Ikuka Safari Camp

Ikuka Safari Camp

Traveller (388)
Ikuka room
Room & Suite (92)
Infinity pool
Pool & Beach (22)
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About

5.0
#1 of 7 campsites in Ruaha National Park
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
A small, luxury tented camp, opened in July 2016. Offering game drives, walking safaris & community visits.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Pool
Free breakfast
Walking tours
Free airport transportation
Gift shop
Mosquito net
Private check-in / check-out
Public wifi
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Airport transportation
Outdoor furniture
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
First aid kit
Umbrella
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Bathrobes
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Safe
Seating area
Extra long beds
Walk-in shower
Complimentary toiletries
Sofa
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Bottled water
Laptop safe
Private bathrooms
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Charming
Great View
Languages Spoken
English, Swahili

Location

Ruaha National Park, Ruaha National Park Tanzania
179Reviews7Q+A50Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Gareth_Carter wrote a review Jan 2018
Hong Kong Island, China
5.0 of 5 bubbles
It's hard to know what to say really, since the title says it all. It was the first time for my wife and I to go on safari, so we didn't really know what to expect. From the very first moment when we were picked up at the airstrip by our guide Festo, our stay at Ikuka was simply an overwhelmingly wonderful experience.

The guides were extraordinarily knowledgeable and personable and interesting (and though I know enough to know I shouldn't base a review of a camp purely on what wildlife you get to see, I'm convinced we would not have seen half the game we did with a lesser guide, or be kept as entertained in the interim with information about the birds, the flora and the geography of Ruaha).

Mark and the rest of the team were fantastically hospitable and engaging and from talking to the various staff it's clear there is a real pride among the team about what they're doing and who they're working with etc, which you can really feel at the camp. They have a wonderfully gifted cooking staff (given the remote location I have no idea how they prepare the quality of food that they do) and the communal lunch and dinners are a fantastic way to mingle and chat with the guests and with Mark and Tanya etc. The lodgings are spotless, with amazing views over the park and, due to the layout, feel very secluded and private and 'hidden' away from each other and the main area. Service is impeccable (for example, I left some clothing in one of the jeeps - thanks to the Ikuka team, and another camp in Selous, I was reunited with it ten days later in Coastal Aviation's back office in Dar airport).

I might be wrong, but I suspect Mark, Chloe, Giles and Tanya have consciously sought to implement all of the very best aspects of the various camps of which they have previous experience, plus a little extra where they can, and the result is Ikuka. We my have been lucky with some wildlife sightings, but I genuinely think our (all too short) stay there was a real once-in-a-lifetime experience, regardless - the only thing that would make me hesitate about describing it as that, is that I truly hope we get to return at some point soon.
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Date of stay: December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from IKUKA S, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 08 Jan 2018
Thank you so much for your wonderful write-up. We are so pleased that you enjoyed every aspect of your stay. We really enjoyed having you both to stay in camp and hope that you can come to visit again soon! All best wishes from your Ikuka family.
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Sarah579289 wrote a review Aug 2019
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We travelled as a family with three daughters aged 16, 18 and 20 to Ikuka for three nights in July. This followed a four night stay in Selous. This was our first safari experience and we were not sure what to expect but it exceeded any vague expectations we had. I am very grateful to the travel agent who suggested these two parks as our original plans were to visit the Serengeti which I understand is brilliant but a much more touristy experience. On many of our safari outings we didn't see another jeep and never more than a maximum of a couple - it felt like a true wilderness experience and our fabulous guide Geoffry appeared to have xray vision as he navigated the tracks, chatted and educated us and still managed to track and spot animals long before we could - especially the leopard under the bush!

The jeeps were completely open which was great as you felt a lot more up close and personal with the animals - it could also be slightly scary but the guides are very familiar with the animals and their moods so there is really nothing to fear. On every game drive we saw plenty of animals and always a great variety from lions, elephants, giraffes, impala, warthogs and many others. We also took an early morning walking safari with Mark and another guide which was the only time guns were carried as a precaution - again there was nothing to be afraid of as they are so experienced. We came across impala and elephants close up but also learned a lot about the habitat and ecology of the area - just walking about the national park and watching the sun rise was a gorgeous experience. There were a few flies but not big ones and once we sprayed ourselves with the insect repellant Mark had brought along they didn't bother us. Amazingly, during the 7 nights in Selous and Ruaha I was never bitten by a mosquito and didn't really see any, so all the insect repellent we had brought with us was unnecessary and the camp provided it anyway should we have needed it.

