All these photos were taken by me, guests and other agencies in and around Kwihala camp in the Ruaha conservancy. They should give you some idea of this wonderful location and the activities we will undertake there.
Ruaha at this time of year is very dry with even the major rivers reduced to mere trickles. Kwihala means “bush” – and this is some of the most beautiful African bush you can find. The camp is set in a high area with views over the surrounding countryside; it is near the Mwagusi Sand River and in one of the best game areas in the National Park.
Kwihala is quite different to Impala being built more on the traditional safari camp style. It offers a really refreshing combination of adventure and style, and takes you even closer to the wildlife and the excitement of Africa. It still however provides for those who crave their creature comforts with huge tents, each well-equipped with proper beds, bathroom with hot shower and flush loo.
The game in the area is truly fantastic, and you will have plenty of opportunities to observe and photograph it by vehicle and if you want on foot. I use an excellent South African professional guide and tracker who will give us the excellent experiences. He is also a competent photographer and knows exactly how to provide us with great photo opportunities.
This is the African bush for real !
Much of the area is services by one airstrip – Msembe – it is thus busier than the airstrip at Impala but still ostensibly a dirt runway. You are collected from the airstrip and ferried to the camp quite some way away thus your trip is your first opportunity for game viewing.
The welcome at Kwihala is warm and as you arrive you realise just how remote this bush camp is. You are taken to your tent in its own clearing right out in the bush a real opportunity to experience bush living but with a considerable level of comfort.
The central mess tent is the hub of the camp where you gather each day and where you eat your meals whilst in camp.
All the tents and particularly the “mess tent” were designed by well-known contemporary African designer – Jacquie Resley. The mess tent at 150 square metres is spacious and the social centre of the camp with its separate dining and relaxing areas it creates a real homely feel, although canvas walls and open sides leave one with no illusions that one is staying in the African bush.
The individual tents are each 40 square metres and situated in their own plot with proper beds and a comfortable mattress, freshly pressed linen and a well-equipped bathroom with hot shower and flush loo. They are little havens in the bush and for those brave enough to leave the curtain open the sounds of the night often were accompanied by eerie shadows in the moonlight as lions pad past the tent crunching the dry leaves as they go.
Given the vast area of the Ruaha conservancy the best way to explore it is by vehicle. I use an excellent South African professional guide and tracker, Marius Stwart, who owns and runs his own safari company, clearly Africa – www.clearlyafrica.com. Look him up on his website at Marius Swart. He is an excellent guide and a competent photographer in his own right so knows exactly how to provide us with great photo opportunities.
With an excellent guide like Marius there is no better way to explore the region than on foot.