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Rowlou
Amersham, United Kingdom

Beautifully styled luxury safari camp, in a stunning landscape

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 04 Aug 2023
A truly luxurious safari camp, set on a crazy escarpment, offering stupendous views across Ruaha National Park. Ruaha felt more like the Africa we expected, wide open vistas, sandy scrubland, with mostly dried up riverbeds and columns of majestic Baobab trees. We saw more large herds of animals than we had in Selous, but also covered a lot more ground to find them.

We were met by Geoffrey, who would be our guide for our time at Ikuka. From our first meeting, we could tell that Ikuka was special - personalised water bottles and snacks provided, with extra drinks freely available at all times. It might have been the time of year, but everyone at the camp got a jeep and guide to themselves, which always makes for a special experience.

We were met, at camp, by a smiling, waving team from Ikuka, including Mark, the owner, and Sherie, the camp manager, who were so welcoming and chatty, which was very useful as over the next few days we all struggled, to various degrees, with the effects of our malaria medication, and their understanding and helpfulness made it all much easier.

The camp itself is all sandy furnishings, reflecting the landscape beautifully. The safari tents have pale stone styling and amazing quartz gabbions around the outdoor bathrooms, as well as a cosy sofa area, with added spotter books [great for adults and children alike]. All tents have decks overlooking the park, and afternoons were happily spent watching the birds [although I’d recommend sitting by the pool as they’re very attracted to the water].

Each evening, the inside tent was closed, possibly for mosquitos, although also to keep the warmth in, as the evenings got surprisingly cold. I should also mention the morning wake up calls, hot drinks and biscuits, with the added bonus of thermo cups to take on the drives.

The food at Ikuka was quite different to anywhere else we stayed in Tanzania, being more european, with beautiful presentation. As a bonus, our lovely waiter Seif moonlighted as a bird expert, and was always on hand when I was struggling with identification.

Dinners at Ikuka are often communal, but with various members of our family feeling ill or missing meals, and all other visitors being couples, we chose to eat as a family, which was lovely, but we maybe missed out on the camaraderie of camp. I think the camp may be more aimed at couples…

The safaris were fabulous, more as we’d expected, with a lot of driving to try and find our chosen animals. Although we failed in our mission to see wild dogs [they were at the camp the day we arrived and the day after we left!], we did see 2 groups of lions, an enormous herd of over 500 buffalo, jackal, a bat eared fox and a leopard! Crazily, our sundowners were taken with a pride of lions and a leopard lazing in a tamarind tree - evenings never to be forgotten!

We took advantage of Mark being onsite, to take a walking safari, which really changed the way we saw the park, as well as giving us a healthy respect for the wildlife [we had to rapidly change direction when a lone elephant was in the bush ahead, and then found out that a lion had also been on our path]. The highlight of the walk was spotting a Giant eagle owl [with pink eyelids!], as well as Mark’s stories of various animal encounters.

One thing to note, it gets very cold in the park at night, which wasn’t so much an issue for evening game drives [just a little brisk on the final drive up to camp], but morning drives start very cold. Camp provides blankets and hot water bottles, but fleeces and/or jackets are a must.

Date of stay: July 2023
Room Tip: Pack warmer clothes; they offer a fast, complementary laundry service & all toiletries provided,...
Trip type: Travelled with family
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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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 review
Responded 06 Aug 2023
Thank you so much for your wonderful review and for taking the time to share your family experience on here with others, we truly appreciate it. We are really happy that you had fun exploring the vast landscape of Ruaha and were rewarded with some excellent wildlife sightings and that you got to enjoy the smaller details on the bush on a walking safari! The Giant eagle owl is certainly a special one to remember :) We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from the Ikuka family.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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      12 - 17 of 181 reviews
      Reviewed 24 July 2023 via mobile

      Just an amazing place! Fantastic lodge in an amazing location with great service, great food and great company.
      The rooms are just first class and extremely comfortable with everything you need. Plus amazing views from the deck.
      The safari service is everything you want. Informative, well managed, comfortable and interesting. The guides are knowledgeable and friendly and good company.
      The food from breakfast to dinner was great and we have memories that will stay with us forever!
      Thank you to everyone at Ikuka

      Date of stay: June 2023
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      Thank craigeuan
      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 30 July 2023

      Thank you so much for the wonderful review and for taking the time to share your experience on here with others, we truly appreciate it! We are really pleased to read that you had everything you would want from a safari experience! 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 12 July 2023 via mobile

      We visited Tanzania for our 1st ever safari & spent 3 nights at Ikuka - easily the best 3 nights of our honeymoon.

      The venue is stunning, rooms are glamping to the absolute max, huge bed, beautiful panoramic views off a high vantage point, privacy whilst also being open.

