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Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp

Usangu Expedition Camp


8°13’35.7"S 34°26’50.8"E

Usangu Expedition Camp: Our full report

New for 2022, Usangu Expedition Camp is an authentic, seasonal camp, situated in the Usangu Wetlands in a ...

... beautiful and extremely remote location in Ruaha National Park. With expert private guiding, a wide range of safari activities, and a strong emphasis on conservation, Usangu promises a rich and immersive safari experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of Ruaha's wildlife and those working to protect it.

Usangu Expedition Camp is located next to the Ihefu Swamps, part of the larger Usangu Wetlands. The ecological importance of this wetlands region cannot be overstated, with the myriad of waterways feeding into the rivers of Ruaha, as well as the great Rufiji River which dominates Nyerere National Park (formerly the Selous Game Reserve), providing a vital lifeline for all wildlife in these areas. Despite this, the Usangu Wetlands itself remains largely untouched by tourism and Usangu remains the only camp in a 7000km2 area of pristine wilderness .

With only four safari tents Usangu has a small, intimate feel. Each tent is fairly simple in design, octagonal in shape, and split into two sections by a stylish screen. To the front are either a double or twin beds, with a pair of comfy chairs, while to the back is a bathroom with twin basins, a safari 'bucket' shower and a wardrobe. The front half of the tent is constructed from mesh fabric, meaning that you can lie in bed and enjoy the views over the wetlands while keeping an eye out for any wildlife that wonders past. Each tent has a shaded wooden veranda with a pair of chairs and table, which is a great spot to relax in the afternoons or enjoy your evening sundowner drink. A unique feature of Usangu Expedition Camp is the Star Cubes. These simple net tents are located in a private setting but with easy access to your main tent should you need it. They offer a magical sleep-out experience, allowing you to watch the stars by night and wake up to sunrise over the African bush.

What really sets Usangu Camp apart, however, is the huge range of activities. All guests are allocated a private vehicle and guide for the duration of their stay, allowing you a high degree of flexibility as to how you plan your safari. In addition to game drives and night drives, you can also go canoeing and do boating safaris on the lakes and waterways of the Usangu Wetlands, spotting hippos and crocodiles. Walking safaris are also possible here, either as shorter, half-day walks, or with advance notice, longer multi-day walks, exploring untouched areas of Ruaha and spending the night in star cubes at Usangu Trails Camp.

The camp only opens between June and November, coinciding with the long dry season in Ruaha. While the wildlife here is not as prolific as Ruaha's northern regions, the opportunities for sightings can still be very good, particularly as the season progresses and wildlife starts to congregate around the swamps. Lions and cheetahs can be found here, as well as large herds of elephants and buffalos, and with bit of luck it may be possible to spot wild dogs loping across the short grass plains.

Usangu has a strong emphasis on conservation and the camp has close ties with the Douglas Bell Eco Research Station which is located on-site. Guests are encouraged to visit and engage with the resident researchers. You will be given a tour of the research station and learn about the ongoing research and conservation efforts. Monitoring predator populations plays a key role in ongoing research and there is the opportunity to take active part. For example, you can join researchers to set up camera traps, later returning to analyse the images, identify individuals and log results. You will also be offered a personal camera trap which you can place around the camp or outside your tent to see what passes by. Alternatively you can assist the team with a morning of radio tracking, using telemetry to track and locate collared individuals in the area.

For guests with a particularly strong interest in conservation and academic research, bespoke trips can be arranged. With pre-planning it is possible to join researchers in the field, accompanied by specialist talks on a specific subject. Several times a year radio collar expeditions take place, often with the use of a helicopter, to locate and collar key species. Customised trips can be planned to tie in with these known dates, giving you a first-hand experience of conservation in action. Please talk to your Expert Africa specialist for further details.


Our view

Usangu Expedition Camp is an exciting prospect, offering a real wilderness experience and the chance to explore undiscovered areas of Ruaha. We love the strong ties to conservation and opportunities to take part in active research, and it is clear that Usangu is more than your average safari camp.

Jessica Plumb

Jessica Plumb

Country manager: Tanzania

Geographics

Location
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Ideal length of stay
3-4 nights
Directions
Usangu Expedition Camp is around a two hour drive south of Jongomero Airstrip.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Children

Attitude towards children
Children aged 12 and over are welcomed at Usangu, although we expect this camp to have more of an adult atmosphere.
Property’s age restrictions
Usangu accepts children aged 12 and above.
Notes
Usangu Expedition Camp could be a good option for adventurous older children, or larger family groups looking to book Usangu on an exclusive use basis.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Usangu Expedition Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Usangu Expedition Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Buffalo

100% success

Eland

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Roan antelope

100% success

Sable antelope

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Lion

50% success

Aardvark

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Striped Hyena

0% success

Wild dog

0% success

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Fire safety

Extras

Disabled access

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