Reviews of Rufiji River Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
I was concerned that it had been taken over by a large company, but it was rather dated when we last visited. Although it doesn't have the personal, homely feel of Impala , it is still an excellent camp.
The manager, Angela is a lovely person, and she works extremely hard to ensure guests have a good time. She is working very hard, within quite clear constraints, to try to improve Rufiji River Camp.
The food is excellent. Every meal was a delight.
The guides we had were all very good. Not quite in the same league as Dennis at Impala, but he is a hard act to follow !
The tent was great. Loved the fact it had a door, easier than all that zipping & unzipping. It could have done with more electricity time as it was very hot and you need to use the fan. Also the one solar lamp is not really adequate for 2 people getting ready in the dark for an early morning drive. The bed was extremely comfortable.
Rufiji a great start to a safari.
Rufiji was a great camp and extremely well organised. The tented accommodation was excellent and the overall rating we gave on the feedback form was "Excellent". The key to this rating is and was reflected across all the camps, the team really do want you to have a good time and are motivated to providing a great service.
The guides we particularly knowledgeable and were prepared to follow wishes of the guests.
Commenting on game is I think risky, we are all aware of the challenge facing elephant, rhino, lion and other major attractions in terms of game. The Selous has excellent game but its sheer size means that sometimes game go walkabout, this was certainly true for Rufiji, there was early rain the week before we arrived which triggered a mini migration north for some game. however we still saw excellent elephant (particularly one night when they decided to visit camp an were still there in the morning, which made the walk to breakfast interesting!!), lion, Kudu, Waterbuck, warthog, duiker and many others. Clearly seeing leopard can be a challenge and on this camp we were unlucky. This is not a criticism purely a statement of fact.
We were also impressed with the fact that guides are now virtually all African and they clearly know their subject, on previous visits guides were often predominantly of European origin and this is a good development.
I mention in my title a "great start" because it was just that, which will become apparent in the review of other camps.
Activity wise it was all excellent yet at a personal level the opportunity to go fishing for Cat Fish and Tiger fish would have been a bonus. I did not request this because everything we did was great, it occurred to me later that we had fished on previous visits to the river and I did wonder why it was not offered as an option, perhaps an option for consideration in the future.
Rufiji River Camp review
Great location high above a bend in the river with fabulous sunsets. Undergoing a refurbishment while we were there so the restaurant was a building site. We had a fancy new tent. Very nice to be able to choose river trip, walk or game drive with a full day option. Very amenable guides.
The game is a bit skittish & tends to run off & in September was mainly a long way from the camp. Over 5 days saw elephants, lion. wild dogs, good herds of zebra, wildebeeste & impala. Some lovely kudu plus warthogs with babies & giraffe . Also a baboon eating a baby impala. (yuk)
Very good selection of birds especially along lake shores. The airstrip which is two minutes drive away was closed but they coped well with the longer pick ups.
The catering manager has worked in Zurich & we found the menus a bit rich (foreign) but thats a matter of taste. Certainly trying hard. Also they ran out of cold tusker one night!!!
Excellent team -
A simple camp ( although large - 20 tents!), but run by seriously committed people. For us safariing is all about seeing the wildlife and the team at Rufuji is very enthusiastic about this. It all started with the boat transfer (rather than only road) from Impala Camp to Rufiji River Camp. We were driven from Lake Manze to Impala.
Although we know that the camp is being refurbished/ uplifted, they should consider having more related magazines / literature at the bar/lounge area for the guests to read. It was actually very poor.
Great view on the hippos in Rufiji River Camp
We spent 3 nights in Rufiji River Camp. That was our first safari, so that time we could not compare to anything else. The location is just wonderful with a great view on the river. We can see the hippos floating in the water from our tent, and many velvet monkeys play around. In the night the hippos come to the camp to graze on grass.
The people running the camp are nice and helpful. We met also many interesting people in this camp.
A negative point in this camp is the food. We thought in the beginning that it is normal to have such food in a safari, because it may not be easy to provide the ingredients from Dar Es Salaam, and there could be difficulties to store food with limited electricity. But when we visited other camps after that, they had very good food. We can say that food in Rufiji River Camp is poor. Another comment on food (this one stands for all camps), there is very little fruits available. We expected to have avocado, papaya, mangoes, etc. delicious and in good quantity, but that was not the case at all. We had very little quantities of fruit. Even the fruit juice were all in bottle.
