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Mdonya Old River

Selous & the South

Rating: Mid-range    

Mdonya Old River overview

Mdonya Old River is a small safari camp set in the western part of the second largest game park in Tanzania, Ruaha National Park. It offers the true bush experience, and is a little basic, but more than makes up for this by its location within a beautiful wilderness area, its proximity to game and welcoming atmosphere. 

Mdonya Old River Camp allows you go get very close to nature, for example lions are known to wander through the camp!

The 12 tents are spread out over a large area, under the shade of large sycamore figs nestled in the curving banks of a sand-river. They are traditional safari tents, comfortably furnished with double or twin beds and with large verandas where you can relax and observe the wildlife around. They have en-suite shower rooms with solar-heated water.

There are hides at both ends of the camp, where you can sit and watch the game pass by. The dining and lounge tents are under acacias and sycamore figs overlooking the dry river bed which is used by game as a corridor, so you can enjoy the game viewing even while having lunch or relaxing. The experience of dining by candlelight to the sound of crickets and the occasional hyena or lion is unforgettable. 

Ruaha is an enormous undeveloped wilderness whose beautiful open landscape is especially rich in elephant, buffalo and lion. This national park is for people looking for a genuine, off-the beaten track, round-the-campfire experience, and Mdonya Old River is the ideal setting for such an experience.


Location: Mdonya is in the heart of Ruaha National Park a few kilometres from Mdonya Falls. The closest airstrip is Msembe which is an exciting 1-2 hour game drive away.

Rooms: 12 safari tents with twin or double beds. The ensuite bathrooms are at the rear of the tents and have open-roofed solar heated showers and flush loos. There are 3 family tents. There is no electricity in the tents and lighting is provided by kerosene lamps and candles.

Activities: You come here to enjoy the superb wildlife and wilderness of Ruaha National Park, with daily game drives. |The camp also offers bird watching walks.

Facilities: There are 2 main tents, one for dining the other used as the lounge, which has a library and a small shop.

Dining: Breakfast and lunch are usually served in the dining tent, with dinner eaten out in the open. Most meals are eaten communally.

Children: Mdonya Old River is not recommended for young children.

Health: This is a malarial area.

Map for Mdonya Old River

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Amanda Marks
Tracy Edwards
Sinead Bailey
Christine MacDougall
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Selous and Ruaha safari
Selous and Ruaha: Manze and Mdonya
7 days from £2650 pp

Superb value safari in southern Tanzania's best wildlife locations, tented camps with friendly service.

A room with heart
a room
with heart

customer rating

90% from
22 reviews











client reviews

Jean and John, Essex

"We really felt we were camping in the bush. The sound of the animals at night, the muted conversations around the campfire and the dedication of all the staff made this camp very special."

Doctor John Patrick Fielder
"First impression was that it looked like English parkland because it had rained recently, apart from the giraffe and Impala wandering by! Very nice couple running the camp, good to mix with fellow guests at mealtimes."
Mrs Ruth Samways
"Suited me in every way. Loved it!"
Mr Peter King
"excellent guide and a mass of animal life."
Mrs. Lesley Ayton
"Lovely setting and great accommodation. Very professionally run and good staff,but laid back. Food and drink marvelous."

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