Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Definitely a star find! As a dry season camp, it is in a fantastic location beside the empty river. There are small waterholes for elephant, baboons, mongoose and guinea fowl to name a few. Elsewhere, there were concentrations of game near water but there was also plenty out in the drier bush. As well as a great variety of birds, we saw Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, Giraffe, Hippos, Buffalo and elephants galore.
Evening dinners were undoubtedly a highlight though; lamplit long tables in the dry river bed accompanied by the call of an African Scops Owl every six seconds! As you rightly say in your brochure, Chris Fox is passionate about Africa and Ruaha in particular and, together with his equally-knowledgeable sidekick Simon, stirred up some truly thought-provoking discussions every night. We really didn't want to leave.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Mwagusi camp is perfect, the bandas (tents) are beautifully designed and fit perfectly in the natural surroundings. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
The communal dining in the riverbed gives you a real bush experience. The safari industry in Ruaha has been set up by the Fox family and you can see that Chris knows exactly how things should be done. The gameviewing is spectacular, especially if you are interested in elephants and lions.
Mwagusi Safari Camp
We loved Mwagusi. The accommodations were a little more rugged than we expected. The light level at night was very low, and it was a pain to have go up to the office to recharge things, but those are minor issues that are outweighed by the whole experience.
The location of the bandas on the river was outstanding. We had terrific wildlife sightings from our veranda, including an elephant who came to visit our first evening (six words I never thought I'd hear myself say: "There's an elephant at the door"). The food was incredible, and the evening dinners on the river were so beautiful. But the game drives were the best of all.
The amount of game and its proximity to the vehicles was breathtaking, and far better than in the Selous. The animals never stopped appearing. There were so many, and they were so close -- I just couldn't believe it. To have a lion come and lie down in the shade of your truck is heart stopping. Justin was a fantastic guide. We liked having the same guide everyday. He knew what we had already seen, and we all got to know each other, which was very nice. The staff was great too. They addressed our concerns immediately, and were all friendly and warm.
We would go back to Mwagusi again.
Tanzanian Birthday Adventure
This was a return visit to this wonderful camp. It has grown, somewhat , since our previous visit which made it a little less intimate but it remains a great place.
The bandas are spacious with good en suite facilities with hot water on demand - heated by solar panels which also provide the power for lighting each banda. The Bandas are well spaced out and each one has a very comfortable open area ( enclosed by a low wall ) for sitting to watch the passing wildlife - some of which passes very close by - we had an elephant put it's trunk over the low wall - what an amazing experience!
The food is delicious with lunch in the main communal area and dinner sometimes eaten under the stars. Breakfast can be eaten in camp but we chose to take ours on the game drive.
There was a little confusion amongst a number of the guest, including ourselves, about drinks. On our last visit drink was included but this time we had to sign for every drink whilst some of the other guests were 'all inclusive'. We had been advised by you that drink was extra and this was not a problem but the two tier system did seem a bit divisive and could have been explained better by the staff. A number of guests were, initially, reluctant to take water on game drives as they thought that it was extra!!
The diverse habitats in Ruaha provide wonderful opportunists for game spotting. Our guide, Geoffrey, aided and abetted by driver Khalifan, was quite amazing pointing out animals we could so easily have missed. How he spotted the Serval we will never know - it was so well camouflaged in the long grass - it is difficult to spot even on the photograph! Thank you to both for wonderful guiding and manoeuvring so that we could get some great photos.
Although we knew he was unlikely to be at the camp we were a little disappointed not to see Chris Fox - his passion is so infectious and although the management team were good they did not have that enthusiasm or drive
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Wonderful location and great game, the guides were excellent and we saw far more than we had anticipated.Read more about the whole safari
Beautiful setting, wonderful guides.
We loved the setting of Mwagusi Camp on the banks of the sand river. The accommodation was comfortable and the relaxing area at the front of the banda with squashy chairs and hammock was a perfect spot for relaxing in the heat of the day. The food was delicious.
Our guide Justin and driver Vincent were superb and could not do enough for us, anxious to know what we wanted to see and trying to tailor our drives to that. They were great company over our 4 nights at the camp.
We would have liked the guides to join us for dinner instead of just the management. There may be a reason for this here but at all the other camps we have stayed at on safari it makes the camp have a family feel.
A wonderful experience.
