Reviews of Kwihala Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kwihala Camp review
We had an excellent guide called Steve who also enjoyed photography as much as the guests. It really helps that he is well educated and knowledgeable, not only on plants and animals but also on geology.
We saw lots of animals. The rooms, service and food are excellent. The only comment (and possibly complaints) I heard from my daughter and another lady was that, the servants who tidied up the room actually folded their underwear although they are not supposed to touch them.
It was also good to have the all inclusive feature on drinks.
Kwihala Camp review
We very much enjoyed our time here, Ruaha NP was beatifully green and different to Selous.Steve Roskelly was our guide He made our time so interesting he patiently spent time explaining every animal bird and plant we came across,and we had some fantastic siteings.
The highlight had to be Wild Dog we saw a large pack so many it was impossible to count them,they were hunting,one of then caught a Wart Hog piglet, caused alot of excitment hardly a meal for the dog that caught it,one evening a pride of lions were on the move as we were on our way back to camp,it was dark,they were in front behind and to the side of the vehicle they carried on walking for quite a while before turning of into the bush, we also saw Leopard,also the Bat Ear Foxes and lots of Elephant.
The animals seemed more relaxed even the Impalas seem to take time to leave the track as the vehicle approached them.Our tents where clean and comfortable every one was friendly.Early morning tea and coffee was bought to our tent by 6am we we off for 10hrs+ game drives during the day.
This was a first safari for my daughter a 5th for myself,we both enjoyed Kwihala so much thanks to Steve he made so interesting and enjoyable.
Truly outstanding Guide in Steve Roskelly
Steve's knowledge of the wildlife and ability to approach them without disturbing them was outstanding. His complete all-round knowledge of animals, birds, plants, photography and geology were exceptional and made the 5 days really interesting. He also showed a high level of regard for everybody's needs and desires whatever the level of their interest or knowledge. He could not have done more to make the time better.
The wildlife was very good, but the limit on game drives only and some of the roads were impassable to some areas meant we tended to revisit several areas over the 5 days. However, Steve's wonderful sense of humour and keenness made it a wonderful time, even if the weather wasn't as good as Selous!
Kwihala Camp review
You should be complimented on this place - it's a real find! The location and staff were just amazing. The emphasis here is for those with a detailed technical interest in Natural History.
Our guide, Steve Roskelly was a true expert of all things 'bush' and great company at a social level. This camp was more for the specialist/adventure seeker rather than those who would just want to relax and get the occasional game drive. We were organised for 05.30 starts, what a pain, but soon realised that it was essential to get the best out the limited time.
Evening meals to the roar of lions in the vicinity, massive millipedes crawling up the tent walls! The high altitude and damper climate gave a rich diversity of flora and fauna than I have seen on previous safaris with diverse insect and plant life in addition to the usual big game.
The dense bush gave a few surprises - leopard, as we rounded a corner on a dirt road; elephant interrupted in passage at 6m distant with testosterone charged male but we 'escaped' by sitting tight until things calmed; buffalo at close quarters: we felt safe with Steve!
An experience of a lifetime - would love to do it all over again!!
Guiding Superb at Kwihala
Absolutely fantastic. There were only 6 of us there, Stephen the guide was the best guide we have ever had, knew everything and was so enthusastic 100% of the time.
The animals were difficult to spot and not at all like the flat plains where we had previously been. But needless to say we had the best lepoard sighting ever, the female just sat behind the vehicle for a good five to ten minutes. We had elephants mock charging us too which was brilliant now.. (Looking back !) Stephen had told us what to expect previously which is exactly what happened, the vehicle also broke down which was a hoot... no phone reception for any back up and so the lads all got on with pushing it free..... brilliant adventure from start to finish !
The chef at the camp was also just the best.
Kwihala Camp review
We arrived from Selous after a lengthy and interesting flight ,to find a very different environment in Ruaha,much drier with different terrain, with hills and rocky outcrops. It was really very hot,( 39 deg) due to a delay in the rains arriving, and the open position of the camp and tents meant that in the middle of the day we suffered a bit. The camp will be in a new position from next season with better shelter, and I believe fans in the rooms which will be very welcome!
That said the camp is well furnished and the tents are comfortable . Food was excellent, especially considering the remoteness of the camp and the limitations of a "bush kitchen". Communal meals were served in the main mess tent, or just outside in the open.
