Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

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Room & Suite (101)
Bush breakfast.
Dining (44)

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About

5.0
#2 of 7 campsites in Ruaha National Park
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Welcome to Mdonya Old River Camp. Ruaha National Park is a magnificent example of the best that African safaris have to offer. Remotely situated in the heart of Tanzania, the amazingly profuse wildlife sums up almost everything that is essential to Tanzanian savanna environments. Mdonya Old River Camp is centrally located deep within the park along the Old Mdonya riverbed, a stone throw from the seasonal Mdonya waterfalls it’s a majestic location offering a truly exciting bush safari adventure.
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Property amenities
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Special diet menus
Free airport transportation
Airport transportation
Outdoor fireplace
Laundry service
Room features
Desk
Safe
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Bath / shower
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
2.5 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Hidden Gem
Languages Spoken
English

Location

Mdonya River, Ruaha National Park Tanzania
372Reviews18Q+A56Room tips
Traveller rating
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Detailed Reviews
Louisa & David wrote a review Jan 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked a three day/two nights fly-in safari trip for two persons to Ruaha National Park with accomodation in Mdonya Old River Camp.

Upon arrival at the air strip in Ruaha we were picked up by our guide, Henry, and driver, Thomas, and directly taken on a game drive in the national park. Both were very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Lunch was served at a picnic site and very tasty. In the afternoon we arrived at the camp site and welcomed by the managers Iris and Kings, as well as other staff members. All of them were very welcoming and helpful.

Accommodation in the camp was a unique and amazing experience. The location of the camp is stunning - we heard animals of all kinds at night, some of them walking past our tent. However, the massai guards made us feel safe at every moment. The tents were more comfortable and spacious than expected. The outside „bathroom“ had warm water at any time. The food was authentic and very good.

Next morning we left early for full day game drive and had breakfast and lunch in the park. Henry and Thomas were great guides and spending the day with them was also really fun - big thanks to them! They spotted even the smallest animals like turtles on the street and owls in the trees.

