Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
113 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mwagusi Safari Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Mwagusi Safari Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania
"Mwagusi Safari Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Mwagusi Safari Camp review"
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." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania
"Loved the bandas..."
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...
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...." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya; 8n in Tanzania
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!" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 8n in Zanzibar; 1n in Kenya
"Mwagusi Safari Camp review"
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," See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Second safari experience at Mwagusi"
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." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
"Fun at 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." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 2n in Zanzibar
"The Place to be in Ruaha"
We stayed at Mwagusi for the second leg of the Southern CIrcuit for our honeymoon and had an absolutely brilliant time. When you enter you can really feel that the camp is geared towards giving you a true experience of Ruaha. The camp is elegently rustic, stretching along the side of the river to give the best views of any marauding animals as they go down to drink. The bandas are semi-stone with an inner tent and a very comfortable hammock with views over the riverbed. The food is very good and buffet style, we definitely didn't go hungry! Dinner is served by the brilliant staff in different locations around the camp, which certainly adds to the experience!
On the drives the guides were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Mwagusi uses a set up where each car has both a driver and a guide. This means that you have the guide's 100% attention and two pairs of eyes to spot the things we could not!
Overall we had a wonderful stay at Mwagusi. It is a true wildlife lover's experience and will certainly not disappoint for anyone who wants to make the most of Ruaha!" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
"Incredible Experience, enjoyed every second."
Chris Fox who owns the camp made us feel very welcome, and was an excellent host, with lots of tales to tell around the camp fire at night.
The food was outstanding, and plenty of choice, all beautifully cooked and presented. Two guests had an anniversary during their visit and a special cake and singing was done as a surprise by all the staff. Baldun's singing was superb.
All the staff were extremely friendly, polite and did everything they could to make the stay a real home from home. I cannot praise Jimmy and Abdullah enough, with their keen eyes and driving skills we saw many, many animals. Wild dogs, which we were very lucky to see as so very rare, a lion hunting, hyena, leopard, elephants, giraffe, crocodile, hippo, to name just some of them, and most of these each day of our four day stay.
We both now have the Africa bug and would love one day to return.
Erica, the site manager was very kind, and accommodating in helping us with anything we wished to know. A very genuine experience, where we felt like family members rather than guests.
Mwaguis is not a holiday, its a experience, and one that will stay with you for life. Please go." See all these reviews: 6n in Tanzania
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