Reviews of Mwagusi Safari Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
This was my first safari, and indeed first trip to Africa. Any concerns that I might not see much game were dispelled immediately as there was a giraffe on the airstrip and an elephant 50 metres away. Instant pick up and friendly driver, who then took me on a mini game drive, started my stay in excellent style. I was cordially welcomed by Yvonne and Erica, who were on hand for my entire stay and endlessly helpful. All of the staff were quite charming and happy to take time for a greeting and chat. My banda was extremely comfortable and clean, with washing done during the course of each day and returned in immaculate condition. I am not a particularly untidy person, but if I had left something like a fleece lying around, I would find it folded and tidied away on my return from a drive. The bandas all have a view over the river bed and there is often something interesting to watch.
The food was excellent, and they are far too good at baking. The day was started with morning tea and biscuits brought to my banda. Breakfast in the bush was excellent. Lunch buffet included interesting salads, and dinner taken at various locations around the camp, always an experience. There was also afternoon tea and cakes, and I was quickly a convert to the 'sundowners' taken out in the bush before returning to camp in the evening.
Game drives with my guide Geoffrey were exciting, informative, and great fun. I was quite pleased to have the fleece that I had taken with me, as the mornings out on drives in September could be cold to,start with, although blankets are provided on the jeep. We saw a large variety of game at fairly close quarters, as the area around Mwagusi is not a hunting area and a lot of the animals are used to vehichles. We did mot see many other groups out on a drive, with the maximum being three jeeps at a very rare cheetah sighting.
As a single traveller, I welcomed the meals being taken with fellow guests, as well as the game drives, which in my case was a group of three. This added to the conviviality of the Mwagusi camp.
There are no plugs in the bandas to charge camera batteries etc, but any handed over to the office after the morning drive will be charged up by solar power ready for the afternoon drive. Hot water was plentiful.
I would unreservedly recommend Magusi to anyone considering a safari in Tanzania.
Magical wildlife experiences
Where to start? An amazing 4 day stay for the 4 of us (including children aged 7 and 11). The game drives were incredible, 5 separate Lion prides (cubs playing, adults on a giraffe kill, mating, fighting, roaring and of course sleeping), 2 leopards, a cheetah and numerous other unbelieveable experiences.
Our 2 boys were spending 7+ hours a day on game drives, but always came back looking forward to the next experience.
The staff were very good, making us feel incredibly special. Our 7 year old was taken on his own lizard hunt, our guide Jeme started a game drive an hour earlier than planned as a Cheetah had been spotted and the catering team were incredibly flexible dealing with our various dietary requirements.
I was unsure about group dinners, but they were each great experience with stunning locations and very amiable hosts in Yvonne and Simon.
We had one night without water in our Banda, but what can you do when an elephant decides to pull apart the plumbing!
We would love to go back again.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Definitely a star find! As a dry season camp, it is in a fantastic location beside the empty river. There are small waterholes for elephant, baboons, mongoose and guinea fowl to name a few. Elsewhere, there were concentrations of game near water but there was also plenty out in the drier bush. As well as a great variety of birds, we saw Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, Giraffe, Hippos, Buffalo and elephants galore.
Evening dinners were undoubtedly a highlight though; lamplit long tables in the dry river bed accompanied by the call of an African Scops Owl every six seconds! As you rightly say in your brochure, Chris Fox is passionate about Africa and Ruaha in particular and, together with his equally-knowledgeable sidekick Simon, stirred up some truly thought-provoking discussions every night. We really didn't want to leave.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Mwagusi camp is perfect, the bandas (tents) are beautifully designed and fit perfectly in the natural surroundings. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
The communal dining in the riverbed gives you a real bush experience. The safari industry in Ruaha has been set up by the Fox family and you can see that Chris knows exactly how things should be done. The gameviewing is spectacular, especially if you are interested in elephants and lions.
Mwagusi Safari Camp
We loved Mwagusi. The accommodations were a little more rugged than we expected. The light level at night was very low, and it was a pain to have go up to the office to recharge things, but those are minor issues that are outweighed by the whole experience.
The location of the bandas on the river was outstanding. We had terrific wildlife sightings from our veranda, including an elephant who came to visit our first evening (six words I never thought I'd hear myself say: "There's an elephant at the door"). The food was incredible, and the evening dinners on the river were so beautiful. But the game drives were the best of all.
