Usangu Expedition Camp

Usangu Expedition Camp

On the banks of the wetlands, just beyond the reaches of the seasonal high-water mark, Usangu Expedition Camp sits among the woodland shade, offering the perfect launch pad from which to enjoy the multitude of activities available across this largely unexplored 6,000 km2 wilderness.

About Usangu Expedition Camp

Boating and canoeing through the waterways amongst an array of birdlife, walking the vast open grasslands during the dry season months, or sleeping under the enormous canopy of the African night sky, Usangu Expedition Camp offers a safari experience like none other.

The neighbouring Douglas Bell Eco Research Station offers the opportunity to engage with research projects and develop a deeper understanding of the work in the area, from placing camera traps and identifying predators against the research database to tracking lions with telemetry and contributing to global research. Late afternoon presents the perfect time to explore the surrounding area on foot before enjoying the sunset over the Usangu Wetlands.

Location of Usangu Expedition Camp

The Usangu Wetland features a permanent water source in its centre, the Ihefu Swamp, surrounded by grassy marshlands and floodplains. Only the Ihefu Swamp offers water during the dry season, but as the rainy season develops, the wetland expands to cover an enormous area. The miombo forest thrives on the outer limits of the wet season high-water mark and provides the perfectly shaded location for Usangu Expedition Camp.

The Usangu Wetland is an essential feature of the Ruaha National Park -Rungwa ecosystem, with significant implications for ecosystems thousands of kilometres away from the wetland. Its features are unique, and under the proper conditions and health, the biodiversity of species is undeniably a treasure trove. Herds of roan and sable roam the vast wetland, and wild dogs run wide along rivers.

Hundreds of ostriches congregate in a way not often seen in other African places. Thousands of migratory bird species pass through the wetland, and dandified amphibians are still waiting to be discovered.

What to expect during the year

Usangu is open from June to November when it’s hot and dry. During this time, the Usangu wetlands recede, and the surrounding grasslands dry out into wide open spaces ideal for walking. The falling rains from November until April transform the landscape, making it green and lush. They also create logistical problems as the water-logged road networks and the rising floodplains limit land-based activities.


Airport: Closest airstrip: Jongomero, 2-hour drive from camp

Wildlife area: Yes

Best time to visit: June to October




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Activities at Usangu Expedition Camp

Game drives
Usangu Expedition Camp

The best times to depart on a game drive are early morning and late afternoon to avoid midday heat when animals are less active. With your private vehicle and guide, you can explore any (accessible) area of the Usangu wetlands. Usangu has five biozones and offers many different habitat types waiting to be explored. Our up-cycled Land Rovers have been rebuilt from the ground up and are powered by green alcohol fuel (ethanol). This five-seater safari vehicle offers unobstructed views — built for comfort, bush driving, and remarkable off-road capability.


Night drives

See a different side of Usangu with a night drive. It’s a unique opportunity to spot shy, nocturnal animals and those that prey on them. With the aid of your knowledgeable guide, keep your eyes out for leopard, genet, serval, honey badger, civet, and African wildcats on the hunt, as well as bush babies, mongoose, bat-eared fox, nightjars, and owls going about their business. Don’t forget to take a moment to gaze up at the breathtaking night sky.

Boating safaris

The wetland area and the intricate waterways that swell and contract throughout the season create various boating conditions. Our swamp boat is designed for these marsh-like conditions, allowing one to explore the wetland's narrow waterways year-round. Elephants are regularly seen along the shallows, and the birdlife is fantastic.

Family safaris
Tanzania Family Safari Holidays

We welcome families with children over 12 years old. If the camp is booked exclusively, younger children can be accommodated, but participation in walking activities and canoeing will not be permitted.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris allow you to immerse yourself in nature, away from the noise of the land cruiser and closer to the ground to observe the smaller and less obvious parts of the African wilderness. This is an entirely different way to experience the bush, encouraging your senses to engage as you spot tiny but fascinating creatures you’d never see from the vehicle.


Photos Usangu Expedition Camp

Accommodation options at Usangu Expedition Camp



Room types


The four guest tents at Usangu Expedition Camp are simple yet comfortable. They are positioned on raised wooden decking, with views toward the wetlands and a shaded veranda on which to relax. The en suite bathrooms feature flushing toilets and plumbed showers.

Usangu Expedition Camp
Usangu Expedition Camp


  • 4 tents
  • En-suite bathrooms
  • Flushing toilets
  • Hot-water plumbed showers
  • Mosquito net
  • In-room lockable box
  • WiFi (in research centre)
  • Solar and generator power
  • Battery-charging facilities

Usangu Expedition Camp on the map

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