Reviews of Kwihala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Superlative safari at Kwihala Camp
We thoroughly enjoyed our safari, it is the best safari that we have ever had.
The guiding and camp were excellent, get in here before it changes. We felt at one with the park, never chasing sitings but just gently watching events unfold (Thank you Marc) Numerous lingering sightings of elephant families including several very young calfs, following a family of lions over 6 days and watching the cubs play and adults drink, another sighting of the famous 'Grumpy', 'Brother', and pride of 17 lions on an enormous giraffe kill, leisurely cheetah sightings, 2 excellent leopard sightings (one climbing down a tree, another for over half an hour when the young female came so close to the vehicle we almost felt that we could have touched her - in theory!). My husband still has not sorted his favourite picture of her during this sighting.
Food, staff, and facilities were excellent. The vehicle broke down late at night, but this was quickly dealt with.
Lovely bushcamp; great game viewing
Kwihala is a lovely bushcamp in Ruaha - the six tents are very spacious and comfortable, and simply but stylishly decorated. Meals are collective, which provides a nice opportunity to interact with other guests as well as guides and the charming camp manager, Sara, and the quality of food was generally of a high standard. Drinks are inclusive, which was nice.
My guide was Marc, who was excellent: extremely experienced, he eagerly shared his knowledge and was also very considerate of photographer's needs. The lion and elephant sightings were superb - my best, in fact - and there was much else besides. You really get a sense for the vastness and remoteness of Ruaha - I think I saw three or four other vehicles during my entire week there - as well as wonderfully varied landscapes.
Kwihala Camp review
Excellent camp, we really enjoyed our stay there. I would advise anyone who wants to go to Ruaha to consider this camp. Similarly Ruaha is a great park with beautiful and varied scenery and great game. This was our 4th safari and Ruaha certainly tops the parks and reserves that we have visited.
Kwihala, is a not pretentious, simple, very comfortable and sort of secluded camp. Its tent are spacious, they tend to be hot during the midday but cool in the night. We were often visited by a jackal whilst enjoying the stars sitting at our veranda.
The staff and the guiding is probably what makes Kwihala special. We are thankful to all for making our stay enjoyable and in particular, Marc, Festo and Tony. Breakfast in the bush and sun-down drinks made our days.
Great game watching - one day topped it all when we witnessed a zebra kill by lions, a leopard attack on a mongoose, in the middle of the dry river to be immediately attacked by baboons, a lioness going leisurely after a giraffe all happening within an hour's span.
Experienced also a night's rain that went on through the early morning hours bringing out the best smells of the park.
We had read about the tsetse flies, these do exist especially around the springs, but are not a problem to fuss about.
Our visit was nearly at the end of the dry season and my son and I look forward to visiting Ruaha again at the end of the wet season. Without any doubt we will lodge again at Kwihala.
Camping in style!
Expert guiding which was tailored to suit our interest.
During our welcome upon arrival the camp options were discussed which we found a little confusing and disliked the push towards night drives and guided walks which were at an extra cost. That said we enjoyed our stay and would return to Kwihala.
Kwihala Camp review
Kwihla is is located right in the prime game viewing area of Ruaha. My guide Lorenzo was excellent and the camp and the game viewing was prolific and varied - apart from the usual lion, leopard and cheetah etc there were also two serval and two honey badger sightings thrown in for good measure.
The camp was pretty flexible with the game drive times which was good to see within park rules - you could head out as early as you liked and come back for brunch, lunch or whenever was convenient depending on what was seen. There was no heading back for set meal times as can often be the case in some camps. The food was also excellent.
The camp has a very relaxed atmosphere and is superbly run by Sara, the camp manageress, who was a very charming host and a great deal of fun. Out of the 30+ camps I've been to in Africa over the years, Kwilhala is up there in the top three.
Kwihala camp 2012
This was our second visit to Kwihala and we enjoyed our stay as much as the first trip. We returned because of the location and guiding and the camp remains exactly as it was in 2010. It still has more of a bush camp 'feel' than many camps although it is nonetheless well equiped and comfortable. We experienced elephant browsing around our tent on the first night and awoke to find him asleep some 50 metres away- some start to the trip. On our last night a pair of jackal were roaming around camp yapping at each other in a lacivious manner!
