Reviews of Jongomero Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Superb camp in remote Ruaha
Jongomero is a superb camp in a remote corner of already remote Ruaha - there are no other camps nearby, so you really feel as though you have the world to yourself. The camp itself is stunning, set on the banks of the Jongomero river (which was dry when I was there): the tents, on raised platforms and with thatched roofs, are huge and extremely comfortable; the balcony, with a luxurious day bed, was the perfect spot to start the day with a cup of tea watching the sky light up.
The food was excellent; I especially enjoyed lunches, which always featured lots of fresh salads. A real highlight are the people: not just Noelle and Molly, the camp's exuberant managers, and Kim, my delightful guide, but every single person providing exceptional service - there is a real sense of commitment and continuity there. Do go on a walking safari with Molly if you can (I never thought I would say this about a safari holiday, but learning about termite mounds was a highlight).
Overall, one of the best safari lodges I have stayed at in Africa.
Luxury wilderness at Jongomero
Jongomero is a kind of paradise: remote by design and beautifully crafted into the surrounding river bed and bush it's impossible not be captivated by the place. The accommodation is stunning and that word runs through every aspect of this magical spot. 60km from the nearest camp and separated by the small mountains that run through the Ruaha National Park, it feels here that you're privileged to experience a piece of Africa as rare as it is special. Never have we been so happy to get a morning wake up call, never have we been so satisfied at being a few steps removed from the outside world. Just perfect.
But paradise isn't just about the place, it's about the people and Molly, Noel and their team offer all the easy company and charm you could want to bring the experience alive. Indeed their infectious enthusiasm for Jongomero and the surrounding bush is exactly that - infectious. And they work tirelessly to ensure every aspect of your time with them builds towards an experience you'll never forget. I wont go into the little details and surprises, suffice to say that you wont ever want to leave.
A couple of specifics worthy of note though. Firstly, the menus that Noel works with the catering team to develop are inspired. We loved every meal and left wishing we could take the recipes with us (not that we'd have the expertise to deliver them with anything like the panache of the outstanding chefs). Secondly, Molly is a font of knowledge and, at the risk of repeating every review on Trip Advisor and probably Expert Africa too, a walking safari with him is a must - he'll unearth a whole world of detail, richness and colour in the bush that you otherwise wouldn't know existed.
My wife and I have travelled pretty extensively over the last decade and in just two and half days, Jongomero acquired a very special place among our travelling memories. The place can't help but get under your skin and you can't help but be delighted when it has.
Jongomero Camp review
The tents were well equipped. Food was excellent, served to individual tables in different locations each night.
Our guides (Kim and Modest) were very good and the games drives well organised and well driven. The drives started at 8.00 am. We appreciated the anti tsetse fly device. Amongst other animals we saw a honey badger, lion cubs on a kill, kudu, ostriches, hippo, jackal, a little owl, and many elephants digging in the sand river. There were lions, elephant and hyenas in the camp at night.
Molly and Noelle were very good and informative hosts, and we enjoyed the 'showing of the book'.
Great place for safari away from crowds
One thing we wanted from our safari was to feel out in the wild and away from everything. We chose to go somewhere without many other camps around, so that we weren't surrounded by lots of other jeeps. Jongomero was perfect for this, it did mean a slightly longer plane journey from Dar-es-Salaam but I think it was worth it. Most days we only ever came across one other jeep which meant it didn't feel too touristy...
The camp was really nice especially the decor of the main lodge and the staff were great in terms of service, but also very interesting and fun people who made the experience all the more enjoyable. There was a lovely feel to the place.
The nights were quite cold, but the extra touch of hot water bottles in the beds meant it was fine to get a good nights sleep.
Camp is very well run - tents are spacious and comfortable with great views. Food excellent - location rather remote so you feel you have Ruaha to yourself - which is both good and bad - as animals are not so used to the vehicles and tend to run away and there is not the bush telegraph between giudes to share sightings of animals.
Guiding was OK but we did repeat the route twice and heard the same information several times.
Expert Africa comments
We sent this feedback through to Jongomero who commented that they usually try to vary the routes driven as much as possible, but due to a larger than usual amount of rain in the area prior to this traveller's visit, some of the roads were unusable, meaning their choices were less varied than usual.
Jongomero Camp Review
Arriving at the camp to the staff lined up singing a welcome greeting and providing cool towels and a little tipple was absolutely fantastic!!
The view over the river bed from the reception area was breathtaking and I'm sure we will find it hard to ever see anything like it elsewhere.
The rooms were very comfortable, clean and tidy with spectacular views over the river and surrounding bush. There is nothing nicer than watching monkey's playing in the trees from bed with an early morning cuppa.
The food here really was something special. It was very much appreciated that efforts were made to provide an alternative choice after having an upset stomch over one night. Molly was an excellent host which gave this camp a generally more relaxed feel compared to Selous.
Sadly we were unable to do a walking safari with Molly due to the bush being very dense after the rains, however the jeep safaris were fantastic. It was nice to do a long day trip to see the slightly different landscape of the plains were it was generally easier to spot the wildlife than closer to the camp.
We felt that the animals here were less skittish than at Selous and we were able to have some close encounters with lion and elephant. The river scenery was lovely and a change to what we saw at Selous. Tetse flies were around, but burinng elephant poo on the back of the jeep appeared to help to keep them at bay.
A highlight was finding a leopard sleeping in the bough of a Baobab tree, thanks to the keen eyes of our guide Kim. Kim made our jeep drives something to treasure with his extensive knowledge and experience with the wildlife!
Overall this camp was extremely relaxing a nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We really felt the sense of being away from the outside world and it was well worth making the journey from Selous! Congratulations to Molly and the team!
Jongomero Camp review
We had a wonderful four nights at Jongomero. It is a luxurious camp in a beautiful remote, wild setting and yet we wanted for nothing. The view from the tent across the river (dry in August) was amazing and we could sit on the veranda watching elephants.
The extra touches at this camp made for a special ending to our trip to Tanzania - the hot water bottles in bed at night, the welcome notes left on pillows and the Swahili proverb of the day were a delightful touch. We had a great guide/driver in Modest whose knowledge was exceptional as was his communication in English and we had a lot of fun. Watching a family of elephants bathe in the river was a fabulous experience as was hearing lions roaring in the camp at night!
Perhaps the best moment was walking for four hours in the bush with Molly, the camp manager and having our eyes opened to a whole new world completely free from man's influence.
Jongomero Camp review
The overall experience was so good that the tetse fly became insignificant a wonderful experienceRead more about the whole safari
Jongomero Camp review
Jongomero is in a super league of its own and it was a truly wonderful experience to have been there. The accommodation, food, atmosphere and service are fantastic; it's almost as intimate as staying over with friends for a few days.
Molly and Noelle, run it like 'a family', and clearly command affection and respect from their staff, which is lovely to see and we experienced the benefits.
There are so many nice little touches from all the staff - you are being looked after by people passionate about their work (they even sing you a welcome in Swahili) As a guide Molly is just amazing, so knowledgeable, informative and friendly - he is inspirational! If you could only recommend one lodge, it should be this one!
Absolutely brilliant stay at Jongomero
We had a great stay at Jongomero, its remote location was the main attraction to us. You only saw the odd safari wagon from the same camp, there was no one else around.
The camp Manager Molly was absolutely brilliant, as was his partner Noelle.
Molly had the greatest knowledge of wildlife that we have ever met, and this was our sixth safari.