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Mdonya Old River Camp
Mdonya Old River Camp
Mdonya Old River Camp
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp


7°41’7.0"S 34°39’3.2"E

Reviews of Mdonya Old River Camp

Wildlife sightings and reviews

124 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mdonya Old River Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Wildlife sightings by our travellers
Starting in Aug-2018, 13 of our travellers have recorded their wildlife sightings at Mdonya Old River Camp.
Lion

92% success

Leopard

75% success

Cheetah

17% success

Wild dog

27% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Buffalo

83% success

Hippo

75% success

Eland

46% success

Spotted Hyena

27% success

Roan antelope

25% success

Striped Hyena

10% success

Sable antelope

9% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Showing 71-80 of 124
Duration
Arrival date
The A Family
Hassocks

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 16 Jun 2011
"This is an exceptional camp and we had a wonderful time here.

Alex, the manager is outstanding and sensitive, thoughtful, warm and friendly, we were very, very well looked after and as in Lake Manze camp loved the 50s feel of the camp, the simplicity of the facilities and thoughtful service made for an excellent safari experience, with all the comforts of being a colonial." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs CL
SW London

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 2 Feb 2011
"Wonderful country, green with lots of trees, and a very remote camp (2 hours drive from the airstrip).

One had to drive further to see game than in Selous, but we really felt we were in the wild. The only minus was the tse tse flies in some areas. Burning elephant dung proved effective! Great hospitality from Nicole and Giles and very good food, especially considering how remote it was. Spaciously laid out camp and very comfortable, clean bug free tents.

Plenty of wildlife (elephant, lion, leopard, and again our guide and driver (Chombo and Nite) were very good company and excellent at spotting game. We agree with your advice not to take a walking tour here: we would not have felt safe with the Park's guides and it is much more remote." See all these reviews: 6n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr E & Ms W
Uk

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 26 Dec 2010
"First and foremost, the safari was outstanding - we saw huge numbers of lions, elephants, buffalo, impala, giraffes and zebras. In particular, we saw lions feeding on a buffalo - a fearsome sight. The vehicles were comfortable and more importantly were open-sided so you felt *very* close to the animals. Our driver and guide were brilliant - good at spotting animals but also great company.

The camp was located in a very beautiful area and the recent short rains made it very lush indeed - a modern day garden of eden! The tent was very comfortable and listening to the animals wandering around at night is an unforgettable experience. The camp has a genuine bush-feel, which is added to by the open-air dining and camp fire drinks. The food is very good given the location, although not as lavish as in the Selous Impala Camp." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Mrs S & Family
UK

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 14 Dec 2010
"Our favourite camp and loved the infomal atmosphere. Manager and staff couldn't have been more helpful and tried really hard to please.

Accomm. and location were great. Food ok, huge portions but a bit on the school meal heavy side - however, given the location and lack of ingredients pretty good.

Flexibilty on game drives was very good and guide and driver very attentive, tried really hard and seemed to know their stuff.

All staff were superb with the children (16,14,11). Very happy with solar heating systems and welcomed lack of generator noise" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Excellent
Dr M & Dr S
Middlesex

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 9 Nov 2010
"Mdonya and the Ruaha park as a whole was the highlight of our trip to Tanzania. The camp is wonderfully simple and makes the most of the curve of the old river bed in its layout. We were in tent 10, the furthest from the camp with a wonderful view from the verandah out onto the river bed at the front and 'upstream' away from the camp at the side.

Wildlife is perfectly at home here, on our first night there were two elderly male lions lazing about 100m upstram from our tent in the riverbed, which amazingly (considering the doddery state of them) managed to kill a buffallo right outside the camp later in the night and stayed there guarding it for the duration of our 4 night visit. Both I and a giraffe had a shock when it popped its head over the side of the tent walls when i was having a shower one evening. The highlight in the camp though was listening to a leopard stalk and kill an impala right outside the front of our tent.

The guiding was variable, on our first day we had a driver and guide pair who seemed determined to drive the whole park in a day and only stop for a big cat. after a chat with Micol about this in the evening we were paired up with Zac for the rest of the trip. Zac is a much better guide with a huge amount of enthusiasim for the area and happy to talk about trees, insects, birds and find me my first ever Cheetah!

The food at the camp was good, very Italian but with a few odd twists and flexible in the timings of meals. Michol and Gil were very good hosts with lots of enthusiasim for the area and many stories to tell. The camp as a whole is much more relaxed than its sister camp in Selous - lake manze.

Mdonya is in the north of the park, a long way from the other camps and when we were there at the end of the dry season the majority of the game drives concentrated on the Mwagusi river area, about an hours drive away, as the local waterholes were mainly dried up, however we did see quite a lot of animals closer to the camp too. Our first guide insisted that we had whole day game drives in order to see anything but we did find that an early morning drive covering longer distances and a shorter evening drive in the Mdonya area was a much better combination.

We are very keen to go back early in the dry season when there is more water in the Mdonya and escarpment areas, as these are the most scenic areas of the park.

beware the Tsetse flies... evil little buggers." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Good
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs R
Bath

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

2 nights Arrived 27 Oct 2010
"We liked the camp and the services were good but there were two real negatives.

