Not too long ago, living a #Travelife, we journeyed to the most middle of nowhere possible in this big, wide and wonderful world.
We landed in Tanzania one early morrning, and immediately we were on one of these tiny airplanes to nowhere. Nowhere, meaning The Selous, the last bastion of wilderness and the largest wild game reserve in the entire Africa.
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A SAFARI UNLIKE ANY OTHER
This was a safari experience as almost no one will ever experience it – and it was a most appropriate place to spend a birthday, for someone on a never-endingly eventful Travelife.
By the way, my next birthday will be in Marrakech, with 35 friends, and then some, living a #Travelife.I can’t wait for this epic trip, coming up sooner rather than later in my #Travelife…
Anyway, the Selous is about 55,000 square kilometers in size, and I’d probably be vastly overestimating things if I told you there were more than 300 people in this 55,000 square kilometer area.
That’s about half the size of Mindanao or double the size of Switzerland.
THE FARTHEST CORNER OF NOWHERE
We were in the very farthest corner of this farthest corner of the world, as well, and the nearest village is about 100 kilometers away on rough dirt road that becomes impassable in the rainy season.
You get the picture, I hope.
We were literally in the middle of nowhere. You could stare out in all directions forever and not see anything remotely manmade. It’s also supposed to be one of the last few places on earth where you can go and never hear a manmade sound like a car, a voice or the whirr of an air conditioner.
A VERY SPECIAL LODGE
The safari lodge I picked as well was very special.
It’s called The Retreat, and it’s really for people who’ve been there and done that, or for celebrities who want to get away from it all.
Or for those who just want one of the most unique experiences you’ll probably ever get in a lifetime.
My favorite Hippo Point. Whenever I see this photo, my heart skips a beat. It was so beautiful.
THE SUPERSTAR HIDEAWAY
When we checked in, tennis superstars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff had reportedly just checked out of this same villa, which is called Hippo Point. Hippo Point is the loveliest place to stay in within The Retreat.
LOVELY AND RUSTIC
And it’s really lovely, amidst this completely rustic setting.
If you’re used to the five-star deluxe hotel experience, this probably isn’t first for you as it’s certainly not five-star in a regular way. But considering where we are, I’d even venture to call this six-star.
SIX STARS IN MY BOOKS
Breakfast place at The Retreat, living a #Travelife…
Stars and rankings are relative, of course.
But champagne in a proper silver bucket, cocktails by a river with uniformed butlers, and L’Occitane toiletries in the bath, thousands of miles from the nearest outpost of civilisation, definitely count as six stars in my books.
In our case, I think the nearest decent supermarket was even in another country.
Steffi Graff and Andre Agassi stayed in this exact same set of villas just the previous month, as I already mentioned, and they reportedly loved it. As well as a couple of other world-famous celebrities.
This is perfect for celebrities because it’s just you and the animals. Try getting the paparazzi in here.
WINE, CHAMPAGNE AND HIPPOS
On our first night, too, all the guests had wine and champagne right by the river, with a hundred hippos and a couple of crocs in attendance.
There was a full–fledged fantastic set-up, and there we were with only two other couples. After drinks, we all sat in our own tables by the river, dining by candlelight. The food wasn’t anything memorable, and so I can’t say that we ate well by our standards during our stay here.
But I remember every single thing about this place. What an adventure it was.
A HONEYMOON IN THE SELOUS
One of the couples, from Belgium, had been here on their honeymoon just a few months before. And now they were back again for a longer stay just a few months later.
They told us: “We’ve been everywhere in Tanzania, but this is really special. This is really nature, and not a Hollywood set for guests paying stiff fees to see animals in the wild.”
On their honeymoon, they didn’t see much, but they loved the whole feeling of the lodge.
And that night, the husband proudly showed us on his iPad the most amazing photos of 6 lions he’d seen, a beautiful leopard, and even a very large elephant by the swimming pool where we’d just had lunch.
Yes, an elephant had walked in on them while they were having lunch.
AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER
The Selous experience is truly pretty special. Unlike in a typical Big Five Game Reserve, one day you may see nothing, and another day you may see everything.
They don’t guarantee you the Big Five.
But if you do happen to see a pride of lions walking around, you can almost be assure you”re going to be the only jeep oohing and aahing over it –– unlike in the more famous safari places elsewhere in Africa, such as Kenya, where a pride of lions is bound to attract 20 jeeps from 10 safari lodges.
And there’s a jeep for every couple so you don’t need to share with strangers.
AFRICA AT ITS MOST PRISTINE
You just have to be in the right frame of mind for this.
This isn’t an Out of Africa experience, the way so many other luxury safari lodges are. This is Africa at it’s most unreserved and pristine.
This is a Travelife. And I wouldn’t exchange this special experience for anywhere else in the world.
This is where we had dinner on my birthday…
We truly go where no one else does, and we write about our experiences in a way no one else ever will. It’s all heart, soul and the love of travel.