      Tommo & his team cater to your every need, happy, chatty staff … hot water bottles in your bed; greeting you on your return from safaris with a team of waving staff, which my other half loved every time! Water bottles filled with ice to keep you cool in the day.

      Food is divine & there’s plenty of it! … Maybe they’re trying to fatten us all up for the lions?!
      The bar is fully stocked with all the spirits you could ask for & they certainly know how to make a proper cocktail!

      We haven’t even got to the safari yet!! Our guide was incredibly knowledgable, we learned a lot from him. We were lucky enough to see almost everything we could have hoped, including a cheetah! Unfortunately the wild dogs evaded us, however we hear they were seen the day after we left - typical!! Haha!! … At least it’s a pretty good excuse to go back!!

      My new wife & I both agree, this was by far the best holiday experience we have ever had! And something we will most definitely never forget.

      Date of stay: June 2023
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      Thank browners1
      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 17 July 2023

      Thank you so much for your wonderful for review and for taking the time to share your experience on here with others. We are very happy to read that we were the best 3 nights of your honeymoon! Please come back soon for the wild dogs! 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 10 July 2023

      It is really hard to describe Ikuka in words...it is perfection. The location overlooking the national park is idyllic and Tom and his team provide a seamless safari experience. Your every possible want & need is catered for and anticipated. Every time we entered or left the camp Tom & his staff would be there there with cooling towels and a refreshing beverage.

      To say that we were well fed is an understatement. Coffee tray, Bush breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, sundowners & dinner! All of an extremely high standard.

      The rooms were beautiful. Massive bed, open bathroom and every facility you could possibly need.

      It is well worth spending a couple of days in camp without going on safari drives just to soak in the views and the atmosphere.

      Date of stay: June 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      Thank helencW5118LP
      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 July 2023

      Thank you very much for your lovely review and for taking the time to share your experience on here with others. We agree - spending time to soak in the views from the camp is a winner! 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 9 July 2023

      This isn't easy to write a review worthy of IKUKA.

      IKUKA is a special place that will change you.

      The team is caring and kind, and memorable.

      Tom is brilliant with his entire team. I want to stress every single member of the team is the best you could ever encounter.

      The meals were outstanding, and the presentation was beyond words.

      We cried when we left as we had become their family.

      The Safari experience was world-class and exclusive, and non-commercial. I think it must feel like Africa was 40 yrs ago.

      Mustafa was our guide and friend, and we are grateful for all the brilliant

      wildlife experience. We saw everything

      Room tip: Book soon before it is discovered by many
      Date of stay: June 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      Thank C8567SCbrentd
      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 July 2023

      Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this wonderful review and for taking the time to share your experience with others, we truly appreciate it. Being non-commercial and genuine is something we really try to achieve, we are so pleased that you had this experience! We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from your Ikuka family.

      Report response as inappropriate
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
      Reviewed 9 July 2023

      There are insufficient superlatives to justly review Ikuka Safari Camp...
      It was Heaven.
      My partner and I spent a week there and we had the time of our lives. It is Incredible on many levels: location, service, details, cuisine, accommodation, care, thoughtfulness, warmth and genuine interest in all their lucky visitors.
      I worked in and later taught hospitality management in various countries and every single person working at Ikuka Safari camp is obviously at PhD level. They were astounding.
      I won't spoil the surprise element for future visitors but the attention to detail surpasses every expectation.
      The accommodation -- beautiful, supremely comfortable and all in keeping with stunning natural surroundings.
      The food -- Well it was simply Brilliant. .. and very plentiful! I was amazed that such a level of excellence could be achieved there in the bush and in a week there was not one course or meal that was anything less than delicious and all expertly presented.
      The Ikuka Family -- Simply The Best. Tommy and Chevy are Superb at what they do and their enjoyment in their work is obvious. They are wonderfully supported by a team that anticipate your wishes, obviously take great pride in their work and also, importantly, obviously enjoy what they're doing.
      Geoffrey -- He was our guide on our game drives and oh, was he amazing! Nothing was too much trouble, every siting was wonderful and his knowledge and care were unsurpassed.
      I made a joke that we should sell our house and move there because it is simply heaven... I was only half joking.
      Mick and I Thank the Entire Ikuka Family for giving us an unforgettable experience and we so hope that we will be able to return to the heaven that is Ikuka.

      Date of stay: June 2023
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
        • Value
        • Location
        • Service
      Thank Zoe C
      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 July 2023

      Asante sana from the bottom of our hearts for this wonderful review and for taking the time to share your experience on here with others, we truly appreciate it! We thoroughly enjoyed having you both to stay at Ikuka, thank you for appreciating us and everything you experienced! We look forward to staying in touch. Best wishes from your 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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