We had chosen Ikuka because of the far reaching views and they were spectacular! Our daughters had the family banda which was new and came with a private plunge pool and was enormous and pure luxury. Our banda next door was smaller but with equally as amazing views and extremely well appointed. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, lovely outdoor/indoor shower, a massive bed, lounge area and balcony made us feel so comfortable and created an incredibly peaceful and relaxing haven to enjoy between safari drives.

The main reception area of the 'camp' which housed the restaurant, bar and communal pool was gorgeous and relaxing. Breakfast and lunch were eaten privately with your family or group and for dinner there was the option to dine with the other guests and some of the guides which I think all guests opted to do each evening. I felt this was a really good mix of family time and social time. The food and service were five star and all the staff extremely friendly and welcoming. We are not naturally early risers and the staff were very flexible when we opted most mornings for breakfast at camp and a slightly later start than some of the other guests.

Overall, we feel very privileged to have stayed at Ikuka and will always treasure the wonderful memories we made at this special lodge. Hopefully, one day we will return to once again enjoy the five star service, safaris, friendship and tranquility.
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Date of stay: July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 08 Aug 2019
Thank you very much for your review and for recommending us to others. We are so pleased to read that you enjoyed every aspect of your stay with your family and Geoffrey really enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the bush and Ruaha with you and your children. It is great to read that you have memories to cherish forever, that is what we aim for and it means so much to us as well! We really enjoyed having you all in camp and look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Lee H wrote a review Jul 2019
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I spent 4 days here on our first-ever safari.
The open air bungaloes are very private, very well appointed. The people were wonderful! All our needs attended to, with smiles (cold towels and drinks offered as soon as we descended from our jeep after each safari, laundry picked up in the a.m. and returned in the afternoon). Everyone speaks some English and most are fluent.
We did 8 safaris in our 4 days (1 walking, the rest by car). Ikuka assigned us the same guide for each trip (except the wlaking safari). Our guide was terrific! Each safari was a different route. He knew everything about every animal and every bird we saw!
The setting is magnificant! We saw lions (female, male, cubs) on 3 days, plus a leopard. Every day we saw giraffes, elephants, buffalo, various antelopes, baboons and other monkeys, many birds.
If you have the opportunity, go here!!
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Date of stay: June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 04 Jul 2019
Thank you for this wonderful review, we are so pleased that you and your wife had a memorable time with us and that you saw all you hoped too. We really enjoyed having you in camp and showing you all that Ruaha has to offer! Best wishes from your Ikuka family.
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Cindy R wrote a review Aug 2017
Bermuda
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Everything about Ikuka is beyond your expectations. Words cannot describe the lodge and the rooms - they are simply stunning. The views go beyond anything your can imagine and the staff are the most attentive staff I have ever experienced. This is an owner run lodge and the attention to detail shows the pride in ownership. The food was some of the best food I have had and the presentation of the food felt like you were fine dining - although in a casual, friendly environment.

The twice daily safaris were amazing. Our driver Ernest went the extra mile to ensure that each drive was a new adventure. The wildlife is Rhuha is plentiful. Because this has been a a national park since 1964 the animals do not seem to be spooked by the jeeps like they are in some other areas. Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Giraffees, Hippos and so much more.

Without question Ikuka is designed and managed to make your Safari a trip to remember. We will definately return.
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Date of stay: August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from IKUKA S, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 18 Oct 2017
We are so happy to read this review from you especially since we know how well travelled you are, thank you - it means a lot to each and every one of us at Ikuka! We hope that you can return again soon. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Stefan P wrote a review Aug 2017
Menlo Park, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
All the 'Excellent' reviews by others on here are accurate and deserved. The staff is genuinely friendly and helpful, the main building and rooms are tastefully "safari' furnished, the views are amazing. The owner runs Ikuka in a relaxed yet efficient manner so spending time at the lodge feels just as much a vacation as going on the game drives. A few practical points: practically no bugs and zero mosquitoes thanks to the hillside location; solid wifi in the main building and good voice/text/internet reception on Google Project Fi; 24 hr hot showers and 100% laundry (not a given in many camps)
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Date of stay: August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from IKUKA S, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 22 Aug 2017
We are so pleased that you all felt relaxed on your vacation with us and that you enjoyed the atmosphere both in camp and on game drives. Thank you for posting some practical points, very useful! All the best from the Ikuka family.
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Jennie M wrote a review Sept 2019
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What an absolute beaut of a lodge! We have been on many safaris however this was our first time in the Ruaha. It won’t be our last...

