We had the best and most memorable experience staying at Kwihala. From the moment we were collected from Ruaha airstrip by Leverd (trainee guide) and his driver colleague, our safari began. Sara was a great manager, always on hand to offer help and advice (and toothpaste!) and the guiding was awesome!! Lorenzo was everything you could wish from a guide, and more. His passion for the animals and birds was obvious and his enthusiasm was infectious, sharing with us the sights, sounds and smells of Ruaha. We shared our vehicle with a wonderful young couple from Australia and, together with Lorenzo and Leverd, we had the best photo-packed, animal spotting, fun time ever. My true highlight was seeing a female leopard in a 'sausage tree' shortly after sunrise - magical!
The accommodation was far better than I had imagined. Clean, roomy, comfortable bed, flush toilet and hot water in the evening just right for a shower before dinner. Forget about a morning shower as (a) no hot water and (b) very early wake up call. However, the latter came with choice of lovely tea or coffee. We chose to have breakfast in the bush which was perfect - all laid out on the bonnet of the land rover! Otherwise you could return to camp mid-safari. For those wondering (as I did) how one 'relieves' oneself on safari. Don't worry just ask your guide and he will find the perfect safe and secluded spot for you behind a bush or tree. Male or female, you soon overcome embarrassment and it becomes part of safari life. Even the guides have to 'go'!
We had a visit from an elephant on site one night but the staff were at hand to make sure guests were safe. We also heard a lion roaring some distance away during the night. When you arrive at camp you are asked if you have any food in your bags. This is because Honey Badgers are extremely good at sniffing out food and will rip their way into anything to get at it.
We loved the genuine friendly and relaxed atmosphere at Kwihala and the sharing of stories between guests, guides and management around the camp fire each night, followed by communal dinner outside under the stars. The food was ok and I personally preferred the lunchtime food. But we weren't there for haute cuisine. We stayed for 3 nights and wished we had stayed longer.
I could go on but would only be repeating what others have written already. We will never, ever, forget Kwihala. Thank you to everyone there and to Liz and James from Expert Africa who arranged our first-time, wonderful trip to Tanzania.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in Tanzania's iconic Ruaha National Park, this small frontier-style camp provides exceptional access to the park's huge populations of big cats, buffalo and elephants. Relatively unexplored, Ruaha is one of the largest national parks in Africa, ensuring a true wilderness experience. Kwihala is an intimate six-bedroom camp where simple excellence is the order of the day. The adventurous will relish the remarkable concentration of wildlife roaming this diverse landscape, which ranges from baobab trees and granite kopjes to open plains with cooling rivers and woodland valleys. With the option of bush walks and night drives with our highly knowledgeable guides, safari doesn't get better than this. ... more less