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“Perfectly Located, Beautifully Built, Excellently Run”
Review of Jongomero

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Jongomero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We stayed at Jongomero after a few days at their sister camp in Selous. We were not disappointed.
As in Selous, the accommodation is superb, very nice tents in a perfect setting, often overlooking areas frequented by the local wildlife. The locally produced furniture, made from reclaimed river boats, was beautiful and gave a very authentic African feel. I was especially impressed with the day bed on the veranda, which was incredibly comfortable. Ruaha is cooler than a lot of Tanzania, which made sleeping a lot easier. In fact, hot water bottles were provided in case we found it chilly! The pool area was stunning, with an impressive view over the dry river bed.
The service was impeccable, the management, game drivers/guides, waiters and "askari" guards were all exceptionally friendly and professional.
The game drivers/walkers were very knowledgeable and incredibly skilled at spotting animals which we could barely see even through binoculars. Our game driver, Kim, was one of the highlights of our trip. Such a nice guy, truly passionate about his job and very good at it too. I also would highly recommend the walking safari. There are not many places you can do this, and it was a fascinating experience. Whilst you are less likely to encounter game than on a game drive, we actually found ourselves almost surrounded by four herds of elephant, totaling almost 50 of them. They look a lot larger when you are on foot! Due to the varied local terrain, there was a much more diverse population of animals here than in Selous.
The food was fantastic, with local ingredients used in a twist on global recipes. The lunchtime arrangements were very fun, a great social feel, accelerated by the enthusiastic hosts, Molly and Noelle. And eating under the stars on the dry sandy riverbed made every dinner time an experience.
Most of all, what made our stay so special was the little surprises arranged by the staff. I won't go into detail as this will spoil it for other potential travelers!
So, if you're planning a luxury safari holiday, make sure you include a few days at Jongomero Camp.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank angloshot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 8, 2012

Dear Angloshot

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Jongomero Camp - we were delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay - from the tents, authentic decor and scrumptuous food to the high standard guiding and what sounds like a thrilling experience with 50 elephant! Wow thats a memory to take back to Bristol with you!

We appreciate your lovely words about the staff, guards and guides at the camp - we will, of course, pass these onto them. And thank you for not giving away all our little secrets!

Come back and join us again soon!

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117 - 123 of 166 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2012

We stayed at Jongomero Camp specifically for the opportunity to go for a walk! A special walk though, 6 hours in the bush with an armed guide and armed ranger for company, tracking lion, avoiding elephant encounters (up close), learning about the fascinating world of the termite and gaining a great appreciation for the wilds of Africa. Andrew (Molly) is an engaging guide (a young David Attenborough!) with an obvious passion for the land and its animals.
The game drives for us were a bit compromised having just seen the migration in the Serengeti and a pride of nine lion cubs learning to climb trees in the Maasai Mara and we did not see a great number of animals at the time we visited. The guides though are terrific and very knowledgeable and I am sure there are multiple delights out there as Ruaha is Africa in the raw.
We loved the tents and the location on a seasonal sand river, found the food to be average which is in contrast to other reviews so we will blame that on the fact that we went at an extremely quiet time with only a few guests and they are a long long way from a fresh food supply.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank vsteinicke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 8, 2012

Dear Vsteinicke

Thank you for your review and it was wonderful hosting you at Jongomero. We are delighted you enjoyed the wilds of Ruaha, as you mention, quite a change from the busy northern circuit of Tanzania - the real untamed wilderness of Africa, where animals run away from you and the search for animals become a true adventure. Walking safaris are a wonderful way to discover this amazing land, and with our well-trained guides we are able to offer a fascinating insight into even the smallest creatures such as termites!

We are currently in the process of upgrading our menu at Jongomero - retaining our favourite dishes which guests have enjoyed over the years while also including some new exciting recipes to tease the taste buds!

Thank you for choosing Jongomero during your holiday and look forward to hosting you again at Jongomero or perhaps one of our other camps on the Southern circuit - Selous Safari Camp or our beach property Ras Kutani.

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Reviewed February 5, 2012

After spending 3 nights in Selous Impala Camp we came to Jongomero. At first disappointed by having to stay on the roads, we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of wildlife we encountered thanks to our wonderful guide Kimaro. He took the greatest pleasure in pointing out the smallest bird or largest animal with equal enthusiasm. By the time we had finished our stay we had encountered a pride of ten lions, elephant dust baths, baboons frolicking, and too many more sights to mention. My husband had special dietary needs which were met with aplomb and far above our expectations.

