Beho Beho was the first camp to be sited in The Selous Game Reserve (now Nyerere National Park), 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 is not really a camp in the true sense of the word, as it has individual bandas or stone built, palm-leaf thatched cottages, rather than the tented accommodation one might more readily associate with a camp.
But also it is not really a safari lodge as it has only eight bandas, four on one side of the main house and four on the other, one tends to think of a safari lodge in terms of something quite a good bit larger.
So we like to think of Beho Beho as being more of a home, a very private home situated in the middle of the African bush.
Owned by the Bailey family for over forty years, they are now prepared to share their ‘home in the bush’ with a fortunate few who are able to share their enjoyment of Beho Beho, one of their favourite places in the world.
Banda is an East African term for a permanent ‘solid structure’ erected to give protection from the elements and the animals, as opposed to the impermanence of a tent.
Bandas were erected in or near the National Parks and could be rented from the park authorities on a kind of self-catering basis, where guests provided everything, even their own sleeping bags. The bandas at Beho Beho couldn’t be more different!
Yes they are solid structures built out of local stone and palm leaf thatch and do indeed provide shelter from the elements – but they are also a comfortable haven from which to enjoy the delights of the true African bush of Nyerere National Park.
Totally rebuilt between 2004 and 2006 the bandas are spacious and airy and have been designed to capture even the slightest breeze – at seven degrees south of the equator this is an important consideration – of course there are strategically placed wide-blade ceiling fans to assist nature if required.
This feeling of spaciousness is accentuated by the fact that the main suite area has no front wall or windows, but is totally open on to the front verandah of each banda.
For those a little nervous of sleeping with just a mosquito net between them and the ‘great outdoors’ there is an ingenious arrangement of a curtain made out of tenting material, complete with gauze windows, which can be drawn across at night and securely fastened.
The verandah itself reveals what must be one of the most magnificent views in Africa – a wild, unspoilt, wilderness stretching out to the far horizon liberally sprinkled with a wide variety of ‘big game’!
The bandas have been designed as a comfortable home away from home for intrepid travellers and to be planned as a sophisticated haven where guests can relax in privacy in order to enjoy the ‘holiday’ part of their safari.
So you will find huge comfy chairs big enough to curl up in, a truly ‘king-sized’, mosquito netted double bed, a Zanzibari day bed to while away the odd hour in the afternoon when it is too hot to go into the bush, a proper writing bureau (with post cards supplied), ‘Persian’ carpets and even a tripod mounted telescope for private game spotting.
A separate dressing room with ample space to unpack and store clothes and belongings, including a personal combination security safe, leads into a spacious fully equipped bathroom with twin wash hand basins, a high flush W.C. and a spacious open-air shower where it is possible to shower and view big game at the same time.
The bathrooms are supplied with Charlotte Rhys toiletries, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and soaps as well as a hair drier and his and hers bathrobes and slippers.
For the 2019-20 season plunge pools and individual sun bathing decks were constructed alongside each banda allowing guests to sunbathe privately and enjoy a cooling dip whilst enjoying uninterrupted game viewing.
Privacy and Exclusivity – 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.
Bailey’s Banda is still part of the camp but enjoys its privacy and is the perfect hideaway for those who want to appreciate the bush without the ‘camaraderie’ of staying in a ‘house party-style’ camp like Beho Beho.
Your home in Africa – Staying in Bailey’s Banda is very much like having your own house in Africa, a luxurious haven for exploring the magnificent Nyerere National Park, but on your own terms – whether it is on foot, in your exclusive safari vehicle or your exclusive private boat on nearby Lake Tagalala.
During the heat of the day what better than to have your own private pool, sun deck or the shade of a sun-umbrella and in the evenings dinner under the stars before settling down in the comfort of your own sitting room to enjoy some music or a movie before bed.
Just for you – With two very spacious Beho Beho style en suite bedrooms – one of them raised up on first floor level – one with a king-sized bed and one twin bedded room, Bailey’s Banda is ideal for honeymooners, friends travelling together, or families (but still not really suitable for children under twelve years ).
The open-plan and open-sided main areas of the banda have many combinations of dining and relaxing spaces, together with a plunge pool and sunbathing/game viewing deck.
The accent is on privacy and enjoying the quality ‘private time’ that is sometimes hard to find on safari, with dedicated staff, its own kitchen (complete with chef) and exclusive safari vehicle. Game activities are tailor-made to suit each guest and are guided and guarded by some of the most qualified guides in East Africa.
The entire family at Beho Beho are committed to one thing – your enjoyment of this very special place. From the moment you arrive in camp you are our honoured guest and our focus is upon you enjoying your stay with us. Beho Beho is slightly different from other safari camps in that we truly host your stay.
Sometimes it feels to us like a never ending house party, new arrivals are soon ’embraced’ by the family and established guests, friendships are made whilst being ‘awed’ by the natural beauty of Nyerere National Park and around candlelit dinner tables under the stars.
When it is time to leave there is no sadness for it has been fun – some guests even say ‘life changing’ and it is always possible to come back and rejoin the party – as many of our guests do.
In order to keep up the ‘house party’ style we like our guests to relax, to feel at home and let the Beho Beho family take the strain. Our rates are fully inclusive of everything so there is nothing to pay whilst you are staying in camp and no horrible extras bill to spoil the holiday.
We try our best to get a good selection of food and drink to the camp, but you must appreciate that we are really situated in ‘deepest bush’ so perhaps there is not quite the selection you might be used to.
