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“Best Place on earth”
Review of Jongomero

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Jongomero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 13, 2009

We spent 4 days in Jongomero at the start of our honeymoon. This set up a very high benchmark for anyother place we went after. It was heaven.... the rooms are amazing, with very big and comfortable beds... with amazing views over the river bank and animals (elephants more than anything) walking around that you can hear them so close every night that you really feel in the middle of the jungle.
The staff were very helpful in every detail and the guides know a lot. If you have the chance do a walking safari with Molli.... is fantastic!

This is one of the best expericences we have had travelling and will recommend this place to everyone. Is an AMAZING place... everything in this camp is perfect!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lucat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 - 143 of 168 reviews

Reviewed March 2, 2009

We fell in love with Jongomero in Ruaha. Despite being green season February 2009 with dense growth and some tetse fly, the animal sightings were much better in quantitiy and quality than at Selous. A large part of that was due to the philosophy and skill of our guide, Festo. He drove slowly and quietly and many times we saw animals that would have been scared off at a faster pace. Once the animals were located, he was very respectful of them and parked at a distance where we didn't disturb them. Often we would sit and watch for a long time and new events would unfold because we were patient. It was also partly the practice and philosophy of the park itself which seemed much more ecologically sensitive than Selous. Drivers stayed on the same tracks, rather than causing damage by driving all over the land. The staff at Jongomero obviously worked well together and felt a sense of pride and belonging. It was absolutely spotless and every job was done with care. Each lunch and evening we felt that we had arrived "home" again. Somehow guests and staff were connected. We stayed three nights and were very sad to leave.

Selous Safari Camp, Jongomero's sister camp, was less enticing. The overall quality and attention to detail, for the money spent, was lacking. We did have a tent location with a great view, which we particularly appreciated as we both got sick and spent one day in camp. On that day we saw more animals in our front "yard" than we did on any of the drives or boat rides. (elephant, troop of monkeys, five hippos, mongoose, monitor lizard, water buck, impala) And the cook was excellent, we especially spent a lot of time with our waiter, talking at length about the school system, etc. House keeping was weak. Our towels smelled faintly like a hundred bodies had used them before and had dirty spots that had not washed out, spider webs and dust prevailed on the art and decor in the public spaces, little details like green funky water in the flower vases. The decorator pillows on our bed were quite dirty and at night were carelessly thrown in a dusty cupboard with the insect spray. I also realize it is the end of the season and everyone is burned out, new towels will probably be bought, etc. But when charging high end prices the camp can't afford to get sloppy. But the real disappointment was the game drive. The style was race car safari - literally flying through at such a pace that game scattered and he braked long enough to say "you see?" then raced on. We talked at some length with Mark, the activities director, about the fact that we did not take responsibility to give the driver clear directions and that maybe we were a group of six people that didn't feel comfortable saying "Stop, let's look". To a large extent the driver is probably conditioned by tourists who want to just check off an animal and rush on to the next. But then that type of service becomes part of the culture of expectation, when instead the camp could have taken regular steps to reorient the guides about "quality" drives and given the guides confidence to set the pace. I was also heart sick at the careless off road driving that so damaged the environment. Mark did offer us a guide to ourselves for the next day, but we preferred to keep our sweet memories of Ruaha unsullied with new disappointment and chose to go on walking safaris and boat rides instead. The pace was much better and we saw amazing bird life.

I realize that camps change over time with new managers and that next year Selous could be great and Jongomero could slip a little. But knowing what I know now, I would have gotten off the plane at Kilamanjero Airport and gone to see Ngorongoro Crater for a "for sure" animal experience and then flown to Jongomero and skipped Selous altogether.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lightfeetColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2008

A truly fantastic camp with gorgegous accommodation, excellent service and truly knowledgable guides for the safari. We were there for three nights on our honeymoon and really couldn't have asked for more. New managers started a few months ago, and they were lovely - very helpful and sweet. The food was fantastic and the location is brilliant. want to go back....

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank goodnightzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2008

Staying at Jongomero was the best possible start to our honeymoon. The tiny little plane flew us in to within 10 minutes' drive where we were picked up in a safari jeep and driven to the camp. There we were met by a line up of 'the Jongomero Family' who sang a welcoming song in Swahili. The tent was the poshest I've ever seen in my life, with everything you could possibly want including private veranda, flushing loo, two sinks, while still feeling adventurous.

The game drivers spoke fluent English and spotted amazing animals, but the best safari was on foot at dawn.

The staff went to great trouble to make our stay as personal and welcoming as possible, and we had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlexGreenwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2008

I stayed in Jongomero for three days in July and loved every minute. The tents were amazing and even though it was a little chilly it helped make to experince even amazing. The staff were wonderful, so friendly and helpful that I felt at home. If you want to see Africa away from the beaten track then this is the place to be. I would go back in an second.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank klb199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2008

We spent 3 nights at Jongomera last month and loved every moment of our stay!
Our flight from Dar Es Salaam via Selous took just over 2 1/4 hours; much of which was spent flying over stunning gorges and wildlife. Upon arrival we were greeted by 'The Jongomera Family' (management and staff) and introduced to our guide (Picous), housekeeper and managers - who gave us a safety briefing.
We were then taken to Tent No3, which was positioned on the banks of The Jongomera River - the views were the best we've ever seen on Safari (particularly as it had just rained and everywhere was lush & green).
Our tent was understated luxury:- wooden deck with comfortable chairs, enormous bed, desk, and bathroom with double vanity unit, toilet and shower (solar powered). Electricity was switched on late in the afternoon.
Our package included breakfast (fruit, cereal and full choice of cooked), lunch (light 2 courses), afternoon tea, 'sun-downer' and dinner (huge 3 courses) - all dietary requirements seemed to be catered for. A free daily laundery service was also provided, although a charcoal iron was used, so it's not advisable to hand in any delicate items!
Although Jongomera has only 8 tents there's a small swimming pool to cool off in, and a beautiful furnished lounge/bar area, littered with great reading material.
Ruaha claims to be the remotest and perhaps most scenic of all Tanzania's reserves - we didn't meet another vehicle on any of our game drives, however, you need to be patient when game viewing, especially in January when everywhere's so green. We would therefore suggest Jongomero may not be the perfect choice for first time safari guests or families with youngsters who want to see every animal within moments of leaving the camp!
We would finally recommend you take a warm fleece (low season is cold) and light green/cream clothing (definitely not black or blue) as Tsetse fly is prevalent in the Jongomera Area.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank HRawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2006

Following our stay at the Selous Safari camp, we spent three days at Jongomero. The service and guides were excellent and friendly. The accomodations were also excellent. We didn't see as much wildlife that we would have liked. However, we loved the seclusion the camp provided. Overall, a great experience.

  • Stayed: October 2006
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2  Thank Ranza76
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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