Situated on a remote hilltop northeast of Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam and with a vista of the plains below, Kisampa is a special place. So special, in fact, that some of the AfrikaAfrika team live here permanently! Kisampa is a private community conservation sanctuary that adjoins the unique coastal Saadani National Park in eastern Tanzania. Here we offer you a personal journey, an experience full of meaning – not just another destination. We will lead you on a superb exploration that will take you into the heart of this amazing little piece of Africa. Because it’s our own sanctuary, you won’t bump into other safari-goers anywhere on Kisampa. We keep your experience intimate and personal.This is an adventure that will get you thinking. It will stretch your mind (just as much as your legs) and Africa will get under your skin. Welcome to Kisampa - Where Africa awakens your soul!
Our wilderness, eco friendly lodge is comfortably rustic in its simplicity, underscoring our desire to leave a minimal human footprint in this pristine area. The camp can accommodate only 14 guests – keeping your experience intimate. There are six thatched bungalows at Kisampa, each with a hand-crafted double bed, hammock (from which you can see endless views of the Kisampa plains) and a table with chairs. Each bungalow has its own private and unique bathroom set into the surrounding bush and open to the stars. A bush shower hangs from a tree branch and steaming hot water is delivered for bathing at your request. There's also a spacious communal bungalow for relaxing at Kisampa. Feel free to sink into the huge sofas with a drink and peruse the small but well-stocked reference library. Kisampa is quite literally a bush playground for children! For this reason we greatly encourage families to come here to experience Africa. Accommodation for children is flexible – either with the parents or in separate, nearby star-gazer tents.
Mornings at Kisampa begin with freshly brewed tea or coffee deliver to your bungalow at which ever time you desire. Kisampa’s intimate size makes dining a highly variable experience for our guests. Breakfast and lunch are usually served in our open-aired Pavilion, or as picnic lunches when on longer hikes, game drives to Saadani or to Sima Beach. Evenings begin with sundowner drinks around an open fire surrounded by the vast open plans. Dinner at Kisampa (weather permitting) is served under the stars, warmed by the nearby crackling fire. We pride ourselves in using local produce, honey from our own production, freshly baked bread, wholesome soups, crisps salads and a fine selection of wines. With proximity to both ocean and bush our meals contain a wide variety of meats, seafood and vegetarian options.
Kisampa does not specialise in big game watching; we see it as more of a retreat. Because we're situated in a private conservation area rather than a national park, we can do what we want, however and whenever – from walking to canoeing to camping. If time allows, we are a short drive away from Saadani National Park (a unique space due to its proximity to the coast). General game is plentiful and, combined with a Wami River Boat Safari and a picnic at the beach or under a tree in the park; it makes for a varied, interesting and enjoyable day trip. Other activities include long bush walks, beach camping at Sima Beach or bird watching from viewing platform. Finally, Matipwili village lies a few miles away, which we would encourage you to visit if you wish. The people here are only too happy to show you around.
COURSES & TRAINING
Your life could take a new course at Kisampa!
Kisampa’s setting provides the real bush experience that makes these enjoyable, professional and scientifically credible courses such high quality. The incredible atmosphere of living and learning in such a wild and unspoilt wilderness fosters a love of the African bush, and brings home to all students, whether Tanzanian or from elsewhere, what a special privilege it is to be able to live in, work in or just enjoy such surroundings. These unique and exciting residential courses are run for a minimum of four people from our secluded eco lodge or campsites. Our instructors all have a passion for Kisampa, the bush and sharing their experience and knowledge with others. They have vast experience in training and education, health service provision and guiding. All course participants receive competence or participation certificates for each course completed. Course details can be obtained by contacting us directly.
Team Building /Leadership: These courses can be tailored for corporate clients or school or family groups, depending on the objective. Our programs are aimed at having fun and most incorporate our themes of wilderness awareness, bush survival and first aid with emphasis on confidence building, initiative, team-work, planning, communication and supervisory skills. Real life scenarios, tasks and games are conducted to reinforce the teaching points.
Wilderness First Aid: This course is designed to give participants confidence in dealing with medical emergencies in the bush. The training is scenario based to simulate real life situations and to enhance retention of skills. Participants are taught to improvise to use equipment and resources around them to give assistance to sick or injured people.
Conserve, develop, support and sustain. In essence, Kisampa is about people, with a total of 5 villages and several hundred people being involved in, and benefiting from the sanctuary. Not only do we pay a concession fee for every bed filled, but just as importantly, we buy our supplies and employ our staff from the area.; we are a channel for fundraising to help local schools and medical facilities. Through funds raised at Kisampa for example, we have just finished building the area’s first secondary school now with over 200 students. Thirty secondary school students have full scholarships thanks to the generosity of our guests and we have helped local people develop businesses that enhance Kisampa and help guarantee their children’s future.
