Mdonya Old River Camp

Reviews of Mdonya Old River Camp

Excellent(91%) From 92 travellers
Excellent
61
Good
23
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 92 of our travellers who have visited Mdonya Old River Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Dr N - Virginia
Arrived on: 6-Jun-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Secluded tented camp provides great experienc

A really lovely place.

The managers (Nicol and Fabia; regrettably now rotated to different assignments) did a great job of creating a welcoming and friendly, but also extremely professional, atmosphere. Guiding was also excellent. The location has lots of animals, thought thicker brush than some other locations in Ruaha.

My stay here was one of the highlights of the trip.

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Mr & Mrs H from Leeds
Arrived on: 7-Feb-2012 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Green season at Mdonya

Like Manze, Mdonya is a very well run camp and we were really well looked after. There was a very real sense that all the staff were interesting and interested - nothing was too much trouble and they really wanted us tio have great stay.

Enoch and Chele were a great team in the jeep. Great breakfasts and lunches in the bush. The only niggle was that on day 2 we did 2 half day game drives and we were afflicted by the tsetse fllies which are far worse in the area surrounding the camp and were not a problem on full day game drives. In camp they weren't a problem and we appreciate that the park authorities are at fault for not keeping the tseste traps properly treated but they are a real nuisance - everyone was totally distracted by them. So we wouldn't recommend half day trips whem the tstetse flies are active.

That said everything else was wonderful and we had some amazing wildlife sightings

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Mr & Mrs H - Canada
Arrived on: 5-Feb-2012 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

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Wonderful! We were late arriving due to snow in London and still all arrangements were delt with as though we had arrived on time. Very nice.

The camp manager, Alex, met us upon arrival to explain how things worked, always met us (with a cool drink) upon return from our daily outings and was always available just to keep things running smoothly. Made us feel very welcome.

Our guide, Chumbo, and driver, Good Luck, were excellent and had a passionate understanding of the role of conservation and the wildlife we came to see. We had been informed when booking that, at this time of year, the wildlife may be harder to find as water was more plentiful, however we saw more than I could have imagined everyday!

Tsetse flies were a bit annoying but not a big problem and surprisingly mosquitos were minimal.

Meals were delicious and service excellent. We particularily liked meeting with other travellers at the end of the day. We formed a very cohesive group in just a few days as we all sat together to enjoy the evening meal. It was an unexpected pleasure.

The tents themselves were very clean, comfortable and private with a daily parade of widlife, particularly at night. I didn't want to sleep for fear of missing something. It was all just easy to enjoy.

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Mr P - Maidstone
Arrived on: 30-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Average
Average
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Overall we enjoyed the camp - the staff were exceptionally helpful. the land rovers were excellent, the tents were very good and clean, and the food was excellent. Game viewing was also excellent. However, we became conscious that the camp was located in or close to a tetse infected area. We accept that this can be part of a safari but we had no warning of this and a number of our party were badly bitten. This did detract from our enjotment somewhat even though we saw plenty of game including lots of elephant, giraffe, and lion and also saw leopard and cheetah.

I had expected walking safaris to be available but on arrival was told that this wasn't an option at Mdonya because they didn't have a permit. This was a disappointment. I believe other camps in Ruaha do have walking safaris available.

A particularly good feature at the camp was the option of short, half day or full day game drives where breakfast and lunch was well served in the bush.

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Expert Africa comments

We’re sorry these travellers experienced the nasty bite of the tsetse. Unfortunately, tsetse flies exist in most of the reserves in Tanzania and Zambia, and their bites are always a painful irritation to travellers. Their presence varies with the area, the time of year and the particular conditions. Tsetse traps are scatted through the Ruaha bush, and there is a concentration of them around Mdonya Old River Camp – which should largely protect travellers whilst they’re in the camp.
Unfortunately, walking across Ruaha was stopped during the first half of 2011 after the competency of the National Park rangers (who led all walks) came under question. Only recently a few camps have been granted permits so that their own guides can lead walks; Mdonya hasn’t yet re-started walking safaris. We’re sorry that we didn’t point this out clearly to these travellers.