But if you let us know in advance if you have any special likes or dislikes then we will try our best to make sure that your stay is complete with your ‘favourite things’ 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.
But this does not mean that you will go hungry – far from it, we are conscious that the fresh African air stimulates a good appetite – so it is not unusual to have a snack breakfast on an early game drive, followed by an early brunch, or a late bush breakfast followed by an early afternoon tea.
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 Nyerere National Park.
It has been said that at Beho Beho we don’t let meals spoil a good game experience – but also that we never let anyone leave without having gained a few pounds! 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.
After dinner we usually move into après – safari mode either around the bar or billiards table, or just quiet conversation after yet another wonderful day in the bush.
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! Successive camps north of the Rufiji River were sited along the banks of the river giving close proximity to the many resident hippo and crocodiles.
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.
The morning walks commence at 0630hrs and last from three to five hours including a stop for breakfast at a shady spot.
Afternoon walks can also be very rewarding, leaving at 1630 hrs for about two hours to meet a vehicle well supplied with welcome ‘sundowner’ drinks, before the darkness comes and it is time to drive back to camp.
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 has a fleet of specially designed open – sided, but shaded safari cruisers used for game drives to farther flung areas in the reserve. These are not the pop-up roof type of enclosed safari cruiser found in the popular Northern Tanzania parks, at Beho Beho you really do get ‘up close and personal’ with the wildlife!
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.
It is not unusual to see elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, giraffe, wild dog, wart hog, hippo, baboon or hyena to name just a few, wandering through the camp at any time of the day or night.
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!!! The guiding is for us the most important part of your stay with us at Beho Beho.
Our guides are amongst some of the most experienced in this part of Africa who not only freely share their love and knowledge of the African bush, but also act as your hosts, sharing meals and experiences so that there is always someone there to answer your questions and to relate wildlife experiences.
Whilst in some camps you are allocated a specific guide, at Beho Beho we do things slightly differently and you get to experience different guides, so you may walk with one, drive with another and go to Lake Tagalala with another, but as they are all part of the Beho Beho family you will know them already and delight (as we do) in their diversity.
At Beho Beho we are now seeing some of our guests who honeymooned with us returning to celebrate their fifth and tenth anniversary. They tell us that the safari component of their honeymoon spent in Beho Beho was not only one of the highlights of their wedding celebrations but also one of the highlights of their lives!!
So whilst we are ‘feeling the lurve’ here are some of our ideas for a Beho Beho honeymoon package – as you can imagine we do not agree with ‘bride stays for 50%’ – which bride wants a ‘cut price’ honeymoon?
So we have opted to ‘add value’ and create some special events to make sure that this very special time in a relationship is something to be treasured and remembered.
Our FIVE NIGHT package includes
- Fully inclusive accommodation in one of our romantic open-fronted bandas.
- A complimentary romantic overnight stay in our Tree House – Slightly different to our normal Tree House in that the guide is purely there to guard and to ensure that your romantic dinner for two in the bush is not interrupted by four-legged visitors and that your night on our tree platform is a private night for two in the African bush.
- Bubbles by candlelight. On return from one of your afternoon game walks or drives – all the candles have been lit, and a bottle of cold bubbly is on ice – we have created the scene – the rest is up to you!
- Breakfast in bed – All our bandas have terrific views on to the plains in front of the camp and we certainly get our fair share of animals passing through – so if one morning you don’t feel that you need to get up at 05.30 to go out on a game drive or walk to see the animals and would prefer to have a lie in – then we can serve you breakfast in your banda and leave you in peace.
- A honeymoon gift from us – Your honeymoon is a time for celebrations so have a complimentary night on us (for both the bride and the groom)
- A honeymoon surprise – Well it would not be a surprise if we told you what it was!
Book this honeymoon package through your favourite tour operator and we will do the rest. We can certainly promise a safari honeymoon to rival anything else you could possibly do.
Not enough privacy for you? Then why not consider staying in Baileys Banda our private owner’s house – which comes with its own chef, service staff, swimming pool, satellite TV and private vehicle for game drives.
You can still enjoy all the package highlights above without joining in with our usual ‘house party’ camaraderie.
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 (now Nyerere National Park).
Originally established as a hunting camp in 1972 by the well-known safari company Ker and Downey it was purchased by the Bailey family following the break up of the East African community 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. Located 145 miles south west of Dar es Salaam, the camp is 3 miles from the grave of Frederick Courteney Selous after whom the reserve is named
The Nyerere National Park is situated between 8° and 10° degrees south of the Equator, so it enjoys very warm sunny days and warm evenings. The hillside location of Beho Beho benefits from cooling breezes most afternoons.
In the Selous mid-June to October is the dry season (with the cooler months being June to August) the short rains are likely in the November/December period while January to March is the hot and humid season with occasional rain showers.
April and May is the rainy season with heavy rainfall when the camp closes as road are impassable and airstrips are closed.
Meals are a ‘moveable feast’ and are not confined to the formal dining areas – a feature of the camp being that each meal is served at a different venue. All meals are taken ‘family style’ hosted by the guides and managers.
Breakfast is usually served ‘alfresco’ in the bush on the morning game activity. There is no private or ‘in room’ dining at Beho Beho main camp – everyone sits together.
The swimming pool is small but has magnificent views along the Kipalala Valley and is a pleasant place to cool off, but now that all bandas have their own plunge pools is not as central as it once was. There is a pool house with comfortable furniture, and a number of sunbathing/ shade options for relaxing.