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Best places to stay on safari in the Serengeti
Best Places To Stay On Safari In The Serengeti
The Serengeti is a perfect safari destination and is famous for a reason. The two million wildebeest that migrate in the park are of course the main attraction, but even without them, it would still be heralded as one of the most animal dense areas in the world. It is the typical image of Africa; there are endless rolling plains that are dotted with acacia trees whilst rocky outcrops break the horizon. The variety of camps and lodges in the Serengeti varies massively.
The major distinction that needs to be made is the difference between mobile camps and permanent lodges. The mobile camps follow the migration throughout the year and have two or three ideal locations where they move to. The mobile camps are all tented and provide a more authentic and 'real' safari experience. Luxury is not compromised though and there is nothing better than opening the front of your luxury tent in the morning and stepping straight out onto the plains of the Serengeti.
Permanent camps on the other hand, do not move. They are in fixed locations throughout the year meaning that they might not be ideal if you want to witness the migration. The other animal population is so high in the Serengeti that although these camps may not have the migration near to them for a few months of the year, you can still expect to see plenty of predators and other plains game. It is definitely necessary to chat to one of our team to talk you through where the migration is and where the best camps are for the time of year you are looking to travel.
The lodges and camps in the Serengeti do vary in price considerably, ranging from more affordable camps to the highly luxurious and pricey lodges. No matter your budget, all of the camps we recommend for your every need. Below we have listed a few of our favourites:
Lamai Serengeti is an absolutely fantastic lodge. It is of the highest quality and probably boasts the best service in the region. It sits upon the Kogakuria Kopje, with breathtaking views down onto the Lamai wedge. It is like a breath of fresh air when compared to a lot of luxurious safari camps with its quirky style and incredible location.
Namiri Plains is a must to any cheetah enthusiast. The cheetah numbers here are vast and there’s plenty of everything else too. Being owned by Asilia, Namiri Plains will most certainly deliver a world class safari experience. It’s not often that new areas open up in the Serengeti so we highly recommend a stay here.
Serengeti Balloon Safari
Have you ever wondered what birds see as they soar over-head, or have you ever dreamed about looking down upon a vast stretch of open wilderness? Well Serengeti Balloon Safaris can give that to you, and more. Starting at dawn and ascending with the sun, your adventure will begin just before sunrise and you will climb into the sky as the new day begins. Your balloon will rise up and over the magnificent Serengeti in blissful tranquility.
Alex Walker's Serian Serengeti North
Serian Serengeti North is exactly what a safari camp should be. Alex has spent a lifetime in the east African bush and knows it like the back of his hand. It is this kind of knowledge that he demands from his guides and they rise to the challenge with aplomb. It is an adventurous experience with a luxurious edge that no one ever forgets. Located just minutes from the Mara River, from July to mid-November you will struggle to find a better experience.
Alex Walker's Serian Serengeti South
While Alex Walker’s Serian is arguably the best camp in the north, in the south it stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is largely down to his location, which allows guests to enjoy walking, fly-camping and cultural visits to the Hadzabe, something no other camp in the south offers. Alex Walker also has a smaller camp inside the borders of the Serengeti. Called Kusini, this four tent camp is an intimate and again very secluded way to experience the migration.
Singita Faru Faru
Singita Faru Faru is one of our very favourite lodges. Run by Singita, the lodge is the lovechild of Paul Tudor Jones (a billionaire who runs them as his playthings!) and Faru Faru can be counted as probably the best safari lodge in Tanzania. One of three of their supreme properties (Sasakwa and Sabora being the others) it forms part of the private Grumeti Reserves, situated in the west of the Serengeti.
Sabora is a super luxury permanent tented camp in the Singita owned Grumeti Reserve in the west of the Serengeti; it’s one of the top lodges in Tanzania and ideal for any Tanzania safari. The lodge sits right on the plains and during the months of May and June this area is covered in wildebeest as the migration passes through. The whole camp takes the feel of a traditional safari camp from the 1920’s, with antique furnishings and carefully designed, spacious tents. But Singita has certainly put its mark on the camp; with world class cuisine, great swimming pool and an unbeatable safari experience.
