Founded by some of East Africa’s most exclusive mobile safari guides, Asilia manages a collection of understated, low-impact camps in rugged, game-rich locations with little tourism. The company’s Kwihala Camp sits on a hill near the bank of the Mwagusi Sand River in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, which is roughly the same size as South Africa’s Kruger National Park but gets barely one percent of the visitors due to the expense of small craft flights from Dar es Salaam or Arusha. The park has many giraffe and one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. Both species are frequent camp visitors, and with large buffalo herds, ten percent of Africa’s lion population, wild dogs, and cheetahs, the park is also known among safari aficionados for regular sightings of big cats on kills. The large, comfortable tents have wash basins, flush toilets, bucket showers, and solar-generated electricity, but don’t expect to spend much time indoors. The emphasis here is on long, superbly guided daily game drives with 5:30 a.m. wake-up calls, walks with armed rangers, and night drives. Asilia dismantles the camp during the rainy season, with the result that animals do not permanently associate the site with human infrastructure and continue grazing nearby when guests are present.
By Susan Hack, AFAR Contributor
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