Intimate safari, well off the beaten track and in the hands of one of the best guides around – Kichaka Expeditions is up there with Tanzania’s most remote and exciting experiences! It’s made up of two camps – Zumbua (main camp, three luxurious suites) and Kidogo (fly camping, not available in low season). The camps were set up in Ruaha by Moli and Noelle with the express aim of providing something completely different to what the other properties in this amazing park were offering: total seclusion and an emphasis on walking safari. The game is excellent and you can expect to see elephant, zebra, hippo, buffalo, lion, hyena, and occasionally cheetah, as it’s one of the few places in the south of Tanzania with open plains. There’s also ‘Kichaka Wild’, a 7-day expedition into the depths of Ruaha, exclusively with Moli and his support team. For those who have done perhaps one safari already and are looking for something special, Kichaka is authentic, wilderness safari at its best.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Kichaka is located in an untouched and remote area on the eastern side of Ruaha National Park. Ruaha is a place of plenty, where red scorched earth meets sand rivers and ancient baobabs. Situated on the banks of the seasonal Ruaha river, Kichaka is very far from any other camp or lodge, so unless you go on a day-long game drive, you are very unlikely to see another vehicle!
From Dar (or the Selous) it’s an approximately one-and-a-half-hour flight to Msembe Airstrip, followed by a three-hour drive to camp, but you’re game driving from the off and there’s a picnic lunch along the way.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT KICHAKA EXPEDITIONS:
There are just three suites at Kichaka Zumbua, providing all the comforts you could desire. Each is constructed using natural canvas with a thatched dome roof. The bedrooms are open during the day so you can enjoy the views and breeze, but closed in the evening. Inside, you’ll find a comfy double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, and ample storage furniture. The bathroom adjoins the bedroom and features a bath and an outdoor hot shower complete with views over the Ruaha river. On the other side of the bedroom is a personal plunge pool and a viewing deck.
At Kichaka Kidogo, the tents are smaller, dome style, yet once again you have everything you need, including private facilities a short distance away, and the campfire is the central part of camp. All tents are well appointed, but it’s the location and supreme guiding that sets this property apart! Please note that the fly camp is closed during low season, from 1st December to 31st March. You need to book 5 nights at Kichaka for fly camping to be included, but do chat with one of our specialists to discuss seasons and how long to spend in each camp!
Kichaka Zumbua’s communal areas are made up of three sections. First, there’s a lounge area with well-cushioned sofas, where you can relax with a cup of tea and a beautiful view. A central swimming pool and ‘Star-Bar’ make up the centre of camp – these are new additions and are wonderful places to spend your time between safari activities. There is also a dining room for enjoying the high-quality meals on offer here. Breakfast, enjoyed before the first activity of the day, consists of cereals, fruit, toast, and even a full English if required! Lunch is often provided in the bush, cooked over a gas stove. Dinner is always served back at camp – it involves three satisfying courses and an adventurous al-fresco location.
ACTIVITIES AT KICHAKA EXPEDITIONS:
The focus of activities at Kichaka is walking safaris. All walks are led by Moli or one of the expert guides (all trained by Moli), guaranteeing amazing experiences! Their knowledge is encyclopaedic and you’ll explore the remotest parts of Ruaha, encountering a wealth of wildlife.
Expertly guided game drives– Game drives are available during early morning and late afternoon into evening. Among the highlights are four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can look out for smaller predators such as cheetah, serval, caracal, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and all sorts of antelopes!
Walking safaris– Why not head out into the bush with an armed guide? As well as enjoying animal tracking and the area’s phenomenal birdlife, you can take a closer look at the park’s insects and plant life. Different levels and distances are available, depending on the ages of your group. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn bush skills, such as tracking, fire lighting, and a few survival basics.
Night drives– You can also venture out at night, when all the big predators come alive. It’s always an unforgettable experience watching what goes on in the dark of the night – you might spot the likes of civet, genet, porcupine, and the charming pangolin!
Birding– Keen birders can look out for over six hundred types of feathery friends, among them raptors, waterbirds, and songbirds. Photographic safaris are possible as well, and at the end of each day you can enjoy a little stargazing from the “Star Bar” before returning to your suite.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.