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“Nice place for a break”
Review of Vuma Hills

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Vuma Hills
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Have stayed in many safari lodges, but usually for Safari, this time i stayed 3 night in Vuma for a break from a field trip, I had had had enough driving on dodgy roads the week before to last a lifetime, so i hitched a ride from Morogoro to the gate, where the car from Vuma was waiting to take me up. Didnt move for the entire weekend, just chilled on the deck and did some work and enjoyed.
A very nice place for a break. food was good and plentiful, and staff were very nice and friendly.
The bushbabies at night are great fun, and watching the honey badgers and porcupine and a few jennet cats coming for scraps is great, we even had a Civet cat. great photo ops.
Tents are very comfortable, and the beds are great. Had an old Bull Elephant blocking my way to the tent the first night when i arrived, but he was nice enough to let us past.
All in all a very pleasant stay, would go back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank wildpix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 22, 2012

I stayed in Vuma Hills in July 2012 for two nights and did an evening and morning game drive.

Originally we had intended to stay one night only as the price was over our budget, however we enjoyed it so much we extended it to a second seeing it as worth the price. We had travelled from Western Tanzania on local transport and stayed at the cheapest of guesthouses along the way, so naturally we found the camp incredibly luxurious. However, putting our previous experiences aside, our tent was magnificent! On my first night I remember sitting on the bed relaxing after dinner and hearing an elephant's trumpet from nearby - absoultely magical! The atmosphere of the whole camp is excellent. The living area where everyone congregates in the evening is really nice, all the guests gather round a fire and have dinner together. There are options to sit on bigger tables with other guests if you wanted to socialise, otherwise you are more than welcome to stick to your private table. It is very homely. I wouldn't rate the food that highly, however it is definitely edible - the breakfast was excellent, cooked eggs, bacon, cereal, toast etc etc....it is really nice to have this when you get back from an early morning game viewing drive.

The vehicles are excellent, very high quality, open - really nice to be out in the open when seeing the animals, not all cars will be like this on safari. The seats are extremely comfortable. Complimentary soft drinks and blankets are provided on game drives. As they weren't full when we stayed we could have a vehicle for just the two of us for each game drive for no extra cost (i think this shows how much the manager Sabine cares that you have a good experience), but this might not be the case if they are really busy.

The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. The game drive staff are excellent - so knowledgable and passionate - it is really worth the money. My partner is a zoologist so could test the staff a bit but they really knew their stuff, which isn't always the case! On our early morning drive we were incredibly lucky and saw a leopard. He was lying in a tree near the road - our driver spotted him which was very impressive as he looked like a part of the tree from where we were. Please don't go to Mikumi expecting to see a leopard though - we were incredibly lucky to see one, but just remember there is still a chance you might! Otherwise we saw all the usual animals. At Vuma hills, they put out food to attract animals, we saw serval and caracal cats, which was excellent, there is no way you would see these magnificent animals normally. Sometimes it is also possible to a honey badger, which unfortunately we didn't see. Of course bush babies are in plentiful supply, it is so nice to see them up close!

Each tent is huge, very comfortable beds, excellent high pressure hot shower and a private out door balcony. Please remember you are staying in a national park - having 24 hr electricity and hot water from the tap is in my opinion an unnecessary luxury and it just makes the experience a little more authentic! The same goes for the pool, no it's not great but at the end of the day I haven't come on safari to sit by a pool! If you were interested in this I would highly recommend going to the hotel in the game reserve, near the main gates. It doesn't look like a hotel more like a bar and restaurant area. You can sit there and have a drink while looking at over the grassland. When we were there buffalo, wildebeest and warthogs were grazing close to the bar area. For a small fee you can also use their small swimming pool, which is small but really clean and right in the grasslands where the animals are likely to be.

Tips:
When we were there, Sabine (the very helpful manager) said they were in the process of designing even bigger more luxurious tents - this is something that might be worth going for if they are ready and you are travelling as a family or group.

You can only pay in cash...sometimes it is possible for them to phone through a card, but definitely bring more than enough cash! US dollars are better. The nearest bank is about an hours drive away, on the way to Udzungwa, there is no bank in Mikumi at the moment!

Remember you will have to pay the national park fees for each separate day you go in. These are per person and charged in US dollars. Mikumi has one of the cheapest entry fees for national parks in Tanzania, but when we were there there was talk of them increasing, so check current prices before you go.

Remember to bring cash to tip drivers and game reserve guides, and maybe bar/restaurant staff - it is expected of you on top of your hotel fees. How much though is up to you.

Bring clothes to wear that aren't blue or black - the tsetse flies are attracted to these colours and they will drive you insane if you are wearing these colours.

In essence, I can understand why people are saying that the camp could be better in the other reviews, and this is probably true but as far as comfort, authenticity, friendly and welcoming atmosphere and truly brilliant staff who will spot all the animals for you - it is brilliant.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank victoria g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Enjoyed 3 excellent nights at Vuma Hills. The safari feeling and experice was the closest not being in the tent on the savanna.