Why not get involved yourself? You may like to give a little of your time, experience, energy or resources. Whilst you enjoy this untouched wilderness you can take pleasure that your presence is directly assisting the communities through direct employment, business opportunities and levies that Sanctuary Tanzania pays to the village, in order to assist with their social projects which include :
Obtaining safe water supply for the village
Fundraising for and the continued building of a Secondary School in our local village
Sponsoring of underprivileged children through their entire education
Development of a village library, office and resource centre
The support of micro businesses such as hive building, beekeeping fish farming, and biodiesel production
Set in a secluded grove of Kigelia Africana or 'Sausage' trees, high on the banks of the Ifuguru Sand River, in the Ruaha National Park, Kigelia is an exclusive and totally secluded camp. The backdrop of a Baobab forest, rocky hills and the Great Ruaha River makes the camp incomparable. Our small, discreet camp operates in a socially and environmentally responsible way, placing a minimal footprint in these precious areas of natural beauty. Kigelia Camp is accessed by light aircraft to Msembe Airstrip from either Dar es Salaam or Arusha. Your adventure with us begins with the 20km game drive from the airstrip to the camp, where you will be met by the Camp Manager, who together with our well trained staff will make sure your experience within the camp is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
The comfort and safety of our guests is our prime consideration at all times. The accommodation we offer within our luxury tents enables our guests to enjoy a refined, authentic camping experience within a totally wild environment without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. Each tent has comfortable, locally crafted beds and its own en suite bathroom with flushing toilet and open air shower for that true camping experience. There is nothing better than to stand under a steaming hot open air shower at the end of a long day’s game drive! A larger Pavilion tent provides the living space for dining and relaxing, with tables and chairs, sofas and a well-stocked reference library. Our camp offers six large double tents and can be booked individually or alternatively, exclusively by parties of eight people or more.
A day at Kigelia begins with freshly brewed tea or coffee deliver to your tent at which ever time you desire. Kigelia’s intimate size makes dining a highly variable experience for our guests. Breakfast and lunch are usually served in our large Pavilion tent, but can also be served as a bush breakfast next to the Ruaha River or as picnic lunches during longer game drives. Evenings begin with a sundowner drink around an open fire over looking the sand river. Surrounded my animal sounds dinner is served (weather permitting) under the vast star covered sky. Our meals are prepared to the highest standard using wholesome fresh produce, offering plenty of choice and good vegetarian options where required. For those who like their wines, a good selection of International wines is served with meals.
The Ruaha National Park boasts a spectacular array of animals and birds, so our activities during the day are varied to include game viewing by either vehicle or on foot. At all times our guests are accompanied by expert guides who have many years of experience and have a deep knowledge of Ruaha. You will be invited to design your own programme of activities in consultation with the guides to maximise the quality and pace of your experience according to your own particular interests and desires. Photographers will be amazed at the opportunities - we promise our guests an experience that is truly “up close and personal”! Game drivers can include bush breakfast, picnic lunches or sundowner drinks in order to maximise your game viewing opportunities and your comfort
SERENGETI MARA CAMP
Uniquely situated in the northern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, and with unrivalled access to the short grass plains adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, sits the Lamai Wedge. This slice of Africa has just one camp: The Serengeti Mara Camp. Sitting amidst this ancient and sacred land between two of conservation's great success stories, Serengeti Mara provides an exclusive mobile camp experience - quiet, beautiful, remote. You are miles from home, but it feels like you're among family. For the first time in your life, you're contemplating the abstract notions of time and space. This is what Africa does. Verdant rolling hills stretched out before you are punctuated by pockets of woodland. These acacia thickets conceal creatures that remind you of your new place in the food chain. Sights, smells and sounds remind you this is a slice of paradise on earth.
Nestled on a ridge of acacia trees and with an unrivalled and uninterrupted vista of the Serengeti's long-grass plains and Maasai Mara National Park, Serengeti Mara Camp is a picture-perfect destination. Being the only camp in the Lamai Wedge, it's a private, intimate and truly unspoilt wilderness. Sleeping under canvas beneath the enormous starlit Lamai night sky is guaranteed to be truly special experience. The camp consists of six luxurious and stylish walk-in tents, all with en suite toilets and showers. Guests enjoy an authentic camping experience within a totally wild environment without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. A larger tent provides the living space for dining and relaxing, with tables and chairs, sofas and a well-stocked reference library. Each tent can be booked individually or, if you're a group of eight or more, you can rent the whole camp exclusively!
A day at Serengeti Mara Camp begins with freshly brewed tea or coffee deliver to your tent at which ever time you desire. Serengeti Mara’s intimate size makes dining a highly variable experience for our guests. Breakfast and lunch are usually served in our large Pavilion tent, but can also be served as a bush breakfast next to the Mara River or as picnic lunches during longer game drives. Evenings begin with a sundowner drink around an open fire over looking the stunning Lamai Wedge. Surrounded my animal sounds dinner is served (weather permitting) under the vast star covered sky. Our meals are prepared to the highest standard using wholesome fresh produce, offering plenty of choice and good vegetarian options where required.For those who like their wines, a good selection of International wines is served with meals.
