Reviews of Kigelia Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
30 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Kigelia Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Kigelia Camp review"
Excellent food and tents and communal area. Very attentive staff.
Our driver was excellent with superb knowledge of animals and all flora and fauna.
We loved the walking safari and night drive and enjoyed our sundowner stops." See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
"Kigelia Camp review"
That being said, we didn't love Ruaha overall as a park. There are supposed to be a lot of lions - we barely saw them while there. We saw a lot of elephants and endless giraffe but it didn't feel like we saw much else. Although on the last day while driving to our departing flight, I did spot a leopard hiding way up high in a tree and we watched her get chased out of the tree by baboons (that was an experience!). Still, Ruaha felt like driving through a lot of dense bush grass. To be fair, we had been on safari for a quite a while at this point, and the long drives were starting to feel a bit tedious (I know I know that shouldn't happen!).
We loved the Kigelia Camp though. The rooms are awesome, and we particularly enjoyed the outdoor shower. It was so warm in Ruaha that taking a midday shower in the sun was the best thing ever. Additionally, the camp sets up a bonfire and all the guests sit and talk around it, which was so pleasant. The staff at the camp makes delicious drinks throughout the day, and our host had a lot of fun manning the bar after dinner. Food here was so good - I'm still trying to figure out how to make some of those recipes!
This camp experience was truly one of my favorites!" See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar; 5n in Kenya
"Kigelia Camp review"
"Wonderul experience at Kigelia!"
I had selected this camp because of the slightly more rugged feel to it and the closeness of the animals to camp given the camp's placement next to a dry river bed. I was not disappointed. We had elephants roaming through camp a couple nights and vervet monkeys playing around our tent during the afternoon. There were also many species of birds enjoying the bird baths outside the tents and communal areas. There is wifi in the communal area so an occasional check-in with the outside world is possible.
Ruaha is vast and beautiful. We had so many sightings of elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, buffalo, and even a honey badger, which we were very excited about. The night game drive was an interesting experience. Our game drives overall were very enjoyable. I was concerned that my hard to please kids (teenagers are a challenge) would get bored with constant game drives, but they loved the experiences. We are also avid birders and saw more than 100 species during our trip.
Lastly, the best part of this camp was its people. We were very fortunate to have Ken, the camp manager, as our guide. We learned so much about the animals including birds, their behaviors and habitat, Tanzania, and his view of the world. Ken is amazingly in tune with current events although he lives in such a remote area. He runs his camp so efficiently (e.g., we always received cold towels upon returning from our game drives and hot towels on the night drive and our bucket showers were always ready upon returning from a game drive). But best of all, there is a very warm atmosphere created by the people working there. We enjoyed talking to Steven, Pinny, Nicholas, Oscar, and especially Joseph, who announced the menu around the campfire each night.
After we left, the kids still talked about missing Ken and Joseph, which is unusual for them. If you wonder whether teenagers would like going on safari, don't hesitate. My husband, who wasn't keen on going on safari because it was so far from Los Angeles where we live, has talked about going back to do another. This was such a bonding experience for our family. We enjoyed our dinner conversations each night (without electronics) and even heard our son and daughter talking and laughing together each night after we were escorted back to our tents, so it was a good sibling bonding experience as well. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience, but we hope to experience it again soon. Thank you, Ken and your staff, for making our first visit to Africa so special." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Night safari is fantastic!"
Hands down, our favorite activity was the night safari. It's an extra $59 per person charge, payable in cash, but definitely worth it. We were taken out for over 3 hours, and saw an amazing variety of animals. We were even so lucky as to see a leopard!
After being with the guide at this camp (very average), we realized how great we had had it with our previous extremely knowledgeable guides. This was our first safari trip, so we had no expectations or comparisons." See all these reviews: 15n in Tanzania
"I liked almost everything about Kigelia Camp."
My only comment is about the safari guides. Where at Manza Camp the Safari truck always had a driver and a guide (and both were excellent), at Kigelia Camp the Safari truck was driven by the guide. The driving on severely rutted road is exceedingly difficult and even dangerous and takes incredible concentration. It is literally impossible for a driver to also be looking into the bush for animals every minute. It is also impossible for him to give as much detailed information about the animals as a guide who is not driving. The difference between the quality of the bush experience in Kigali and Manza was striking for this reason." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania
Staff were very attentive, loved hot water bottles in the evening bed and seats for very early morning departures." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania
"A proper bush camp"
Our preferred routine of early start and back for brunch was again organised for us.
Our guide, Husain, had very good eyes and was a good birder but had a tendency to ask us where we wanted to go, which wasn't really what we needed. He only had one speed of driving, which was slow so we didn't get as far in the park as some other guests but this is nit-picking as he was a good guide but I suspect he lacked confidence.
Our last night was somewhat spoilt by the arrival of a French VIP group, who rather took over the camp." See all these reviews: 16n in Tanzania
"Good stay and activities"
Good lion viewing and bush walks" See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Great stay and game viewing at Kigelia camp"
We did not have the exceptional game viewing of our previous visit to Ruaha as this time the park was very very dry and the river had stopped flowing with little water remaining. However our guide Eliasat was very knowledgeable and worked very hard to give us really good sightings which included leopard, more than one pride of lions and wild dog. We also saw big herds of buffalo, amazing birds a python and numerous other good animal sightings. We had a good night drive seeing lions in love, hyena, jackal and civet. We also had a lovely walk along side the Great Ruaha River bed which had ponds full of hippo and crocodile catching fish.
We hope that the the Great Ruaha River water flow is managed and the park gets lots of rain in the next rainy seasons" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar; 1n in Kenya
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Other lodges in Ruaha National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Mdonya Old River Camp
Designed with simplicity in mind, Mdonya River Camp focuses on a great wilderness experience rather than creature comforts.
Mwagusi Safari Camp
Mwagusi is a long-established, permanent, tented safari camp, on an attractive bend of the seasonal Mwagusi River.
Kwihala is a permanent tented camp in Ruaha National Park, offering a high level of comfort and guiding in a natural setting.
Ikuka Safari Camp
Upmarket and stylish, Ikuka Safari Camp is set high on an escarpment with spectacular panoramic views over Ruaha National Park.
A stylish and luxurious camp in a remote part of Ruaha, Jongomero offers excellent guiding and service in a remote, wilderness area.
In a remote corner of Ruaha, Kichaka is a private mobile camp focusing on superbly guided walking safaris.
Ruaha River Lodge
In a lovely location beside a rocky river, the unpretentious Ruaha River Lodge is the largest and most economical camp in Ruaha National Park.
Kichaka Zumbua is a small, luxurious camp offering on outstanding walking safaris in a remote area of Ruaha.
One of Ruaha's most luxurious camps, Jabali Ridge nestles among kopjes and baobabs, with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Fly-camping and walking safaris from Jongomero Camp give you the chance to explore remote safari areas in Ruaha National Park.
Jabali Private House
Jabali Private House in Ruaha National Park provides luxurious accommodation for private groups booked on an exclusive basis.
Asanja Ruaha Ndembo is a smart new safari lodge in a picturesque setting overlooking the Great Ruaha River.