When we arrived after flying overnight from Lodnon plus a 2.5 hr flight to Ruaha we were met at 11 am who said we were going on a safari before going to the camp. This would have been fine if we had arrived at the camp after a couple of hours but our guide insisted on a long safari and we arrived at the camp in the dark at 6.45 pm. This was too much after a long journey. The safari was shared with another guest who had come from Dar es Salaam but she had also not wanted an immediate long safari. The second day we were pressured to do a 13 hour safari which we successfully resisted, returned at lunchtime and went out again late afternoon, avoiding the intense heat of the early afternoon.

There is the general slight problem for the camp that there seemed always to be a significant drive before any special sightings." See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Poor
Service:
Good
Activities:
Average
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs Y
Angus

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

3 nights Arrived 20 Oct 2010
"After two very different camps in Selous, we went to Ruhaha National Park. This camp is the sister camp to Lake Manze, run along very similiar lines, but with a totally different feel.

The Camp Manager was away, and Alex was standing in, we felt that the camp was "running itself" and as she spoke no Swahali the staff had little guidance. Having said that the tents were great, we were back to no electricity, which was lovely, our guide and driver Kahimba and Nicholas were excellent and again very knowledgable, and very interesting to talk to over bush breakfast and bush lunch, we understood a lot more about ordinary life in Tanzania.

We had amazing sightings of lion, including a "Lion Honeymoon" and leopard, a large herd of buffallo and the wonderful elephants, all great. We were visited each night by a giraffe eating from the bushes three feet from our tent, as it was a full moon it was a wonderful experience.

The food was poor, and sausage casserole was perhaps not the correct meal for bush lunch, sitting in the jeep for six hours in the heat, both of us had upset stomachs after that day.

We enjoyed Mydona, but I'm very glad that it wasn't our first camp, by the time we got to Ruhaha we were acclimatised to camp life." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Good
Service:
Average
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Poor
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs N
Hants

"Magical stay at Mdonya"

4 nights Arrived 22 Sep 2010
"This was an amazing place and a perfect start to our safari holiday.

Having had a wonderful game drive from the airport to the camp, including a lovely lunch and impromptu dash to see our first two leopards, we were quite late arriving at the camp, but were welcomed so warmly by Alex and Nicole and made to feel at home immediately. This was the feeling throughout our stay, nothing was too much trouble, the atmosphere was delightfully informal and friendly. Drinks around the campfire, and suppers all together created a lovely ambience to exchange views on our days experiences. Everyone was so flexible and we never felt there were any time constraints on our drives.

Our guide, Zac, and driver were excellent and put themselves out to find wonderful sightings for us. The tents were lovely and comfortable and private, food was excellent, Alex and Nicole fantastic hosts and always ready with any information we needed." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs W-J
UK

"Living with eles at Mdonya"

3 nights Arrived 15 Aug 2010
"We were greeted at the camp by cool drinks, cold towels and the charming and friendly Australian Alex who explained the 'camp rules' . However she mistakenly told us that all drinks on activities were included which they turned out not to be; this was quickly sorted to everybody's satisfaction but future guests should be aware that if they accept the offer of a drink when arriving at the airstrip they will be charged.

The camp is Italian-dominated and English-speakers were definitely in the minority. On one evening there would have been 22 Italians plus us for dinner so Alex offered us a private dinner on our deck (private from the other guests, that is, not the elephants and buffalo!)

Food was good, with particularly excellent breakfasts, both in camp and in the bush. Tea and coffee is always available in the lounge area and included in the price. Drinks prices were reasonable – cheapest all trip. Service in camp was consistently excellent and provided with smiles all round. Ask politely and they will even provide room service for sundowner drinks. Alternatively the bar made from a tree destroyed by termites is great fun.

Tents are comfortable but with no frills, with the best designed bathroom area we had all trip – the only one where privacy was possible on the loo – from humans if not the occasional curious elephant. The game really does live in camp, with the eles, buffalo and impalas virtually permanent residents and giraffes, jackals and lions visiting on occasion. Because of this, the camp staff are extremely security conscious and there are plenty of Maasai around to ensure you move safely from your tent to the public areas and back again. It's strange how safe you feel when protected by a small tree and an even smaller man with a stick! We really liked this feeling of wildness to the place and the camp rates among our favourites.

We were less enthralled with the guiding. We had a guide, driver and trainee guide with us and we always felt they had their own agenda. They seemed keener on travelling huge distances rather than allowing us time to watch the animals in peace. Kahimba was an excellent spotter of animals and birds but we'd have liked a bit less rushing about. They were much keener on chatting to one another in Swahili than interacting with us.

This is epitomised by the fact that we were 'Sir' and 'Madam' for the whole time – everything else about Mdonya is so laid back this seemed very strange. It's perfectly possible this was a one – off but we don't think so – other guests who moved on to Mwagusi also commented on the contrast in quality and attitude of guides at the two camps.

To be fair, however, we also met other travellers who were delighted with their guide at Mdonya, so perhaps we should return and give it another go. In fact we'd be delighted to do so; the excellence of the camp outweighed our reservations about the guiding experience!!" See all these reviews: 18n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms C & Ms B
London

"Mdonya Old River Camp review"

4 nights Arrived 12 Aug 2010
"Mdonya is very similar to Lake Manze and just as good. If anything the camp management was even more friendly, and the food just as excellent.

Again, the game spotting and driving and the knowledge and courtesy of our guides was 5 star" See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Showing 71-80 of 124
92%
124 reviews of Mdonya Old River Camp by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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