Ruzizi Tented Camp: The Lowdown

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Ruzizi Tented Camp is part of the rebirth of Akagera National Park– a park that came back from the brink and is now attracting serious safari visitors who’re looking for something different from simple camping or a 1980s government run lodge.

What’s Ruzizi Tented Camp really like?

It’s a charming luxury tented camp set in the south of the park on the shores of Lake Ihema. For lovers of the traditional East African safari camp, coming to Ruzizi will feel like meeting a familiar friend. There’s a cosy little bar and reception nestled under the fig trees, and a dining room that’s rarely used because most meals are eaten outside on the deck. We had dinner here beside a crackling firepit (simple, but mouthwatering fish skewers since you ask) and breakfast facing the rising sun as a fish eagle perched overhead. We were also rather tempted by the pizza oven that we spotted built into the decking nearby.

From the main lodge, raised wooden walkways lead through trees and troupes of vervet monkeys to the tents. There are 8 standard Meru style tents, each in its own little clearing facing out towards the water. Beds are twins and double, and there’s one family tent next to the main lodge. They’re simple and comfortable, with an ensuite bathroom to the rear with a flushing loo and a hot shower to wash off the day’s dust. The 9th tent is a more special one, tucked away at the far end of camp. This is raised up in the treetops, with a hammock gently swaying on the deck, a tub easily large enough for at least a baby hippo, and a glorious outdoor shower. In all Ruzizi is a sweet, comfortable and charming camp.

What can I do at Ruzizi Tented Camp?

Guests staying at Ruzizi will generally arrive with their own driver guide who will take you on game drives out into the park. It’s also possible to arrange boat trips on the lake with the park authorities- this is particularly good for birding, and a behind-the-scenes tour at park HQ which is a must for anyone who’s done a lot of safaris or has a practical interest in conservation. The great joy of Akagera National Park is the way in which it has come back to life, and it’s fascinating to see just how this happened.

Giving back at Ruzizi… Ruzizi’s very existence is part of Akagera’s conservation story, built to attract visitors and help fund the future of the park, restored from a depleted wilderness to Rwanda’s only “Big Five”game reserve. It’s been done with thought for the environment of course, and you’ll notice little touches like the solar lighting in the tent, but really just by staying here, you’re bringing much needed funding to this Rwandan success story.

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