Incredible vistas aside, Serengeti Mara is a wildlife treasure trove. The annual wildebeest migration, which occurs from June to November in the Lamai Wedge and surrounds the Serengeti Mara Camp, is undoubtedly one of the world's most spectacular natural events. As well as the wildebeest, you'll enjoy exciting experiences such as nightly lion, leopard and hyena calls, trumpeting elephants and predatory cats hunting their prey in front of your very eyes. Couple this with superb bird watching, and we're sure you'll agree that Serengeti Mara Camp serves it up all and in abundance every day. From Serengeti Mara Camp, our comfortable open-sided Landrovers take you on tailor-made game drives or pick you up from professionally guided walking safaris. You can make a day of it with a bush breakfast or full-day picnic lunch, spent under the shade of an African acacia next to the crocodile-infested Mara River. Whatever you decide to do, we will make your days spent here are truly memorable.
THE GREAT MIGRATION
No where in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during July through to October. The migration has to cross the Mara River where crocodiles will prey on them. This is one of the highlights as the animals try and cross the Mara River alive. In the Maasai Mara they will be hunted, stalked, and run down by the larger carnivores. The Maasai Mara also has one of the largest densities of lion in the world. The Migration is rarely ever the same in terms of precise timing and direction, as local conditions influence grass growth. This means that the wildebeest may move off the open plains earlier in some years and remain in the northern woodlands for longer in others.
CHOLE MJINI LODGE
The concept behind Chole Mjini Lodge was to build something simple yet at the same time elegant and comfortable. The goal was to create a lodge appropriate for the location, which blended in with the bush, the ruins and the mangrove forest and be open to nature but still secure and able to withstand the occasional tropical storms. In a tree house one can have privacy without having solid walls. No one can see into the houses from the ground and the absence of walls lets the Kaskazi wide pass through the houses during the warmer months. As a result we enjoy cool nights almost all year round without a/c or fans and all the houses face slightly East of North for this very reason.
The communal areas of Chole Mjini Lodge are set in lush tropical gardens, which border the ruins of the old Chole Town. Six of the rooms are tree-houses, built using local techniques by expert craftsmen and set on platforms high up in giant Baobab trees, which gives breathtaking panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and lulls you to sleep with the sounds of the lapping waves. The seventh room is a ground house, which is slightly larger and caters for families with small children. With only seven tree houses, carefully placed and designed, privacy is assured. Open to the elements, with the king-size bed the throne-like centre piece, each thatched platform is reached via sandy paths that lead through the natural vegetation. All have views of the sea; some are close enough to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the tide trickling back through the mangrove roots. Most tree houses have a second level to accommodate children.
Having watched the sun set and moon rise from the rooftop bar, guests gather around a candle-lit table under the stars, either within the 19th-century ruins, the crumbling walls clasped by fig tree roots like giant fingers in the flickering candlelight, or next to the murmuring ocean.
A strong Swahili influence provides delicate yet intense, flavourful spicing, and the judicious use of coconut milk. Fish and other seafood is freshly caught and delivered daily and vegetables are grown on the island. The lodge has a fine selection of wines to complement any meal.
Activities at Chole Mjini Lodge are diverse, and you can do as much or as little as you want. Because the Indian Ocean is only meters away, diving, snorkelling, swimming and dhow sailing are hugely popular! We own a refurbished traditional dhow that we use for full day excursions to magnificent sand banks, snorkelling trips or sunset cruises. The waters around Chole Island are home to a diverse array of marine life, and whale sharks are commonly sighted, as are potato cod, giant grouper and white-tipped reef sharks. Other experiences include visiting the local village with a guide, exploring the local paths (a late-afternoon walk is often rewarded with a sighting of the local fruit bat colony in flight) or just lazing around in the sun.
MAFIA ISLAND MARINE PARK
The protected Mafia Island Marine Park (821km²) is located between the Rufiji River Delta to the west and the open Indian ocean to the east. These two influences form one of the finest complexes of estuarine, mangrove, coral reef, and marine ecosystems in the world. The coral reefs being particularly diverse for Eastern Africa, providing a spectacular habitat for over 400 species of fish and 48 genera of hard coral - a scuba divers paradise! These unique habitats include hard coral dominated reefs, soft coral and algal dominated reefs, sheltered back reef systems, inter-tidal flats with hard and soft substrate, mangrove forests, extensive seagrass beds, algal, sponge and soft coral sub-tidal beds. The area includes critical habitat for the dugong (Dugong dugon) and sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lipidochelys livaceae, Dermochelys coriacea and Caretta caretta) as well as whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and has been recognised as a critical site for biodiversity.
DIVING ON MAFIA
Chole Mjini Lodge partners with both the Sea Point Dive Centre and Big Blu, located across the small channel at Utende, to offer the best and safest diving to our guests. These dive centres offer day, night and double dives along with all PADI courses from novice to Divemaster level, in safety and in respect of the environment of this beautiful island. To organise any of the following services please let us know at least a day before and we will look after your diving requirements. If you need any equipment we can assist you for fitting at the Dive Centre and from then on they will collect you from the Red Herring at a designated time.