Reviews of Chada Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Chada Camp review
Chada was a really fun trip into a more remote and less touristed area. It's been described as "simple," though as far as I could tell it lacked nothing in terms of food and accommodations. Julien was amazing as a host, very enthusiastic and great company.
We had lots of fun watching lion cubs. Maybe the only downside were the tse-tse flies, but even the were tolerable (more or less).
Lovely camp. Excellent guiding. All staff in camp were very helpful and it had a very nice atmosphere. Camp manager Julien was an excellent host and very passionate about Africa and it's wildlife. Would definitely stay there again.
Only criticism would be that in our car the fridge was sited between the two front seats which had little legroom and no storage or space to place photographic equipment as a result.
Fantastic safari at Chada Camp
We stayed four nights at Chada Camp and loved it.
Katavi is a great park providing a large range of game and beautiful sceneries. We saw lots of animals, birds, herds of elephants, impalas, zebras, lions. It was wonderful! We would definitely stay there again.
The camp was very comfortable and the food excellent.
Julien, the manager of the camp, was so kind, warm, passionate. He was a fantastic host!
We also were very lucky with our guide, Sami. He was very nice, so knowledgeable about the wildlife, curious and passionate. We enjoyed immensely our flycamping with him. We had the opportunity to learn and discuss about Maasai traditions and culture and the challenges for Maasai children.
Great guides and a real bush atmosphere with elephants roaming through the camp ..
One word: Esprit de corps
Jean has created a camp with the most remarkable esprit de corps we experienced throughout Tanzania (we were on a 5 week safari) and top among Nomad camps. Everyone jumped to duty, all the time, but with enthusiasm, much laughter, ribbing, and dedication. Jean also ate with us, as did a guide. This is such a great idea. The food was excellent, the beer cold, the icy towel always awaited us as we piled out of the jeeps at the end of our safari.....
The elephants parade through the camp, and one played with the guy wire of our tent. Kati is wild and different, but fabulous, and the camp was fabulous. Again, the guiding was exemplary.
I set out to see an animal before our guide and it finally happened when I spotted the lioness before he did--but in fairness to him, he was in the middle of negotiating a steep ravine in the Land Rover at that precise moment, and was rather busy at the time. I must admit that he spotted it a split second after I did--but I beat him :)
A fine camp in a wonderful setting
We stayed three nights at Chada Camp and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it.
Katavi is a fine park and we saw some spectacular game, especially the larger herd of buffalo, stacks of elephant and a wonderful leopard. Tsetse flies were nothing like as bad as expected.
Great guides and a real bush atmosphere with elephants roaming through the camp ...
Chada Camp review
This was a step back in time towards the original pioneering camps. Although the rooms were well-kept and hot showers readily available, the need to unzip and re-zip tent doors was a bit tedious. We discussed this with Mohammed the excellent manager who told us that he had already raised it with management with a view to re-designing certain aspects of the camp.
Once again, we saw a wide variety of birds and animals and our guide Gabriel was a font of knowledge and passionate about "his" wildlife. Although he has worked all over Tanzania, he clearly loves Chada and Katavi.
Sadly, the main drawback for this camp at this time of year was the Tsetse flies. While I can accept that their presence ensures the habitat is preserved from population and cultivation, their incessant biting is off-putting to say the least. None of the proprietary gels and sprays seem to deter them although a locally made citronella-based lotion seem to have some effect.
Tanzanian Birthday Adventure
Chada camp was delightful with nice tents well spaced out and with en suite facilities and great bucket showers on request, The staff lead by Mohammed were all very helpful and charming. Our guide Emmanuel was superb - displaying and sharing his great knowledge of the area, the vegetation and the wildlife. His time keeping was, perhaps, a little lax which did upset our companions in our safari vehicle but was not a problem to us.
Wildlife was sparse with the vast herds of buffalo having disappeared just prior to our arrival but that is beyond anyone's control and seeking them out does add to the sense of adventure ! Another addition to the excitement is the regular visits, to the camp, by elephant. On one occasion we could have touched them they were so close to our tent.
We could not fault the camp in any way
The tsetse fly are a problem and seem to like Deet and the like but after some research I discovered Dettol, put on the skin did seem to deter them. It is not the perfect solution as you have to walk around smelling like a hospital (or worse, a public toilet) but It really did seem to work whilst Emmanuel was covered in the wretched things we were only troubled by a few. I tried one game drive without the Dettol nd I was eaten alive!!
Our disappointment was the area of Katavi - from all the reviews we had read we had not expected to be aware of several other camps and their associated vehicles ! It was not the isolation we had anticipated. A large dirt road runs through the national park and we often encountered buses and lorries using this road which passed very close to an area of water with many hippo, crocodile and birds.
Eleanor was right to advise us to make this our first stop as I think our disappointment would have been greater had we already visited some of the other wonderful places on our trip.
Our overall view is of a great camp and I am sure that other folk visiting will enjoy the experience especially if they are lucky with the game spotting.
Chada Camp review
Buffalo herds and concentrations of hippos very impressive. Night drive, walking safari and fly camping all very good. Our guide Paulo was good an knowledgable. The camp askari Francis was kind and helpful at all times and had a great sense of humour. The tent was good, but the large number of zips that needed to be opened and closed to get to the bathroom was tedious.
When we arrived we were not made aware of the fact that the manager was not there as he was ill. A young private guide called Ethan had been drafted in and all he said was that he had been asked to give us a safety briefing. He was at the camp while we were there and he was kind and helpful.
Unfortunately, Shireen fell badly on the first night as the steps down from the mess tent were not well lit. We did have torches, but she missed seeing the drop at the side and bruised her back quite badly.
Hopefully they will now have kerosene lamps at the edges and maybe paint the edges of steps in white as they have done successfully at Greystoke Camp.
Chada Camp review
Good place and well located and certainly a very good set of staff both at the camp and the game drives.
Lots of game to see and good sightings of both grazing animals and cats, lion and leopard.
They do carry out walks but be a little wary of who you guides you as the qulaity of the guides for walks varies and thus how much you get out of it.
Well worth the journey
Getting to Chada Katavi involves a three hour plus light aircraft flight across Tanzania from Arusha (or Ruaha) but is well worth the effort. We were impressed by the camp, expertly run by Mark and Kristen who are great hosts and really nice people, and really enjoyed our stay there.
The sheer distance, time and cost involved getting there means that visitor numbers are low (for now - that appears to be changing as word gets out about Katavi) so we seldom saw other vehicles as we explored a small corner of this enormous park, expertly guided by Mark, Paul and Gabriel.
The fly-camping trip to a section known as Paradise was particularly worthwhile (indeed we would strongly recommend either a day or overnight trip there for anyone staying four nights or longer); and it was good to be able to do a couple of decent walks during our total four night stay.
Mammals are plentiful - especially hippos crowded into diminishing pools as the dry season bites - and we were very impressed by the bird life.