Situated on the western corridor of the world famous Serengeti National Park, Singita Serengeti House offers guests exclusive-use accommodation and access to 350,000 acres of private land, providing an unparalleled private safari experience.
Chaka Camp is a semi-permanent mobile camp located in the Serengeti eco-system. "Chaka" means "bush" in Swahili and this is what the Chaka Camp is offering; an authentic and intimate bush experience in the middle of remarkable areas of the Serengeti's pristine wilderness. The Camp moves twice a year to ensure its guests are very well placed to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Another lovely safari camp from Asilia, it is almost identical to Olakira in style. The difference with Dunia is that it is placed very centrally in the Serengeti, fantastic for game viewing all year round. They have also found themselves a nice little corner from which they can enjoy the landscapes and views without the hustle and bustle of other vehicles that you often find around this area of the Serengeti.
Kiota is a beautiful and great value Camp, set in the central Serengeti allowing for fantastic year round game viewing, particularly if you have an interest in big cats. The Camp itself is relatively simple but very well done, offering an authentic safari experience. Sleeping under canvas in the middle of the Serengeti, surrounded by wildlife, is what life at Kioto Camp is all about.
This is one of the more luxurious permanent lodges in the Serengeti offering a wide range of safari experiences, including night drives and walking safaris, with superb guides. Since it is just outside the park itself there is the chance to be away from other tourists.
Olakira is one of the finest mobile camps in the Serengeti. It follows the same route as Serian in that it moves twice a year. From July to November they’re in the north of the Serengeti in the Karatu region. Then from December to March they move back down to fantastic spot in the Ndutu plains. At Olakira you are guaranteed great guiding, lovely food and a luxurious but authentic safari camp. Its position in the north is unbeatable as you can actually see the river crossing from the comfort of the camp.
Sasakwa is Singita’s Tanzania flag ship lodge: one of the most luxurious lodges in Tanzania with some of the most spectacular views in the whole Serengeti. We love the private infinity plunge pools in each room and the unbelievable stables boasting some of the very best horse back safari in Tanzania. It’s almost impossible to beat the luxury experience of this lodge with world class cuisine and excellent guiding and service- but it does certainly come at a price!
Sayari is one of the best camps in the north of the Serengeti. It is a beautifully stylish and well furnished camp that combines luxury with a fantastic point for game viewing. The food is impressive and the all round service is of a very high standard. The north of the Serengeti offers a very private experience. It’s a once in a life time opportunity to see the great migration without huge numbers of other vehicles ruining your picture!
Serengeti Safari Camp
Nomad are one of the longest running safari companies in Tanzania with camps and lodges in every corner of the country. We love the Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp as it is a mobile camp following the migration inside the Serengeti National Park, with private vehicles and some excellent guiding. Out of all the mobile operators Nomad earns extra respect for following the migration with every move, not just in peak tourist season
Serengeti Under Canvas
Serengeti under Canvas is one of the most luxurious mobile tented camps in the Serengeti, owned and run by &Beyond who are one of the top safari companies in Tanzania in terms of guide quality and luxury. The camp is very mobile, tracking the migration at all times of the year in a small intimate camp.
A bucket shower as standard means this is still a bush camping, but with the flamboyant extras that &Beyond seem to endow to all of their properties, you know that this is a cut above.
The ultimate in luxury ‘mobile’ tented camps in Tanzania; Singita Explore is an exclusive tented camp within the Singita Grumeti Reserve in the west of the Serengeti. The camp can be set up from two to six tents but always on an exclusive basis. During the Migration in May and June this is arguably the best tented camp to experience the huge herds moving this area of the Serengeti.
Singita own some of the finest and most luxurious lodges in Africa; Singita Mara Tented Camp is the latest arrival opening in October 2012 on the banks of the Mara River. This is the top property to stay at in the North of the Serengeti and ideal for the migration crossing the Mara River from July through to November.
Ehlane Plains Camp
Located in the recently opened Eastern section of the Serengeti, Ehlane Camp joins Namiri Plains as the only two camps in this picture worthy setting. They are located over half an hour away from each other and over forty-five minutes from the central Seronera region. With grassy plains that teem with big cats and clans of hyena, Ehlane's location is one that typifies an East African safari. Lions roar at night, hyenas giggle at dawn and cheetahs prowl the savannah during the day.
