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Top 5 Luxury Safari Lodges in Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park is one of the destinations in Africa to explore for an unforgettable adventure. Whether it’s the diverse array of predators, magnificent herbivores or the remote wilderness experience that brings you to Africa, Ruaha got you covered. Apart from the usual game drives, this ideal destination also offers spectacular birdwatching, walking, and boating safaris, making it a hidden gem.

But to enjoy all the activities above you need to spend a few days at the wildlife haven, which leads us to the question what are the recommended hotels and lodges at Ruaha National Park? To start with, there are various levels of accommodations at Ruaha, from lodges to luxury suites and deluxe. Here, we bring you five luxury lodges in the park to make your stay memorable.

1. Jabali Ridge

Jabali Ridge

Jabali Ridge. Photo/ Tanzania Odyssey.

Located in the northern area of Ruaha overlooking the baobab forest is the luxurious Jabali Ridge. It sits on a rocky kopje, barely visible and provides beautiful scenes of mighty baobabs, hardy shrubs and sun-bleached plains. Wildlife such as cheetahs and leopards roaming the land can be seen while at the lodge.

Guests at Jabali can hear the thundering of Ikuka falls at any of the eight suites. Talking of the suites, each suite has a flashing toilet, bathroom, free WiFi and in-room lockable box. There’s also a spa, swimming pool and private outdoor lounges to ensure visitors enjoy their stay at the camp.

2. Mwagusi Camp

Located on the Mwagusi River is the famed Mwagusi Safari Camp. The camp, which is about 35 kilometres from the main gate entrance of Ruaha National Park, is known for its spectacular game viewing and offering guests a unique tented experience. The guides at Mwagusi Camp are highly trained and are there to ensure you see and experience the best that Ruaha has to offer.

Mwagusi Camp

Mwagusi Camp. Photo/ Audley Travel.

3. Kichaka Camp

Kichaka Camp is perfect for guests who come to Ruaha for walking safaris. This is because Kichaka has no one location as the camp can be easily moved from one place to another. Even though the accommodation is not extravagant, it is usually comfortable.

The maximum number of guests that can go on a walking safari as part of the camp is six and there’s always a track ready to leave for the next destination packed with food, cooking equipment, tents and, of course, sleeping gear.

4. Ikuka Safari Camp

Ikuka Safari Camp is among the newer properties operating at Ruaha National Park. Located on the Mwagusi escarpment, Ikuka has six rooms, with 1, 2 and 3 facing the sunrise and 4, 5 and 6 facing the sunset. Each of the rooms has a large bed, en-suite bathroom and a private balcony.

The safari camp also has a swimming pool, lounge area and a typical safari bar where you can drink the night away as you interact with the other guests.

Ikuka Safari Camp

Ikuka Safari Camp. Photo/ Expert Africa.

5. Ruaha River Lodge 

Ruaha River Lodge is perfectly situated on a bend on the stretches of River Ruaha and is the place to be during the dry season, which is from June to December. During this period you get to see game at the comfort of your veranda as they concentrate along the river, mostly in the afternoon, to drink water.

Ruaha is the biggest camp in the park accommodating 24 chalets. It is split across two locations, with one perched along the river and the other on a nearby kopje.

Ruaha River Lodge

Ruaha River Lodge. Photo/

What Is Ruaha National Park Known For?

Ruaha is known for being a wildlife haven with different animals such as lions, cheetahs, leopards and elephants calling the park home. The largest population of elephants in Tanzania are found in Ruaha. According to reports, there are about 10,000 elephants in Ruaha.

How Much Is Park Fees in Ruaha?

Park fees for Ruaha is 30 USD per head for nonresidents above the age of 16. Children aged between five and 15 years pay 10 USD. Residents and expatriates aged above 16 pay an entry fee of 15 USD while children between 5 and 15 years are charged 5 USD.

How Many Lions Are in Ruaha? 

Ruaha is home to over 10% of Africa’s lion population. The lion prides of Ruaha are relatively large swelling up to numbers of 25 or even 27 adults. The large number of lions in Ruaha is influenced by factors such as the availability of prey which ensures a sufficient supply of food for them.

What Are the Predators in Ruaha? 

  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Cheetahs
  • Wild dogs
  • Serval
  • Caracal
  • Civet
  • Genet
  • Banded wildcat

About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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