Mdonya Old River Camp


Ruaha National Park

Accommodation Type

Tented camp

Accommodation Level
Price Guide

Mdonya Old River Camp

This charming, small tented camp sits in the shade of sycamore fig trees by the Mdonya sand-river –  which happens to be a game corridor, so you can enjoy a visual safari even before you leave the camp.  Enjoy bread and pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven and keep an eye out for the resident leopard – fabulous!

This is a real back-to-nature safari wilderness experience. This small, eco-friendly camp is very relaxed – no-frills, rustic simplicity but without compromising on comfort. It’s an unbeatable spot for wildlife; they come to your door. Elephants, zebra and lions roam through camp and occasionally settle down for a snooze, and you are surrounded by acacia and sycamore fig trees, giving some welcome shade.

In keeping with the relaxed ethos of the camp, game drives are flexible, not restricted to any rigid schedule, as you explore the beauty and diversity of Ruaha, from baobab valleys to sand rivers and vast plains. Bush picnics keep you well fed during your days on safari as your guides help you make the most of being in one of the most game-rich, but least visited of the Tanzanian parks. It’s wonderfully uncrowded in human terms, and fabulously busy in terms of animal population, particularly with regard to elephants and big cats. It’s also a haven for birdlife, with hundreds of species.

When not out on safari, by day you can sit on the deck, a cup of tea in one hand, binoculars in the other, and watch the animals that come to visit. At night you dine out by candlelight, enjoying really tasty food under the stars (that wood-fired oven is a definite plus!), spotting nocturnal visitors of the four-legged variety. Then you retire to your comfortable, lantern-lit tent to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of nature on your doorstep.

Times to Go

Mdonya Old River Camp is closed in April and May, the rainy season. From June to November, the dry season, game is plentiful, and while wildlife is not so prolific in the green season between December and March, the lush scenery is stunning.

Mdonya Old River Camp highlights

  • Eco-friendly camp in the heart of the Ruaha wilderness
  • Stay in a game corridor – fantastic wildlife sightings
  • Excellent birdwatching
  • Rustic charm and simplicity combined with great comfort

Tanzania Specialists review

Amanda Marks“Whilst I didn’t stay the night here, I stopped to look around and have lunch. Apart from having a very tasty lunch, I really liked what I saw of this camp. Simple as it is, I can absolutely see what many of our clients come back loving this place, and being visited at lunch by one of the 9 elephants that like walking through camp was a real bonus!”

Mdonya Old River Camp location

Mdonya Old River Camp


  • 12 safari tents
  • Open from June to March
  • Children aged 6+ are welcome


  • Wood-fired oven
  • Laundry service (pay locally)


  • Game drives
  • Bush breakfasts
  • Sundowners

Mydonya Old River Camp rooms

There are 12 tents, of the traditional walk-in style, all with a bedroom, dressing room and an en-suite bathroom with an open shower and solar-heated water, and a separate flush toilet.

Each has a lockable trunk for valuables and a private deck.

Tents can be adapted for families by the addition of a second tent on the veranda.

Twiga the giraffe likes this because…

“Mdonya supports various local community projects through its purchases of sustainably sourced charcoal and food. The camp buys fresh and dry goods from Kipera village, supporting their economy, and sources products such as jam and cheese from local community projects. They use solar power to heat water for showers, to provide electricity for the main area and also run many of the kitchen appliances such as the fridges. Recently they’ve also introduced aluminium water bottles for guests in a bid to reduce plastic usage. They’re really making big efforts.”

And don’t forget … for every booking we get, Tanzania Specialists plants trees in deforested areas of Africa through The Travel Forest, and we back The Tribes Foundation’s conservation and social projects.

Tanzania Specialists

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Amanda Marks

Managing Director
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.


Tracy Edwards

Travel Consultant
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.


Sinead Bailey

Travel Consultant
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.


Christine MacDougall

Travel Consultant
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.