the splendid isolation of the Selous wilderness until they arrive at their home for the night – The Treehouse.
Another option where ‘privacy and exclusivity’ is guaranteed is at Bailey’s Banda, an ‘owner’s house’ or private villa positioned on the hillside overlooking the main camp enjoys stunning views into the valley and the hippo pools which are certainly wild Africa at its very best.
Meals at Beho Beho tend to be a ‘moveable feast’ and are not always confined to the ‘breakfast, lunch and dinner’ of a normal safari itinerary. This is better than rushing back to camp for meals and allows the guides to see how the game situation develops and to allow you the best opportunities to see the wonders of The Selous.
All meals at Beho Beho are taken ‘family style’ with guests and guides sitting together. Dinner is always the main event of the day, either under the stars, on the ‘parade ground’, by the pool, in the Eagle’s nest, or even in the bush – you can rest assured that wherever it is it will be a memorable experience.
Beho Beho, originally a hunting camp, was the first property to be sited in the reserve. It was placed at the very centre of wildlife activity and diversity, in the cooler hillside location near to a permanent water source providing a ‘magnet’ for thirsty animals. The hunters of times gone by obviously knew a thing or two about siting camps!
From Beho Beho it is possible to explore a unique array of environmental biodiversity, from the riverine forests, miombo woodlands and plains to the fascinating lake regions of Tagalala and Mwanze. The speciality of the camp is to go on guided and guarded walking safaris, either early mornings or late afternoons avoiding the intense heat of the day when both animals and humans tend to look for suitable shade. Beho Beho is one of the few safari camps where it is possible to walk straight from the camp itself, with a variety of routes to hippo pools, First World War trenches, the grave of Frederick Courtney Selous, for who the reserve was named, and several easy or more demanding trails known only to our walking guides.
Beho Beho also has a number of boats stationed at Lake Tagalala, about 50 minutes’ drive away from the camp. This excursion, usually done in the morning, gives a very close encounter with the resident hippos and crocodiles as well as an amazing number of bird species, culminating in breakfast under a shady tree.
But it is not always necessary to leave the camp to witness excellent game viewing as there is always something ‘happening’ around Beho Beho. The camp appears to be on a crossroads of animal migratory routes, the animals seeming to appear totally unconcerned about the human habitation. The flood lit water hole in front of the camp also enjoys a lot of activity, especially in the dry season, and boasts lion, leopard, serval and genet cats with pleasing regularity – but sadly not to order!!!
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