Mwagusi Safari Camp is owned and run by Chris Fox, one of East Africa’s most famous guides. Chris founded the camp in 1987 with the aim of providing authentic no-frills safari experiences to adventurous travellers. Just over thirty years later, the camp is still thriving – it’s one of the oldest properties in Tanzania and it feels completely at one with the natural environment! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, filtered water, all activities, and a laundry service.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is situated about 45 minutes’ road transfer from the nearest airstrip. Most travellers fly in to Ruaha from Dar es Salaam, a journey of approximately 2½ hours. Mwagusi has a wonderful location on the banks of the seasonal Mwagusi river. This is one of the best regions within the national park for wildlife viewing!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of 13 tented rooms, known as bandas. Constructed using local timber, stone, and thatch, these merge seamlessly with the bushscape. The thatch roof extends well over the internal canvas tent, creating a spacious veranda. The veranda features lounge and dining furniture – including a hammock – on a red stone floor amongst boulders, and it’s a great spot to relax and enjoy amazing views over the river! Inside the tent, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk or dressing table with chair, and an explorer’s chest for storage. The floors are adorned with colourful rugs, and cheerfully patterned cushions are arranged on the bedspreads. Wide gauze windows let in plenty of light if required, and although there’s no fan the structure of the tent allows fresh breezes to flow through. The en-suite facilities are located at the back of the tent, accessed via an additional space for storing clothes and other belongings. They comprise flush toilet, washbasin, and walk-in shower, within walls that are part stone and part reed, and amidst natural objects collected from Ruaha, such as pieces of driftwood and bones. Overall the tents have a very authentic vibe – we can understand why a lot of travellers return here!
Mwagusi’s communal spaces are also housed within timber, stone, and thatch. The roof is raised to a very high pitch in a few places, ensuring breathtaking vistas over Ruaha! Inside, the floors are the same vibrant red stone as in the guest bandas, and polished to quite a shimmer. The lounge area features a stone circle of seating with lighter-red cushions, a centrally positioned boulder as a coffee table, and various mammal skulls. The camp’s well-stocked bar is found up a few steps from the lounge, and it adjoins the dining area – here, a number of tables flanked by campaign chairs are set up ready for delicious communal meals. Guests can enjoy bush dining too, as breakfasts can be packed up as a picnic. Lunches are light buffet-style affairs, and afternoon teas always include scrumptious cake! A lavish three-course dinner ends your day at Mwagusi, and it’s often served under the stars. The camp also has a library, which contains comfy sofas and wildlife books – it’s ideal for a little quiet time.
Some classic safari activities are available from Mwagusi Safari Camp. This area of Ruaha National Park boasts a real wealth of wildlife! Highlights include impressive concentrations of lion and leopard, huge herds of elephant and buffalo, and lots of smaller mammal species – cheetah, serval, caracal, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and an astonishing amount of antelopes. There are also over six hundred types of bird! The camp’s game drives head off in early morning and late afternoon, and full-day excursions are offered too. All drives are accompanied by a knowledgeable and experienced guide, so exciting sightings are guaranteed! Walking safaris are a superb opportunity to take a really close look at the smaller lives of Ruaha – plants, insects, and all the other intrigues you wouldn’t spot from the 4×4. And for particularly keen fans of feathery friends, camp bird walks are a must! These take place in the early morning and last 45 minutes. As well as looking out for the birds of the national park, you can enjoy examining the tracks left outside your tent by nocturnal animals.