Reviews of Kwihala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwihala Camp - briliant experience
This was our second visit to Kwihala and the first time we have ever made a return visit to a safari camp. We were not disappointed.
The guides (we had Lorenzo and Saidi) are among the very best we have come across and demonstrate what a difference good guiding makes. Not just been able to spot game but to 'think' like the game and through patience and persistence make unforgettable memories for guests.
The camp is run extremely well and the small size makes for a family atmosphere with tales being shared around the camp fire before a first class dinner in the evening.
We hope the new owners keep Kwihala as it is - as we plan to return!
First class camp with limited activities
Bordered on the excellent, (we compare everything to our favourites in Zambia) The density of game in Rhuaha was much better than we expected and the variety of species bringing in the northern area game was superb.
This camp was run very well and the accommodation was very good, Food also excellent. We were lucky to have a very experienced guide in Festo who suited us very well and was quietly informative and enthusiastic. (some others would have been a bit too noisy for us)
The camp could not provide walks or night drives and this meant it was lacking in variety of activities. There were also a few occasions when this area of the park became quite busy (4 vehicles around lions)
A great start to our safari
Kwihala Camp was a great spot to begin our third safari. It is a very friendly, welcoming camp that seems to be blossoming under Asilia management. The Ruaha landscape is varied, and the animals were plentiful. Our guide Festo maximized the hours spent on our game drives, sharing his vast expertise and love of the animals and the land.
The tents at Kwihala are large, comfortable, and spotless. The bucket showers had plenty of hot water. Drinking water is provided in reusable containers rather than throwaway plastic bottles. The food was very good and included a wide variety of dishes. Fresh vegetables and salads were plentiful. Campfires each evening always included special hors d'ouevres, followed by dinner under the stars. Those who were served vegetarian meals said that they were excellent. A special birthday was marked with a celebration including champagne and a cake carried in by singing, dancing waiters. It was a real treat!
The manager Sandy was attentive and caring. We noted that she seemed to be well respected by the staff. The guides mentioned that they believe the camp has improved in many ways since the change to Asilia management last May. They especially like the increased training opportunities, so it seems to have certainly been a change for the better.
Since Ruaha is one of the less-populated tourist areas of Tanzania, we were surprised to find vehicles from several other camps as we did our game drives. But it never felt crowded (with the exception of one leopard sighting which drew about 5 cars).
Kwihala Camp review
Just as good as ever - a fantastic campRead more about the whole safari
My Splendid Safari in Ruaha National Park
I recently returned from a ten-day safari to Southern Tanzania. I had booked this safari through Expert Africa, and it was already
my third safari with them. I flew from Nairobi to Dars em Salam, and had expressed mh trepidation that one hour would'nt be sufficient
to make my connection to Ruaha. Well, I was pleasantly surprised as the transfer went perfectly smooth. I then flew to Ruaha where I was picked up at the air strip by Douadi, a tracker as well as an apprentic guide in training. I have to mention that he has three wives and one child and is planning to have ninemoe children. He is a traditional Maasai tribesman.
At the camp I was met by Mitchelle, the temporary managerwho hails from Zambia. She was kind, charming and always helpful. Absent minded as always, I somehow managed to loose the return portion of my return ticket to Nairobi. Mitchelle contacted Expert Africa, who sent me the return portion of my ticket, which she promptly printed out for me. I made sure not to loose it again. I enjoyed talking to her about her career as a photographer in South Africa, the U.K and all over Africa.
I enjoyed the tents at Kwihala Lodge as they were roomy and comfortable. Hotwater bucket showers were always available. A generator provided power twenty-four hours a day. A gentle breeze cooled off the camp. I really enjoyed the communal didning. I remember that everything served was extremely delicious. The campfires before dinner were delightful.
I saw many giraffes, impalas, buffaloes, jackals, zebras and babbons. I also viewed a black-necked spitting cobra as well as a rarely seen Egyptian mongoose, and both civet and genet. I saw many lions and too many elephants to mention. My guide Lorenzo and his assistant Douadi asked me what I wanted to see and when I responded a klipspringer, they managed to show me two of them. I was fortunate enough to have a Landcruiser the entire time I was there.
I'm an avid birder, so I have to say I was'nt disappointed. As for birds of prey, I was able to see four different species; a Tawny, an African Hawk-Eagle and a Brown Snake Eagle. I also saw a beatiful Eastern-Chanting Goshawk and a lovely Grey Kestrel.
There was no lack of beatiful and graceful aquatic birds as well. I saw a Pied Kingfisher, an African Open-Billed Stork and a Yellow Billed-Stork. I've long enjoyed watching lilac Breasted Rollers and so for this reason, I was delighted to see a little Bee Eater, as well as Rufous Crowned Roller. Another gorgeous bird I observed through binoculars was the Variable Sunbird. The most beautiful bird I saw was the Yellow Collared lovebird, although a Cut Throat Finch was a close contender.