Mixed feelings about Safari in the rain season (of course our own decision). On the one hand it was amazing to see Ruaha very green; on the other hand very difficult to spot animals, because of bushes and trees and had some rain showers every now and then. Thomas and Henry still made amazing effort to show us as many animals as possible and we enjoyed every bit of it.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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 Essential Desti... T, Manager at Mdonya Old River Camp
Responded 14 Jan 2020
Dear Louisa and David Thank you for taking the time to review our camp. We are thrilled to read that you enjoyed our camp and its wilderness, got to hear some animals at night and overall enjoyed your stay with us. Ruaha in summer is indeed beautiful and alive again, but flowers and leaves do sometimes make the job more difficult ! However, each season present their challenges and we are glad to read that you still had an amazing time. We will congratulate our staff, chefs, Thomas and Henry for a great performance and we all hope to see you again. The Mdonya Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Bidule05 wrote a review Nov 2021
France
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent 4 nights in MDonya old river camp in October 2021. The lodge belongs to the excellent ‘Essential destinations’ company.
The location of the tented camp is excellent, being located in the heart of Ruaha national park and very close to MDonya river. The camp is small, including 12 tents. We had a tent with a very fine viewpoint on the bushy savannah.
Because the camp is unfenced, we slept in the middle of the wildlife. During the many animals were wandering in the camp (e.g.: giraffes, elephants, impalas, vervet monkeys). During the night, we saw elephants and we were lucky to see a genet ; we also heard many lions roaring, spotted hyenas,…
The tents are very well equipped and clean; the beds are very comfortable.
Excellent hospitality of the staff. All members of the staff are always smiling, attentive to guests and ready to help us.
From the terrace of the restaurant, we had a beautiful view on the bushy savannah. In the evening, there is a fireplace under the stars! The food was also excellent and varied food. A pure pleasure for the taste buds of gourmets!!!
In the camp, we were lucky to meet the famous cinematographer Owen Prümm, who was also staying there, allowing us to learn a lot about the local wildlife, especially lions!!!
Altogether, I HIGHLY recommend to stay in MDonya old river camp, which is a small paradise "Out of Africa" in Ruaha national park.
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Date of stay: October 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
conejotravel wrote a review Jan 2023
Springville, UT
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but Mdonya Old River Camp exceeded all expectations. We were so grateful that we trusted Stacy at Duma Explorer to select our experience in Ruaha. We loved that we were "in the drivers seat" when it came to what we wanted to do and see and when we wanted to do it. We often hire private guides when we travel because we value the flexibility, we were surprised to learn that our knowledgeable guide and competent driver were essentially at our disposal. We were expecting this to be more of a canned program, so we were delighted to learn that we had customizable options.
This isn't a luxury resort with pillow-top beds, AC, TV and room-service. The beds were comfy enough to sleep in , the solar-powered fans were effective in cooling the tent and the private bathroom inside the tent was greatly appreciated.
The food was very good. We ate both at the table and in the bush, all food requirements and tastes were catered to, a big task, for sure. The camp directors, the guides, the drivers, the Masai guards, all were very knowledgeable about the plants and animals were were experiencing. I highly recommend this camp in the magical place!
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Date of stay: December 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: My tip, be flexible! Trust the expertise of those who work in the camp.
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.
InfiniteLife wrote a review Jan 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I chose Mdonya Old River Camp as my niece was visiting Africa for the first time ever and I wanted her to experience the real bush and wilderness of Ruaha. All expectations were met and exceeded! Sosten our guide and Gabriel the driver took very good care of us, spotting everything from terrapins and dung beetles to elephants and elands. We learned a lot about the habitats of various species, their characteristics and interactions with other species - not only the animals and birds but also plants and insects. Amazing adventure, over 20 hrs of game drive in 3 days - how can it get any better than that? Mdonya staff and Maasai guards were all very helpful and happy people, and the chef deserves special thanks for creating delicious dinners and packed breakfasts and lunches! Well done Mdonya and thank you!
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Date of stay: January 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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 Essential Desti... T, Manager at Mdonya Old River Camp
Responded 21 Jan 2020
Dear guest, Thank you for taking the time to review Mdonya Old River Camp. It is a pleasure to read your feedback knowing that your expectations were far exceeded. We will congratulate the staff for their work especially Sosten and Gabriel. Please come back again soon ! The Mdonya team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
RAPhillips wrote a review Oct 2020
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Beautifully located, eco-friendly camp with very comfortable well spaced tents, open air bathrooms with running water and steaming hot showers.
Godson and his team were incredibly helpful, their warm hospitality made us feel very much at home and they went out their way to make sure that we had everything we needed.
A highlight of the trip was sitting on the veranda of the tent watching animals passing by and especially when two elephants came started feeding on the bushes just next to the tent!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and highly recommend Mdonya Camp.
We hope to return again soon!
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Date of stay: October 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Aluno wrote a review Jul 2022
Lausanne, Switzerland
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent two lovely nights at this camp, and it was the perfect start of a glorious time in the south of Tanzania.
The park itself is exceptionally beautiful, in just a few hours we had seen both lions and leopards (plural). Not to mention the rest of the fauna which can be approached quite close without them running away. There are a lot of every kind of great herbivores so you'll be running into them constantly.
Bith our guide, Henry, and our driver, Godson, were always very helpful, keen eyed, and knowledgeable, with useful explanations coming all along our safaris.
The camp is very well organized, but be wary, the weather can be quite chilly. Luckily, helpful staff will put hot water bottles in your bed before you turn in (you'll love it). Sleeping under a tent in the middle of so much nature is awesome. You'll hear sounds you've never heard and wonder what is crawling outside your tent, but if you want a fantastic deep dive in nature, I hardly recommend it!
All in all, you'll be glad the living conditions are so different from your own (no electricity in the tent, though you can recharge your devices in the office) and just enjoy what a natural reserve has to offer.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
David DeMartino wrote a review Feb 2022
San Antonio, Texas
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a great and magical place. We spent three nights at the Old River camp and it was super for many reasons. Service/Staff: we were treated like royalty by the camp staff. From arrival to departure, they went out of their way to ensure we had the best visit possible. Acting Camp Manager was charming and a great host. Food: tasty, filing and served with a smile. Even meals in the field were very, very good. Was amazing how well we ate so far from a grocery store. …just awesome. Camp/Lodging: well managed and so comfortable. Tents were cozy, clean and functional. Hot showers…in a tent. :). Camp location was perfect as we saw/heard animals and birds all day. Guide/Driver: Super! Worked so hard to find birds and animals…saw things in the trees I would never see. And knew more about plants, animals and birds than Google. Could identify animals and birds by sound/call. It was just super. Highly recommend.
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Date of stay: February 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Do you research. February was cool and green….but also baby animals. We saw many, many animals...
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.
CorinneDenpasar wrote a review Aug 2022
Denpasar
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our family had an extraordinary wildlife observation experience in Ruaha Nature Reserve, staying at the remote Mdonya Old River Camp, where we were treated like royalty by Malcolm Ryan and his wonderful staff, with beautiful tents, gorgeous food and wonderful Masai protectors taking us back and forth in safety.
We had stunning wildlife encounters thanks to our very knowledgeable, professional, committed and kind guides Ayoub and Joel.
Thank you all very much for an unforgettable holiday
Sonia Goggel
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
Luke T wrote a review Jul 2022
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As a family of 9, it is not easy to find a suitable place to stay, especially when on safari. Booking was incredibly easy and tent adjustments were accommodating. Starting with the owner, Malcolm, we were greeted not just to his home, but to a full intellectual experience. It would be an understatement to say he left his western home for a life in the wild, this is clearly a passion of his and he has made it and educational experience for all who visit.

