Chris Fox, owner and manager, was born in Tanzania and is passionate about Africa, the park and wildlife. His knowledge of Ruaha extends back to long holidays spent camping in this area since the beginning of the National park, and who’s family helped to protect the park through some of its most difficult and neglected years and who helped to secure the bridge across the park providing all year access, at a time when the only access was being pulled across by hand on a wooden pontoon.
When he was a boy he and his family were often the only visitors. As an eight-year-old, he would go hunting on foot with his father in the areas bordering the park. Apart from schooldays spent in Devon, he has known the Ruaha all his life and his passion for it shines through in everything he says.
In June 1987, on returning from the Mzombe river, after a few days patrol with Chief Park warden Ole Moirana and his rangers, we found ourselves standing on the rolling hills of escarpment, the vast expanse of wilderness stretched out before us. In all that expanse there was not a single tourist as far as the eye could see. Moirana, probably the greatest warden Ruaha has ever experienced, quietly muttered “one day planes will be landing here every day.” Noticing my disbelief, he added, “I experienced this in Serengeti, and it will happen here. You Foxes are pioneers, you will pave the way for a different kind of tourism, one that you are less comfortable with, then probably you will move away.” I looked at him, horrified by the thought that we may leave. I felt we, like the wildlife population, belonged here. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that day, much has changed, but we are still here!