Reviews of Ruckomechi Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
14 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Ruckomechi Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Five Star Safari at Ruckomechi Camp"
Excellent guiding and sightings
Beautifully appointed room" See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Ruckomechi Camp review"
Enjoyed canoeing down the Zambezi.
Very well looked after by all the staff." See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Ruckomechi - A Lodge With A View"
Ruckomechi is a standard Wilderness Classic camp set stunningly on the banks of the mighty Zambezi. With the mountains of Zambia across the river as a backdrop, it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been privileged to stay. The deputy manager Michelle was running the camp for our whole stay and was both charming and super efficient. Nothing was too much trouble and she rapidly gripped issues while always being on hand if needed. Indeed, after saying how hot our room was she suggested and arranged a move to a beautifully shaded room after our first night. The food was the only question mark with delicious breakfasts, brunches and teas but less inspiring dinners eaten in dim lighting and served already plated. However, they not only remembered us as frequent Wilderness clients but also catered for Hilary's special dietary needs.
At Michelle's suggestion we undertook a day trip to see Mana Pools National Park and it was this that caused us the only serious niggle of our stay. I have dealt with the detail in a separate email but suffice to say here that guests who decide to take the same outing should ensure that Wilderness are fully confident how much the park office will charge them. However, we also query the benefit of such a trip. The drive crosses the Ruckomechi and Vundu concessions and then right across the top of the National Park as the office is on the far side. This is a long drive, especially if there are sightings, leaving little time to see much of the park before setting off on the return journey. Nonetheless, apart from the fees saga, we had a wonderful day trip.
Due to low occupancy we had a vehicle and guide to ourselves for the whole stay. Mundoga was superb - bright, cheerful, skilled and fun to be with he worked his socks off to ensure we saw everything there was to see. While we saw a few lions, we saw no other major cats but made up in spades with huge numbers of elephant, hippo and buffalo. The main sightings were an utter profusion of birds, many of which we had never seen.
We loved our stay at Ruckomechi and would return in an instant." See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
"On the banks of the lower Zambezi ...."
Our guide, Nyenge, was very knowledgeable and friendly. He went out of his way to ensure all his guests were catered for.
The weather was extreme - a heat wave at the already hottest time of the year peaking at 48.3C! Ceiling fans could have helped but we suspect not a lot. The pool was a very welcome facility, as was the opportunity to undertake game viewing from the river in the afternoons (cooler than conventional game drives)." See all these reviews: 12n in Zimbabwe
"Paradise on the Zambezi"
It's an exceptionally beautiful location and absolutely everything is done to a very high standard. Apparently the camp is due for a rebuild at the end of the season, but we thought it looked great.
Part of the charm of the place is that elephants and other large animals wander freely through the camp. We never felt unsafe, as the very competent staff had briefed us on what to do and there was always somebody within earshot. We had room 4, though they may all be as good. Quite private from each other, each has an outdoor shower with an open view and a spacious bathroom/dressing area within the tent, which was very comfortably furnished.
Lovely public areas, including a small 'plunge' pool.
We did all our activities with the exceptional and very experienced Temba, reinforcing our belief that Zimbabwean guides really are the best in Africa. We went canoeing and even spent a night up a tree on the 'sleeping platform'. Didn't get much sleep, but it was a unique experience.
We now need to find an excuse to go back to Ruckomechi one day!" See all these reviews: 14n in Namibia; 5n in Botswana; 5n in Zimbabwe
"Brlliant Camp in an excellent location"
Rooms, food and service were excellent although we did find the Wilderness Safari practice of clearing plates before everyone at the table had finished eating was annoying and spoiled a relaxed time (this is also considered to be the height of bad manners in the UK and some of us object to being treated like Americans!!}
The staff were very friendly but this somewhat larger camp seemed more corporate and lacked the family atmosphere of Little Makalolo. The guides are of the highest standard with encyclopaedic knowledge and great personalities and the game drives and river cruises were superb. We were somewhat disappointed that the walking activity was not readily available and it required some persistence on our part to arrange a superb morning walk which turned out to be one of the highlights of our holiday.
Sharing the camp with Elephants required caution but we did not feel in any danger, although lions resting outside our tent, after dinner one evening, did require extreme caution and brought to light the professionalism of the staff.
On a negative note, we must say that some of our game drives were disturbed by selfish photographers with their intrusive equipment - noisy cameras with overly large lenses and tripods. We discussed this problem with a sympathetic camp manager (Karen) who had raised this very issue with Wilderness Safaris. We feel that these people should be advised that they should charter or share a vehicle with like minded photographers.
We sincerely hope that the planned refurbishment of the excellent camp does not result in a large increase in rates!! We hope to return !!" See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe
So good, we went back again." See all these reviews: 13n in Zimbabwe
"Wonderful location, excellent guiding"
The starlit bath was memorable and we saw wonderful wildlife moments..including elephants swimming across the river just in front of the camp
I would like to have had a star map perhaps,but this is a minor point.
also to say the transfers were good and the pilots personable and efficient which was reassuring!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zimbabwe
"Ian and Michelle - Ruckomechi Camp Review"
We did not use some of the alternative activities offered such boating/fishing/canoeing/walking because we had just come from 4 days of walking and were about to go on a 3 night canoe trip - so we focused just on the game drives. Due to the time of year, well into the dry season there was not a lot of activity in the upper regions of the trails but there were a lot of animals bunched closer to the river.
We were lucky enough to see wild (painted) dogs, and a lion kill, as well as many other animals and birds. We had just one guide, Kevin, who was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour - so we forgave him for failing to find the elusive Cheetah. We will have to come back sometime to fill-in that one small gap." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 6n in Zimbabwe
"Comfortable Camp - good for first timers"
However the game drives seem to be restricted in the area they covered due to the boundaries of the concession. Compared with other camps this was a relatively tame experience. There were not enough charging points to accommodate all of the guests and their cameras and laptops.
We enjoyed the pontoon cruise along the Zambezi followed by a Sundowner on a river island.
We would not recommend taking a transfer from Lusaka to Chirundu, through Zimbabwe Immigration and then by boat to Rukomechi as this was a long and very tiring route especially as we had started our day at 6:00am at Kaingo Camp in South Luangwa, Zambia." See all these reviews: 11n in Zimbabwe; 3n in Zambia
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