Kichaka Expeditions

Reviews of Kichaka Expeditions

Excellent(99%) From 19 travellers
Excellent
18
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Below are independent comments from 19 of our travellers who have visited Kichaka Expeditions, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs P from Volcano
Arrived on: 21-Jul-2018 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
Excellent
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Food:
Excellent
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Activities:
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Kichaka is smply the BEST!

If you want to experience an African safari like it should be, then Kichaka is the place! The simple, yet luxurious main camp is located in a remote part of Ruaha, on a ridge with a fantastic view of the Ruaha River below. The fly camp is located a ways away on the banks of the Ruaha itself. Wildlife in the area is plentiful and diverse, and just wild enough to let you know that human visitation is not that frequent. In fact in our 5 night stay we did not see a single other visitor!

Our daily walks with Owner/Guide Moli were fantastic. We had close encounters with herds of elephants, and saw lots of other wildlife and birds. But what made the walks special was learning so much from Moli about what we were seeing. From elephants to ants, Moli is a walking encyclopedia of the African wilderness, and shares his knowledge so effortlessly!

Camp hostess Noelle made us feel right at home, and dinner was always an opportunity to share conversation about the day and past experiences in a pleasant atmosphere. Meals were excellent. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful too. Although most of our walking and game drive time was spent with Moli, Jacques, the camp's other guide was also extremely personable and very knowledgeable about the area's wildlife and birds.

We have been on 4 trips to Africa, and stayed at quite a few camps, almost all of them excellent. But Kichaka was simply the best experience that we have had.

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Mr D from Devon
Arrived on: 7-Jul-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
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Food:
Excellent
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Adventures with Kichaka

Our family group of 6 had 3 nights at the Kichaka main camp and 1 night fly-camping, though the latter title rather under plays the standard of service and comfort that Moli, Noelle and their team provided. The main camp is on a ridge with breathtaking views out over the bush. Very comfortable facilities, delicious food and excellent hospitality; Noelle and her staff provide a well run camp as a base for the safari adventures.

The walks with Moli were a wonderful experience; his enthusiasm, passion and knowledge were inspiring. Within 2 hours of setting off on our first morning walk we were following a pair of young bull elephants. This ended with our group observing one of the elephants at a distance of about 15 metres. A memorable experience for us all, particularly for the "safari novice" in our group who was 2 hours into her first safari. On another occasion we followed Moli's instruction - boots and socks off - and waded into the river to watch 3 elephants coming into the river to drink and then wander across to the other bank. Magical moments standing on a sandbank mid-stream as the elephants drank and then walked across in front of us, all with the backdrop of the cries of fish-eagles. The walks were not just about elephants, though they are Moli's great passion, there were many other wonderful experiences - sightings of other game, the scenery, the birds and their calls, the smells as we walked through wild sage. It is a complete immersion in the African bush.

Moli's careful guiding and skilful reading of situations meant that we always felt that we were in safe hands. He was ably assisted by the Park Ranger who accompanied us on all our walks.

The night fly-camping was at a beautiful location on the banks of the river. The standard of service and food remained outstanding even though we were "fly-camping".

The pattern of activities over the 3 full days we were with Kichaka was a walk in the morning (a certain level of fitness is required to be able to enjoy this), lunch followed by a rest and then another walk or a game drive in a vehicle in the late afternoon. Kichaka operates in a part of Ruaha that is well away from other camps and so there is a real sense of remoteness in the experience. The whole adventure with Moli, Noelle and their staff was fantastic.

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Mr & Mrs W from Grantham
Arrived on: 16-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
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Superlative - an experience of a lifetime

Kichaka is definitely not for everyone, but boy, did we enjoy every moment. The camp is situated high up and overlooks the river - which I found amazingly peaceful.

The focus here is not on physical luxury and enormous amounts of food - although the tents are more than adequate (beats most of the brick and mortar four wall bed and breakfasts I've stayed in), the bucket showers were nice and warm and we never did 'run dry' during a shower even when washing long hair and we definitely didn't go hungry. In fact, it was rather nice to have simpler food after a week of quite elaborate food.

The jewel in the crown, however, is the time spent bush walking. It was amazing, even in such heat and Moli is a master at making sure you are never in the sun for too long before he stops under some amazing tree and hypnotises you all with fabulous tales - ask about the termites - it should be a TED talk!

