Set in the remote Ruaha National Park, Mwagusi Safari Camp is well away from the crowds and offers the chance to enjoy the highest quality guiding on both game drives safari walks. The camp is owned by Chris Fox, who was brought up in Tanzania and knows this region as well as anyone and is an enthusiastic host and guide.
Mwagusi Camp has 12 tents within traditional safari tents ranged on either side of the main area. They are set beneath thatched bandas, each equipped high density mattresses and a range of locally-made furniture. All tents have ensuite bathrooms with flush toilet and hot water shower. At the front there is a large covered veranda with a table and armchairs made from local materials, looking out over the riverbed. Solar powered lights as well as a number of traditional hurricane lamps provide lighting.
Renowned for its high calibre of local Tanzanian guides and their in-depth knowledge of the African bush, Mwagusi offers rewarding, quality wildlife viewing with plenty of opportunities for game drives and walks throughout the area. Vehicles are covered, providing shade for the sun. Walking safaris, accompanied by an experienced guide and an armed park ranger, is one of the main attractions of Mwagusi's safari adventure.
Mwagusi Camp has strong links with local communities. Many of the camp's staff are local and the camp is actively involved in the building and staffing of an orphanage for children of AIDs victims and in making improvements to local schools and clinics.
Open: Mwagusi Safari Camp is open from early June to late March each year. The months of April and May can be very wet and the camp closes at this time for refurbishment.
Location: Mwagusi Safari Camp is in Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. The nearest airstrip is about a half hour drive from the camp.
Rooms: Accommodation is in 12 traditional canvas safari tents set beneath steep thatched walls providing shade. The front and back walls of the tents can be unzipped and opened up. Each tent has 2 twin beds that can be made into one double bed if wanted, campaign chairs, storage space, a dressing table and mirror. To the rear of the tent is the en-suite shower room with a flush toilet, basin, shower and unlimited supply of hot water. Towels and locally-made soap are provided. To the front of the tent there’s a veranda with comfy chairs where you can sit and watch birds and animals by the Mwagusi sand river.
Activities: Mwagusi offers half-day (morning and afternoon) and full day game drives, with an experienced guide as well as the driver. Vehicles have a high shade awning and carry drinks and reference books. Guided walks are a speciality. Walks should be booked in advance of arrival, as the camp needs to secure the services of one of the park’s armed rangers. They start early in the morning and take about 3 hours. Walks incur an additional fee (currently US$20 per person and US$50 for the guide per group) and must be paid for locally. You can also take an early morning bird walk by the camp, learning not just about birds but also about insects, trees and plants. Thw walk begins just after sunrise and lasts about 45 minutes. The camp’s owner, Chris Fox, is himself a guide and vastly experienced, with a deep knowledge and understanding of the region. New guides are trained at Mwagusi each year, and the standard of guiding is very high.
Facilities: The central areas feature a reading room, bar and dining room, all set under thatch and overlooking the Mwagusi River. You’re welcome to browse through the books, and can swap one you like the look of for one you’ve already read. There are no radios or TVs at Mwagusi. The camp offers a laundry service. The camp uses solar power. It is possible to charge batteries between 2pm and 4pm and you should bring your own charger.
Dining: Meals are eaten communally with other guests and camp managers. There are 2 main dining areas overlooking the riverbed. Breakfast can be enjoyed in camp or in the bush while lunch is a generous buffet served in the main dining area. From June to December (the yellow season) bush dinners are arranged in a variety of settings. Private meals can be organised on request.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. The camp is unfenced and children must be kept under supervision at all times. A special children’s programme can be arranged. The minimum age for a walking safari is 12 years.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is cell phone reception but this is unreliable. There is basic email which can be used in an emergency.
Notes: The camp accepts payment in Tanzanian shillings, $US dollars (issued after 2003), £Sterling and Euros. Travellers cheques are also accepted, with a 5% surcharge, however credit and debit cards are not accepted.
"Not only is this lovely camp in one of the best areas in Ruaha for game, but it is in a truly beautiful location on the Mwagusi River (which, by the way, is sand for most of the year but it’s still an incredible spot), and the guiding is really excellent. I loved the rooms, which are part tent and part stone built – both under thatch. They are not the fanciest in Ruaha, but very comfortable, and I could have sat on my verandah all day long to watch the wildlife from my rocky perch. I would return in a heartbeat."