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“Wonderful camp!”
Review of Jongomero

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Jongomero
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful camp!”
Reviewed September 8, 2010

Jongomero is a wonderful camp. Flawless services, tasty food and friendly staff. If, however, you are interested in seeing many animals and see them in action, Ruaha is not the place to go. (I went to Ruaha after having visited Lake Manyara, Norongoro, Serengeti and Selous---in any of those places, you're more likely to see animals). But, as far as the camp is concerned, it was top rate. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jazaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

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English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2010

Jongomero was the beginning of our honeymoon (four days) and what a perfect start it was. The setting is superb: a large tent with all the luxury and comfort you need under a thatched roof just next to a seasonal river (dry during the dry season). You can spend hours on your patio just watching the animals walk by and sipping a cool beer brought to you from the bar. There's lots of space between the tents which adds a lot to this real Africa bush feeling.

We got lots of nice honeymoon attentions from Molly, the manager, and his lovely girlfriend and co-manager Noelle. Of course we won't spoil the surprise for other honeymooners, so I guess you'll just have to go and find out yourselves!

Everything was perfect but the top experience was definitely the fly camping with Molly. Fly camping is a unique experience whereby you walk in the bush and camp in the bush for one or more nights. We had booked one night of fly camping in the bush. This included a leisurely walk in the bush from approximately 2pm until 6pm the first day. One night sleeping in the middle of the bush in a small but clean tent with sleeping bags and an adventurous longer walk back to Jongomero camp the next day form approximately 7am until 1pm. When you arrive at the camping side, you will enjoy a nice sun downer before getting a shower and getting ready for dinner. The whole feel and authenticity are hard to describe but I'll give it a try anyway. Imagine that you are away from everything in the middle of the bush. During your walk the first day, a team from Jongomero sets up your tent, a shower a toilet a small kitchen etc. in the middle of the bush all in line with nature of course. It is the perfect combination of back to basics (small but clean tent with sleeping bags, camp fire) and luxury (three course dinner prepared by a chef who comes over from Jongomero and a whole wine selection). You enjoy dinner next to a camp fire where you here all different kinds of bush sounds (roaring lions, crying hyenas, buffalo, elephants etc.). On top of that you will see thousands of stars because there is no light pollution in the bush like we are used to in Western Europe. You will also see some game just passing by, looking at you probably wondering what you are doing there in the middle of the bush. Molly is really the perfect guide; kind of a combination of Crocodile Dundee (he knows the bush by hart, he predicts the reaction of wild animals amazingly and anticipates danger incredibly well) and Indiana Jones (during your walk he will cite entire parts of an encyclopaedia on a certain animal or plant or ecosystem; you can just fire away questions and he will always answer with a smile and real interest). As always in the bush we had some surprises (a black mamba at about 3 metres and an elephant out of nowhere at about 5 metres) but we didn't experience real fear and Molly handled it perfectly. The difference with walking in the bush as compared to a Jeep safari is that the safety of the Jeep disappears as soon as you set foot into the bush and enter the territory of the wild animals at their level/eyesight. What you feel when you stalk an elephant against the wind while it is eating or massacring a tree is quite intense. In other words, if you go to Jongomero, it would be a pity to miss out on fly camping. It's a very unique experience.

The game drives were very well organised and we saw lots of game. We also spotted some rarer species like the black mamba (see above), dick dick, lesser Kudu, lots of waterbuck and lots of birds. Elephants are literally all over the place. Seeing all of the big five in one game drive is probably tougher than in the Selous or the Serengeti - the Ruaha has in general quite a dense vegetation which makes things a bit more sporty - but when you spot a lion or buffalo it gives you an enormous thrill. The major distinguishing factor of Jongomero Camp is probably that you will never see another car on your game drive (the nearest other camp is some 50 miles away), which was unbelievable compared to for instance some reserves in South Africa. We have also done the Selous in Tanzania and some reserves in South Africa (Timbavati, Kruger, Hluhluwe, Addo Elephant Park…) and we found the panoramas and the scenery of the Ruaha (bush, jungle, savannah, some great feral rivers, open spaces the size of a small village etc.) to be the best we have seen so far. The beautiful nature allows your guide to pick a wonderful new post card setting everyday for the sun downer with cool beers and finger food during your game drive. We had Priscus as our guide. If you manage, ask for him. He's a great guy and he has eagle eyes.