The amount of game and its proximity to the vehicles was breathtaking, and far better than in the Selous. The animals never stopped appearing. There were so many, and they were so close -- I just couldn't believe it. To have a lion come and lie down in the shade of your truck is heart stopping. Justin was a fantastic guide. We liked having the same guide everyday. He knew what we had already seen, and we all got to know each other, which was very nice. The staff was great too. They addressed our concerns immediately, and were all friendly and warm.
We would go back to Mwagusi again.
Tanzanian Birthday Adventure
This was a return visit to this wonderful camp. It has grown, somewhat , since our previous visit which made it a little less intimate but it remains a great place.
The bandas are spacious with good en suite facilities with hot water on demand - heated by solar panels which also provide the power for lighting each banda. The Bandas are well spaced out and each one has a very comfortable open area ( enclosed by a low wall ) for sitting to watch the passing wildlife - some of which passes very close by - we had an elephant put it's trunk over the low wall - what an amazing experience!
The food is delicious with lunch in the main communal area and dinner sometimes eaten under the stars. Breakfast can be eaten in camp but we chose to take ours on the game drive.
There was a little confusion amongst a number of the guest, including ourselves, about drinks. On our last visit drink was included but this time we had to sign for every drink whilst some of the other guests were 'all inclusive'. We had been advised by you that drink was extra and this was not a problem but the two tier system did seem a bit divisive and could have been explained better by the staff. A number of guests were, initially, reluctant to take water on game drives as they thought that it was extra!!
The diverse habitats in Ruaha provide wonderful opportunists for game spotting. Our guide, Geoffrey, aided and abetted by driver Khalifan, was quite amazing pointing out animals we could so easily have missed. How he spotted the Serval we will never know - it was so well camouflaged in the long grass - it is difficult to spot even on the photograph! Thank you to both for wonderful guiding and manoeuvring so that we could get some great photos.
Although we knew he was unlikely to be at the camp we were a little disappointed not to see Chris Fox - his passion is so infectious and although the management team were good they did not have that enthusiasm or drive
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Wonderful location and great game, the guides were excellent and we saw far more than we had anticipated.Read more about the whole safari
Beautiful setting, wonderful guides.
We loved the setting of Mwagusi Camp on the banks of the sand river. The accommodation was comfortable and the relaxing area at the front of the banda with squashy chairs and hammock was a perfect spot for relaxing in the heat of the day. The food was delicious.
Our guide Justin and driver Vincent were superb and could not do enough for us, anxious to know what we wanted to see and trying to tailor our drives to that. They were great company over our 4 nights at the camp.
We would have liked the guides to join us for dinner instead of just the management. There may be a reason for this here but at all the other camps we have stayed at on safari it makes the camp have a family feel.
A wonderful experience.
Great camp and great wildlife at Mwagusi
This was our final camp on this holiday and it was definitely a good place to finish. The variety of wildlife and the camp were both excellent.
Geofrey was an excellent guide and he and Vincent (the driver), produced a number of trip highlights: four leopard sightings, two of cheetahs, three sightings of lions + one of them mating, elephants searching for water in the dry river bed, lion-elephant standoffs, vultures feasting and a multitude of birds.
Our accommodation was in a large well-appointed, spacious, thatched banda incorporating a sleeping tent, and overlooking the river (dry when we went). It also had a covered relaxation area with hammock. Behind the tent was a very large bathroom and clothes storage area. The laundry service was excellent and clothes came back folded unbelievably small - perfect for packing. There were a few niggles which didn't detract from our enjoyment and are only worth mentioning because of the overall high quality of the accommodationi: the floor in the bathroom/clothes area could be slippery and needed care, there was no plug in the wash hand basin, and the shower sprayed water over a rather large area (and needed a larger non-slip mat).
Staff were welcoming friendly and helpful. Communal dining worked well with good breakfasts, and lunch and evening buffets. Lunches were particulary good with an amazing array of salads. An unexpected birthday cake brought in by singing staff was much appreciated.
Mwagusi Safari Camp review
Overall the camp was run as efficiently as it was last time. The facilities were 1st class and the activities were 1st class as were the guides and their knowledge.
Alans only comment would be - the food was excellent but tended to be too vegetarian orientated and he would have liked a bit more meat!!!!!
After the incident the staff were very efficient and caring and carried on professionally and we were very impressed by their attitudes.