Beho Beho was my first safari experience, and I have been told that I have set the standards pretty high. Of course, I will let you know once I have had my second experience – apparently the Serengeti is worth looking into. But for now I shall give five reasons to visit Beho Beho.
1. The accommodation
I had seen pictures and websites, but I kept on wondering, “How much luxury can you really get in ‘the bush’?”
My residence for the next three nights was to be in Banda No. 2: ‘Twiga’. Open fronted with only an electric wire to keep the wild at bay, the view over the Selous was simply breathtaking. A four-poster bed made for comfortable nights’ sleep (once you had gotten over the hippos grunting and sounding much closer than they actually were), and the large bathroom and outdoor shower were bright and refreshing; especially after a long day on the vehicle. I even made friends with the resident gecko.
Even the little touches were always taken care of: mosquito spray and torches are very much necessities when out in the wild and they were readily available at turndown each evening. In answer to my question, the luxuriousness of this open-fronted stone hut in the bush certainly exceeded my expectations.
2. Walking safari
Surprisingly this is not as popular as you might think, with many camps not even offering ‘Safari on Foot’. But I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Of course with it being my first safari experience I was somewhat apprehensive, but our specialist guide Heribert soon put my mind to rest; the rifle was both disconcerting and reassuring.
The trek took us past an elephant crossing the stream and one could not have asked for a greater photo opportunity. It was almost as though the team at Beho Beho had staged the scene especially. We then saw the hippos. I found these animals mesmerizing – so large but able to run up to 30kmph and responsible for most animal-related deaths in this part of the world. Top tip: don’t get in between the hippo and the water!
We also encountered many different species of plant and learned how to track footprints in the sand. The guides were very knowledgeable indeed.
3. Picnic spots
One morning we headed out for a Boating Safari, only to stumble across the most beautifully laid table, and staff dressed in traditional clothes. The picnic had been carried all the way from camp and set up ready for our arrival. Hot bacon and sausage was served (in the middle of the bush); fresh fruit, natural yoghurt, squeezed juice and an assortment of hot drinks.
The setting was beautiful, looking out over Lake Tagalala, on which later we would sail and count how many crocs we could see. And in true ‘luxe safari’ style, Beho Beho had even set up a posh loo with running water and toilet paper.
4. Boating safari
Setting sail on a tiny boat (which initially didn’t seem too sturdy given the number of potential dangers lurking in the water) on a beautiful lake in peaceful surroundings was a fantastic way to really feel close to nature. My eyes were met by an extensive array of tropical birds nesting in the trees and eagles swooping majestically overhead. Even the crocs were no longer an issue! The hippos played with us, dipping under water and popping back up like a game of hide and seek.
Beho Beho has exclusivity of the lake and ensures that you are the only ones. You really do get full VIP treatment with them.
5. The treehouse
Revoking childhood memories, dreams of building a treehouse and having somewhere to escape. Only this time, it is an experience for adults, unlike any other – indulging in those childhood fancies with style and finesse. The four-poster bed on wheels can be rolled out so that you can sleep under the stars in pure luxury; the large terrace provides the perfect spot for sundown. There is even a hot shower and flushing toilet. How they managed to build this up amongst the branches of an ancient tree I do not know. You also have your own guide keeping guard.
Guests have to book a minimum of four nights in camp in order to stay here, but it is an opportunity not to be missed.
There are many more things I could list here, but rather than go on and risk losing your attention, I shall simply say that from a first-timer’s point of view, Beho Beho was an absolutely fantastic experience and one that I would recommend to anyone, including safari veterans.
From the animals and their setting, to the accommodation with its infinity pool and mouthwatering food (in particular the freshly grilled lobster). Then there was the staff – so knowledgeable and friendly who became more like family than guides. Beho Beho is a place creating memories that will last forever.
Holly McQueen is Sales Manager for Indigo Lodges.
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