Reviews of Kwihala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwihala Camp review
Ellie, from Expert Africa insisted we stayed here and made it our last camp, it was FANTASTIC, very remote and a true feeling of being in the bush.
The camp is run very quietly and incredibly efficiently by Steve, who also came out with us each day, as our driver and guide, he is passionate about the bush and it was so nice to just sit watching the various animals for maybe an hour, rather than," yes, lions, watch for five minutes, photos taken, on we go". We learnt to recognise the different tracks and poo and also some individual animals which made the whole experience much more interesting and rewarding, This was certainly the best camp for sightings, knowledge, and, of course, being South African there was good chat and humour between Steve and the guests. We would return here like a shot.
The tents were lovely, and with solar electricity were again a bit upmarket! We loved the bucket shower and the boys kept everything very tidy and clean.
We were visited in the night by jackals and hyenas and on our last night the pride of 15 lions came through camp, we slept through that one!
The food was superb, and top marks to the camps for cooking in very primitive (as we know it) conditions, I asked to visit two of the kitchens, at camps we stayed in and was amazed.
Thank-you to Ellie for arranging such a fabulous Safari, it was all we had hoped for and much much more!
Wonderful wildlife and birds at Kwihala Camp
the camp was excellent, the general area was a huge open tented area with comfortable sofas, tables, books and a drinks table. at one end a large table where meals were taken together with the guide. One evening we had drinks round a camp fire and dinner under the stars.
Food was good, tasty and varied (a bit '80s dinner party/Delia cook book )really fun. plenty of drinks and wine offered, more than required. Breakfast was taken in the bush and delicious- fresh fruit, bacon, muffins, eggs.
The tents were lovely, huge size, comfortable beds and linen and clean comfortable bathroom. very welcome wakeup call of tea, and biscuits provided when asked. lots of bottled water provided in the rooms for drinking and cleaning teeth.
masses of wildlife, birds throughout the camp and everywhere on the drives.
Animals everywhere, we saw over 40 lions on one morning drive alone and masses of elephant +usual zebra , impala and Dikdik etc
The guide Steve was excellent and very very knowledgable, not just the animals but rhe birds as well, we learnt so much in just 3 days. the holiday started on the drive to the camp when we stopped at a water hole and saw elephant, impala nile monitor and 20 different beautiful birds. the half hour journey took 2 hours as we were given a wonderful introduction to Ruaha National Park.
The suprising thing was there were only 2 other people there, others don't know what they are missing.
Note the morning drives can turn out to be very long but very exciting, one lasted 10 hours when we went after some lions.
The staff were wonderful from our guide Steve and all the support staff we were made to feel the most important people there, real guests everyone anxious to ensure we had a perfect time which we did. They are hoping to move the camp along a bit to near a granite outcrop and better views of the valley beyond , one side covered in babao trees which would make it even better. We had an early evening walk round the site and watched an elephant group walk past.
Kwihala camp review
As experienced Safari buffs we thought Kwihala to be a marvelous place. The camp fitted our idea of a good bush camp; our only gripe was that there wasn't enough water in the showers for two to have good showers but that apart the rooms were fine. The food was good, the service good and the location good. The guiding- we had Steve for the whole trip- was as good as it gets with enthusiasm, knowledge and a desire to share these and this really made the visit memorable. We sat and watched for as long as we wanted and did not spend time chasing round after other peoples sightings like you do in so many places neither were we bound by any camp managers timing and if there were interesting things to see we stayed out and simply had late lunches etc. Steve's knowledge went far beyond the local info that you get from so many modern guides and there was an abundance of game; we saw 43 lion on one day as well as cheetah, leopard as well as many other animals large and small and many birds. We would definitely go back to Ruaha and KwihalaRead more about the whole safari
Brilliant 3 days at Kwihala
Absolutely brilliant 3 days with Pietro Luraschi. If there's a more empathic guide in Tanzania I would like to meet him.
Great game viewing, great location and luckily other like minded guests. No safari snobs.
Kwihala - A great experience!
Really enjoyed this camp - Pietro our guide made it for us... his enthusiam and determination to find us Big Cats was amazing and exhilarating especially with the Itallien driving! And he came out on top with our first hour on game drive seeing lions, cheetahs and a leopard!
The camp itself was really well designed with HUGE tents and lovely social areas.
Evenings were great with pre-drinks around the camp fire followed by group meals with everyone else in the camp which were tasty (some of the meals could have been improved) and nice to chat to everyone.
Loved our time at Kwihala
Kwihala is a really intimate little tented camp where you feel very much like you are getting a real taste of life in the bush. The tents and the main areas are beautifully appointed with co-ordinated linens and pottery.
Pietro is an amazing guide and one morning we saw from our tent a lioness and a cub walk past us. We told Pietro and before we knew it we were tracking the lions in the Land Rover and watching them call to their cubs. It is a memory that we will have forever.
The food at Kwihala is delicious and varied. Eating dinner by candlelight is atmospheric but one evening we ate by moonlight only and it was lovely. We loved our time at Kwihala.
This was just what we were looking for - back to the wild in an absolute gem of a park. Ensuite facilities were more than adequate, eating out under the stars was magical ,and Pietro and Festo's guiding earns full marks for stamina and enthusiasm.
