We were a little skeptical about extending our trip to Ruaha as part of our Tanzania visit.
Boy! that would have been a miss of a lifetime.
The only reason we included Ruaha along with Selous was to try our luck spotting Cheetahs.
The moment we alighted the short flight from Selous we met with Richard, our guide and driver from Mdonya Old River Camp.
One will connect with Richard instantaneously. He is a plethora of knowledge about almost anything around.
He asked for our wish list of wildlife that we would like to spot.
While explaining to him what we were looking for, he politely asked if we would like to go see cheetahs with a kill. What a stupid question to ask!
We were there just for the Cheetahs.. Within 20 mins of arriving in Ruaha, we were watching 4 cheetahs with a kill, all by ourselves. After a few hours of safari we reached Mdonya camp in the evening around 6PM.
When we walked in, it felt like we are coming back home and being welcomed by the near and dear at home. We never felt that we were walking into a camp.
Everyone was so very nice, warm and welcoming.
We were escorted to our tent. As usual, it was basic, functional and had all that we required for a comfortable stay.
The bed was not very soft nor hard. But we were assured of a peaceful sleep.
Even though it would be a little warm to begin with, later in the night temperature really drops.
We had to close all the windows in the middle of the night to keep ourselves warm. Since Ruaha is on the dryer side, dust inside the tent could be a problem to some.
One of the highlights of Mdonya camp is that its right inside the park.
On the first night of our stay, there were about 7 lions visiting a puddle of water behind our tent. We could hear a lot of noise, hyena calls etc in the night.
It was just the experience we were looking for. While during dinner, we could see elephants walk past the dinner table quietly.
These are frequent visitors and do no harm. Its absolutely safe as long as you stay within the limits and follow the instructions provided to you.
Food served is both local and continental. Never had issues with any of the meals that was served.
Breakfast is typical English breakfast.
Lunch is very basic, but healthy meals that is carried along with us during safari (so wouldn't be really warm).
Dinner is typically continental. Quality of food was excellent and very tasty.
Service again is excellent as expected.
Everyone there would make sure that your stay is comfortable and special.
If at all if you find any hesitation, its usually because of language issue and its not that they are reluctant to serve you.
On the last day, we were yet to see a leopard. Richard spent almost 2 hours looking for leopard to ensure that we spotted a leopard before we left.
Finally he fulfilled our wish and we spotted a leopard with a kill on top of a tree and that too at a close distance.
Best of all, we left making a few good friends at Ruaha. I will be going back to Ruaha again soon!.