Jabali Ridge: The Lowdown

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For a long time, Ruaha was a bit of a secret, attracting the sort of rough and rugged safari-goers that would run a mile from any whiff of luxury. But then word got out, and Jabali Ridge opened its doors to high end luxury travellers.

What’s Jabali Ridge really like?

When we walked into Jabali, the first thing we noticed was the view. Jabali perches high on a rocky kopje overlooking one of the best game viewing areas of the Ruaha. Yet somehow the dining room feels like a hip Capetonian café (albeit with the chance of seeing giraffe in the distance), and the almost South African style of food and service brings a new twist to this rather remote corner of Tanzania.

The eight suites are built around the granite boulders and each was carefully planned to maximise the view out over the trees and the (mainly) dry riverbed.  We spent a glorious sunrise watching an elephant slowly trundle in front of our room. Suites are all on their own private deck, and the bedrooms almost totally surrounded by wooden shutters, so you can choose to let nature in as much as you please. If we were being really picky, we’d say that the rooms are a fraction closer together than we’d choose ourselves. Nevertheless, Jabali Ridge, is certainly the most traditionally luxurious camp in the Ruaha. There is Wi-Fi in the rooms (please be forgiving as speeds can vary), rain showers in the bathrooms, and a spa where guests can be thoroughly pampered.

Over in Jabali’s main lodge there’s a rim-flow infinity pool- a gift on Ruaha’s baking summer afternoons, a library to escape to, a shop selling high end souvenirs, and a seating area tucked away amongst the rocks. Just as an aside- please let us know if you have any mobility challenges- there are a lot of steps and twists and turns around Jabali Ridge, a result of the lovely setting amongst the boulders.

Jabali also has a beautiful private house, with two master suites (both with king sized beds) and a third bedroom with twin beds towards the back. The third bedroom does not have the same views as the other two, so works best for families. There is a private pool, butler, chef, and game drive vehicle here, though during our stay guests did also wander over to the main lodge.

What can I do at Jabali Ridge?

The Ruaha has long been one of our favourite parks, most beloved for the sense of wild and woolly adventure that people seem to find there and for the excellent game viewing. Game drives are the main activity from Jabali Ridge- the sandy bed of the Mwagusi River is often a good place to spot elephants in the dry season, and our big cat viewing in this area was excellent. Jabali’s guides can also offer walking safaris for those who want a change of pace from being in a vehicle and there are also night game drives available, though please do let us know in advance if you would like to book these.

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