Study trip Marjolijn Ruaha National Park part 3
Ruaha National Park, a place that really appealed to me last year, attracted me again this time. It is such an impressive park, and last time we had not been able to explore all the accommodations. So it was time to go back and get to know two of those accommodations better. From Katavi National Park we fly to Ruaha in 1.5 hours, located in the heart of Tanzania. This is the largest park in the country, but only 10-20% of it is used for safaris. The rest is untouched wilderness and Miombo forest, home to the infamous tse tse flies – a place you wouldn’t want to be.
Upon arrival we are warmly greeted by Simba, who pretty much runs the runway. Last year he was incredibly helpful when I left something on the plane, and he was pleasantly surprised to see us again.
Our guide immediately leads us to a group of 25 wild dogs! An incredible experience to see these animals. After this overwhelming moment we continue our way to our camp; Kichaka Zumbua. Located in the far north, where there are no other accommodations, this is the coolest place for walking safari enthusiasts. A fresh lunch is prepared in the middle of the bush along the way. It’s a nice place to be with a cold drink ;-)
We arrive at Kichaka Zumbua. The owners, Moli and Noelle, are seasoned experts in Ruaha with their amazing mobile camp and Moli is known as one of Tanzania’s best trained guides. During the years of the pandemic, Moli and Noelle have created a true paradise; Kichaka Zumbua. I had already heard a lot about it and over the years Moli and Noelle have proven themselves as excellent hosts and excellent guides. But this exceeds all expectations. Just three beautiful cottages overlooking the Great Ruaha River and the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it. Each cottage features a private plunge pool, a roof terrace, a luxurious room that opens completely and the most stunning bathroom under the stars. All this, combined with highly skilled guides, delicious meals and excellent service, really makes this the place you want to be.
The next morning we are woken up at 6 a.m. with a cup of coffee at the tent. Always a nice moment to watch the sun rise from your bed. We then enjoy breakfast before starting our walking safari. Moli tells the most beautiful stories. We read the ‘bush telegraph’, so to speak, by interpreting the tracks on the ground and learning which animals have been here. We get detailed stories about the elephants, the baobab trees, and the ‘toothbrush’ tree that supports nature in this dry time. Our morning continues with the most fascinating stories about nature. At such a moment you never want to go back to the city…
After a delicious lunch at the camp, we enjoy a relaxing safari in the afternoon. We spotted the elephants that we apparently walked past this morning. With tasty drinks and snacks we climb onto a cup and enjoy the sunset over Ruaha National Park.
After two wonderful nights at Kichaka, we conclude our safari with two nights at Mwagusi Safari Camp. A traditional camp that has existed for decades. It has a great location on the Ruaha River, in the middle of the area where the most beautiful safaris can be made. In the evening, the tables are placed on the riverbed, surrounded by dozens of lanterns. Wonderful to enjoy these meals in the middle of nature.
The guides here have a lot of experience and we learn a lot of new things. We are lucky enough to spot a few mother lions with their hyperactive cubs. A pleasure to watch these bunglers while they still have to learn the tricks of the trade.
And so our bush adventure ends once again. Full of new impressions of Ruaha, we leave for Dar es Salaam. Ruaha has once again stolen my heart. It is the largest national park in Tanzania, with a huge diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna. You could easily spend 10 days here and experience something new each time.
In Dar es Salaam, we have one more useful appointment at the Embassy before flying back to Amsterdam with familiar KLM.
Our 10-day safari ends in Dar es Salaam, and as always, I leave full of new impressions and knowledge. In order to organize custom trips, these kinds of trips are crucial. It keeps me in the loop of all that is and changes in this vast country. I return home with new inspiration, fresh ideas, and the reassurance that we can promise our travelers an unforgettable experience in Tanzania.
It will change you. For good.