Jabali Private House: Our full report
The luxurious three-bedroom Jabali Private House is located in Ruaha National Park, which is known for its ...... particularly high population of lions. The house caters for just one group at a time, looked after by their own team of dedicated staff including a private chef and a guide, so it offers a highly exclusive safari experience.
Jabali Private House is built in a similar style to Jabali Ridge, its sister property just a few minutes’ walk away.
Inside, wooden, wicker and black-metal furniture combine beautifully with the neutral colour scheme and seem almost to reflect the natural bush outside. The effect is rustic, yet contemporary – and bordering on industrial.
Large wooden doors at the back of the property enter into a spacious indoor and outdoor lounge and dining area with wooden shutters that can be left open to enjoy the surrounding bush, or closed by your house attendant if you prefer. A huge grey leather sofa scattered with cushions beckons you to lounge with a book or a drink. Rather less comfortable, but very stylish chairs and poofs are centred around a coffee table, scattered with beautiful photography books.
The open-plan kitchen has a large breakfast bar that is often set for informal brunches. You can help yourself to drinks and snacks from the fridge – though the unobtrusive staff will often be on hand to serve you; you just need to ask. Out on the veranda is a more formal dining table, looking out across the pool. Guests at the Private House may dine at Jabali Ridge if they like – just ask a little in advance and it can easily be arranged. When we stayed in July 2018, we had the occasional meal at the main lodge, taking in the striking views, thanks to its higher vantage point, and enjoying the convivial atmosphere.
Outside at the front of the Private House is a further lounge area with large beanbags for sunbathing, and towels for the large plunge pool.
With three bedrooms, Jabali Private House can comfortably accommodate up to six people. There are two identical master bedrooms, each with a king-size bed or twins (the choice is yours) facing out towards the scenery at the front of the house. On the writing desk behind the beds is a radio, helpful should you need to call anyone from the main lodge, along with a selection of books to read during siesta time. You can charge appliances here, too.
The en-suite bathroom is open-plan, its twin stone sinks set on a lovely wooden table. The walk-in shower is lovely and hot, and although it is technically ‘indoors’, you only need to open all the shutters to feel as though you are having an outside shower instead. There is hanging space for your clothes, and thoughtful touches include flip-flops, robes and Asilia branded toiletries.
At the back of the house is a very cosy third bedroom with twin beds, hanging space for clothes and a small en-suite bathroom. This room is definitely best suited to children, who won’t mind the lack of space.
Jabali Private House is located near the Mwagusi River, one of the best areas in Ruaha for game viewing, and activities focus on game drives with your own private vehicle and guide. Typically a day starts at 5.45am with tea/coffee and biscuits served at the breakfast bar before a 6.00am departure. You can expect to be back at camp between around 11.00am and midday, in time for lunch. Afternoon game drives depart at 4.00pm and return after sunset at around 7.00pm. That said, as you have your own dedicated guide these timings can be totally flexible (within park rules on times you can drive, of course). We especially enjoyed the night drive, when we got to see some of Ruaha’s more elusive nocturnal species – such as the porcupine, civet and serval.
Walking safaris in the hills around Jabali are also possible, usually lasting around three hours. Walks are best done in the morning, when it tends to be cooler than in the afternoon.
Everything at Jabali Private House is tailored specifically for its guests. Your private chef cooks up delicious meals personalised for the group. You can arrange to have a spa treatment in the privacy of your own room or out on the deck in front. Your own guide takes you out on private activities. It adds up to a highly exclusive safari, ideal for a small family or group of friends.
Jabali Private House would be a fantastic choice for small groups and families who are looking for a private safari in a remote, game-rich area of Tanzania. It is the only private house in Ruaha, and certainly the most luxurious and exclusive option we have seen for small groups in this part of Tanzania. We loved our stay here and thought that the food, service and guiding was as good as it gets!
- Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- Three to four nights would be ideal for exploring this part of Ruaha.
- Jabali Private House is about a 45-minute drive from Msembe Airstrip.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- When we stayed in July 2018, the food at Jabali Private House was very good. On arrival we were asked if we had any allergies or any food preferences, and from then we were served wonderful set meals by our private chef. The ingredients were fresh, menus varied and dishes well presented.
Breakfast or brunch, depending on the time, was a vast spread of cereals, muffins, breads, pastries, fruit, cold meat and cheeses, as well as eggs cooked to order. We ate brunch at the breakfast bar, out in the bush and around the pool too – it was always exceptional.
Lunch was usually a delicious buffet, light but filling. One day we helped ourselves to beef with Chinese noodles and a mix of stir-fry vegetables; on another there was falafel with salads, home-made humous and baba ganoush.
Dinner may be served in a variety of locations – at the private dining table in the house, up at the main lodge or even in the ‘boma’ – an outside area set within the rocks near to the main lodge reception. Usually there are three courses, served to the table, but one night we enjoyed a barbecue in the boma area with a variety of meats, salads and vegetables.
No matter where we ate, our house attendant was always there to look after us. At lunch and dinner he always offered an appropriate wine – and it always complimented the food well.
- Family holidays
- With a prime location in Ruaha National Park, Jabali Private House would be a perfect choice for a family seeking a private and exclusive experience, in luxurious surroundings, for a family safari in Tanzania.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Jabali Private House welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at Jabali Private House.
- Special activities & services
- Jabali Private House will happily work around children and their schedules. Activities can be timed accordingly, special meals can be made and families can relax knowing that they are not impacting on any other guests.
- Generally recommended for children
- We recommend Jabali Private House for older children who will appreciate the activities from the camp. We also feel that the very open nature of the house is better suited to older children who may be a little bit more aware of their surroundings.
- Jabali Private House has a deep plunge pool on the front veranda, as well as high ledges around the front of the property. The property is unfenced, so dangerous wild animals do pass by. Parents and guardians must take full responsibility for their children at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Jabali Private House
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Jabali Private House have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- A large solar farm at Jabali Ridge provides the camp with outstanding sustainable energy. There is also a back-up generator.
- WiFi is available throughout the house.
- TV & radio
- There is no television or radio at the house – or the lodge.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The bathrooms are fully plumbed with hot and cold water.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- All guides and managers at Jabali are first-aid trained. There is first-aid equipment in camp and in all of the vehicles. For emergencies, Jabali Private House is linked to the flying doctor service.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Askaris (guards) patrol the area around the lodge and the private house. During the hours of darkness guests visiting the main lodge are driven the short distance to and from the private house.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers dotted around the house and a firebreak around the lodge.
Guided walking safari
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included; it is usually returned within 24 hours.
- There are safes in each room.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payment for any extras may be made in US dollars, Tanzanian shillings, British pounds or euros. Credit cards are also accepted.
Other lodges in Ruaha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.