What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
An incredible stay in an exceptional locale
Ruaha River Lodge was the 3rd place we stayed on a week long journey across Tanzania. It was the second game park where we stayed and it did not disappoint. First and foremost, after self-isolating with family for the last 4 months, we didn't want to take any unnecessary risk by deciding to go on family vacation. Staying at Ruaha River Lodge was perfect for that reason! Although we were the 1st guests since they re-opened, they took plenty of precautions that put us instantly at ease. All staff wore masks, as we did and anyone serving the delicious meals also wore gloves and then maintain distance once meals were served. Further, every time we entered the common spaces for meals, we were greeted with hand sanitizers, etc. The tables were spaced well and while we were largely (and sadly) alone there, the layout makes it very easy to be safely at full capacity and still maintain all the safety protocols. NOW, let's talk about the more fun stuff. When we arrived and checked into our cabin after a days drive, we were met by a family of hippos just across the river from our balcony. The wildlife was extraordinary. The cabin was comfortable, clean and beautifully appointed for the context. The food was lovely, with a starter, a main and dessert and the lunches that they packed while we were out on safari were ample. Breakfasts were also more than sufficient and delicious. The staff were attentive and helpful and eager to get back to work after months of being shut down due to the Covid pandemic. While there is only electricity for appointed hours, it was plenty of time to charge our devices, check essential email and remind ourselves to be present on this incredible trip. Given you are 30 km inside the game park, we were pleased to see that the natural beauty had not been compromised by unnecessary infrastructure.
Out of Africa
After my seventh Safari in Kenya and Tanzania, there are still some places that are amazing, and Ruaha River Lodge is among them. Not too far from the airstrip (good to know if you take a plane), located in the middle of the park, you get up and go to bed with lots of images in your eyes, and a desire not to leave this wonderful and peaceful place. The staff is very professional, and is able to enjoy your stay even if it's rainy. It reminded me my first Safari in the 60's, when a safari was not like a ride in a zoo.
Great place for safari
Living just in the heart of the wildlife makes you have all the oppertunities to see the wild animals right outside your door. Great large stone houses close to the Ruaha river. Nice to sit on the terrace and watch hippoes nearby. Large cabins with large bathrooms. But very hard and uncomfertably beds.... Very good food, and nice lunchboxes as well. Helpful and nice staff. Love to come back sometime.
Ruaha a beautiful National Park but a camp with deficiencies
Location excellent with Hippo TV at all hours (including an exclusive soundtrack! )with Bandas stretched out along the river bank. Distances between some are substantial as its quite a big camp. The dining staff and guides were willing and provided fair service. Other camp staff appeared in their own clothes, sometimes very grubby, at odds with what I've come to expect from other camps. The food was fine. I had expected drinks inclusive but it seemingly changed since booking (admittedly a long time ago) - Bottled water was there for tooth brushing and in the safari vehicles, every other drop had to be bought. No drinks for a minor ( a lot of children in the camp to) at tea time. Herb tea offered when queried! No large bottles of water available just small another frustration. Ruaha is very humid so water was in much demand. The camp is looking very tired. The Bandas needed a good clean and many parts were grubby: floors, light switches, baskets in bathroom, etc. Concrete floors had not been mopped/ properly cleaned in a while as constant grit came off them. There is a fair bit of mud around so keeping things clean cant be easy. Electricity is in short supply with the generator only on for limited periods rendering the bandas dim, making recharging cameras difficult. A Recharging point and power banks in the central part of the lodge were insufficient for demand. Overall impression was one of stinginess. It is a budget camp but needs some TLC and thought on some basics!
Exactly what we were hoping for - sitting on the terrace overlooking the river watching hippos, elephants, impala etc . The drives were top quality with the driver and guide so knowledgeable. Top marks to the chef for such quality food in such a location!
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