Mr & Mrs M from Surrey
Arrived on: 23-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Fabulous 3 night trip to Ruaha. Mdonya Old River Camp was excellent.

Our guides were outstanding, with the highlight being a "cat-trick" (lions, leopards and a cheetah) all on the same game-drive. The camp itself whilst not luxurious was comfortable, sociable and Sara, the manager was friendly, and quite determined that we should enjoy our stay.

We would certainly return - Perhaps in a "wet" season to see the contrasts.

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Mr L & Ms B - Suffolk
Arrived on: 19-Oct-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

Just wonderful!

Alex runs the camp so well that it is hard to fault any aspect. Her welcome is genuine and makes you feel very much at ease from the moment you arrive. Her surprise of cake and champagne for my birthday was much appreciated as was the opportunity for Richard and I go out for a bush breakfast and whole day safari on our own. Tents comfortable and well spread out.

Game viewing wonderful, guides and drivers knowledgeable and experienced. Saw a cheetah kill and two leopards along with lots of other game. Sitting round the camp fire for sundowners followed by dinner under the stars each evening was magical.

Food excellent - markedly better than Lake Manze. Overall, I cannot rate this place highly enough.

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Mrs. B - Bridgewater
Arrived on: 14-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Great camp - very comfortable and welcoming. We felt totally safe and loved having the animals walking through, such an amazing experience. It's well run and Alex is a brilliant 'host' - she makes everything seem effortless but we're sure it can't be! The food is good although not as flavoursome as we expected. As there is no electricity at the camp we knew there'd be no fans or aircon of course - we found the tents to be quite hot and didn't really let the breeze blow through even with the window flaps pinned back. The mesh is good for stopping bugs but seemed to prevent airflow too.

Our guide and driver were good and really made an effort to find the big cats we were hoping to see. We saw leopards and cheetahs which was an absolute highlight. For the first two days we had the jeep to ourselves and noticed on the second day that the driver and guide were speaking to us less and less - they answered our questions but didn't volunteer much information. They would occasionally stop and talk in Swahili but not tell us what they had seen or were looking for, which was a bit alienating. We thought perhaps it was just how things were at this camp but when we were joined by another couple they said their other guide was much more informative and chatty. Whilst we realise that the individual workers have different approaches, we wondered if we had offended or upset our guides in some way.

On our last day, they drove us to the airstrip quite quickly - there wasn't much game about - we arrived an hour before the plane was due. We had expected to have a final 20 minute or so detour to a part of the park we'd not seen but the guide told us he'd heard our plane was due to land early. It actually came on time [or slightly late] so we sat in the heat for an hour. As soon as we arrived at the airstrip the guys jumped out and went to talk to the other drivers and guides who were there [for an earlier plane that was running late]. We were left to our own devices and weren't given any further information. They only reappeared when we were getting on our plane. Perhaps cynically, we felt this was just for them to receive their tip. It was a disappointing end to the trip.

In summary, we liked the camp very much and the staff were good but we did feel that our guide and driver were uncommunicative which was a bit of a let down. We would like to know if we did something to offend them.

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Mr & Mrs G - Kent
Arrived on: 7-Oct-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

Lovely widely spaced tents in a great spot.

Marvelous game viewing from the camp with varied game using the old river bed. Guiding good.

Some tetse fly bother on the game drives, & some of the food not entirely to my taste.

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Mr & Mrs T - Chesterfield
Arrived on: 24-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

an excellent location, but some screening between rooms (if possible) would improve the privacy

very good and enthusiatic guides withn a good knowledge of the wildlife

drives marred a little by presence of tetse fly (which we found extremeley painful) in some areas

very good all day game drive

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Mr S & Ms H - Kent
Arrived on: 18-Sep-2011 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mdonya Old River Camp review

The lack of electricity gave the camp a special atmosphere and we didn't miss it at all.
We appreciated the matching of a guide to our interests (birdwatching, in particular) which meant that we learnt more and enjoyed our activities without boring other guests who weren't interested in birds.
The staff were helpful and reactive when asked, but there was a slight lack of quality control around the rooms (toilet paper not being replenished over three days) which could have been improved upon.

Overall it was a friendly camp and the open site, with animals walking through, made it one that we would recommend.

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