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“Experience of A Lifetime” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania

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Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania
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Ruaha National Park, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania   |  
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7for5 combo
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Experience of A Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

It's not often that something exceeds your expectations when you've heard so many good things in advance but Kigelia definitely fits the bill.

We were a family on safari for the first time and from the first moment you fly in and sight elephants around the air strip to the moment you reluctantly leave you will be blown away.

Kigelia camp is tucked into the bush beside a dry river bed and the tent lodgings are very comfortable and down to earth including the outdoor showers with wildlife views.

You safari in the mornings and evenings and the game viewing is unbelievable, always something different around the next corner.

The guides led by Molell worked hard to bring us something new each trip and were excellent with the kids (particularly Amos and Prosper).

One of the great things was that you were away from other camps so in a dozen safari drives we only saw another vehicle once.

Food was great, plentiful and a lot of variety and you can't beat the settings of camp fire dining, out under the stars or in the open air dining tent.

Highlights included 'Sundowner' refreshments on the evening drive, watching bull elephants spar for 30 mins, the cats - lions, cheetahs, leopards, the amazing landscape at sunrise and sunset, the hippo walk and just chilling in the super comfy landrovers as the scenery and wildlife roll by.

Absolutely recommend Kigelia for families ( we had kids between 9 and 16).

It will be an experience you will never forget.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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19 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

In mid December we had the pleasure of spending 5 nights at Kigelia Camp. Our family was one of three travelling together. This really is unspoilt Africa, far from the madding crowds. WE saw some great game even though the rains had started; great elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah and an array of plains game species. In 5 days worth of game-driving we saw very very few other vehicles. This is the beauty of Ruaha. As for the camp itself we had it to ourselves and it walked to our drumbeat. All in all a superb family safari!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We arrived in mid November before the short rains had come. We were dismayed at the arid conditions and the affect on the wildlife which, in short was scarce. The tented accomodation was of a decent standard and under normal conditions well situated. The mess tent was small and uncomfortable but well equipped with books and curios. At this point I should point out that we are in our late 60's and seasoned safari goers so perhaps had higher expectations than most. The camp manager was away during our visit and the chief guide left in charge. There was room for considerable improvement in the levels of service and comprehension of our needs for example, no drinks available when returning from game drives. On a more positive note, the guiding was good and the staff always pleasant, it was our bad luck that the drought was at its worst. We saw lion,buffalo,giraffe etc but no cheetah or leopard.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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annajonsson, Marketing Manager for AfrikaAfrika at Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear jcspinks,

Being the first less positive review it saddens me to read your feelings of your visit to our Kigelia Camp. Ruaha National Park usually offers such remarkable wild life amongst the backdrop of the dramatic Baobab trees. Yes, unfortunately the rains came much later this year leaving November to be an extremely dry period in Ruaha. We have made a note of your complaints and will of course bring these up with our camp staff.

Kind regards,
Anna
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Calgary
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

This past September, 2012, we had the pleasure of staying at this incredibly beautiful camp for 4 amazing days. We enjoyed it so much that we actually hated to leave. We had a big trip ahead of us, Kigelia being our first stop, and what a way to begin our adventure! The Kigelia bushcamp is located on a dry riverbed, and is surrounded by all kinds of wildlife, sometimes just a few minutes away at the water hole. Sightings of giraffe, lions, baboons, impala and elephants are plentiful! From sunrise to sunset, Ruaha National Park is full of adventure and unique African beauty. The owners of this camp, Jeanann and Richard, are very gracious hosts, and their staff are kind, helpful, and very knowledgeable.We were treated like family. Guides enjoyed answering questions, and looked forward to each safari with us. Staff were always smiling, even at 5:45 in the morning, when they would arrive with coffee, tea and biscuits to enjoy while waking up to sounds of the 'dawn chorus'. Game drives were very personal, and we were treated as very important guests. This camp is in a park not heavily visited, and yet is in a location teeming with wildlife. Our tent was secluded, nice and private, the beds very warm and comfortable, the showers hot and delivered when you wanted, the tent immaculately clean. The food was terrific, and served with smiles! Dinner was served under the stars, where we would eat, talk and laugh about our amazing safari adventures. Our hosts and guides would always join us, welcoming us into their 'family'. A solar powered charging station was available to keep batteries charged, and solar lighting was used in the tents. Kigelia camp is a must, first rate! Jeanann, Richard and their staff will make your trip memorable, most enjoyable, and absolutely unforgettable.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

After a wonderful few days at the seregenti mara camp, we flew into ruaha for a different setting altogether, the kigelia bushcamp perched on a dry riverbed, a thoroughfare of choice for giraffe, lion and one particular elephant, who liked to stick around. Surrounding the camp were countless boabab trees, that, without their leaves, looked more Lord of the Rings than Tanzania. And the one with evil smile, the Evil Tree, meant we weren't far from camp. The highlight was the stand-off betweent the leopard in the tree and the feisty lions waiting below; or the three cheetahs that strolled casually across the river bed; or perhaps the (relentless) mating lions (were they channelling Barry White?). Once again, the food was sensational, the glam-camping was fun and the knowledge and friendliness of the staff first rate. Another wonderful experience

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
annajonsson, Marketing Manager for AfrikaAfrika at Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania, responded to this review, September 27, 2012
Dear Tom B,

I am so very happy to hear of your lovely stay with us at both our Serengeti Mara Camp and Kigelia Camp! The Evil Tree is the ultimate landmark for sure and very special. Ruaha and the cat life is truly phenomenal and I am glad to hear you got to experience it at its best as well. Well come back anytime for some more "glam-camping".