Room Tip: I think all the rooms have a river view, but did not see others. Ours was wonderful, especially as...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ptmarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

If you never knew, this is where the middle of nowhere is - no phones, no internet (although broadband was on the way) and an intoxicating mix of nature's sounds. The tents are big, well-appointed and have views of the river. The staff are excellent and are expertly managed by Molly (Andrew to his Mum) and Noelle, the managers of the camp. We went as a family and spent 4 days there and enjoyed every minute. Kim, our driver/guide, was exceptional and made every trip out (morning and afternoon) a new experience. His knowledge was second to none, and if he didn't know the answer there and then, would take the trouble to find out and then come and tell you. We were lucky and saw just about everything, including a pride of lions with very young cubs. The food was first class and they will cater for everyone, as long as you let them know. Be aware of one thing - on the safaris, the tse-tse flies are a nuisance (but not dangerous), so cover up and make sure you have industrial grade insect repellent. The camp does not have a problem with tse-tse. This is the only place to stay in Ruaha National Park and we will be staying there again.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank NRSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2011

If you are looking for total isolation, no other vehicles, a beautiful camp, a manager that is the complete encyclopaedia of the game and ways of Africa, then look no further. Molly and partner Noelle make first class and very informative hosts. The rooms are spacious and well appointed, the décor stunning. The only down side to the unit was the location of the WC within the tents, we think it would be better located anywhere other than its current spot which is in full view of the main tent area. We were led to believe that the camp location was such that seeing the various game would be difficult, this for us was certainly not the case. Our ranger, Modest was aptly named. His depth of knowledge was without parallel but in his quest to find the cats of the bush he would often forget that all the other animals provide an interest to those that are not frequent bush visitors. The one down side for us was when comparing eating with the other camps we had visited in Tanzania, the food was served in great locations but in a slightly school dinner style. The meat was with some surprise tough to say the least. All that said Jongomero is a great place to visit and see the Africa of old, the one not yet ruined by hoards of tourists.

Room Tip: Every room here is a joy and the rangers escort you to your tent after dinner, the camp being un-fen...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MalmesburyDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2011

Traveling to Tanzania was our 3rd Safari with kids. After visiting 6 different locations in Kenya we were looking for something unique, remote and wild. Jongomero is just that. By far the best location, bar far the most remote and truely wild place we have ever seen. And by far the most elegantly understated luxury camp. But here is the best part: The managers Molly and Noelle were absolutely fantastic. Molly being lightyears ahead of any guide in knowledge, interest and storytelling. Noelle being the most charming combination of host and open minded, world travelling bush girl. And our kids loved her and their games while me and my wife were bush walking with Molly. And what walks! We will for sure come back and we are already looking forward! Thanks to everybody at Jongomero! And the game? It's all there. Up close :-)

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank MortenChristensen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2011

Jongomero Camp in Ruaha National Park was the fifth of six stops in our safari tour of Tanzania, and it was our favourite. That is saying a lot considering that we were absolutely enthralled with all of the other places. The camp itself is very luxurious. The tents were comfortable and it was quite wonderful to sit out on our veranda and watch Mother and Teresa (the two camp elephants) as they ate and wandered around on the dry riverbed in front of us. The tents are not only comfortable and spotless, they are individually situated so that you have the impression that you are alone in the wilderness. The food at this camp is quite delicious. Coffee or tea and a snack is always part of the wake-up call, then breakfast is served in the dining room. Lunch, after the morning game drive, is served family style around a large table over-looking the riverbed. This was enjoyable with lots of conversation among travelers from all over the world. Dinner was quite amazing and served by firelight on the dry riverbed in front of the camp.
Everything above sounds wonderful but honestly the basics could be used to describe any of the camps we stayed at in Tanzania. There are, however, three things that totally set this camp apart from all others and are the reasons why I would recommend a visit here above all others. Firstly, Ruaha National park where this camp is situated is true wilderness. The ONLY vehicle you will see on your safari is another one from Jongomero if you happen to be in the same area. It is, for instance, a two day journey for the camp staff to go by vehicle to the nearest village to shop for food. So when you go on a game drive you have the animals all to yourself. Secondly, the team of Molly and Noelle are absolutely the perfect hosts. Noelle is a transplanted California girl who is now the co-manager. She is the perfect hostess making everyone feel "at home" immediately. Finally there is Molly. My wife and I have been on many game drives in several different countries during our travels in Africa, so I think I can say with some level of authority that Molly is the finest guide we have ever encountered. We were lucky to have him as our guide! He is amazing! His knowledge of the animals is second to none. There are many well trained and hard working guides but Molly adds a university degree in zoology, a vast knowledge of local history and customs, and a talent as a story teller that is second to none. Not only is he a walking encyclopedia in the bush, but his obvious love and enthusiasm for nature and his job bubbles out whenever he talks. If you have a chance to do a walking tour with him by all means do it. My wife was shooting video during game drives and she often left the camera going just so that she could record Molly. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention our final game drive of the stay. Noelle decided to come along because she is Molly's good luck charm. It worked. In one evening drive we encountered four of the big five (There are no rhinos here so that's as many as you can get.), a pride of lions, surrounded by elephants, the road completely blocked by buffalo, and an amazing sighting of a female leopard in a tree.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Razzle2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jongomero

Address: Jongomero, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Iringa Region > Ruaha National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Ruaha National Park
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Jongomero 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For anyone seeking a true African wilderness experience, a visit to Ruaha National Park is essential. One of Tanzania's wildest parks, Ruaha can only be described as a true unspoiled natural wilderness. Superbly isolated right in the heart of the Ruaha National Park lies Jongomero on the banks of a seasonal sand river which bears the same name. Blending in beautifully with its surroundings the camp is tucked away among some shady riverine vegetation not far from permanent water therefore attracting a large amount of animals into the camp area. Being the only camp situated in this area of the park ensures unmatched privacy and a true wilderness experience. The camp is made up of 8 stunning suites, spaced out along the Jongomero sandriver. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jongomero Camp Hotel Ruaha National Park

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