Kwihala Camp

Reviews of Kwihala Camp

Excellent(98%) From 73 travellers
Excellent
67
Good
5
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 73 of our travellers who have visited Kwihala Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The D family from Devon
Arrived on: 13-Jul-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwihala Camp review

Saw a terrific amount of wildlife. Brilliant guide -- we had a real education not only about animals but also birds,insects and plants.

Camp was very well run and the people very friendly and pleasant.

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Mr G & Ms M from California
Arrived on: 19-Jun-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwihala Camp review

One of the best camp experiences - very personal, great wildlife experience.

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Mr & Mrs B - Kent
Arrived on: 20-Feb-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

A great bush experiance

Another class act as a camp. From arrival to departure the staff were top class. With decent rains the bush was very dense and animals scattered up to the escarpment which made game viewing very difficult but the ability of Marius Swart our guide for the 3 days made for a fantastic bush experiance . If it was living or growing Marius knew about it and passed on the information in the most understandable way.

Kwihala follows the on road rule only which is mandatory in Ruaha , so don't expect to go off road. The camp will be moving soon to a new permanent site just around the corner with a refurbishment of the facilities , the way the staff were talking , it will be spectacular.

Colin the camp manager could not do enough to help , Geoffrey the chef , fantastic and the flexibility of drives very welcome

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Mr and Mrs B - Hampshire
Arrived on: 7-Feb-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Average
Average

Kwihala Camp review

Guide Festel was very good and made for a splendid three days his guiding was much appreciated

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Mr & Mrs C from Stroud
Arrived on: 1-Feb-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kwihala Camp. The best of many tripsto Africa

The Camp is not for those who prefer the 'Hilton Bubble' luxury but who in my view will not then truly experience Africa. Having said that I have absolutely no complaints and would have wanted for nothing else. The camp provides all anyone, with a genuine love and interest in the country, could wish for and who wants to absorb Africa fully and not just from elements of a boutique hotel with a gin and tonic in their hands ( welcome though that was at Kwihala after a day's drive!).

The service was exemplary with smiling ever attentive staff at the Camp itself. Marius Swart and Festos, as our guides and tutors, were encyclopedic in their knowledge of animals , birds and insects and a joy to be with. Not only were the 'sightings' exceptional but there was laughter all the time. My wife and I were the only people there on our stay but for us, that was ideal!

Game was no doubt less prolific at this time of the season than in June etc, and had there been the expected rains, grass woyuld have been higher and more concealing. However, we ourselves do not chase the 'Big Five' and we saw all and more we could ever reasonably have wished for.

The lions and elelephants were in amazing abundance. A pride of 19 combining in military action( but failing!) to 'kill' an impala; the lioness, the pride's matriarch, at dawn within a few yards of us, marking her pride's territory ; at dusk over a 100 elephants in total arriving over the space of an hour in their family groups, to drink, from 4 months old to full maturity, playful and very much family animals ; impala, water buck, birds by the million ( all immediately improbably named by Marius and Festos) and dawn in Africa an truly magical and unforgettable experience.

Being alone with our guides who were as absorbed as we were, we spent at times over an hour stationary watching very special moments.Above all else it was without another vehicle in sight. After the Serengeti and the Mara such a joy! It felt las if Africa was there to present itself simply to ourselves alone. In a sense this sums up our stay at Kwihala and one of the reasons I would recommend Ruaha and the Camp to everyone.

Our guides to keep us honest, arrangd for the vehicle to be charged, not once but twice, by irate elephants. Excellent! though Jill might not have seen it this way. Very unusual. Peerfectly safe but the boys felt that a group of four private vehicles with youngsters on baord entering the Park had frightened the elephants earlier and caused the reaction. The g and t was quite welcome on return home!

To be objective, and I think things may change when next year the camp is moved to a simply superb location nearby, we would have preferred slightly better viewing from the 'verandas' of the tent. The camp was surrounded by bushes in their spring green. Some clearance near the tent would have helped but a minor comment. It would have been nice also to have had fans for the odd hour in the afternoon at siesta but the costs of generators etc were not in the camps initial budget. Jill did feel the heat at this time.