The guiding remains excellent. Steve led for us last time and Marc was undertaking his first 'session' this time. You need to experience poor guiding to appreciate excellent guiding - touches such as placing the vehicle so all guests get good views or placing for photographs; making the effort to find just remembered places and enthusing about the smaller animals and birds. Marc was as good as Steve and we saw as much if not more game as on our last trip including excellent views of the usual Lion and so on but also bat-eared fox, honey badger in daylight and a multitude of birds.
The food was good and ample with different dining locations each night out under the stars. Excellent salads and kebabs.
Kwihala Camp Review
Location - This is very much a bush camp and therefore you do not benefit from any real outlook or view, which we might have appreciated. Nevertheless in terms of its situation in relation to game viewing it was very well positioned.
Rooms - The tents were well spaced out giving a pleasant sense of privacy. They were well equipped, clean and everything worked as we were told it would. The bucket shower was extremely easy to use and there was plenty of hot water. In short the room had everything in it that we required.
Service - The camp staff were excellent and could not have done more to make our stay enjoyable. There was always someone there to meet us when we arrived or left camp. The service was unobtrusive and yet always there with the sense that nothing was too much trouble.
We did pick up on some tension between the self employed guides and their interaction with the camp schedule. (We were unaccompanied by our guide on the last game drive as this was determined to be an airport transfer which "was not in his contract" despite the fact that to us it was a normal morning game drive starting at 6.30am and finishing at the airstrip at 11.00am) A disappointing aspect of this was that we were only told of this arrangement at 10pm on the night prior to departure which meant it was difficult for us to thank our guide as we would have wished to do so. As things worked out we had a fantastic last drive with Saidie who was an excellent guide.
Food - The food was excellent. If anything we were slightly overwhelmed by the quantity but that was probably just us adjusting to the heat! The change of location for dinner each evening added another dimension to the experience and one which we greatly enjoyed.
Activities - The game drives that we did were exceptional - we asked if we could explore different areas of the park, which was always accommodated and allowed us to get a better perspective of the area. However, although we mentioned doing night drives and walking safaris as soon as we arrived, and whilst there was a reasonably positive response they were never organized. This was a shame as we had wanted to do both night drives and walking whilst at the camp. Our rating remains excellent on the basis of the drives that we had and the quality of the guiding. We had the same two guides all the time we were there. Mark, who arrived at the camp on the same day we did and Saidie who had worked at the camp for some time. Both Mark and Saidie could not have been more helpful. They asked what we wanted to see, went at the pace we wanted to and ensured that our first trip to Africa was an experience we would remember for ever.
Facilities - All that we wanted and required to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable was present, we neither needed or wanted any more.
Kwihala Camp review
Guides brilliant, food good.
No water safari and we missed having a fan. It was cooler at night than Selous and this was most welcome, however we would have aappreciated a fan in the middle of the day and really needed one. It was really good having everything included, including drinks and laundry.
Great guiding and game viewing at Kwihala
After a slightly confusing arrival we enjoyed our stay at Kwihala camp.
We enjoyed being out with the guides, Petro, Festo, Lorenzo and Tony (Tonio). We were very lucky and saw numerous leopard and cheetah. Numerous other animals and birds were seen including being up close to three separate lots of elephants during a walking safari.
The food was very good and one night when we were only guests in the camp we enjoyed a romantic dinner for two in the open by the log fire.
The tents were good but got hot during the day but pleasantly cool at night.
Luxurious lodging and superb tracking
Kwihala was a very different experience from Manze in terms of luxury. To call their accommodation tents is something of a misnomer! Being half the size in terms of guests, it was a very different atmosphere too and dinners were much more intimate and friendly. Sara was a wonderful manager and hostess. The food was good but sometimes a little too fancy in the evenings for our taste. The brunch and the lunch (depending on when you return to camp) were wonderful though.
Excellent guiding again and even fewer vehicles in the Ruaha. Lions on every drive, two separate Cheetah and a Leopard, big herds of elephant and buffalo - and my first Lesser Kudu made it another superb game experience. What was so evident here was the quality of the tracking, rather than reliance on radio contact although the two, sometimes three Kwihala vehicles were in constant touch for the big sightings.