Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
The rustic and relaxed, Mdonya Old River Camp is about one and a half hour's drive from Msembe. Offering just eleven widely spaced tents, set in the shade of the trees that line the Mdonya Sand River, Mdonya Old River Camp offers unprecedented game viewing, the occasional elephant or other animal regularly wandering through camp.
Mdonya Old River Camp is a seasonal camp, which features only temporary structures and offers plenty of shaded seating areas, two animal watching hides, dining and lounge tents and a small library.
Luxury tented camps in Tanzania
When on safari in Tanzania, the traditional luxury tented camp offers a selection of canvas-sided safari tents, usually with thatched roofs, often raised on a timber platform with private verandah. Usually, the luxury safari tents feature comfortable double or single beds with mosquito netting, electric lighting (generator or solar powered) and luxury ensuite safari bathrooms (flushed WC, hot and cold running water, shower and vanity unit).
Activities at Mdonya Old River Camp
• Game drives in open 4-wheel drive vehicles.
• Excellent birding
• Game walks with professional walking guide and TANAPA ranger.
• Walking safari
• The Mdonya Old River Camp season
• June to October: Dry and warm days with temperatures cooling down considerably at night. Vegetation becomes sparser and animals are drawn to dwindling water sources. Nights can be cold.
November - mid March: Hotter and greener. Nights still cool. This is the season for bird and plant lovers and is the main reproductive time of year so a good time for seeing young.
About Ruaha National Park
Home of the ‘Great Ruaha River'
A pristine and largely undiscovered wilderness, the 12,950 square-kilometre Ruaha National Park is Tanzania's second-largest park. An unforgettable landscape, one of the last remaining tracts of the original Africa as it existed millions of years ago, Ruaha National Park is dominated by the Great Ruaha River, from which it takes its name (Ruaha means ‘great').
Undeveloped and undisturbed, Ruaha National Park offers spectacular wildlife, glorious scenery (more than 1,600 species of plants) and over 400 species of birds. With herds of more than 10,000 elephants, vast concentrations of buffalo, gazelle, and over 400 bird species, Ruaha's limitless wilderness, together with the surrounding game reserves of Rungwa and Kisigo -- stretches over 40,000 square kilometres. Elephants are found in some of the highest concentration in the country, travelling in matriarch-lead herds through ancient grazing lands and seasonal supplies of water.
Tanzania luxury safari tented camp: location
Ruaha is 115km (4 hour's drive) from Iringa (502km from Dar es Salaam). Mdonya Old River Camp is in the western part of the Ruaha National Park, a few kilometres from the Mdonya Falls and an exciting 1-2 hour game drive from the airstrip. Ruaha National Park has two airstrips (Msembe and Jongomero), which host flights from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar via the Selous, and from Arusha.
Your Tanzania luxury tented camp safari
Undeveloped and undisturbed, Ruaha National Park offers spectacular wildlife, glorious scenery (more than 1,600 species of plants) and over 400 species of birds. With herds of more than 10,000 elephants, vast concentrations of buffalo, gazelle, and over 400 bird species, Ruaha National Park‘s limitless wilderness, together with the surrounding game reserves of Rungwa and Kisigo -- stretches over 40,000 square kilometers.
Elephants are found in some of the highest concentration in the country, travelling in matriarch-lead herds through ancient grazing lands and seasonal supplies of water. The Great Ruaha River is the main feature of the park, and meanders through its borders. On its banks, the game viewing is spectacular, whether done by land or by water.
Hippos yawn under the midday sun and crocodiles lie lazily along the banks. Fish eagles dive and swoop along the riverbanks, and at night the sound of frogs croaking in the reeds extends across the hills and plains. Boating safaris are starting to gain in popularity, and provide a popular alternative to viewing the area by car.
Most of Ruaha National Park is located on the top of a 900 metre plateau whose hills, valleys, and plains make the game viewing topography beautifully unique. Small mountains run along the southwest borders of the park and their tree-covered slopes are visible in the distance. During the rainy seasons, dry river beds swell with the biannual deluge and within days, a thin coat of green covers all the land in sight.
Because of its rather remote location, Ruaha National Park is largely unexplored. Because of this, a safari to the national park often has the feel of a private adventure and an unique experience. For the intrepid wilderness lover and the avid safari explorer, a trip to Ruaha is uniquely rewarding and a perfect piece of Africa.
Safari sightings in Ruaha National Park will include: lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, greater and lesser kudu and Grant's gazelle. Birds: more than 400 species of birds have been recorded.
Accommodation - Luxury safari tented camp
The eleven Mdonya Old River Camp tents are widely spaced along the banks of the river and beneath the shade of the trees. Each has either twin or double beds, large verandahs, dressing rooms, ensuite bathrooms (flushed WC and hot water) and open-to-the-sky showers.
Tanzania luxury tented camp: dining and bars
The Mdonya Old River Camp dining tent and bar is located under broad spreading acacias and sycamore figs overlooking the dry river bed, which acts as a potent lure to the wildlife. Mdonya Old River Camp Meals are typically buffet or table d'hote, and are often served al fresco in the bush or by the river. Dinner is served by candlelight.
Mdonya Old River Camp menus feature Tanzania and international choices and meals are typically table d'hote. Mdonya Old River Camp offers a full bar service and campfire ‘sundowners' are a feature of camp life.
Conference and event facilities at Mdonya Old River Camp
This luxury tented camp does not offer specific conference facilities but will be happy to quote for small meetings and social gatherings.
Weddings and honeymoons at Mdonya Old River Camp
This Tanzania luxury tented camp makes an ideal Tanzania honeymoon destination.
Child-friendly facilities at Mdonya Old River Camp
Mdonya Old River Camp welcomes children and will be pleased to supply additional beds. Please note that children of 15 years and younger are not permitted to go on walking safaris in the Ruaha
What to see and do at Mdonya Old River Camp
Mdonya Old River Camp activities
• Driving through the bush, accompanied by a guide of course.
• Dining out in the bush.
• Walking Safaris accompanied by a trained Park Ranger.
(This can be done between July and January only, because when the rains come and the grass gets high, walking safaris are not possible. Please note that children of 15 years and younger are not permitted to go on walking safaris in the Ruaha.)
When to visit Ruaha National Park
Visiting a luxury tented camp is Ruaha National Park possible during both the dry ‘yellow' season and the wet ‘green' season, even in January when the rain is heaviest due to the fact that the rains here tent to be short and the roads are generally good. However, in the wet season the grass is long which can hamper game viewing. Optimum time to visit this luxury tented camp July-December.
Safari tented camp experiences in Ruaha National Park
Typical Tanzania safari experiences at this tented camp include: morning safari game drives in especially adapted 4WD safari vehicles (with professionally trained Tanzania safari guides), safari bush breakfasts, lunches and dinners; cocktails around the safari campfire and guided safari walks. The tented camp also offers ornithological tours.
Mdonya Old River Camp • Ruaha National Park • Tanzania Safari Tented Camps
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