Kwihala Camp, Ruaha National Park

Set in Tanzania’s iconic Ruaha National Park, this small frontier-style camp provides exceptional access to the park’s huge populations of big cats, buffalo and elephants. Relatively unexplored, Ruaha is one of the largest national parks in Africa, ensuring a true wilderness experience.

Kwihala is an intimate six-bedroom camp where simple excellence is the order of the day. The adventurous will relish the remarkable concentration of wildlife roaming this diverse landscape, which ranges from baobab trees and granite kopjes to open plains with cooling rivers and woodland valleys. With the option of bush walks and night drives with our highly knowledgeable guides, safari doesn’t get better than this.

sayari-map
Snapshot of Kwihala Camp
  • Exceptional guiding throughout your game drives, walking safaris & night drives
  • Big cat experience with 10% of the world’s lion population living in the park
  • Intimate safari experience with Art Deco-style en-suite tents
Perfect for
  • Private use accommodation & guiding
  • Romantic Safari
  • Active Safari
Standard price per person per night:

$550 - $695i

Camp Experience

 

Those in the know seek out safari adventures in Africa’s less-travelled wildernesses like remote Ruaha, which is also host to 10% of the world’s lion population. This game-rich conservation area and the sheer comfort of camp provide an exceptional wilderness experience.

The main area – with its tented lounge and dining room – is the social heart of the camp. Meals are shared either under canvas or in the alfresco dining area beside the campfire, accompanied only by the stirring night sounds of the bush.

Meals

Our chefs pride themselves on ensuring that everything served in Kwihala is homemade, from our fresh breads, cakes, biscuits to fresh fruit salads, sorbets and homemade ice creams. You can choose a ‘bush bonnet’ picnic breakfast to enjoy during your morning game drive, or go for a cooked brunch back in camp. Our light, buffet-style lunches served in the mess tent are popular in the heat of the day, and include plenty of salads with your main course. Delicious gourmet-style dinners are a three-course affair served outdoors under the stars.
Please let us know if you have special dietary requirements – our camp chefs will be happy to cater for your needs as far as possible.

 

Featured Wildlife

As well as Ruaha’s abundant wildlife, close to camp you will enjoy sightings of :

    • Lion
    • Leopard
    • Cheetah
    • Lesser kudu
    • Greater kudu
    • Elephant
    • Impala giraffe
    • Sable antelope (rare)
    • Roan antelope (rare)

A Typical Day on Safari

The very best time for rewarding game viewing is in the cooler early mornings and late afternoons, when the animals are at their most active. Depending on the season, your day may start slightly earlier or later, but the general pace of life in camp is focused on giving you the very best possible game-viewing experience. If you have booked a private game-viewing vehicle do discuss personal schedule preferences with your guide.

05:30–06:00 Wake-up call with hot tea & coffee
06:30–07:00 Following breakfast, depart for a morning game drive or walk, or take a picnic breakfast with you and leave slightly earlier
09:30–11:30 Arrive back in camp after game viewing, followed by breakfast (if you wish!)
12:30 Lunch
13:30–16:00 Siesta time: read a book or just relax
16:00 Afternoon tea
16:30 Depart for afternoon/evening game drive or walk with sundowners
18:30 Arrive back in camp
19:30 Drinks at the bar followed by dinner under the stars

Family Safaris

FAMILY SUITABILITY LEVEL
✓GOOD
☐ BETTER
☐ BEST

Families with children aged five and older are warmly welcomed at Kwihala, which has a family tent that sleeps four. Exceptions to the age limit can be made depending on camp occupancy – please chat to us. We do not, however, offer specific activities for children or personal guides. Note that children below 12 should always share a tent with an adult.

We love catering for the individual needs of families, however safety is always our top priority and the wilderness environment here is not conducive to providing a specific outdoor activity programme for children.

Families of six or more are guaranteed a private safari vehicle at no extra cost in low season. In high season, families with children under 12 are obliged to use a private game-viewing vehicle at an additional cost.

Accommodation

 

Sleep under canvas in one of Kwihala’s six Art Deco-style tents, each furnished in simple but elegant safari style, with comfortable en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilet and safari bucket shower (cool water is available during the heat of the day, and hot water on request at any time). Large gauze-screened windows allow the beauty of the surroundings to take centre stage, and shaded private verandas provide the perfect spot to watch the game as it passes through camp.

Location

 

Kwihala Camp is set deep in the bush on a hillside with magnificent views of the park. The location is one of the best in Ruaha: it is close to the Mwagusi Sand River in the Mwagusi Valley, where game congregates year round, yet far enough from other camps to remain undisturbed. This beautiful area at the core of the park is famed for its rich game viewing and very rare sightings of other safari vehicles.