56 different lions in 4 days (including a few in camp) and plenty of close up encounters with other local wildlfe was full value. The food, whilst relatively simple compared with some other camps, was executed very well.
Going by the guest book we guess this camp is not too well frequented - it deserves more visitors.
Loved Kwihala Camp!
I loved, loved, loved Kwihala Camp. The tents are very unobtrusive, and you do feel like yours is the only tent for miles around (in a good way) and you do feel very immersed in the beauty of the setting. My bed was very comfortable, and the linens were really luxurious. The tent furnishings were just right, and there is 24 hour electricity. Aside from the sink and shower handles looking a little different, the bathroom was functionally equivalent to any other bathroom, so I wouldn't be discouraged from visiting by the bathroom fixtures being of a less permanent variety.
The guiding at Kwihala was superb, among the best I've ever encountered. I happened to be the only guest in the camp for the three nights I was there, and Pietro and Fester both went with me on every drive. I learned so much about the park and the animals, and Pietro also had a lot of useful photography tips. The staff at the camp was terrific, too. I was not feeling well on the first day I was there, and Pietro oversaw what seemed like a very elaborate operation to make sure everything possible was being done to make sure I felt better. I really appreciated how well the camp took care of me. I would love to visit Kwihala again. Great camp, amazing park.
Perfect small camp
This is a fantastic small intimate and friendly camp in a wild location (we heard lions roaring every night...very near to the tent!). Pietro and Festo are excellent guides, exceptionally skilled and willing to share their experiences with you. All the staff is extremely efficient and helpful. The food was great, 3 course lunch and dinner were always tasty and light. They catered for vegetarian really well. It was also really fun and friendly as they had their meals with us.
The camp itself is very simple but you have all the conforts that you need.
We were very lucky as we were the only guests during our stay (beginning of the season) and they spoiled us without limits!!
I cannot describe everything as this would become too long, so I am just going to mention that our stay at Kwihala was perfect and we came back with memories that will be remember forever. My personal favourite was sitting in the car watching a herd of elephant foraging and gradually moving closer to us until they were so close I could see the eyelashes of a young female eating a couple of metres from us. We could see the youngster interacting with older ones. Meanwhile Pietro was explaining us the fascinating anatomy, physiology and social behaviour of these wonderful animals. I do not know how long we stayed there but it was mesmerising!! and of course we had to wait for the elephant to decide to leave first!
Another "secret" is that we saw 4 different prides of lions, including one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen: a black mane male. I lost count of how many they were. but over 40!! I was not supposed to mention all these figures as now all the guest will arrive with hight expectations....and Pietro told us we were just lucky. I am not sure we were "just" lucky, but I am sure we had excellent guides!
Asante Sana Marafiki!!
Kwihala - Inimate & close to nature!!!
This camp is an intimate camp, small, really close to nature and all about the guiding. We stayed for 5 nights and the last 3 we were the ONLY guests. The camp does seem to be moving away from semi-mobile to fixed and seemed to be struggling to identify it's unique selling point.
Entry into the park stated well as we made a stop at another airstrip flying low over a massive group of Hippo's only to find Elephants lining the runway at out airstrip. Now that's a welcome.
Within the Camp we saw birds, Impala, Jackal and 6 Lions calmly walking through whilst we were have dinner - Now I never knew a Lion could sneeze before!?!?! Nominally the guiding is from 06:00 to 11:00 and then 16:00 to 19:00. However, on one days we were out (our choice) at 06:15 and got back to camp at 15:15 and could have gone out again. In fact in over our 5 nights we clocked up about 50hrs of game viewing (not including that in camp!)
We had 2 different guides and always had our own vehicle which allowed us to dictate what we went to see and how long to stay etc. I think it was good swaping guides halfway through as this allowed a different perspective. Both guides were excellent in their own way. On many a day it was several hours before we saw another vehicle and often we ony saw several if we dashed off to a confirmed Lion sighting by another camp. I think an excellent location with good access to all part of the park, both popular and more remote.
Tents were fine and had everything we needed, inc UK 3pin plug (24hr electricity). Bucket showers worked well and a full buckets to yourself seem like luxury. Sleeping with Lions growling on the edge of camp could sometimes be a challenge.
The reason for only giving 4 stars was that for us the food was over the top, being very rich and trying too hard. An example was that the followed specific recipes and adjusted to what was around. So Beef and Ale, became Chicken and Ale, which did not work. Or mixed fruit with custard, but no advance warning to have it without custard. Perhaps a menu written down in the morning would help and reduce waste. Also whilst it was a tented kitchen the Chef would come out in his White Uniform and state the menu. A bit excessive for a tented camp when we were the only guests. Personaly we would have preferred simpler wholesome food.
Service was excellent as you would expect with only 2 guests and one night we had our dinner a short distance from out tent with a guard watching out for Lions!?!
As stated earlier this is an intimate and relax camp, for New Years eve we had a bottle of champagne and in bed early for a 06:00 departure the following day - For us this was perfect. With hindsight, I still believe we chose the best camp for what we were look for.
Go for Location, Guiding, flexibility and risking being a little scard (being so close to wild animals), Ruaha park.
Not good for partying, having a rest or true luxury.