Reviews of Ikuka Safari Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
38 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Ikuka Safari Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Spectacular camp in Ruaha"
Tanya is a lively and entertaining manager of the camp. Our guide, Ernest, was also excellent, very knowledgeable and with a pleasant sense of humour.
We particularly enjoyed a long and interesting game walk led by Mark, the co-owner of Ikuka, which ended with a fabulous bush breakfast next to the Mwagusi river.
We stayed five nights at Ikuka and it was one of the very best safari camps we have ever stayed at. Although it was the rainy season in Ruaha, we had excellent game viewing, particularly of predators. In one memorable afternoon we saw a pair of cheetahs, followed by a leopard in a baobab tree with an impala kill, followed by several lions round a giraffe kill watched by hyenas and numerous vultures. Also frequent sightings of most of the main game species; particularly good to see numerous herds of elephant. Spectacular bird-life, which included numerous eagles and other raptors and five different species of stork etc." See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania
"Amazing Views Across Ruaha"
The staff are lovely, the food is delicious & the attention to detail is noticeable, including the host, Mark, meeting you back from every game drive & the hot water bottles provided in the land cruiser on the early morning outings.
In our view, sundowners in Ruaha are unbeatable." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 6n in Tanzania
"Great safari at stunning camp"
Lovely staff. Mark - the owner - led our first drive which was great. Our guide was very good.
However almost all of the other guests where honeymooners (5 couples at one point!) which didn’t bother us too much, but might be uncomfortable for some travellers. Am sure that this is seasonal…
The food was very very good, and drinks all included so that was appreciated. Very attentive staff. The norm is communal dining (though we were told we could choose to eat separately if we wished. By the end we’d have preferred a separate table, and I suspect that some of the honeymooners might have preferred to dine separately..." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 6n in Zanzibar
"Luxury in the heart of the Wilderness"
This was our first safari, and our gut feel is that you'd struggle to have a bad experience no matter where you stay in Ruaha, such is its raw beauty. However, the combination of location, facilities and staff make Ikuka a truly unforgettable experience.
The camp itself sits on top of a hill, offering breathtaking 360 degree views. Whether you're having a drink at the bar, eating lunch, or just sitting on your bed, it's impossible not to gape open-mouthed at what surrounds you.
The rooms are very clever - you're staying in an open plan tent, with the feeling of having nature at your finger tips. Yet the thick stone floor, the enormous beds, and the quality of the facilities makes you feel like you're in a high end hotel.
The food was outstanding and plentiful. We are still unsure how the chef made his steak so tasty, and the fish curry was a winner too.
The staff are unwaveringly friendly and the service first rate. We arrived to what seemed like the entire workforce waving, smiling and offering us a drink. And it was a similar story every time we returned from a drive thereafter.
In addition, everyone eating together at lunch and dinner works very well. Mark and Paul were very good fun, and if you run out of things to say rest assured they have enough safari stories to last a lifetime.
Naturally, as this was our first experience of a safari, we can't compare the quality of Ikuka's guides with other camps. What we can say, however, is that we felt we were in the best possible hands. Bearing in mind you spend around eight hours a day in your vehicle, the guides themselves almost single-handedly set the tone for your trip. What stood out is their genuine passion for what they do, their good humour, and their level of knowledge and insight. At no point does it feel like this is their 'job' - instead they feel as much as part of this experience as you do. They clearly have enormous respect for the national park, and we never ceased to marvel at their ability to be in the right place at the right time.
The Ruaha National Park itself is one of the last truly wild wildernesses left in the world and is a truly stunning place. Made all the more special by the strong sense of being on your own with the animals. It's not unusual to spend five hours on a drive without seeing more than two or three other vehicles. Yet the game viewing remains plentiful - we tracked a leopard, got up close and personal with two lion prides and their kills, and enjoyed sundowners in the company of large herds of elephant.
Overall this is a high end camp but with a really down to earth feel. The only down side was having to leave it." See all these reviews: 8n in Zanzibar; 4n in Tanzania
The tents are open plan but discreetly positioned, you don't even have to lift your head off the pillow to take in the amazing view. Food was delicious, beautifully presented. Fish curry and steak dishes were our favourites.
The Ruaha National Park has a diverse range of terrain, we went in the dry season and crisscrossed the dry river beds and saw a huge amount of animals. Our highlights were a prowling leopard, watching a mother elephant creating a water hole for her baby to drink from and two separate lion prides with their kill. Being two meters from a male lion panting heavily after his feed will live with me forever.
Ikuka Camp feels high end and is all presented around its beautiful view, staff service is high with extra touches (little green fleeced hot water bottles for your early morning safari, they made us up a pack lunch for our retuning journey as we had a long wait at the airport) and just like as we arrived the staff all come out to give you a big waving send off." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania
"Ikuka Safari Camp in March"
Had the place almost entirely to ourselves - end of season.
First time we've been on safari when its green. Less likely to see big cats and game more spread out and further away but still saw masses of animals and the birds in mating plumage are amazing and everwhere is green, lots of flowers and butterflies - an entirely different take on the African bush.
Tsetse quite bad." See all these reviews: 4n in Tanzania
Staff were,to our eyes,on the amateur side. This is really not a criticism but the waiters and bar staff still carry an air of innocence. Still loved them nonetheless.
Food was good throughout and they were very helpful when my wife was feeling somewhat queasy.
Do I have any reservations? Well perhaps one, though again this was a product of over enthusiasm. Our guide ( who was first rate) was so eager to ensure we saw every possible animal, constantly overran his timings. We were arriving back from our morning game drives at shortly before 1.00 i.e. Just minutes before lunch and after a 6.30 hour drive; the same happened on our evening drives: back at 7.30 for dinner at 8.00. As a result ,there was really no "down time". Great for the young guests but less so for me. This is an issue easily corrected and,as I say, was only a product of an endless wish to please. So I would not wish any prospective guest to be deterred.
All in all, a fabulous lodge, super comfortable, and game of every variety just nearby.
Super new land cruisers and guiding; and Mark is an impeccable host whose company we greatly enjoyed" See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
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