Tanzania & Zanzibar: Day Fifteen: Ruaha River Lodge to Mdonya
On our way back from breakfast we encountered an elephant right behind our banda. We tried to get around the front of the banda, which would have meant going across a small ravine and up the opposite bank, but unfortunately the ellie was facing us and we didn’t dare risk crossing the open ground. So we had to take refuge on the deck of the banda next door until at last the ellie moved on and we were eventually able to get to our own banda.
We then went to look at the camp's other dining area, at the other end of the camp. This was quite spacious (), with excellent views down to the riverbed (). Our final 'sighting' here was that of the very colourful rock agama lizard ().
We were then taken by vehicle in the direction of Mdonya Old River Camp, our final place of stay on Tanzania itself. Along the way we came across the old giraffe carcass shown below (). It can be seen from the 'star-shaped' marking on the small amount of remaining skin that it was of the 'Maasai' variety ().
At the other end of the spectrum, were a couple of lions, a male and a female, that rather looked as though they had been mating (). We also observed a baboon mother suckling her young ().
Mdonya Old River Camp is a simple camp, a few kilometres from Mdonya Falls and situated in open woodland alongside the course of the old river well off the beaten tourist track, and probably the most basic (and hence most authentic) that we had yet encountered (), below.
As can be seen from the photos above and alongside (), its whole essence is that of the open air, which of course inevitably means sharing its space with the local wildlife.
The camp has a large comfortable lounge area () with a small library and wildlife artefacts, and you can also enjoy a drink here while watching the wildlife passing by using the old river bed as a corridor.
There is a separate dining area, but dinner is often eaten out in the open air (), sometimes by candlelight under the stars following sundowners around the camp fire. However, as can be seen, sometimes there can be uninivited guests.
The camp does not have electricity, and so candles and kerosene lamps help to enhance the feeling of being an intrepid traveller from a bygone age and give a romantic feel to your entire visit. Staying here just is a really great experience, accentuated by perfect hosting!
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