Great camp and great wildlife at Mwagusi
This was our final camp on this holiday and it was definitely a good place to finish. The variety of wildlife and the camp were both excellent.
Geofrey was an excellent guide and he and Vincent (the driver), produced a number of trip highlights: four leopard sightings, two of cheetahs, three sightings of lions + one of them mating, elephants searching for water in the dry river bed, lion-elephant standoffs, vultures feasting and a multitude of birds.
Our accommodation was in a large well-appointed, spacious, thatched banda incorporating a sleeping tent, and overlooking the river (dry when we went). It also had a covered relaxation area with hammock. Behind the tent was a very large bathroom and clothes storage area. The laundry service was excellent and clothes came back folded unbelievably small - perfect for packing. There were a few niggles which didn't detract from our enjoyment and are only worth mentioning because of the overall high quality of the accommodationi: the floor in the bathroom/clothes area could be slippery and needed care, there was no plug in the wash hand basin, and the shower sprayed water over a rather large area (and needed a larger non-slip mat).
Staff were welcoming friendly and helpful. Communal dining worked well with good breakfasts, and lunch and evening buffets. Lunches were particulary good with an amazing array of salads. An unexpected birthday cake brought in by singing staff was much appreciated.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Overall the camp was run as efficiently as it was last time. The facilities were 1st class and the activities were 1st class as were the guides and their knowledge.
Alans only comment would be - the food was excellent but tended to be too vegetarian orientated and he would have liked a bit more meat!!!!!
After the incident the staff were very efficient and caring and carried on professionally and we were very impressed by their attitudes.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
This was our last stay on our safari and although we saw much elsewhere, in some ways this was perhaps the best. This is the one place we did take a walk with armed rangers. Nothing spectacular on the walk but a great chance to see tracks, scat, and plants up close at a leisurely pace. Both this walk and the drives were all with Geoffroy, who was excellent. As with the other guides he rose to the occasion in showing pushy biologists far more than we might have otherwise hoped for. Had morning walk with the guide trainer Simon. Loved the walk and conversations with him, in which he clearly loved playing up his knowledge and wisdom of the bush. The two women who seemed to run the camp, Yvonne and Delray, were very attentive. It was a pleasure to meet and converse with the owner Chris Fox who gave us a very informative description of the trials, tribulations, and political realities of operating a place such as Mwagusi.Read more about the whole safari
Best Camp of the trip
I have no negatives about Mwagusi. The banda was wonderful - very spacious, decorations utilizing local wood, stones, carvings, etc. Hammock on the veranda was my favorite place every afternoon between lunch and the game drive. Really appreciated the solar lights which provided plenty of light to read in bed and write in my journal. The bed was comfortable and I slept well each night (after I got used to the elephant foraging outside my tent!) Bathroom was also spacious and seemed virtually like a house's bathroom.
The dining area was great since it stayed cool and provided a nice spot to sit and relax while watching the animals in the river bed. The food was quite a surprise since it had imaginative, sophisticated flavors - great salads at lunch featuring peanuts, carrots, fruit, and other vegs. Dinners under the stars were nice (although eating inside was nice too and less of a trudge to the river bed). Breakfasts in the bush were the best of the 3 camps I visited; i particularly liked the toast and the cinnamon bread.
Staff were helpful, knowledgeable and friendly across the board - banda team, restaurant and office. Appreciated their pride in Mwagusi and their role. My driver & guide (Immanuel and Isaac) were fantastic. They spotted and tracked animals extremely well, including a leopard and cheetah, and lots of birds. They had a great way of knowing which way the animals were going to go and then getting us in prime position to watch/photo them. They were both very knowledgeable about plants and terrain in addition to the animals, so I feel like I got a good sense of the overall Ruaha area rather than just focusing on the search for animals. It was also nice to talk with them and learn about their lives.
I was very impressed that Mwagusi offers English language classes to their employees, as well as driver and guide training, from 2:00-4:00 daily in their classroom building. The fact that they support employees and give them the tools for a career path is wonderful and shows that ownership carries through with action, not just words or marketing hype. (This was the only camp out of the 3 I visited that has an employee education program.)
I would definitely stay at Mwagusi again and will recommend it to others. Out of the 3 camps, this was the best from a facilities, food, and blending in with the eco-system perspective.