The location of Vuma Hills is in the middle of the national park. The game drive starts directly from the camp giving you the best feeling of being in the middle of the wilderness.

Tents are nice and clean with warm shower and toilet facilities. Locations of tents are nicely away from each other giving privacy. The restaurant and other facilities are nicely located in the middle of the camp. The service is friendly.

Happily recommend to all who likes to live close to the nature.

Room Tip: Tents on the sides of the resort are more close to the nature having also a better view from the hil...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank heikki_jantunen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Stayed for two nights. At first, we planned to go for a hike in the Udzungwa mountains, but on advice of the manager (sometimes you see lots of monkeys, but sometimes not more than a butterfly) and as my wife had some knee-problems, we decided to do some game drives in the park. An what a good decision that was! Thank you Sabine. Saw a lot of elephants, hippo's, lions and much more.

Tents are nice and clean, shower cabin a bit small. No hot water at the sink, so not easy for wet-shavers. Breakfast is a small buffet with fresh fruit and eggs-to-order served at the table. First diner was served at the table and was quite good. Second was a small buffet, not so good. Has one lunch buffet which was quite good.

The pool is dirty. When you step in to it, immediately a cloud of dirt gets around you feet. And there was a wasps nest close to the pool. Deck chairs are immitation leather with no towels, so not very comfy with these temperatures. And no one around to ask for a towel. It looks nice, but should be maintained better.

At night elephants come to drink from the pool. And they keep it that way, otherwise the elephants would tear down the waterpipes.

In the evening they put some food to attract bush babies and honey badgers. Some would say that should not be done but hey, in winter time we also put some food for birds outside at home, so what's the difference.

The manager is very friendly and helpfull, but should have some more attention for details. Sometimes it is hard to find a staff member to get some drinks, the pool could be better, etc. On the other hand, when you get the attention of a staff member, nothing is too much and they are all friendly and polite.

All in all a bit of doubt. The lodge is nice, tents are clean, food is mostly quite good. With some more attention this could be a very good lodge, now it is just over-average.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Walter077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012 via mobile

We (group of 7) stayed for 3 nights in Vuma Hills and had a full board arrangement.

The location of the camp is excellent, it's outside the Mikumi National Park but it takes only approx. 7 minutes by car to the park entrance. The camp lies on a height within a forrest, with lots of animals living right there.

The tents are in my opinion very nice, big and well furnished, with a toilet, shower and sink included. It might be true that some parts of the tent itself are already a bit run-down, but in such a wild environment this is nothing more than authentic:-)

Food was delicious!!! Bar abd lounge cozy and the staff and management very very sympathic.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank hummelito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

We stayed at Vuma Hills for two nights during a Safari. The location right in the middle of Mikumi is quite special. You have a fair chance to see a lot of animals on the way to and from the camp.

We booked the complete package (pickup in Dar, stay at Vuma Hills, game drives, flight from Mikumi to Zanzibar) through a tour operator so we don't know how much the stay at Vuma Hills was. But it was definitely less compared to what Foxes Safari Tours quotes on its website. So the value for money was OK.

The food was also OK and no problem for western taste buds.

The only real downside was the age of the bedding. The pillows had an odd smell, the mattress was old and the extra blanket to keep you warm was also a bit tired.

We were told that the management wants to renovate the tents. This is definitely a good idea because the shower and toilet could also use a make-over.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelling_german
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

I don't know if we were lucky, but: a group of 6 of us stayed at Vuma Hills for 1 night and had one afternoon game drive and one morning game drive. The afternoon game drive was spectacular, and we saw all of the animals we had been told were in the Park: Lions, Hippo, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Water Buffalo, Zebra, Elephant, Eland, Impala, Wart Hogs, Crocodile, Baboons, Eagles and Vultures, not huge numbers that you see on wildlife programmes, but we didn't expect that and they were there. The other side of this coin is that there are not huge numbers of people either. This was followed by an enjoyable meal in the evening, being entertained by Porcupines and Honey Badgers eating beneath the dining area and (i think) Bush Babies entertaining us in the trees. The morning game drive was not so good for us, but we saw a few animals again. The Camp itself is within the National Park, but about 7km out of the Game Drive area. There are luxury tents, which are on a raised wooden platform overlooking the National Park. It was hazy for us, but on a clear day would be magnificent. They have a thatched roof above the tent, so there is virtually no chance of getting wet. Each tent I saw slept 3 people (1 double and 1 single) and had ample room. There is a shower, basin and toilet in each tent, so not really camping at all. There was clear evidence that the camp is visited by large mammals, but we didn't see any. Sabine and all her staff were friendly, helpful and attentive and I am looking at going back when my wife joins me in a couple of months. We drove from Dar es Salaam, but there is an airstrip in the Game Drive area itself, which would be fantastic to use.

Room Tip: All of the tents i saw had good views across the plain
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Grabone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vuma Hills

Address: Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Morogoro Region > Mikumi National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Mikumi National Park
Number of rooms: 5

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