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“100% Recommended”

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Mdonya Old River Camp
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“100% Recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

We booked via a local travel agent in Dar who, now with hindsight, knew very little about this camp.
But what an experience!
Nothing was any trouble for any members of staff, they were friendly, hospitable, knowledgeable and wanted to make sure our expectations were fulfilled before we departed.
The guides knew the signs of where to look for the wildlife and we saw all the big game available.

But it didn't end here; the food and company was excellent.

Our safari was not just about seeing the animals, we also viewed a multitude of different birds and vegetation, as well as experiencing being under canvas in the bush at night.

Every box was ticked, a fantastic experience - many, many thanks

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

As we flew into the airstrip in Ruaha National Park, I was excited to see a giraffe and a small herd of elephants below us. Little did I know that that was the tip of the iceberg here.
Our guide and driver were excellent. Within three hours of landing, we had been about 6 feet from a cheetah, stared down an annoyed elephant and witnessed an attempted kill by a leopard (accompanied by a tree full of noisy, critical baboons).
After dining under the stars, we were guided to our tents by one of the resident Masai guides, just in case we encountered a lion or an elephant en route. The tents were very comfortable and the only visitor we had was a curious and thirsty baboon, though we did hear the impala fighting near the riverbed and a lion kill.
The staff was very considerate and helpful. My only slight problem was that I found the food much too rich - as a big fan of raw and steamed food, I found the sauces too much. The staff did attempt to provide me with more simple fare.

Room Tip: If you are more adventurous, try to get a tent closer to the edges of the site. If the idea of nigh...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Llynrimsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2012

The true safari in the wild. We stayed in a tented camp which wasn't protected by any fencing. That gave us an extra adrenaline on our 'bush' adventure. Loved how the place is organized: basic, comfortable large tents with a shower and bathroom. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. As for Ruaha National Park - it is one of a kind with its baobab forests and hills and the wild animals still not used to be seeing plenty of people or cars. The park is less touristic, which suited our taste for the wild.

Room Tip: make sure you tuck your mosquito nets under the mattress if you do not want to share your bed with i...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

Such a magical, amazing place (not to mention the most luxury we had during our three week holiday on Zanzibar!) Despite its luxuries and amazing breakfasts and candlelit dinner by the fire Mdonya Old River Camp blends seamlessly into the nationalpark, allowing the animals complete freedom whilst also making you feel safe.

A truly awe inspiring place, definately recommended, and thats without mentioning the skill and friendliness of the guides!

We went March 2011.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AggyBass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pavia, Italy
Level Contributor
260 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

The Mdonya Old River Camp is an amazing self sustaining place, based on all ecologic equipment.
Thanks to this, the camp is perfectly integrated to the nature and everyday you can see animals in the camp like elefants, impalas, baboons, girafs and all the others (during the night you can hear the lion's roar!!!)
But the camp has all the conforts and the breakfast is very good also the dinner (at candlelight under the stars!), and the staff's hospitality is wonderful ;-)
advised! +++++

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank okpj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights and everything was just right! the manager emanuel and his wife go all out for everything. we had some food requirements ( vegetarians ) and nothing was out of place.
The accommodation is basic but very comfortable tents. We saw an elephant take down a tree 6 feet from our tent. Cant wait to go back!

Room Tip: Tent 0, Closest to the riverbed
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rikhav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
60 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2012

When writing about Mdonya Camp, I feel one has to write about the experience than about the property to do full justice.

We were a little skeptical about extending our trip to Ruaha as part of our Tanzania visit. Boy! that would have been a miss of a lifetime. The only reason we included Ruaha along with Selous was to try our luck spotting Cheetahs. The moment we alighted the short flight from Selous we met with Richard, our guide and driver from Mdonya. One will connect with Richard instantaneously. He is a plethora of knowledge about almost anything around. He asked for our wishlist of wildlife that we would like to spot. While explaining to him what we were looking for, he politely asked if we would like to go see cheetahs with a kill. What a stupid question to ask! We were there just for the Cheetahs.. Within 20 mins of arriving in Ruaha, we were watching 4 cheetahs with a kill, all by ourselves. After a few hours of safari we reached Mdonya camp in the evening around 6PM.

When we walked in, it felt like we are coming back home and being welcomed by the near and dear at home. We never felt that we were walking into a camp. Everyone was so very nice, warm and welcoming. We were escorted to our tent. As usual, it was basic, functional and had all that we required for a comfortable stay. The bed was not very soft nor hard. But we were assured of a peaceful sleep. Eventhough it would be a little warm to begin with, later in the night temperature really drops. We had to close all the windows in the middle of the night to keep ourselves warm. Since Ruaha is on the dryer side, dust inside the tent could be a problem to some.

One of the highlights of Mdonya camp is that its right inside the park. On the first night of our stay, there were about 7 lions visiting a puddle of water behind our tent. We could hear a lot of noise, hyena calls etc in the night. It was just the experience we were looking for. While during dinner, we could see elephants walk past the dinner table quietly. These are frequent visitors and do no harm. Its absolutely safe as long as you stay within the limits and follow the instructions provided to you.

Food served is both local and continental. Never had issues with any of the meals that was served. Breakfast is typical English breakfast. Lunch is very basic, but healthy meals that is carried along with us during safari (so wouldn't be really warm). Dinner is typically continental. Quality of food was excellent and very tasty.

Service again is excellent as expected. Everyone there would make sure that your stay is comfortable and special. If at all if you find any hesitation, its usually because of language issue and its not that they are reluctant to serve you.

On the last day, we were yet to see a leopard. Richard spent almost 2 hours looking for leopard to ensure that we spotted a leopard before we left. Finally he fulfilled our wish and we spotted a leopard with a kill on top of a tree and that too at a close distance.

Best of all, we left making a few good friends at Ruaha. I will be going back to Ruaha again soon!.

Pictures from Ruaha and Selous are posted here >> http://www.insanenirvana.com/Tanzania/

Room Tip: Its very safe to be at Mdonya camp. Please ensure you follow rules. If you are not too adventurous a...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank InsaneNirvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mdonya Old River Camp

Property: Mdonya Old River Camp
Address: | Mdonya River, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Iringa Region > Ruaha National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Ruaha National Park
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Mdonya Old River Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Mdonya Old River CampRuaha National Park is a magnificent example of the best that African safaris have to offer. Remotely situated in the heart of Tanzania, the amazingly profuse wildlife sums up almost everything that is essential to Tanzanian savanna environments. Mdonya Old River Camp is centrally located deep within the park along the Old Mdonya riverbed, a stone throw from the seasonal Mdonya waterfalls it’s a majestic location offering a truly exciting bush safari adventure. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mdonya Old River Camp Hotel Ruaha National Park

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