Reviews of Ruckomechi Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
On the banks of the lower Zambezi ....
After a seamless transfer from the airstrip, we received a very warm welcome from camp manager, Karen. From then on the service and support in the camp was first class (as previously experienced from Wilderness Safaris); the activities varied; and the wildlife viewing superb - including the continual visits from the elephants, and lion tracks around the room!
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).
Paradise on the Zambezi
We had very high hopes of Ruckomechi, one of the most expensive places we have ever stayed in, and we certainly weren't disappointed.
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!
Brlliant Camp in an excellent location
The location of the Ruckomechi Concession offers the perfect safari experience with varied bush environments and the awesome Zambezi River. The Camp has an amazing riverside location and is extremely comfortable in all aspects.
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 !!
First class service from Karen, Elizabeth and Amy and from guides - Chris and Nyengy.
So good, we went back again.
Wonderful location, excellent guiding
Very efficient comfortable camp great location and all tents comfortable. Staff v attentive and guides excellent..knowledgable and tailored it to our interests..walking birds and detailed observations. loved the tree house...would in retrospect liked to have stayed there long after sun up watching the waterhole..would have been happy to have been left there in the early am with a flask and a few biscuits and be picked up later.
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!
Ian and Michelle - Ruckomechi Camp Review
After having the time of our lives in Zambia, our very first impression of Ruckemechi was a touch concerning. By comparison it seemed corporate and a little over-the-top, with a very large staff and great big permanent tent accommodations with concrete floors giving the impression of a small hotel room rather than a bush camp tent. Really very impressive, but different than than the first camp we had just come from. But I really can't say enough about the view we had - facing the Zambezi River, with Waterbucks grazing in the foreground and elephants wandering on a small island in the background. Truly awesome! It took very little time for us to recognize all the amazing attributes of Ruckomechi, and we enjoyed it very much.
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.
Comfortable Camp - good for first timers
Although our experience of Rukomechi was good this had much to do with the accommodation and the service. The camp is very well run and everything works. The very spacious large Tents are extremely well appointed and artistically decorated yet are tastefully integrated into the riverbank setting.
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.
Ruckomechi Camp review
We stayed here just one night as a transfer stop and loved the place. Beautiful location and wonderful staff.
As I recall there were no guides qualified to do walking safaris at the time we visited. It was good to be back on the Zambezi.
A Zambezi dream
If I had a wish free I would return to Ruckomechi right now. The last three days of my safari will stay in my memory for ever. The camp has everything a guest could wish. The location breathtaking, the tents spacious and beautifully furnished, the main area inviting and, the most important point, the people who work here.
Game viewing was excellent with the highlight of wild dog sightings. Elephants, my favourites, were in camp all the time, I loved it. The afternoon pontoon boat cruise with a visit of the carmine beeaters colony and the river crossing of an elephant family just in front of the boat will for ever stay in my heart.
Thank you, Carel, Juju, Belle, Gus, Gadrick and, above all, Rachel and Jeff to having made this safari one of my best ones
Ruckomechi Camp review
Beautiful setting by the Zambezi. We arrived at camp via an hours boat ride from the Churundi crossing. No better way to leave your busy world behind and settle into your holiday.
Accommodation and food up to a good standard.
Staff were very helpful, professional and with good senses of humour.
We saw 3 wild dogs a number of times. Elephant plentiful and relaxed,close up of eland, lots of birds and the mixture of different enviroments made it most enjoyable for the 3 nights we stayed