After bidding farewell to the wonderful team at Siwandu we headed off for Jongomero, arriving mid-morning after a 2.5 hour flight with a quick refuel stop. The first thing that became apparent was the difference in typography and drop in humidity. Being a little higher in altitude, Ruaha National Park is much cooler than the Selous and was looking much dryer than Selous (which had a lot of early rain recently).
Jongomero camp is set in what was the southern part of Ruaha, though now the park boundary has been extended the camp sits somewhere in the middle. Made up of just 8 tents and 30km from the nearest camp, means it is unlikely to see any other people on a game drive unless they are staying with you. The tented suites are like huge with tented sides and a cosy verandah overlooking the dry riverbed - the perfect lazy game viewing spot.
We all went off on a game drive in the afternoon, a had wonderful, unusual sighting of a lone lioness, who the guides said may have cubs, attempting to stalk a pod of pelicans.. Sadly she was a little impatient and missed completely but it was an incredible spectacle for us... and the guides who said that they had never seen anything like that before!
We woke early to head out on a walking safari. The guides drove us out from camp and as soon as we had left the vehicle we were lucky to see a beautiful jackal hunting an impala. Sadly they headed off out of sight but the guides thought he was looking strong, so could have caught it quite easily. During the walk we also saw plenty of hippo out of the water and huge flocks of pelican in flight. Our delicious alfresco breakfast was set up overlooking the Ruaha River.
On our return to the camp, most of us took the opportunity to laze by the pool where elephants are often seen drinking from the pool in front of the guests. Our visitors today were slightly smaller in the shape of cheeky Vervet monkeys sipping from the pool!
After another beautiful game drive and sun-downer we headed back to camp for a bush dinner on the open plain behind camp. We had drinks around the fire and all spoke fondly of the last few days deep in the African bush but with growing excitement & anticipation of our next stop... the tropical island idyll of Fanjove.