Despite being very remote and fully immersed in the wildlife, you never felt unsafe with Masai around and abundant knowledge of animal behaviour. We routinely were accompanied by elephants, vervet monkeys, and impala, to list a few. Outside of the camp itself, the safari guides were brilliant. Knowledgable about the animal kingdom as well as all the plant life. To name names, we had Henry and Godson as a driver guide pair for the car I spent my time in, not a foot stepped wrong. They took us close to the animals, whilst watching vital signs and ensuring we were always safe and respecting their space. An experience like I have never had before, would recommend Mdonya Old River Camp to anyone looking to book a safari in Ruaha national park. Thanks again
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
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.
jm.vets wrote a review Feb 2022
Wokingham
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited Ruaha and Mdonya for four nights in January 2022. A mix of COVID and early onset rains meant we were the only visitors but we had an amazing time.
The rain had dispersed the wildlife and you had to work hard to find it. A pride of 21 lions, a pack of 20 plus wild dog, two leopards, elephant and buffalo may have made the headlines but the whole “wilderness experience “ was thrilling. The driving skills of Ayoubu in saturated black cotton soil were first rate and John’s spotting skills ensured that nothing was missed.The food was excellent, the tent was the epitome of “ glamping “ and the staff were friendly and helpful.
What a way to leave behind the negativity of COVID and gain a sense of perspective.
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Date of stay: January 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Answer from Micol E
Ruaha3 contributions
Dear Hannah, At Mdonya Old River Camp we believe in ' disconnect to reconnect ' , hence we do not have any wifi at the camp, neither in the vehicles. However, there is signal here and there throughout the park and we do have some phone network within the camp for emergency calls. We trust that it helped, kind regards Iris
Answer from Guanjin77
Mainz, Germany687 contributions75 helpful votes
We’ve just spent five nights in this camp - most cars only have four passenger seats, but for our game drives, it was typically just us as a couple and our guides. Depending on how booked the camp is, you may share a game drive with other guests, but in our case, this was the exception and happened only once (where we were four guests and two guides). In the camp, there are no tse-tse flies (and in dry season, also no mosquitos), however outside, there are, which is why the guides have tin cans with elephant dung at the car which they burn, the smoke helps against the flies. So it was really no problem in the camp (they take precautions why putting colored cloth in the bushes around the tree with a repellent). But it is unavoidable to have them in the bushes - standard repellent will do the trick though.
Answer from Micol E
Ruaha3 contributions
Hello, sorry for the late answer, we had some satellite internet problems recently. All our tents have wildlife passing by but if you request tent n 0 or tent 8 you have a better view of the dry riverbed
Answer from Micol E
Ruaha3 contributions
Hello Amanda, thank you for contacting with your question regarding vegetarian meals. It is no problem at all for us to cater for vegetarian diets, for lunch and dinner we have at least 2 vegetable dishes as well as carbs. We will then also have another vegetarian dish as a main for you. We are very fortunate to get all our supplies from the closest town Iringa which is the agriculture centre of Southern Tanzania so offers a large range in variety of fresh fruit and vegetables giving us lovely products for preparing vegetarian dishes. Upon your arrival in camp we will double check with you if have further dietary requirements/food dislikes that we need to be aware of. If you would like to see more picture updates etc. of camp leading up to your visit please check out Mdonya Old River Camp on social medias. We look forward to meeting you soon. Kind regards, Rebecca, Andrea and the rest of the Mdonya team
crouchie03 wrote a tip Dec 2023
Sydney, Australia381 contributions41 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just go!"
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Emma C wrote a tip Aug 2023
South East England, United Kingdom2 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Be prepared to bring enough layers - as it can be quite cold in the early mornings and evenings. But scorching hot in the day."
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A Johnson wrote a tip Aug 2023
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Because Ruaha is quite high up, the mornings and evenings are cold - bring fleeces, hats and gloves. "
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conejotravel wrote a tip Jan 2023
Springville, UT95 contributions73 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"My tip, be flexible! Trust the expertise of those who work in the camp."
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Liane A wrote a tip Nov 2022
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"1) Apply sun screen before arriving as will experience safari on way to camp. 2) Don't take best frock. It's dark in the evenings so no one will see. "
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Ruaha National Park area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
mdonya old river camp hotel ruaha national park
LOCATION
TanzaniaIringa RegionRuaha National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
12
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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MDONYA OLD RIVER CAMP - Campground Reviews (Ruaha National Park, Tanzania)

Frequently Asked Questions about Mdonya Old River Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Mdonya Old River Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Mdonya Old River Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Does Mdonya Old River Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Mdonya Old River Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Mdonya Old River Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Mdonya Old River Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
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