Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Mwagusi Camp , serious about safaris !!!
Great camp with fantastic atmosphere and excellent service .
The camp is quite special and with somehow unusual design but the tents are very well lay out along the river with incredible views of the dry river bed and many animals coming to drink in the last small waterholes left.Tents are huge and very confortable , but also perfectly blended with the surrounding .
The best part of Mwagusi are the activities.They are very serious about the safaris and also flexible to accommodate your needs and preferences . You can be out driving all day if you wish .
We had and excellent guide that tried hard to find all the animals we wanted to see . Elephants are all over , as well as giraffes,zebras and buffalos . Predators are also plentiful , specially lions . We got to see them all five days we spent in Ruaha , one day we saw 23 of five different prides !! We had great leopard viewing also but we did not have luck with cheetah , a good reason to go back soon.
Ruaha is probably one of the best places we have visited for variety and quantity of antelopes .During our stay we had the chance to see impala , grant gazelle , kirk dik dik , waterbuck , bushbuck , greater and lesser kudu , klipspringer , eland , sable and roan !!!
Overall a camp that you should consider if you are a serious about activities and good guiding !!!
After the two previous camps, we did feel that the facilities were showing some slight signs of their age, and the bush seemed to us to have been trashed by the elephants, perhaps to its long term detriment.
Connie and her staff were excellent, and all very concerned about my health after suffering a very nasty attack of "bush belly".
For those particularly interested in big cats, this was without doubt the best camp we visited,but it also enabled us to see a range of antelopes and smaller animals that we had not seen at the other camps.
Again I suspect that the bush telegraph had been working, as we were again delighted to have the staff bring us a golden wedding cake, whilst they danced and sang, thank you.
Mwagusi is the perfect safari camp
We had a perfect stay at Mwagusi and cannot recommend it too highly. The banda was fantastic and we felt sorry that we did not have more time to spend on our veranda looking at the elephant, giraffe and baboon which drank from the waterhole right in front of us. Game drives were exciting and we were lucky enough to get a perfect sighting of 3 leopard, to say nothing of the vast number of elephant and lion. Justin was our guide and he was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable.
The staff at the camp were all very friendly and efficient and the whole atmosphere was just what one hopes for in a safari camp. Food was great, particularly the cinnamon bread on the bush breakfasts and dinner under the stars.
great location but just a bit too big
Brilliant guides, great viewing, luxury accommodation, good food, excellent staff and management but just too big for us.Read more about the whole safari
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Chris was generally in attendance whenever we were in camp and was a good host, interesting and informative.
The game viewing here was particularly good, with probably the widest variety seen, but unlike the other camps we visited, we did not have the same guide every day. We had reservations about our first guide who seemed keener to irritate the elephants on one occasion than to give us good viewing. We therefore appreciated having different guides on other days, who were excellent.
We thought the food - particularly breakfast provided on the drives - of a lower standard than the other camps, although it was perfectly adequate. We enjoyed the buffet evening meals on the river bed under the stars and with the odd elephant strolling about.
The tent was well planned and fitted out. Nights were cooler than in Selous and constant hot water not so much of a factor.
The service was excellent and we preferred the system of having a tip box for all staff, including drivers and guides.
exceptional! Friendly, helpful.Food amazing
Mwagusi was an unforgetable experience.The camp, and our banda were stunning. Everyone there from the manager, Chris Fox, to our driver and the young lady who cleaned our banda were friendly and helpful. Our dirty clothes 'disappeard' each morning - to reappear washed and ironed later that day.
Our driver and guide's 'spotting' skills were amazing. We saw leopard, cheetah and lion. We could just sit in the bush watching zebra, elephant etc - soaking up the atmosphere. I read an article describing being in the African bush as "spiritual nourishment" - I agree. I spent the time between an excellent lunch and the afternoon/evening game drive lying in the most comfortable hammock I have ever lain in.
The evening game drive was followed by superb food - so much choice - and very good company. Thank you all at Mwagusi.
Wonderful stay close to the animals
We had a wonderful stay at Mwagusi.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. We had the same guide, Issac, for the entire time we were there and did not share our car with anyone else which was unexpected but good. Issac was excellent. He was very unassuming. His knowledge was good but he did not bombard you with facts but tended to wait until you asked questions.
We were a little worried about the number of animals walking through the campsite to begin with but got used to this after a short time as it seemed quite safe. We were awoken the first night by a loud crunching noise which sounded very close to our tent. We shone our torch through the tent to find there was a large elephant eating the bark off the tree directly outside our tent!
Another day a leopard had her cubs in the service hut behind one of the bandas. It was amazing to get up so close to the animals on our drives. There was lighting in the tent provided by photocells. The hot water was also provided this way. There was no other electricity in the tents but the staff were very good at charging camera batteries in their office.
A dry safari
We enjoyed Mwagusi - it has the neat trick of mixing a few luxuries with a bush atmosphere.
The number of guests means you get really personal service from the guides - you made up your own itinerary and the guides responded.
The food was excellent, and the settings wonderful. We especially liked the bush breakfasts and the dining under the stars
The bandas were gorgeous and very luxurious. I loved our huge terrace outside the tent with built in sofas with big squashy cushions and a swing seat, and a view over the almost dry river bed.
It was so relaxing to lounge there watching rock hyrax, baboons and banded mongoose, and one afternoon 3 lions came down to drink. The resident elephant wandered past our banda several times as well. The management team were very efficient and friendly and our guide Isaac was very good.
The game drives were superb, we saw so much wildlife, elephants in particular, and cheetah at the end of our last drive which was an excellent finale. We went out early one morning and had a bush breakfast in a scenic spot, which was lovely. The food was very variable. The day we arrived the lunch buffet was superb with a good choice of imaginative dishes which were full of flavours. But things tailed off after that and lunch was not as good again and dinner was very basic.
Cameras have to be charged in the office and realistically the only window for doing that is between lunch and the afternoon game drive. I found this very inconvenient and while it wouldn't be practical now to fit charging sockets in the bandas, if cameras could be left charging overnight in the office that would be much more helpful.
The Nairobi airport fire affected our homeward plans and we were very impressed how Expert Africa swung into action immediately and changed our flights. Getting 4 business class seats at such short notice could not have been easy and we are very grateful to you.