Wildlife/game drives: we stayed 4 nights and did game drives morning and evening every day, with a walking safari one morning and a full day drive another day. We saw countless elephants, giraffes and antelope - all in notably large groups - a large pride of 14 lions and a smaller one of 5, as well as 4 leopards (including a mating pair!) which we were delighted with. The wild dogs eluded us once again - the park is well-known for its large numbers of these endangered animals however we were told that they had not been seen in the vicinity for several months when we arrived and many of them were thought to have left the park. The last sighting was apparently over by Jongomero. No matter - the elephants and leopards more than made up for this minor disappointment and you can’t predict mother nature! Our guide was Luka who was a really lovely guy - in common with his camp colleagues, he had a quick wit and a curious mind, and we had wonderful chats with him over bush breakfasts and lunches. Thank you, Luka! He also had the useful talent of always being in the right place at the right time for interesting sightings!

Rooms: we had room no. 2, which is closest to the main lodge and has a view of fhe sunrise. There are only a few rooms on this side of the hill so it feels very private and secluded. We did not hear a peep from the main lodge despite it being very close by. Rooms feature beautiful gauzy curtains that billow romantically in the evening breeze, and frame the open-sided rooms on all sides (there is a zip-up mosquito net ‘wall’ to protect you from nocturnal visitors). Beds are blissfully comfortable and frankly enormous - i can report it takes exactly 3.5 log-rolls to reach your partner on the other side! Bathroom are also enormous and open-air which we loved, with wonderful shampoo/conditioner/body lotion etc all made in Zanzibar. Probably the thing i will remember most though, is sitting on our deck before a game drive with delicious coffee in hand, with the sounds of the dawn chorus as the red sun slowly fills the sky. Heaven!

Food: The food is inventive, expertly executed and downright delicious - easily the best meals we’ve ever had on safari! We implored chef Peter to write a cookbook and the good news is that he is already working on it. We especially enjoyed the fact that there were healthy options including delicious, creative and filling salads at lunchtime. Desserts were also excellent and presented beautifully. Breakfast is usually packed and taken out in the bush, while lunch is served at individual tables at the lodge. Dinner is usually communal however you can ask for private dining on your deck if you wish, as we did one night. Communal dinners are hosted by a member of lodge staff and a guide, and are great fun. Ikuka seems to attract a real mixture of people but everyone we met seemed thoroughly delighted to be there, which is a great sign.

Staff: despite all of the above, it’s the people that really makes this lodge special. The team here is truly commendable - personalised yet efficient service, served up with great humour, warmth, energy and enthusiasm. We spent a great deal of time talking to various members of staff, and they all seemed genuinely happy to work there. Owner Mark (who we were delighted to meet on our last evening) has selected a great team and seems to look after them well which shows in their work. Special thanks to Luka, Lili, Jake, Peter, Mustafa and Saloum! We hope the Ikuka team won the football match!!

We can’t wait to come back some day! For more photos, do check out my instagram - @safarisandstuff
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Date of stay: August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 12 Sept 2019
Thank you so much for taking the time to write is this lovely review and for sharing your experience on here with others! Your photos are truly amazing :) We hope you will come back for the Wild Dogs! We really enjoyed having you to stay and look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Rachel M wrote a review Jul 2019
Wakefield, United Kingdom
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had the most amazing time at Ikuka with everything we could ask for and more. The food, service, accommodation, guiding and unlimited bar were just fabulous. Unrivalled views and would recommend to anyone young or old if you want a luxury break.
Luxury toiletries, mosquito repellent, packed lunch in departure. Literally everything you could need is done for you.
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Date of stay: July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 31 Jul 2019
Thank you so much for your lovely review and for sharing your experience on here with others. We are really glad to read that all your needs were met and more! We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Christine N wrote a review Jul 2019
Anaheim, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Ikuka is located high on the Mwagusi escarpment with fantastic views of the African plains below. The rooms are well appointed with comfortable beds. During the day they are open to view the magnificent scenery & are zipped up cozy at night. There is a lovely veranda with chairs & a coffee table to enjoy the evening stars outside of the sleeping area. The open air common room is welcoming & offers wi-fi access ( if you absolutely have to have it).The entire staff was wonderful & attentive to all requests. The food was delicious & plentiful. If you have a chance I would recommend the walking safari with Mark it is well worth your while. Our best experience was with our wonderful guide Festo. He knows the park like the back of his hand & was able to take us to some amazing animal sightings.His knowledge of the animals & their habits helped us get great pictures of all of the animals. I highly recommend this wonderful camp!
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Date of stay: June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 22 Jul 2019
Thank you so much for your review and for sharing with others on here and for recommending us, it means the world to our entire team. We are really pleased you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Debbie K wrote a review Jul 2019
London
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I were treated to the most incredible Safari experience at Ikuka. From the stunning accommodation to the always attentive and delightful staff, every aspect of our stay was perfect.