Chef Godfrey was imaginative and far better than we might have expected from a camp such as this, announcing, in full regalia, the menu for the night and excellent breakfasts and picnics. Nothing was too much trouble and at the end of our game drives, smiling staff always greeted us with fruit juice and wet towels.

The highlights? Watching those lion and elephants at extraordinarily close quarters. You may indeed be 'safe' in the Land Cruiser but....you never know....and Africa whilst a Garden of Eden is nevertheless a dangerous place! Excellent! And so it always will be!

One serious note which Expert Africa mightbtake up. There is an inviolate rule that vehicles keep in the Park, to the 'official tracks' and do not wander. Marius, and Kwihala Camp, fully support this. However, there was much evidence thatn this is not followed by some of he other camps nearby. It is invidious for Marius to complain direct but a gentle word from Expert Africa might help.

For me with many East Africa trips behind me, this stay goes down as one of the most memerable and perfetct of the lot. I am grateful indeed to Ellie at Expert Africa for judging my needs and recommending the place to us. Thank you, Ellie.

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Mr and Mrs O - Somerset
Arrived on: 11-Jan-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Lion Free Kwihala

We arrived at Kwihala still sweating from 2 nights at Lake Manze. It was still unseasonally hot but the extra altitude reduced the humidity, cooled the nights and actually allowed sleeping under a light cover. The electric lights and charging facility in the tents were wonderful and the bucket shower worked well, albeit we suffered black, muddy water from the taps for an hour or two as a water tanker delivery had stirred up the mud in the camp tank!

We were the only guests for all 4 nights and so had the very best of guiding from Marius and Festo. We did actually earn the record of their first ever guests not to see lion! Despite our best efforts neither of our guides seemed to believe that having seen 20 lion in a 2 night stay at Manze, we were completely unconcerned.

For the record we learned that Kwihala received its Permanent Site permit the day we arrived. They intend to move to a better site 700 metres away and to sink a bore hole to supply much needed water without relying on tanker deliveries. They were unsure what other infrastructure improvements the Italian owner intends although he is reported to be determined to retain the current luxurious simplicity.

The food, wine and service were excellent throughout and the simple addition of a fan in the tent for the hot afternoon siesta would have perfected the picture.

I am unsure if it was hidden away in the camp description but we were disappointed that, as Ruaha is a National Park, no off road driving is allowed to follow up sightings. In addition game drives were officially limited to the hours between 0700 and 1900. This was particularly galling as our guides responsibly followed the rules while other lodges did not. That said the fabulous expertise of our guides and Marius's shared enthusiasm for photography of anything and everything delivered a wonderful 4 days of great sightings.

Despite the off road restrictions and sometimes crippling heat we loved our time at Kwihala. A testament to the expertise and enthusiasm of our great hosts.

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Mr & Mrs B - Devon
Arrived on: 9-Dec-2010 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwihala Camp review

Overall an excellent experience. We were the only people in camp for 3 of our 4 nights, which meant the undivided attention of Marius, Festo and Lorenzo - a wealth of knowledge!

Marius was inspiring, his enthusiasm and knowledge second to none, all went out of their way to satisfy our interests (which amounted to just about everything!). The feeling was that they enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. The food was fantastic considering the facilities and leaves a lot of our UK restaurant experiences out in the cold - compliments to the chefs!

Witnessed many a battle between the insects, beetles, scorpions, etc in camp - fascinating to watch and all part of the experience. As a temporary camp it was very well situated with tremendous views from our tent, perhaps could have done with toilet facilities close to the mess tent, but otherwise a fantastic experience in Ruaha which we will always remember - in fact, if a permanent site is set up then "we'll be back" - if only to find that elusive cheetah - try as we may we couldn't find one - that's wildlife!

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Mr and Mrs R from Bath
Arrived on: 29-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kwihala Camp review

We were the only guests for the first two days and had Steve's undivided attention. He is an excellent guide, the best we have had in four safaris through yourselves. He interacted very well with his assistant Amon who he was training; itself something good to see.

Minor domestic details could be tightened up: one day we had no water for a shower and the next day it was not hot.

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Mr & Mrs Y from Angus
Arrived on: 23-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

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!

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Mr & Mrs H - London
Arrived on: 15-Oct-2010 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Wonderful wildlife and birds at Kwihala Camp

The 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.

Wildlife.
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
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.

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