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Lilly D
New York City, New York

Amazing!

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 Jan 2020via mobile
I loved this place! So sorry it so long to write this review but life gets in the way.
It was a last minute booking and I didn't do extensive research but the agent recommended it us so I went with it. From the moment we landed at the airstrip we felt welcomed, the drive to the lodge was peaceful with the gift of seeing a cheetah lounging by a tree. Upon approach, the staff was there to welcome us with drinks. The room was beautiful, with a small pool and views to the park from the bed, which was large and comfortable. There were outlets to charge your phones but no wifi in the room which I wasn't concerned about. The outdoor shower/toilet also had views and was very private but somewhat scary at night because it was dark and you could hear the sounds of nature. Otherwise, there was hot water, flushing toilet and nice toiletries.

Food was delicious, I am a pescatarian and my partner a picky eater but we were well catered to. At breakfast there were eggs made to your choosing, and lunch had a nice variety of dishes, Dinner was well presented and gourmet in quality especially considering the location and the different needs of the guests. Drinks were plentiful and there were a good variety of wines to pair with your meal. It was my partners birthday and they brought out a cake and sang for him, so sweet and much appreciated!
Game drives were early morning and you could receive a wake up call if you wished, you could choose between a full day or half day drive. We sunrise/sunset drives with a .break in between. Habibi was so good, so knowledgeable and answered questions patiently. He was able to track lions for us after figuring out they would be on the move and we saw numerous elephants and others. He also saw birds in the distance which I had no idea how he could see while driving, he's really great!
Lastly, the best part of Ikuka is the staff, they have beautiful genuine souls, Annie, Seif, Habibi, Mark Jake, and everyone we interacted with are very special and I hope they know how much they are appreciated. Anyway, I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for some peace and adventure. I hope to go back one day.
Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this review
Responded 20 Jan 2020
Thank you for your wonderful review and for sharing your experience on here with others. We are really pleased to read that you enjoyed everything about Ikuka & Ruaha and thank you for appreciating our wonderful Ikuka family! All the best from Ruaha.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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      Reviews (179)
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      70 - 75 of 179 reviews
      Reviewed 11 January 2020

      We had our second trip to Ruaha in November 2019 and our travel agent recommended Ikuka Camp .. and I’m so glad he did. What an absolute gem this camp is. The huge rooms are fabulous, spotlessly clean with wonderful views - we loved sitting in the lounge area of our “tent”, drinking coffee and watching elephants. The food is just superb, both eating in camp and the bush breakfasts. Game viewing was just so good, we were lucky enough to have Festo as our guide and we loved him. We saw so much and it was definitely a leopard holiday - several sightings where we were fortunate to have the sightings completely to ourselves. I really can’t praise Ikuka and the wonderful staff there enough, everyone works so hard to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Everything you could need is provided - from insect repellent (not needed) to bathrobes. There are charging facilities in each room. We have stayed at some truly wonderful camps over the years but Ikuka is definitely a favourite and I’d stay here again in a heartbeat. If you ever visit Ruaha then do yourself a real favour and stay at Ikuka.

      Room tip: I imagine all rooms are superb
      Date of stay: November 2019
        • Location
        • Sleep Quality
        • Service
      Thank FrodoGloucester
      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.
      ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2020

      Thank you for your lovely review and for sharing your experience with others on here, we truly appreciate it. We are so pleased that you enjoyed everything we and Ruaha have to offer, especially all those amazing Leopard sightings! We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 14 December 2019

      We visited Ruaha and Ikuka Safari Camp in November 2019. The seasonal rains had just started, but we were anyway lucky to see several lions and thanks to our great and very dedicated guide Festo a group of 12 wild dogs. The population throughout Africa is just 5000.
      Ikuka Lodge is very beautifully located on a hill with an outstanding view over a valley. The rooms are very luxury and comfortable. Each room has a panoramic view over the landscape. The food and service are all excellent. Both the management and the staff so very friendly, thoughtful and care for your needs in such a gentle way. What we particulary noted was the good relationship between management and staff and which markedly contributes to the fine atmosphere at Ikuka Safari Lodge. Highly recommended and we hope to come back again.
      Warm greetings from Ola and Gunlög from Sweden

      Date of stay: November 2019
      Thank 500 527
      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.
      ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2019

      Thank you for your review and for sharing your experience on here with others. So lucky to see the Wild Dogs :)
      We look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 7 December 2019 via mobile

      Beautiful , independent camp with a great guides especially Habibu. Great bird life when we were there and a huge terrain to search for larger game over. When we were there the elelephants had mostly moved to higher ground in search of water but there are large umber of all the significant safari species there. Best lunches we had on our safari trip as they were perfectly balanced and light. A big danger on safari is gluttony. The camp staff and hosts were charming and very welcoming. Really good experience

      Date of stay: November 2019
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      Thank JohnLBath
      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.
      ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2019

      Thank you very much for your review and for sharing your experience with others on here; we are really pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay. So lovely to read that you enjoyed the birdlife of Ruaha as well, we are lucky to have over 500 different species in the park! We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 27 November 2019

      We stayed here for 4 nights in September 2019.