Obviously, to cope with the walking you need to be mobile and, especially if you are not very tall like me, able to do a little bit of clambering but the pace is not fast. In addition to animals, Moli finds shade and ensures you drink plenty of water. Top tip - if you get hayfever make sure you have antihistamines if you are visiting when the grasses are tall and pollen around.

The guiding here is on a completely different level and I could not begin to compare it with anything else I've encountered in my previous six trips to Tanzania. If you like being out in the bush, visit this camp.

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Ms M & Mr S from USA
Arrived on: 28-Dec-2017 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
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Kichaka Expeditions review

This is the ideal standard for a camp. The location, the level of service, the level of luxury, absolutely everything is perfect to a T. Moli and Noelle have really put together something terrific. I will always use this camp as the standard for future safaris -- if I can even bring myself to go anywhere else!

Moli is a guide unmatched by anyone else. His passion, depth of knowledge, sense of humor, and story-telling abilities made every venture a remarkable experience. It broke my heart to have to leave, and I joke to my husband that if we ever win the lottery, we are going to book six months at Kichaka.

His staff are friendly and attentive. The food is divine. The rooms, though they are just tents, are supremely luxurious with an incomparable view. He has the perfect location. I thought that being in an area where animals are not so habituated to animals would affect our viewing experience, but it actually heightened the experience when we did see game. To experience a wilderness so untouched by man is moving. And yet, we had absolutely no wants, as it was still a luxurious place to be. It's pretty cool how far they have to go to get supplies, but somehow it all works out.

Even two weeks after getting back, I can't stop thinking about that place.

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Ms I from Oakland
Arrived on: 7-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
Excellent
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Food:
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Mindblowing times in the middle of nowhere

This is the most amazing place we have ever stayed. The luxury, beauty, excellent service, and great food at the lodge contrasted bizarrely and yet wonderfully with the complete isolation and unparalleled access to truly wild land. We have no idea what miracles Noelle works to make this happen when she is a nine hour drive from the nearest store, but we appreciated the results!

We had expected fantastic hikes in the bush with very knowledgeable guides, but even our very high expectations were exceeded. Moli and Jacques were extremely informative and clear, and the combination of drives and hikes gave us a broader and deeper understanding of Ruaha than we could possibly have achieved in a more centrally located camp.

We especially appreciated Jacques' authenticity and deep passion for the bush -- and his delicious gin and tonics!

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Mr G from London
Arrived on: 20-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
Excellent
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Food:
Excellent
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Kichaka Expeditons August 2017

Surely one of the greatest (if not the greatest) trip we have done to date. Kichaka is all and more what we were expecting it to be, and our expectations were high. Moli is indeed the best guide I have ever had the pleasure to meet, combining unmatched practical experience, deep scientific knowledge, great presentation skills and most engaging personality. Noelle was also a very charming and helpful host and a joy to be with. We had also the opportunity to spend a couple of days with Jacques as a guide and host at the fly camp, and he too was truly great both as a guide and a travelling companion.

Ruaha is a great place where to see wildlife and live the bush, teaming with wildlife but with very few people (and basically no one else in the Kichaka area). We manage to see many lions, leopard, buffalos and (hundeds of) elephants...both whilst walking and from the car, but we also had wild dogs, hyenas, roan antelopes ....and both greater and lesser kudus on a daily basis.

We tend not to go back to places we have already visited, but we will certainly make an exception for Ruaha and Kichaka Expeditions

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Martina from Austria
Arrived on: 2-Jul-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
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Rooms:
Excellent
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Service:
Excellent
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Food:
Excellent
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Oh what an experience !!!!

Moly and Noelle can hardly be topped !

Moly offered best guidance, scientific explanations on all aspects of the surrounding nature brilliantly performed and still well understandable: the walking tours offered information on all kinds of natural interrelations as well as innumerable details of flora, fauna and geological facts, but they were also highly amusing and deep and moving experiences. We could not have been better cared for !

At home" Noelle was the perfect host: her kitchen left no wishes open - veggies f.e. were always offered .......... and she also entertained perfectly !

The fact that the camp is small as well as really very remote ( apart from the rangers we met litarally nobody !) only added to the fascination of this stay !