All guides had very uselfull information, and drivers were very good too. But we made only one afternoon drive, and this was not good. The driver was driving fast, and the guide wasn't looking at all for animals. We were looking ourselves, and whenever we found an interesting game we were shouting "stop stop" to make him stop so we can watch. But that was only an afternoon, and the next days we went fortunately with another guide/driver.
We'd like to note that this same guide complained once about the new management of the camp, that their salaries are low, and that they don't have anymore any days off, and that they count on tourist tips.
Another point we'd like to mention is that on our arrival to Dar Es Salaam airport, we had to wait half an hour to find the person from foxes to take us to the national airport. This wasn't a problem for us, and we didn't mind it because we are used to travel alone, but we thought it might be important to mention this because people pay a lot for this trip, and are tired after a long flight, so they expect a service without any delays on their arrival. Maybe this last comment was not to mention in Rufiji Camp part of the comments, but that is the only place where we think we can include it (as foxes safari are taking care of this whole part).
Rufiji River Camp review
Lovely position overlooking the river. Staff were all very helpful and informative.
Saw more animals on the first day than we expected!
Rufiji River Camp review
Rufigi River Camp has a superb location overlooking the river. The sunsets are fabulous. The tents are fine but basic, the bar is in a lovely spot. Nice pool. Food fairly average but much better than our last visit.
The river trips are a fantastic experience, the number & variety of birds quite exceptional. Good guiding. The manager makes a big effort to fix everybody up with the best option for trips. We had some lovely drives. Also some bad tetse fly attacks.
The fly camping was super. All alone in Africa except for the guide, assistant guide, guard, cook & waiter. The food was excellent & he always managed to cook enough for seven. The manager brought emergency cold beers for day two. Grand.
Excellent introduction to African safaris
Superb experience especially boat safari, but watch out for sun in face in evenings. Walking safari especially entertaining and informative. Staff worked really hard and found lots of animals. But felt some drivers overworked, having to perform dual role of driver and guide, especially on all-day safari with a full jeep of 9. One driver had had to do this three days running. Be patient as punctured tyres often needed changing.
Hospitality and facilities were great, especially ability to cope with our eccentric dietary requirements. Some animals more timid as it was a game park - noticably different to Ruaha.The camp could do more to attract /cater for birders or start a bird safari around the camp as there were plenty of species to see without leaving the camp. We especially liked the juxtaposition of the Masai guard and his mobile phone !
Our tent was very hot during the day. We felt the palm roof was making this worse.
We were told that laundry would be extra, but when we to pay, it was already included. Laundry was washed in the Tanzanian way and not ironed.
Good Bush Camping at Rufiji
Great river side location, with excellent game viewing, particularly the boating safari and plenty of wildlife coming through the camp at night. The guides were of a good standard, slightly reserved but very knowledgeable and friendly.
The pool area was nice and the food was simple but wholesome and of good quality. This is definatley a camp not a lodge, the tents were basic but comfortable with fantastic views, if a little dated.
The camp could be greatly improved if the standard of customer service displayed by the management were improved, simple things such as a welcome in the bar area as opposed to a list of do's and don'ts at reception, talking to guests at and around dinner as opposed to eating their own meals in the corner and asking guests how things were rather than having to be found to ask for things.
good safari at Rufiji River Camp
We enjoyed Rufiji and thought Gilbert, the assistant manager was very friendly and looked after us very well. The pool was great, and a real bonus as it was quite hot. The camp was obviously a little older than Manze, but we couldn't fault the accommodation although it did lack Manze's flair and crispness.
Location was great, river view with fantastic views. All the safaris were very good, in particular the afternoon river cruise we did with Patrick which was stunning. However, the safaris were at set times.
The food was good, a little more basic than Manze, and everybody ate at their own tables, so not such a friendly feel as Manze. But Rufiji is bigger, and the hosts were not as inclusive as at Manze.
We were really pleased we'd been to two camps, and experienced the different terrain and seen different animals.