Thursday, 17 July 2008

Ruaha National Park

The park's main attraction is obviously the Ruaha river, which attracts great numbers of animals to drink; unfortunately irrigation projects in the catchment area of Ruaha river have led to the situation that the river dries out at times. A result of an uncoordinated agricultural, tourims and development policies with a rather saddening outcome.

Before entering the park, extensive woodlands make part of hunting blocks. Thise forests make for a most beautiful landscape, with the tree conopy spreading to the horizon.

Ruaha Hiltop Lodge
(Tel. Mobile Alban 0717 21 42 70; e-mail:;; About 60US$ per person and night half board)

This Tanzanian run lodge is situated on a hillside with a fantastic view over woodlands, about 10km before the park gate. Food has a Tanzanian touch, bandas as small but clean and functioning, and breakfast comes on the terrace with the smashing view. Behind the lodge a steep tail leads on a mountain ridge, well worth to follow. There is even wildlife to be seen. Strongly recommended, Alban makes for a great host;

Tandala Tented Camps

More expensive than the Hilltop lodge, Tandala Tented Camps has a great reputation for very friendly hosts, loads of elefants in the camp, and good food! Warmly recommended, too!

Ruaha River Lodge, run by the foxes, is a great place to have lunch during your safari into the park. The restaurant, on a round platform with 360 Degrees view, overlooks a large stretch of Ruaha River, and you can observe almost everything from fooling around hippos to anxious giraffs arriving for a drink during your lunch! Take the binoculars with you. Also the place is full of Hyrax having a close look at you!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Iringa and Kisolanza

(A Diocese of Ruaha project, on the road to Dodoma right behind the clock tower; e-mail:

A good place to chill out with delicous tomatoe soup or savoury chocolate cake is Neema's Craft Coffee Shop in Iringa. Some of the young people serving you are deaf, and you will be challenged in making yourself despite this handicap understandable! The adjacent shop sells beautiful hand made paper, beading work, waving cloths of which you can watch how it is done;

Ruaha River Campsite
(Tel. Mobile 0755 03 30 24; e-mail:;

Located 14km before Iringa when arriving from Morogoro, the place is run by a British couple. A number of various styled cottages and tents are spread along Little Ruaha River. Food is excellent, and there is a nice trail along the river leading through coffee plantations and to impressive water falls. Otherwise the cottages seemed a bit damp to us and the Rhodesian Richback dog of the owners did not welcome our Castor! They also offer Swahili lessons and courses for resident students which are said to be very good;

Kisolanza Farm

(e-mail:;; Tel. Mobile 0754 30 61 44; Cottage with half board about 50US$ per person)

51km South West of Iringa on the main road to Mbeya is Kisolanza farm located. Next to an extensive farm with flower prodcution and fish ponds, an ever growing guesthouse business is developing within the farm grounds. There are bandas as well as a well equipped camp site awailable, but the highlight of a stay in Kisolanza farm is the kerozen lamp dinner in a semi ruined mud house, next to the warmth of traditional heating pots. A Maasai drummer calls for the meal, and food is excellent. One of the most special and unique dinners we ever had in Tanzania. Breakfast within the flowering farm garden are another great treat, and before you leave make sure you stock on fresh farm products in Kisolanza's famous shop. The farm grounds are also great for long walks.