Mwagusi Safari Camp

Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp

Excellent(96%) From 113 travellers
Excellent
91
Good
20
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 113 of our travellers who have visited Mwagusi Safari Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mary from Cornwall
Arrived on: 30-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mwagusi Safari Camp Review

We enjoyed suppers in the dry riverbed meeting and sitting with other guests round a big bonfire. We missed planning the next day each evening with our guide as we had at Impala Camp and it was never suggested to us that we could do a whole days drive with breakfast and lunch out.

We got the impression that several of the workers were not happy with the tipping system as they only got their share every year. This put us in an awkward position. We feel the Guide, who spends hours each day with us, should be tipped separately, and the others should receive their share of the general tip at regular intervals.

It was wonderful to have the free laundry service and our houseboy, Kuno, tidied up beautifully each day.

We saw numerous sightings of animals including a beautiful female leopard asleep in a tree. Our guide spotted lizards or small birds as easily as elephants or giraffes!

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Expert Africa comments

We are really pleased to hear that these travellers had a good safari at Mwagusi, and that overall they really enjoyed their stay here. We can appreciate their concerns regarding the tipping situation, and we contacted the camp for further information. Talking with the management at Mwagusi they told us that all tips are pooled together, and that this is then apportioned at the end of the season. This system has been chosen and voted for by all the staff at Mwagusi. By pooling and splitting tips in this manner it allows staff to receive a larger sum of money once a year, which they can then invest in projects such as building homes. Mwagusi’s managers accept that this the way their team want this to work – and tell us that it provides a platform enabling their staff to create their own opportunities. By apportioning tips once a year they also note that it provides a financial safety net, should other resources become drained. Inevitably this system doesn’t please everyone, but this is the system that the camp uses because the majority of the team have chosen it.

Mr D. from London
Arrived on: 20-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Excellent location in the heart of the bush

The camp is rather sprawling and a little confusing initially but once we moved into our Banda (chalet) we felt at home. Situated next to the Mwagusi river, each banda has an open balcony overlooking the riverbed below where giraffe, elephants, impala, baboons etc stroll by, giving it an intimate and immersive feel.

We really enjoyed our time here and we were very fortunate that Jimmy was our guide throughout our stay. His intimate knowledge of the bush and the wildlife at Ruaha made a huge contribution to our overall very positive experience in this exceptional wild and remote area.

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Al & Jules from Australia
Arrived on: 26-Jun-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Unique Mwagusi

Upon your arrival, Mwagusi Camp has a special feel to it. We especially loved our huge banda with its thatched roof and local stone and timber fittings. I guess this unique feel is a reflection of its owner Chris Fox. Luckily we learnt more of the history of the camp from Chris himself during the day he spent with us.

Trudy, the camp manager had the personal touch that made us feel welcome from the minute we arrived - even took care of my wife on the afternoon she stayed back from our drive with a headache. All other staff were helpful to the point where on our last night we needed to be escorted back to our banda via a roundabout route when a bull elephant had blocked our normal path.

Our personal guide, Geoffrey, worked hard every day to find the animals we most wanted to encounter. He did manage to find the kill site where a leopard had disembowelled an impala, but not the leopard. I guess it saw us !

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Dad from UK
Arrived on: 13-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mwagusi Safari Camp

We loved this camp. We enjoyed the group dining and our group safari drives. Alex, the manager made us extremely welcome. In fact all her staff were great. The food was excellent. The chefs presenting the buffet seemed proud of their dishes. Our tented camp overlooking a dry river bed was very attractive and we loved the large verandah where we could retire to and our drives.

Our guide and driver were knowledgeable and good company.

Better lighting for reading in bed would be ideal, but we appreciate that camps in the bush are not known for great lighting and we did have our head torches.

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Safari addict from UK
Arrived on: 5-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Average
Average

The real bush, but with flush toilets

I chose Mwagusi as I wanted a more back to basics experience but without sacrificing too many creature comforts, and it met my expectations. The setting of the property is superb and you can sit on your own personal verandah watching whatever wildlife passes by (or in the case of baboons, through, your banda). There are no fences so I was not too suprised to hear an elephant outside my bedroom, and to be woken by the roar of a lion. Food is good, particularly given it is cooked over wood, and plentiful. The staff work as a team and have a great sense of humour. The attention of the management and their hospitality (particularly for me as a solo traveller) was excellent.

The highlight of my stay was seeing so many elephants, including a number of newborns. Given that elephants can be rather touchy when protecting their young, my guide was very skilled in judging how to manage our encounters so that we could get close to these animals in safety.

Personally I have to confess I found the situation a little too basic for me, which is not a criticism of Mwagusi as that is what they are offering. I chose to go in the hot season and I found the lack of a fan in the room made it a bit difficult to sleep - as largely only solar energy is used appliances beyond a electric light are not possible. I imagine this would not be a problem in other seasons . Given the quantity of biting insects at this time of year I was glad that the mesh sides of the tent kept them at bay.

Perhaps not my business but I was concerned about a couple of staff issues. Unlike any other camp I have stayed, the staff are required to be away from their families for extended periods. Tips are entirely communal and disbursed once a year - I prefer to reward my guide/driver personally and make a communal tip to the other staff.

