The tents at Vuma Hills are spacious and simply furnished.
Vuma Hills: Our full report
Vuma Hills is found just 6 Kilometers from the entrance of Mikumi National Park. It is built in a peaceful location high up in the hills overlooking the park. Vuma Hills is part of the Foxes collection and the camp was completely renovated in 2015.
The 16 tented rooms at Vuma Hills are all built into a densely forested area on the southwest side of Mikumi. The rooms are all built on large wood decks that are raised from the ground on stilts. A thatch roof provides shade and shelter for the safari-style tents that hang inside. There is a veranda in front of each tent, which has a couple of directors and a small wooden table. The surrounding area has been left to be as natural as possible which creates a wild feeling within the camp itself, but it does mean that the views from each room are quite restricted.
We popped into the lodge briefly in 2016 and were impressed by the refurbishment that the Foxes team had recently carried out. The changes included extending the size of each platform; adding new and improved bathrooms; installing brand-new, spacious tents and of course refurbishing all of the soft furnishings too. The new tents feel private, clean and homely.
The tents have been simply but tastefully decorated with dark wooden floors, a matching bureau and lockable trunk. The double or twin beds (depending on which room you have) all have crisp white linen and a safari print blanket. The same material has been used on the two daybeds that are found just inside the entrance of the tents.
At the back of the tent the en-suite bathroom is separated from the rest of the room by a wooden partition that doubles up as a wardrobe. Opposite this, there is a stone wall which, apart from two sections where the stone has been left to encapsulate an image of a lion and an acacia tree, has been painted white. Between the two pictures there is a mirror and a clay pot basin. Behind the wall there is a shower on one side and a flush toilet on the other.
A stone path leads from each tent to the small swimming pool, where there are a few sun loungers, making it a good spot to relax after a day out game-viewing.
Near the pool there is a cosy bar and restaurant area. It is open-sided which allows the best views from anywhere in Vuma Hills. From the large deck you can have a drink and watch the sun go down over the park. Meals are taken in the adjacent dining area.
Vuma Hills also has a roaring log fire where guests congregate after dinner and it’s at night when Vuma Hills really comes to life. A couple of years ago the camp had a real problem with baboons as they were coming into camp trying to eat waste food. So taking matters into her own hands, Sabine the manager started disposing of any left over food in the evenings. This has solved the problem of the baboons and now bush babies, porcupines, honey badgers, civits, genets and marsh mongooses are just some of the nocturnal animals frequently seen in camp. This is rare for Tanzania and so Vuma Hills is certainly one of the best places to see these nighttime species.
The camp offers shared game drives in 4WD vehicles with experienced guides – although you’ll often arrive to Mikumi with your own private vehicle and guide. Mikumi is home to many different mammal species and you’re bound to see various plains game such as; roan, wildebeest, impala, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, and warthog - however sightings of predators is less reliable.
Other activities include walking safaris, when the grass isn’t too short; visiting a local Masaai village and day excursions to Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
Our viewThe tents at Vuma Hills are very comfortable, nicely furnished and great value. Being set in a forested area, Vuma Hills offers more of a ‘bush’ experience than it’s sister property Stanley’s Kopje. It’s possibly the best place in Tanzania to see certain nocturnal animals – although this is only made possible because food is left out for them. Sadly the game viewing in Mikumi is not good enough to make it a stand-alone destination, so guests will be better off combining Mikumi with another wildlife area.
Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights
Directions: Vuma Hills is a about a 6 hour drive from Dar es Salaam, alternatively it’s possible to fly to Mikumi airstrip which is 7Km away.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Staff: Sabine Goossens
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: On our last visit to Vuma Hills we did not get a chance to try the food, although from speaking to the manager we did get a really good sense of the sort of thing to expect.
Breakfast is served between 07:00-10:00 and consist of a selection of pastries, fruit and toast; followed by a full English breakfast that is cooked to order.
There tends to be a selection of light options for lunch from a buffet. This is served from 13:00-14:30.Guests can expect dishes like quiche, chili con carne and freshly made bread.
The 3 course dinner at Vuma Hills has a plated starter, a buffet for main course and a plated dessert. This is served from 19:30 to around 22:00.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks cost extra at Vuma hills. Soda costs about $2, beer $4, a glass of wine $3 or $18 for a bottle.
Attitude towards children: Vuma Hills accepts children of all ages.
Property’s age restrictions: None.
Special activities & services: Vuma Hills can offer a child-minding service and there are plenty of games to play in the main area.
Equipment: Cots and Highchairs are available.
Power supply notes: Each tent has UK-style 3-pin plugs, which can be used in the morning, and evening when the generator is turned on.
Communications: There is no WiFi here.
TV & radio: There is no TV.
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: Bottled water is provided for drinking.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: There are first aid kits in the main area and on all of the safari vehicles. Several of the staff are also trained in first aid.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers and buckets of sand outside all of the tents.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is included.
Money: There are electronic safes in each tent and you can exchange small denominations of cash at the reception.
Accepted payment on location: Vuma Hills accepts cash in USD, GBP, EUR, TZS as well as Mastercard and Visa. Please note that there is a 5% surcharge for credit cards and they can’t accept payments on Amex.