      Ruaha National Park was a complete contrast to the Selous Game Reserve with this camp at the top of an escarpment overlooking the Mwagusi River valley. The camp is in a tranquil setting with fantastic views.

      The logistics of building this camp are illustrated in a photo book in the communal lounge area - well worth a look when you stay.

      Each bandas has its own tented area which encloses a huge-sized comfy bed with side cabinet and wardrobe. There is an adjoining lounge area and veranda. The en- suite bathroom itself is of a good size with views out over the park. Toiletries are provided.

      Days start early with a morning wake-up call about 5.15 am with coffee or tea brought to your tent with a muffin or fruit. Safari drives start about 6 am and, at about 9 am, you enjoy a bush breakfast somewhere in the park. By lunchtime you return to camp to enjoy a tranquil lunch. Off again at 4 pm for your second safari drive of the day with a stop for sun-downers. Evening meals are communal, sat at a long table.

      Habibu, our guide, was excellent in showing us so many animals within the park. We were lucky to see the serval cat, ostrich (which we weren't expecting) plus many jackals, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, zebra, water buck, baboons, various mongoose, bush hyrax. dik dik, kudu, oribi - the list goes on and on. His knowledge on the birds is outstanding too. We have so many ticks in the bird book checklist provided by the camp that is in your bandas.

      The meals are 5-star. Compliments to the chef for the variety and presentation.

      The staff go out of their way to make sure you are happy and always have a smile.

      Lillian was always there to meet and greet on returns from drives with a welcome drink and wash towel, and made sure you were warm enough when setting off in the early mornings.

      Our bush walk with Mark, which lasted about 3 hours, gradually took us down to the river. The walk is interesting and provided some much needed exercise! Your reward at the end is an amazing bush breakfast with your own chef.

      Ruaha is a beautiful park with a rich ecosystem. The huge baobab trees provide some stunning sunrise and sunset pictures.

      We would love to return one day and visit during the "green" season.

      Mark and his team run an excellent camp and we highly recommend a visit.

      Room tip: All bandas have a stunning view
      Date of stay: September 2019
        • Location
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      Thank bottleofscotch
      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.
      ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2019

      Thank you very much for this wonderful review that you have given us and for sharing your experience on here with others. Your review means so much to us all; we are really pleased that you enjoyed everything about Ikuka and Ruaha and we hope that you can return one day in the green season when there are even more birds (the migrant birds arrive) and Habibu can help you to check some more off the bird list :) We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 19 November 2019

      Ikuka was our last camp of three on our very first safari adventure, and it was a perfect choice. The gathering lounge/bar/and dining area are stunning. There is also a lovely loft that houses a shopping area and has a beautiful view of the dramatic infinity pool below.
      The accommodations are immaculate and beautiful. There are breath-taking views from the ensuite decks. In addition to the bedroom area; there is a comfy couch for relaxing, no luxury is overlooked. In the spacious bathroom, you will find five-star amenities including authentic kangas for guests to wear during their stay. Food and beverage options would not disappoint a serious foodie, and the staff anticipates your every need. Every staff member genuinely cares and goes over the top to make each guest feel special and ensure that all guests are blown away by their experience.

      The game drives are amazing. Ruaha really is in the bush. Our guide, Luca was outstanding. Luca was an expert driver, and while he was driving he was also spotting animals and ensuring we were not hit by brush along the paths. The wildlife viewing is superb in the park. We had wonderful experiences in our first two camps, but still saw and discovered something new during every game drive in Ruaha. Luca also found the perfect spot for our sundowners during every evening game drive. And, we were greeted by the staff and served a lovely liquor upon our return to camp each evening.
      A big thank you to Jake, Mark, Luca, Lillie, and Annie..as well as all the staff members who made our stay memorable. Kudos to all of you...it was a perfect visit.

      Room tip: All rooms have lovely views...
      Date of stay: October 2019
        • Sleep Quality
        • Rooms
        • Service
      2  Thank Janice F
      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.
      ikuka_safari_camp, General Manager at Ikuka Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2019

      Thank you so much for your lovely review and for sharing your experience on here with others, we truly appreciate it! We are really pleased you thought we were your perfect choice - it makes us all very happy to read that you enjoyed everything about Ikuka and the beauty of Ruaha. We look forward to staying in touch, Luca has many more sundown spots to share with you! Best wishes from the Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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