We would always highly recommand Kichaka to everybody who looks for African impressions that reach under the surface and go deeper as well as beyond the usual safaris !!

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Mr & Ms S from London
Arrived on: 18-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
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Kichaka Expeditions review

Our week at Kichaka was one of the highlights of our lives. We have done walking safaris before but not in such thick bush and not with the intent of getting as close as possible to elephants. It's incredible, sometimes scary and definitely addictive.
Moli did the longer morning walks and Jacques, his number 2, the afternoon walks or drives. Both are accompanied by a very good Tanapa ranger so you do feel safe behind their 2 guns and 2 pairs of eyes.
Moli is amazing: we've heard many explanations of particular animal behaviour but no one who has had the depth of knowledge of Moli or his infectious enthusiasm. It was informative, fascinating and also a lot of fun: we laughed a lot over the week.
So we walked to within 5 metres of an elephant, watched them for 10 minutes and then left without it ever knowing we were there. That was very exciting. And that's the target every day though of course they have to work with the animals and conditions which present themselves..
Jacques, a Zim pro guide, was also very good and a fascinating man who seems to have done a bit of everything over his life
The camp is lovely; I guess relatively simple but all very nicely done and with very attentive staff. Nothing is too much trouble. We said we wanted to swim in the Ruaha and so that was arranged and Jacques and the ranger ensured it was safe for us to do so: no crocs or hippo in sight.
The food was good. Showers/loo/washing are slightly separate from your tent which can make nocturnal loo trips exciting when you can hear lions are around.
The camp's position on a hill above the river is fantastic with sweeping views down and along the Ruaha River. It is very remote and feels like that: you could be the first (or the last) people on earth. We didn't see anyone else the whole week were there apart from some lion researchers. The absence of people and vehicles means the animals are quite skittish; Moli likes it that way and it makes the close encounters you get feel even more special.
It's a very small camp and feels very intimate. We cannot praise it enough.

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Mr & Mrs E from UK
Arrived on: 28-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
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Excellent

David Attenborough & Anthony Bourdain boxset!

This was our first safari & Kichaka provided us with a showstopper introduction!

The location was a good 2 hr drive from the Msembe airstrip but rather than being a drag, we had our first intro to our guide's (Moli) encyclopedic skills - each corner contained a new topic and ensured that we covered History, Zoology, Geology and more in what could have simply been a long, dusty drive to camp.

The best description would be to give an overview of the day: These started before 06-00 with coffee brought to our 'tent' (more a hotel room!) before a welcome cooked breakfast with fruit and pastries.....we then left the camp on foot around 07-00 led by our guide and Tanzanian Park Ranger. All guests (no more than six guests in camp at a time) were then treated to Moli's wide ranging and amusing observations on whatever we encountered. Truly fascinating!

The walking safari lasted around five hours, but the time flew and there we plenty of stops of refreshment and a few treats to keep our energy levels up. We were then met by the Kichaka truck who would either return us to camp, or had set up a mobile kitchen to cook us lunch.

That brings me to the cuisine......it certainly wasn't 'simple bush food' but a thoughtfully prepared variety of dishes that presented starters, main courses and deserts that were wonderfully unexpected but a delight. It seems that being in the bush doesn't restrict Kichaka's culinary ambitions!

The afternoons were then a choice of a safari drive or another walking safari.........after a little nap, of course.

The camp was a perfect mix of style & comfort (wonderful beds!) and bush (bucket shower & short-drop loo) that left us feeling that we'd had a wholly authentic experience.

Glamping? Possibly, but it was a holiday that was about more than just nice facilities - the sights, stories and food took it beyond that & the hospitality (10 staff to 6 guests!) made for a memorable experience.

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Mr & Mrs D from London
Arrived on: 30-Apr-2016 Stayed for: 7 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Return to Kichaka- in the green

We very rarely revisit places but we came back after just 7 months to experience green Africa, which is testament to the very special experience that Moli and Noelle have created. It's certainly a myth that you don't see animals at this time of year, as we had great animal sightings and also flowers, butterflies and a completely different impression of Africa. Being the only guests in Ruaha was a true privilege and surveying the expansive wilderness from Kichaka's new home up high was like looking over a lost world.

This is a very special safari experience; completely immersive and unique. Thank you Moli and Noelle and all the team.

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