Cheers,
Anna
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

Kigelia Camp: reconnect with the rhythms of the planet, regain perspective, restore your spirit and experience adventure away from the tourist hordes. From sunrise to sunset and beyond, Ruaha National Park reeks of adventure and remote beauty. From majestic baobabs with millennia of wisdom to sand rivers; from thick bush to plain: Ruaha is the unsung hero of Tanzania's parks. To experience it at its best, Kigelia Camp (one of the superb set ups run by Tanzanian-based Afrika Afrika Safaris) is the obvious choice.

Nestled in a remote grove of Kigelia Africana trees, known by many as 'sausage' trees due to their distinctive hanging pods, the camp sits on the banks of the Ifuguru Sand River and is as far from bright city lights and modern urban stress as you can imagine. Surrounded by baobabs which, if they could speak, would surely share the wisdom and secrets of their ancient lives the six luxury tents blend perfectly with the quite unique location. As a guest, I felt myself to be at once part of, yet safely protected from, the enveloping bush which offers a constantly changing chorus of excited birdsong as well as more thrilling close encounters with the larger indigenous species.

Quite brilliant food and plenty of sundowners/ camp fire tipples/ filled wine glasses punctuate the days with comforting regularity and nothing is too much trouble for the excellent staff: imagine hot water bottles ready in the cushioned Land Cruiser for those chillier early morning game drives.

If you are very lucky, you may be treated to the unparalleled enthusiasm for, and breath taking knowledge of, the bush and its flora and fauna by Afrika Afrika's Vera Heydenrych. Vera is a unique font of passion and wisdom and will give your safari a rare dimension. No matter if she is guiding in one of the other camps: all Afrika Afrika's guides are fine spotters and bursting with fascinating facts.

What more to say? Ruaha is not the easiest park to reach but those who make the journey are richly rewarded. Kigelia is not to be neglected from any serious safari itinerary.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utah
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

Not the easiest place to get to but so worth the trip. This camp is in a park that is not nearly as heavily visited as the Serengeti and yet this is a location teeming with wildlife. Game drives are so personal with very professional and knowledgeable guides. You truly feel like you are the only person in the entire national park. I saw more elephants, etc. than I could possibly count. The young lions were also stunning.

Comfort and being in the bush can coexist! The tent was secluded with elephants and giraffes walking around the camp at times. The beds are comfortable, the showers hot and delivered when you want, and the privacy is priceless. The food also was terrific. If you want to truly experience the bush, this is the place to do it. My sleep was occassionaly interrupted by the sounds of wildlife but even that made the location special.

A solar powered charging station available to keep batteries charged up and Vodacom cell service works fine. Seems odd to be so far out and still be able to stay in touch if needed. What would Stanley and LIvingstone say if they were alive today?

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
annajonsson, Marketing Manager for AfrikaAfrika at Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania, responded to this review, October 17, 2011
Dear Cardurg,

Thank you so much for your lovely review of our Ruaha camp. I am happy that you have highlighted two very special aspects of Kigelia Camp - firstly the location of Ruaha National Park and the fact that it is not as busy as Serengeti along with the absolutely incredible wildlife - makes it a fantastic national park on all accounts. The lion population is the largest in Tanzania and most guests have the privilege to encounter these cats up close and in large numbers.

Your other point is how our mobile tented camp allows you to be literally surrounded by wildlife! Our 12 bedded tented camp concentrates on the traditional tented safari experience accessing remote areas that offer an unparalleled level of exclusivity and fantastic game viewing.

We are so happy you had a wonderful trip even when traveling solo to the far but incredible Ruaha.
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Additional Information about Kigelia Camp, Nomad Tanzania

Address: Ruaha National Park, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Iringa Region > Ruaha National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Ruaha National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kigelia Ruaha is an authentic safari experience in Tanzania’s finest wilderness. Set in a secluded grove of Kigelia or "Sausage Trees", high on the banks of the Ifuguru Sand River in the Ruaha National Park, Kigelia Camp is an exclusive semi permanent mobile camp offering a tailor made, private experience, giving our guests a chance to step off the treadmill and connect with the soul of Africa. Our small, discreet camp operates in a socially and environmentally responsible way, placing a minimal footprint in these precious areas of natural beauty. The aim of the camp is to genuinely blend into the ecosystem and allow you to immerse with nature as much as possible. Nomad Tanzania is focused firmly on the integrity of the safari; the luxury of the experience. First and foremost a safari is about the experience; being at the right place at the right time with the best guide is critical. Of course it's important to be comfortable and well fed however these things are only one part of the formula. Kigelia Ruaha is a traditional tented safari experience giving access to remote areas that offer an unparalleled level of exclusivity and fantastic game viewing. Wake up with the sounds of wildlife surrounding your tent as you sip your morning coffee and get ready for a game drive. All snuggled up under a blanket you depart just as the huge African sun rises in the background. Ruaha National Park is truly an amazing destination when it comes to animal encounters along with the breath-taking scenery of ancient baobab trees and the winding Ruaha River. If you are the type that has been on safari before and looking for an authentic, natural experience, with intimate guiding Kigelia is your place. ... more   less 

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