Animal Magic & Mystery In The Ruaha, Tanzania

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Jongomero (www.selous.com) the only camp situated in the remote central south-western sector of the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania, is a hidden gem promising unmatched privacy and a great vantage point from which to take in the sights and sounds of the African bush.

So isolated, it has its own airstrip and guests are often treated to their first game viewing experience as they fly in with aerial glimpses of giraffe, buffalo and elephant.

Vast and untouched, Ruaha, after the annexation of two other major conservation areas, is now the largest National Park in Tanzania and stands at 23,000 sq km – substantially larger than Wales!

No other park in Tanzania epitomises the definition of “wild Africa” quite like Ruaha. The least well-known, yet to connoisseurs it is without doubt one of the most spectacular in Africa offering a landscape that is rugged and harsh.

Ruaha is home to an amazing diversity of animals, which include 20,000 elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, buffalo and an amazing selection of antelope including water buck, impala and the rarer sable, roan and greater kudu. It is also a great birding paradise of Africa with over 530 species of bird and, due to its unique geographical positioning, it also offers an extraordinary diversity of tree and plant life.

Due to its isolated location, game drives from Jongomero are often the only vehicles for miles around, so guests are privileged to have so much amazing game viewing all to themselves. Game drives, with no more than six in each vehicle, go out twice a day with qualified guides in an open 4X4 Land Rover. Walking safaris and fly-camping safaris are also available.

Jongomero is nestled in the woodland next to a seasonal sand river which runs through the undergrowth like an animal-highway. The camp is not fenced and animals pass through freely as they go in search of water. Facilities include a bar and lounge area, perfect for discussing the day’s game over a drink, a lofty restaurant and an idyllic hippo-friendly swimming pool overlooking the sand river.

Built on raised wooden platforms with thatched roofs, each of the eight en-suite luxury tents contain a living area, an eight-foot wide dhow wood emperor bed and a spacious private verandah. A large variety of life can often be seen without leaving the tent. Birds constantly flutter through the trees, whilst elephant frequently saunter through and can be viewed without even getting out of the swimming pool. Elephant shrews make their home throughout the camp and dik-diks, jackals, impala and mongoose scuttle about in the daytime.

For the more discerning safari lover who is looking for an off-the-beaten-track, pure wilderness and all-round bush experience, a visit to Jongomero to explore the Ruaha and view large beasts, stunning vistas, numerous baobab trees and unique birds is an experience not to be missed!

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