The food is excellent (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We had lunch together with Molly and Noelle a couple of times which was great fun and dinner was always very romantic by ourselves with some good wine and a perfect service by the waiters. It's amazing how well you eat in the middle of the bush.

The hypo friendly swimming pool is amazingly well located (perfect view on the seasonal river) and the perfect place to relax after lunch until your game drive or walking safari leaves.

We found that the service at Jongomero was just perfect. The combination of Molly and Noelle is simply great: he's a real nature guy and she is such a great host, always smiling and talking to you with real interest. You can ask them anything and they will get it done. Thanks again guys for a perfect start of our honeymoon. We will definitely come back.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Valmac1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2010

Wonderful camp
We arrived to Jongomero after Kwihala and we thought our holiday could not get any better...

We had booked 2 nights fly-camp (our first experience) and this ended up being one of the best experience in our lives!! It is difficult to explain the feeling of sleeping in a small camp in the wild with visiting buffalos and elephant in the evening. Once again we were the only 2 guest for 2 nights and we had Molly with us 24/7. Walking in the bush is an experience not to be missed, and we found out it is also addictive. Molly is a fantastic guide and you could listen to him for hours. You can tell he has a huge knowledge and love for wildlife and it is contagious. We never stopped asking questions and he never stopped answering...He also had all his meals with us and he was great company! All the staff at the fly camp was great.

We then spent two nights at the main camp (and we went for another walk and drives in the afternoon). Everything was perfect - this is the reign of Noelle and she does an excellent job at organizing and making sure every guest is happy and looked after. Every detail is carefully taken care of.
One day after luch we watched elephants, baboons, kudus and impalas from our veranda!

We saw some rare animals like the white tailed mongoose and the honeybadger. We also noticed that worthogs are curios and seemed to let us get closer to them on foot.

In both camps the food and service were excellent.

The location of the main camp is very scenic as it is on a sand river. The whole camp is luxurios but it fits really well with the safari feeling. We loved Molly and Noelle and every minute we spent at Jongomero, in fact we want to go back already!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mmerlot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leuven, Belgium
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2010

* superb lodging in the middle of nature
* luxury accommodation
* good beds
* hot water at reserved hours
* noon: all guests eat together
* evening: everybody has a private table
* guided tours are part of the booking > guides are very motivated
* hosts at the game reserve/lodge are very friendly
* there's a small swimming pool (cold water)
* the tent is huge, with a large terrace
* you shower outside

  • Liked — it was perfectly embedded in nature / total luxury
  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnSophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heemstede
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

WOW! we just loved Jongomero...The setting is absolutely fantastic. The staff is very friendly and everything was perfect. We never saw a tent like this before, wich was so big comfy and with a amazing view on the dry river, where the elephants walked by....
The food is delicious...
Also our Ranger Priscus was the best. He follows the footprints of lions wich are very hard to spot and found an group of lions with cubs. He knew everything about everything in Ruaha..Hope to come back some day..
Just Amazing!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank fleurentijm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2009

Without doubt the most fantastic place I have ever visited

The service, rooms, hospitality and depth of knowledge and setting made this my ideal location for any trip

We came here after Selous Safari Camp and it needed to be something exceptional to top that, but this managed it.

The staff were fantastic without being intrusive and so willing to make the stay so special, Molly's enthusiasm and conviviality added so much to this also

Despite the very cold night 7 degrees Celsius , the staff placed hot water bottles in the bed and woke you for your game drive with hot chocolate on your patio !!

The experience of seeing a fatal fight between two bull Hippos will live with me for a long time as the most amazing and clear example of how cruel life in the wild is for these animals, survival of the fittest at the most extreme

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ecrouch9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jongomero

Property: 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 12 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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