Mwagusi Safari Camp

Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp

Excellent(96%) From 108 travellers
Excellent
87
Good
19
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 108 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.
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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Maggiek
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
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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Mr & Mrs B from Marlow
Arrived on: 16-Feb-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

Loved the bandas...

The camp is comprised of tents within straw huts, called bandas, which are much cooler than the double roofed tents.... it is situated alongside a river bed, which was dry when we were there....  it is an unfenced camp with many visiting animals, including hyenas, which did cause some damage while we were visiting!

We had banda 5 which had the giraffe neck bones built into the wall, brilliant idea but anatomically incorrect!! There were only 6 cervical bones... hey ho! Later found one on the desk!

The lunches and dinners were buffet style and the food was plentiful and interesting, if occasionally bizarre...  Beer, wine, spirits and some fruit juices were not included. The bush breakfasts were a little dull compared to other camps and always the same...

We were lucky to see a leopard on our second game drive and enjoyed 2 bush walks with the guide trainees....  In the National Park there were so many elephants that we almost ceased to remark on them!  On Day 3 we saw 6 wild dogs, which was fairly special.  They were more attractive with better markings than those that we have seen in Laikipia, Kenya, but harder to find.  We saw another leopard in a sausage tree, on the way to the airstrip...

The one downside was the vehicles, which were not well appointed and would have benefitted from side bars, foot bars and better visibility for all seats...  the first guide and driver chatted a lot and were not as attentive are we would have expected... however, after the first day we changed guides which was a great improvement.

The management were reactive... but some aspects of staff motivation/training were lacking...

Overall, this was not my favourite Camp of the 5 that we visited; I would recommend it with some reservations...

OTHER COMMENTS

1. We left on a 2 hour, 11.45am flight - a small packed lunch would have been good, as we were starving by the time we reached Dar...  I am sure they would have provided something if we had asked, but we didn't think...
2. There was no WiFi for guests, although it was available in the office, however they did help us
to check in for our Kenya  Airways flight from Dar to Nairobi and to send a couple of emails to family....
3. The beds were rather hard for old bones....
4. Fans in the Banda would be good for the very hot days...  as in Impala Camp.
5. The buffet food was often left uncovered for long periods of time, not great with the number of flies...
6. This was the only camp which sprayed the tent with insecticide every evening when we went to dinner...
7. Provision of cold water in a vacuum flask would have been appreciated in the high temperatures.  We did request ice but they had some problems producing it....
8. Solar hot water was always available....



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Mr and Mrs B from Teddington
Arrived on: 11-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Average
Average

Amazing game

The game in Ruaha was truly amazing and the guides at Mwugasi (particularly ours: Geoffrey) were really good. Our banda was good, although a bit shabby in places and not everything worked too well (but it did have a lovely hammock!). We have rated it as 'excellent' as minor weaknesses in some areas are more than made up for by the enthusiasm, friendliness and skill of the guides and the location and game to see.

We felt that the staff (apart from the guides) were embarrassingly deferential to the guests, behaving like servants (in complete contrast to the more relaxed and ‘family’ atmosphere at Siwandu). The organisational timings were not ideal. However we understand that this is being reviewed, and while we were there the more experienced guides worked round them and set their own timings for drives. One day Geoffrey took us off for a whole day, with a packed lunch. We saw an amazing amount of animals that day! It all worked fine for us, because Geoffrey organised a very good timetable for us, and everyone tried to make it work for the guests. We were offered a game drive to the airstrip on our last day, with an early start and breakfast on the way. This was great, we had an amazing breakfast, but the highlight was seeing a leopard sleeping in a tree.

The food was fine, but nothing to write home about (apart from the delicious cinnamon bread!).

What was really great were the animals. We saw leopards up close twice, an amazing buffalo hunt by a pride of lions, then two hours later, the eating of the kill (we missed the actual kill as we had to go back for lunch). We saw more lions, including lots of cubs, doing more things, than we thought was possible. We also saw just about all the different antelopes (except Eland) and a plethora of other animals. We saw lots of hyena and a variety of raptors. We almost saw wild dogs (we got within about 10 minutes of them, from the fresh dung and the overlay of the paw prints on the previous tyre tracks). We saw a massive herd of buffalo (Geffrey estimated about 1,300), and lots of giraffe and elephants. After a day or so the elephants and giraffe became so familiar they were, like the impala, part of the scenery. We saw so much, and had such a great time, that is barely credible that it all happened in only four days!

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Mrs N from Darlington
Arrived on: 23-Sep-2016 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

Firstly do not be misled by our comments which are not intended as negative but honesty was requested and here it is for the sake of keeping standards high and improving the whole experience for future guests.

We really enjoyed our stay and these are more personnel points and minor at that; We were lucky to have a vehicle to ourselves at our first camp and so were a little disappointed at having six in each vehicle, we got on famously with our other guests but if you don't it really would have a negative effect on your Safari. The old Landcruisers are reliable old things but passed their best, rear seats having no floor felt odd and not ideal comfort or saftey wise.

Compared to previous camps there was a distinct element of more a dictation of what the following days itinery was to be rather than being offered a choice, and our guide although superbly knowledgable had a lack of people skills when it came to picking up on what his customers wanted,

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The HBs from London
Arrived on: 19-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Second safari experience at Mwagusi

The size, layout and location of the Banda in which we stayed was excellent, overlooking the dry river bed with a variety of wildlife wandering around.

The creative dining arrangements whereby different locations away from the main dining area were used each evening (in the river bed and in the bush) is a brilliant initiative and very atmospheric.

All staff were both friendly and helpful and we liked the initiative whereby staff rotate through several of the front and back of house functions whilst training to be safari guides.

Laundry service was outstanding - very helpful to have and turnaround was extremely quick.

No hot water in the sink although plenty for showers. We understand that the solar power may not be able to cope with the provision of extra hot water to the sinks but it did make shaving slightly less pleasant.



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Drs from New Jersey
Arrived on: 2-Sep-2016 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

Fun at Mwagusi

We had a superb time at Mwagusi. It was partially because of all the wildlife we saw and partially because of the hospitality of the management and staff of Mwagusi.

This camp had really great communal meals with a more African flare. I was always going back for seconds at lunch.

There was one guest during our visit though that was a chronic complainer. She should have never gone on safari. Her expectations were all wrong so if you read any degrading comments about this wonderful camp disregard them.

We saw 3 different prides of lions and fortunately (for me) missed the actual giraffe kill but saw the hunt and subsequent feast. All in all this camp was one of my favorite of the 6 times I've been to the African continent.


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