The scope of wildlife in Ruaha is extraordinary, a result of the park’s unique location straddling the transition area between Eastern and Southern Africa and two distinct vegetation zones. It is one of the largest wildlife conservation areas on the continent and incorporates multiple ecosystems that support a great and varied number of species. A tenth of the world’s lion population hunts across the savannah and prides of 20 or more are commonplace. Sightings of herds of greater and lesser kudu, sable and roan antelope are frequent, as are glimpses of the endangered African wild dog, bat-eared fox and cheetah, one of the few sustainable populations left in East Africa. And if that isn’t enough, the elusive leopard can be found lurking among the bushes, just to keep the balance right.

Activities

 

Kwihala is renowned in East Africa for its excellent guides and proximity to the wild. Whether you’re tracking lions by vehicle, discovering the smaller wonders on foot or just relaxing in camp, the expert guides at Kwihala will enhance your wildlife experience with their vast knowledge.

Game drives
Guided game drives are offered twice a day from Kwihala. Our six-seater game-viewing vehicles are open-sided with a canvas roof; canvas sides can be rolled down in case of rain (rain ponchos are provided). All vehicles have power points where you can recharge your devices, and are fitted with fridges to keep your drinks deliciously frosty. A private game-viewing vehicle can be booked by prior arrangement. In the morning, maximise your game-viewing time by taking a delicious breakfast picnic with you to enjoy under the shade of a tree. In the evening, sip a cold gin & tonic in the heart of the bush as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Night drives
When the sun descends, the elusive night animals come out to play. Explore the secrets of these shy creatures on a night game drive from Kwihala.

Walking safaris
A walking safari is one the most intimate ways to experience the bush and can be enjoyed from Kwihala with an experienced armed guide and local tracker. Eye-to-eye with the wildlife, your senses are heightened and the sights, sounds and smells of the bush come alive.

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 6 tents

  • En-suite bathrooms with full en-suite facilities including safari bucket showers and flushing toilets

  • Children: aged 5 and up (however Kwihala is not specifically recommended for children)

  • Suitable for disabled guests: please contact us

  • In-room lockable box

  • Complimentary laundry service

  • Solar & generator power

  • In-room battery-charging facilities

Activities

  • Game drives

  • Night drives

  • Walking safaris

Camp Dates

  • Camp open 1 June to 15 March

  • High season July to October; 20 December to 5 January

  • Low season 6 January to 15 March; November

Closest Airstrip

  • Msembe: 45 minutes

Experiences and activities to enjoy at Kwihala Camp:

  • Big Cats & The Big 5

    Let Asilia show you the Big 5 and magnificent apex predators of the ecosystem for memories that will last a lifetime.

    • Camps in Big 5 hotspots
    • Unrivalled predator sightings
    • Extraordinary conservation initiatives

    View more
    Big Cats & The Big 5
  • Cultural Experiences

    Discover Africa's rich culture.

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    Cultural Experiences
  • Romantic Safari

    Mysterious, exciting and remote, Africa is the perfect choice for a romantic holiday of a lifetime.

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    Romantic Safari
  • Active Safari

    Experience a different kind of safari.

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    Active Safari
  • Exclusive-Use Accommodation & Personal Guiding

    Go on a personal, private safari.

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    Exclusive-Use Accommodation & Personal Guiding
  • Walking Safaris

    Experience the African bush on foot.

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    Walking Safaris
  • Birding Safaris

    Witness East Africa's incredible birdlife.

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    Birding Safaris
  • Game Drives

    Spot game from specialised vehicles.

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    Game Drives
  • Photography

    Get the shot of a lifetime.

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    Photography

Featured itineraries at Kwihala Camp

  • The Great Tanzanian Walking Adventure

    Explore Tanzania’s parks.

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    The Great Tanzanian Walking Adventure
  • Tanzania’s Southern Circuit

    Walking & boat safaris in the remote South.

    View more
    Tanzania’s Southern Circuit
  • The Wild South and West

    Trek with chimpanzees and explore Ruaha.

    View more
    The Wild South and West

Guest Reviews

Further Reading

Ruaha: Sense-ability in Nature

There is nothing better than the feeling of cool mud between your toes after a long dry spell!

Read more

Ruaha: Meet Your Hosts at Kwihala

Allow us to introduce you to the personalities you will encounter when you travel to this magically remote outpost of truly wild Africa.

Read more