I'm looking forward to another visit to Kwihala but this time in February, or March because I'd love to see bat-eared fox and all the species of immigrant birds. Again, I have to stress that the guiding was superb which is the most important part of any safari.
Excellent stay at Kwihala camp
Thanks to Michelle for being an excellent host,a great camp with a great atmosphere,and very good vegetarian food,and thanks to Festo our guide.Read more about the whole safari
outstanding safari at Kwihala camp
Having already spent three nights in Siwandu, this camp is a perfect compliment. The accommodation is slightly less luxurious, but still excellent and probably more what I was expecting. The landscape is very different, much more open and we covered a lot of ground!
The guides were exceptional, so knowledgeable and passionate and very cleverly made it interesting for our age ranges - 14 to 50. The days were full on, we certainly put the maximum number of hours into the game drives.
The food was excellent and it was interesting to sit on a communal table to dine and share stories, something we hadn't done in Siwandu - again the camps compliment each other, as it was also good to have family meals.
Kwihala Camp and Ruaha heaven on earth.
From start to finish our visit was wonderful.
From our first game drive where we were taught how to track by Festo and Tony there were fantastic viewing of the birds and animals along with informative information and much laughter. Even the early morning cold was quickly forgotten by the time our bush breakfast was served alongside dry riverbeds, watching the antics of baboons, buffalo and humans. Our first close up of leopard. Both Festo and Tony are passionate about the wildlife and Rhuaha National Park and we can see why.
We chose this area because on a previous trip someone had told us he wanted his ashes scattered there as it was such a wonderful place, all four of us are in complete agreement. Sandy and her team provided a great experience.
Kwilhala camp - a great experience
Our first visit to Ruaha and despite some rain at night which had made some areas wet and the grass high we still saw a lot of game.
Our guides, Festo and David were superb, very knowledgeable but also great fun as well. We got very close to elephants and a wonderful pride of lions. The highlight though were the two cheetah brothers that we followed.
Our tent was clean and comfortable, only slight criticism was that the bathroom fittings were rather 'tired'. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, food was good but lunch starters and desserts slightly repetitive.
Amazing in the green season
After my first visit to Kwihala last October I was encouraged by Lorenzo and Sara to revisit in the green season and my expectations were once again exceeded.
As a camp Kwihala continues to deliver a magical wilderness and bush experience .A truly warm welcome and atmosphere, just enough of the right sort of comforts, a great staff team and superlative guiding in a beautiful setting.
Finding a place like Kwihala which so closely fits my ideal bush camp has, I fear, spoiled me for other camps.
Before coming at this time of the year, I was careful to bear in mind that animals might be more widely spread out and hard to spot ,some trails would be impassable and rain might even prevent us leaving the camp . To some extent this was true .We did not have any where as near as many sightings of cats ,we could not cross the sand rivers except by the bridges but despite the rain, mostly at night, only one afternoon in 6 days was too rainy to venture out .
But any limitations were completely outweighed by the miracle that is the bush transformed by the rain;-the lushness of the trees, grasses and flowers, the rivers flowing strongly,squelching through the muddy puddles in the land cruisers, spectacular thunder and lightening displays at night ,going to sleep to the sound of rain on the tent roof and of course the varied array of butterflies and birds in breeding plumage. Game was still plentiful if not as abundant as in the dry season and it was good to see the animals and their young in such good health.
Highlights included following a cheetah on the hunt with two very young cubs, a very newly born giraffe being licked clean by its mother , a herd of 200 elephants stampeding across the Ruaha River and circa 140 different bird species . It was great for much of the time to go at a slower pace -to spend half an hour admiring a sunrise ,to take time to identify a tricky bird ,track a pride of lions ,watch an army of driver ants cross the track or gaze in awe at huge flocks of black-headed weavers building their nests from scratch in bushes hanging over the water-how did they evolve to be able to tie knots in bendy grass stems!
I fear that having discovered a place like Kwihala, which so closely fits my ideal for a bush camp, has spoiled me for others.
It is such a special place that I was somewhat alarmed to hear that it had been sold to a bigger safari group, Asilia, particularly as I was planning to return in October with my sister. Angela at Expert Africa provided some reassuring information before I came and this was confirmed to a large extent in discussion with three reps from Asilia, who dropped in for a couple of days so I truly hope the best features of Kwihala camp will be retained.
Best wishes and thanks to all staff at the camp ,with a special mention for Sara, Lorenzo and Saidi, whose passion and dedication ensured another amazing trip and many happy memories of people as well as wildlife.