The food was also outstanding and the game drives were unforgettable, courtesy of our wonderful guide, Habibu, whose exhaustive knowledge and enthusiasm shone throughout.

Thank you again to everyone at Ikuka!
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Date of stay: July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 04 Jul 2019
Thank you so much for your lovely review and for sharing your experience on here with others. We really enjoyed having you to stay and thank you for choosing us for your honeymoon! Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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Travelingmelaniec wrote a review Feb 2019
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
After weeks of researching where to safari in Tanzania we decided on Ikuka Safari Camp. Everything about Ikuka was exactly what we were looking for and the experience exceeded our expectations. The food was lovely, the staff AMAZING (every single staff member) and our guide Festo was simply the best.

It is my opinion that you should not be afraid of booking in “the rainy season”. Out of our 4 days we had one outing that was rainy (which was actually quite fun). Ruaha is stunning, green and lush during this season. We went the last week of Jan and felt so happy that we did. We saw a lot of animals and beautiful scenery. Lions, elephants, giraffe and wild dogs just to name a few.

The tents are posh and the beds super comfortable. They did an amazing job on the design and decor of Ikuka. You feel like you’re staying at the Ritz of Safari camps:)

At the end, Festo drove us back to the airstrip and ran out to wave us off as our plane took flight. This brought a few tears to my eyes that I wasn’t expecting. The experience Ikuka gave us will forever be in my heart. Thank you to you all!! ❤️
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Date of stay: January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from IKUKA S, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp
Responded 18 Feb 2019
Thank you so much for this review and for sharing your experience with others here and for your personal view of the gorgeous green season! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed everything from the camp to the guiding to the park itself. We all really enjoyed having you to stay and we look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
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ozjamie73 asked a question Oct 2021
Bloomington, Indiana44 contributions4 helpful votes
Hello. How many tents do you have. We are planning a trip for a group of 16. Thx.
Answer from Ikuka Safari Camp
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Hi, We have 7 tents (6 are double/twin and 1 can accommodate 4 people).
Answer from Ikuka Safari Camp
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Hi, thanks for getting in touch. When are you hoping to visit? We will have a family room ready by July 2019; if you would like to visit before we can allocate you in rooms next to each other.
Jane C asked a question Jun 2018
Banbury, United Kingdom56 contributions25 helpful votes
If there is an world cup match is it possible to watch it on TV somewhere?
Answer from Ikuka Safari Camp
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Hi Jane, We do have satellite TV in our staff area and you are welcome to watch it there if you would like. Best wishes, from Ikuka team
Steve W wrote a tip Feb 2024
Knoxville, Tennessee63 contributions17 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Lose wight before arrive because the food is delicious and plentiful! Don’t pack too much, because Iluka will wash clothes daily for you!"
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Corrie L wrote a tip Nov 2023
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just enjoy everything"
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WeybridgeSarah wrote a tip Sept 2023
Weybridge, United Kingdom19 contributions10 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Request a room with a plunge pool if you can"
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Deborah H wrote a tip Sept 2023
65 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Take less clothes, great laundry service. "
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Judy R wrote a tip Aug 2023
22 contributions16 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Relax and enjoy."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Ruaha National Park area.
LOCATION
TanzaniaIringa RegionRuaha National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
7
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IKUKA SAFARI CAMP - Campground Reviews (Ruaha National Park, Tanzania)

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