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Expert Africa comments

We are sorry for the perceived staffing issues during this stay at Mwagusi. As with most safari camps in Tanzania, Mwagusi operates between June and March and all staff have the opportunity to take three weeks consecutive leave during the low season (November and December). Then they will also usually be on leave from the end of March to the middle of May.

Every camp in Tanzania has subtle variations in how tips are distributed. At Mwagusi the staff have decided on what they want between themselves, and opted to split tips between all team members, with the guides typically receiving a slightly higher proportion of these.

Ms B from Seattle
Arrived on: 3-Oct-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mwagusi Safari Camp review

Amazing place, has a historic feel. Great location on the river bed. Larger camp than some others in the area, and so had a less personal feel. I found the guides a little less knowledgeable, but very nice. The food was just excellent. My one comment is that the manager's style is one that was a little off-putting for me. Quite gossip-y and altho she may have great relationships with the local staff, to an outsider, her casualness with them came across as disrespectful and demeaning.
For the price of the accommodations, it seems odd to charge for all drinks - including soft drinks during safari.
It was very hot while we were there, so the afternoon were quite uncomfortable. Putting fans in the rooms would help a lot.

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Mrs S from france
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mwagusi Safari Camp review

Stunning location, comfortable and well appointed accommodation, but tent and bathroom looking a little tired, could do with an update.

Staff very friendly. For two out of our four nights, we were the only guests in the camp, and as mealtimes were communal, this meant it was just us and the manager Alex eating together, which was ok as she was nice, but it felt a bit strange and we really welcomed some new arrivals on our last night!! Food was a bit eclectic, both lunch and dinner were buffet style, with too many competing flavours between the dishes.

The staff were helpful, but we felt they were lacking some training.

The guide and driver were great!

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Mr G from London
Arrived on: 27-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mwagusi Safari Camp review

Excellent camp, we absolutely loved the décor and the feel of it...luxurious, very comfortable but still a traditional authentic safari experience. Very good guiding, excellent food , excellent service and excellent management.

Mwagusi lies and operates is the heart of Ruaha, which means excellent and abundant wildlife...in three days there we saw, lions, elephants, buffaloes, a leopard and a family of cheetahs...in addition to many other common and some not so common wildlife.

As a traditional (high end) safari camp goes I cannot see how Mwagusi can be beaten: highly-highly recommended.

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Mr +Mrs K from South Brent
Arrived on: 11-Jul-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mwagusi Safari Camp review

Mwagusi camp is a magnificent example of the best a safari camp can offer. Situated in the Wonderful Ruaha, it makes maximum use of its situation on the banks of the Mwagusi river. The banda are like suites, with the outside area under thatch superb for afternoon siesta and animal or bird watching. The tent behind can be zipped up to protect from animals and insects while the bathroom area is also under thatch but open to the outside.

As an owner run camp, it has unique features which makes it special. The river bed is used to maximum effect, for example the dining locations. Where else would you be called from your dinner table to see a leopard? The quality of guiding is outstanding. For example, we saw lions from different prides on 7 of our 8 game drives. The wildness of Ruaha and its unique scenery would make game drives a pleasure even without the game, but we saw plenty of everything, including some of the rare antelopes such as Oribi and many, many birds. A big thank you to Isaac and Isaiah.

Tent service is exemplary and for all the staff, nothing was too much trouble. For example, one of us struggled to get down the slope to dinner. When this was raised, the next 3 nights there were 2 members of staff to help.

Quality of food was mixed. The buffet salads for lunch were excellent and varied. Bush breakfasts were perfectly adequate. Food for the evening meals was quite variable with much of the meat tough and many vegetables over cooked but not warm enough. While the location of the dining tables down on the river bed under the stars is very attractive, it does make it more difficult to serve high quality food. I would like to rate food average plus or good minus for these reasons.

We think it is worth mentioning in your literature that guests are expected to descend steep sandy banks to the river in the dark, as this is a problem for older, less mobile guests. We also found at times that we were over regimented and walking in crocodiles behind one torch. Finally, a swimming pool would be a great addition.

These are minor criticisms and overall, this is a wonderful place to stay and experience the delights of Ruaha. Thank you to Chris Fox and all the staff for the magical place they have created.

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Mopane squirrels from UK
Arrived on: 23-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mwagusi Safari Camp review

Everything about this camp was excellent. Alex the camp manager was a perfect host and clearly an extremely competent manager. The setting of the camp and the Bandas was fantastic. So very comfortable with amazing views of the dry river bed.

The service was attentive and friendly. There was a magic about the place which could not have been created without the management and motivation of the staff.
The quality of the food was incredible given the difficulties of cooking in the bush. All meals were imaginative and delicious and served in a variety of amazing locations, eg riverbed and bush. Meal times were a sociable and enjoyable experience which enhanced the safari experience for us.

We particularly liked the fact that we had a driver and guide which enabled the guide to give more attention to the guests. We appreciated the fact that radios were not used which made sightings more private. Our guide Jeme and driver Vincent were sensitive to needs and were extremely knowledgable and shared that with us. We are experienced safari travellers but we still learnt a lot from them.

In conclusion, a memorable and fantastic four days.

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