We saw a huge herd of buffalo on several occasions and many elephants ,including herds with very young calves and a couple of big bulls with impressive tusks. The resident big male Lions proved elusive, though we did get close to a couple of prides and some very young cubs that we watched for quite a long time.
While we were here , we were introduced to a film crew who were fiming a documentary for national geographic about interactions between lions and buffalos. The Ruaha apparently being a good area to observe these. We were told by Marius, the resident manager/guide that there has been a change in the local Lion population with the main pride fragmenting and being much smaller than of late. This has led to problems hunting large prey such as buffalo.
We were very impressed by Marius's skills as a guide with extensive knowledge of much of Africa as well as the Ruaha. We had three seperate leopard sightings, each one being rather brief unfortunately. We also encountered a group of 4 magnificent mature Kudu bulls . Other sightings included a rare glimpse of a serval and two distant cheetah. We spottted many bird species, including Ostrich,bustards,Giant eagle owls, several hawk species and vultures as well as many smaller species.The heat meant that after mid morning sightings were less good as all the wildlife was sheltering from the sun.
We had an early morning walk when we found remains of enormous scorpions and saw columns of big black matabele ants hunting, and looked around the rocky outcrop that will be the sight of the new, possibly permanent camp., which sounds an exciting project with a raised terrace on a rocky outcrop, with 360 deg views over the countryside
In the camp there were many Lizards including bright orange and blue rock agamas which scuttled away as soon as we approached and seemed to be living between the double tent roof layers!
If I had a complaint it would be that considering that much of the time there were only two couples in the camp, it might have been better if two game vehicles were used on the drives to give each couple a more personal experience. We felt that it was a bit of a compromise in our case as the other couple were mostly interested in the birdlife. This is not a serious complaint and it may not have been possible to use two vehicles, due to staffing etc. This being a dry area there were of course no boat activities, but the walk did provide a change.
All in all we had a very good experience in Kwihala, and found the staff to be friendly and helpful,and I am sure that the new camp will be even better.
Kwihala CAmp review
This camp was the highlight of our stay in Tanzania. Beautiful tents were widely spaced to give maximum privacy. Service was exceptional - even the drawers were tidied and clothes refolded.
The bucket showers provided a touch of the real bush experience. Without doubt, however, our stay was made 'special' by the guiding of Marius. Marius has a true passion and is very happy to share it liberally. We were happilly riisng each day at 5 to be off by half past to experience the African sunrise.
Game viewing was excellent - two lion prides, leopards and 700+ buffalo - lots of bird life. We are old African hands but we found we still had much to learn.
Kwihala Camp review
what not to like, excellent camp, attentive staff superb meals.
game drives not done to a timetable but dictated by what was to be seen and possibly found. an exhilarating and new experience on how game viewing can be done.
Kwihala Camp review
Little gem of a camp and a great recommendation. Fantastic guide Pietro - one of the best guides I have ever had in 30+ visits to Africa. In 3 full days had 3 cheetah sightings (including hunting), 3 leopard sightings, and too many lion sightings to remember including one day with 5 separate sightings and a 19 strong pride with 6 clubs. The guides treated the animals with respect and as a result the animals were very relaxed around vehicles.
The camp was beautiful and well set out with great staff. Mealtimes were relaxed and flexible to accommodate longer morning drives and evening meal taken under the stars. Only minor criticism was that food was less varied than at similar camps and could have benefited from more salads / fresh fruit etc.
Overall a lovely camp and one that I have no hesitation in recommending highly.
Kwihala a very special, small camp
Kwihala was outstanding! With only 6 tents, it was very small and quiet--had the best sleep of our lives the three nights in this camp. Very comfortable tents, and felt like five-star luxury to have electricity after going without it (happily) at the previous camp.
The food was mostly good, and amazing what they do in such a remote camp kitchen, but occasionally the beef was fairly tough.
Highlight here was our guide, Pietro, and guide-in-training, Saidi. Pietro is passionate, even obsessed, with spotting game, and he did a brilliant job for us. We watched a very large pride of lions interacting for about an hour one morning, sighted three leopards over three days, saw a cheetah, huge herds of buffalo, elephants, giraffes, etc. etc. Ruaha was quite chilly in the mornings and evenings, so be sure to pack accordingly with long sleeves and pants, a warm fleece, hat, etc.