If you’re a safari (or Africa) virgin, nothing will prepare you for your first sighting of a huge lioness loping gently along the track in front of your Jeep en route to Ikuka. Nor for the magical sight of elephants and baboons digging for water side by side in a dry river bed, against a backdrop of mighty baobab trees, or a leopard snoozing on a rock. Yep, this all happened to Team Brides 20 minutes after landing in Ruaha, the largest national park in Tanzania.
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Situated high on an escarpment, Ikuka is an intimate, family-run camp offering something very special in the heart of a rugged wilderness. It has just six tented rooms (checked, zipped up and discreetly patrolled in the night), cleverly curated with a mix of sustainable materials and luxury touches such as white quartz, polished concrete and brass fittings, plus huge beds with crisp white linen, open showers, antique furniture and views to take your breath away.
Food, drinks and Your safari home Ikuka Safari Camp, Tanzania service are exemplary – the chill-out library begs you to lie on a giant cushion with a glass of red, listening to the distant cries of nocturnal hunters. Be sure to ask for Ernest as your guide – nothing beats eating sausages and boiled eggs at 6.30am, while watching the sunrise and listening to his bush stories.
The fun part? Identifying things you had never heard of, but will never forget… yes, lilac-breasted roller and euphorbia candelabrum (a bird and a plant, respectively) – that means you! INSTA-WORTHY MOMENT Book room six for perfect sunsets and a private plunge pool. Then just add a glass of Champagne and let those #nofilter hashtags do the talking. GO Aardvark Safaris (aardvarksafaris.co.uk) arranges stays at Ikuka Safari Camp (ikukasafaricamp.com) from £458pp per night, based on two guests sharing a double tent (includes meals and wildlife-viewing activities). Domestic flights from Dar es Salaam to Ruaha with Coastal Aviation (coastal.co.tz) start from £574 return.