WPCS 2.1.3
WPCS 2.1.3

Mobile Camping & Walking in Ruaha NP, Tanzania

What is this safari about?

Ruaha National Park is the hidden gem of Tanzania and with arguably the biggest lion population in Africa, it is a must do for seasoned African travellers!

This multi-day walking and camping safari along the Ruaha River is not for the faint-hearted but is also an incredible experience not to be missed by the adventurous!

In the dry season, wildlife is forced to drink from the Ruaha River making for high-density, action-packed game viewing. Ruaha is one of the best places to view lions with exceptionally large lion prides found here, often exceeding 20 members.

This unique mobile camping and walking safari allows you to camp in the remote walking zone around Jongomero in southern Ruaha and walk along the Ruaha River for 4 glorious days! In addition, you can spend another 3 days camping in the northern Msembe area of Ruaha and game drive along the river for some of the best game viewing in Africa!

The first private mobile camp will be setup overlooking a waterfall and pool often frequented by hippo and elephant, as well as lots of water birds. Walking along wildlife tracks following the river, you will be accompanied by an armed trails guide and an armed park ranger. The river during the dry season attracts a vast abundance of game coming to drink, offering great wildlife viewing with specialties being oribi, roan and sable.

Two more days of walking downstream of the river with the camp following to a new campsite daily. One of these camps has natural hot springs allowing for a great morning or evening dip. You have the flexibility to spend two nights in one camp if you like the area and decide to go on shorter exploratory walks from camp.

Afternoons are spent relaxing and enjoying the shade and views of the river in the heat of the day and later afternoons going for a shorter evening walk.

After the walking safari enjoy great game viewing as you drive along the Ruaha River heading to the north-eastern part of the park to a private campsite along the river close to the Msembe area.

The last part of the safari allows two full days of game driving around the Mwagusi Sand River loops and Msembe area, that offers a range of classic acacia savannah to miombo thicket and fan palms groves along the rivers. The game drives in this area are known for a high density of lion and good chance of seeing leopard, along with huge herds of buffalo and your common greater Kudu.

The mobile camp details are as follows:

  • The camping style is not luxury, but it is comfortable. The mobile camps are by necessity more basic, allowing the crew to break up camp in the morning and have the camp set up again and waiting at a new location when one walks in for lunch! This creates an experience of “real” camping, where one feels completely part of the environment around you, rather than apart from it.
  • Food is normally eaten around a fire, under the stars, or in the shade of an Acacia Tree. However, a mobile dining canopy act as a central gathering point for meals, drinks, snacks and resource materials.
  • The tents are large enough to stand in, and are furnished with cots, mattresses, bedding and towels.
  • The solar showers provided are simple, but exactly what one needs to wash off the sweat, dust or mud after a day of walking or driving. Enclosed pit-latrines with a wooden seat over are provided, simple but effective, also aligned with a “leave-no-trace” philosophy.
  • Camp fare is planned and organized from locally available foodstuffs and is generally considered better than good. Camp staff will prepare food and take care of your needs, from the first hot sip of coffee in the morning, to the last satisfied sip of your nightcap in the evening.

All in all, this 7-night safari is one of the very best walking and mobile camping safaris on offer in Africa!

See a suggested itinerary here.

Who can go?

The safari is arranged on a private basis for small groups, ideally 4 up to 7 guests maximum. On request it can also be arranged for a couple or 2 single guests.

The safari comprises of remote camping and walking in BIG4 terrain, so ideally you will have some experience of travelling in Africa. Reasonable fitness is also required, although walks are not for long distances it still means walking for 3 to 4 hours at a time, often in hot conditions.

The minimum age is 12 years at the time of travel.

Why is this special?

  • Ruaha is the best kept secret in Africa!
  • To do mobile camping along the Ruaha River must be up there as one of the best experiences for seasoned Africa travellers.
  • Walking along the Ruaha River makes for some exhilarating walking and numerous encounters with large animals are guaranteed.
  • Game viewing along the Ruaha River offers opportunity to see rare species such as oribi, roan and sable.
  • The safari is run by one of the best mobile and walking safari companies in Tanzania and with some of the best guides in the business!

Where is this?

Ruaha National Park is the largest national park in all East Africa and is the hidden gem of Tanzania with much less visitors than the parks in the north, making for an exclusive and remote experience! Ruaha offers incredible game viewing and an untouched wilderness waiting to be explored.

Ruaha is part of the southern safari circuit of Tanzania with the other parks being Selous, Makumi, Katavi and Mahale.

What should I expect to pay?

The price for the safari varies depending on the number of guests on the trip.

For groups of 6 to 7 people the rate for the 7-night safari is around USD 3 800 per person, whilst for 4 guests it is USD 4 800 and for only 2 guests it will be around USD 6 400 per person. There is a discount of around 10% for children under 16.

The rate is fully inclusive of all activities, tented accommodation, food and drinks, as well as all Park related fees.

What Extensions do you recommend?

Ruaha can easily be combined with the Serengeti with direct flights from Msembe airstrip in Ruaha and Kogatende airstrip in northern Serengeti. Combining Ruaha with the Serengeti around August to September when the wildebeest migration is in the northern Serengeti will give you the BEST of both worlds!

Ruaha is part of the southern Tanzania circuit so a visit to Selous or Katavi make for great extensions.

There is of course the magical chimpanzee extension to Mahale for a lucky few!

Also keep Zanzibar or Mafia Island in mind for some beach time and serious R&R!

Keen to do one of the best walking safaris in Africa? Get in touch!

Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!

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