Grumeti Serengeti is one of &Beyond's luxury permanent Tented Lodges in the Serengeti. It is located in the Western Corridor and is ideal from late May to early July when then the migration passes through this area of the park. The lodge is typical of &Beyond’s high standard in a quiet area of the park hugging the banks of the Grumeti River. The lodge is tented but has the feel of a very established property with the tents being raised on platforms. The main area is a great area to chill out and enjoy the local pods of hippo. Historically the most luxurious permanent lodge in this area but with the arrival of Singita just slightly North, the competition has heated up!
Kimondo is a top luxury mobile tented camp. It takes up the two major locations for the great migration over the year - North and South Serengeti. In the north it sits on the Lamai Wedge with only two other camps. This means you get river crossings without the other vehicles. Great food, beautiful tents, engaging guiding.
Kirurumu Serengeti Camp
Kirurumu Serengeti Camp is a great value mobile tented camp. It's a very good camp in its own right but if you're looking to see Mara River crossings without blowing the budget this camp stands out head and shoulders above the rest. The luxury camping style ensures that you can be content in your (extremely) comfortable bed whilst simultaneously immersing yourself fully in the atmosphere of the wild Serengeti just outside your window.
Legendary Serengeti Camp
Legendary Serengeti camp, is a mobile tented camp erected in close proximity to the migration, wherever that may be at any given time of the year. Driven by an endless search for food and water, the great herds of the migration and their attendant predators are constantly on the move.
The south of the Serengeti was crying out for a top permanent lodge and now it has one. With an amazing location above a rocky gorge and eight classically styled tented rooms, Mwiba is a top luxury lodge.
Nduara Loliondo is run by Nomad Tanzania who have camps and lodges all over Tanzania. This is one of their less commercial products; located outside the Serengeti Border in the Loliondo area, where you get game and also a cultural aspect - this is the land of the Masaai. We love the style of ‘yurt’ tents and opportunity to take long walking safaris in the wilderness.
Part of the Asilia brand, this little camp is excellent value and you can guarantee a top level of service in all departments. It follows the migration thus allowing perfect game viewing opportunities and remote camp locations. Being a small camp of only eight tents it’s a lovely personal experience and great for groups too. There are other mobile tented camps to choose from which are better quality with private vehicles and arguably better guiding. However, they do cost more but the up cost is justifiable. if you do fancy a higher quality of tented camp then look at Alex Walker’s Serian, Nomads Serengeti Safari Camp and Olakira.
Opened in 2010, Ewanjan Tented Camp perfectly located in the central Serengeti area of the Seronera Valley, famous for its abundant resident game and large prides of predators. Ewanjan has a great setting away from the crowds, ideal to fully experience the wildlife of this area without constantly meeting another vehicle.
Ewanjan is at its height when the migration rolls though the Seronera Valley, the camp also works perfectly when combining with its sister mobile camps in Ndutu from December to March and the Mara River between July and October.
Lemala Kuria Hills
Lemala Kuria Hills is a new and permanent fixture in the north of the Serengeti. The modern glass-fronted bedrooms with colourful décor don't have the traditional Africa Odyssey style, but Kuria Hills can be seen as the perfect lodge for many, especially honeymooners. Private plunge pools, good location and great sunsets make for an affordable alternative to many of the more traditional camps.
Lemala Serengeti Camp
Lemala is a great product offering a good tented experience. Lemala Serengeti moves north and south with the migration and the camps have great locations. It's not Alex Walkers Serian but for the very reasonable price nor does it claim to be.
Serengeti Serena Lodge
This is a beautiful hotel that has a very personal feel to it and a great location in the park. It has the edge on other hotels of its size, as the small huts allow for a real sense of privacy and feeling of being out in the bush. It is a perfect place to spend a few days year round, but particularly during the migration months of May through to July.
The Four Seasons is a hotel/resort rather than a small intimate safari lodge - ideal for those looking for the comforts and facilities of a large hotel chain rather than a small intimate safari experience. It’s not our preferred style but it’s the best of its kind in the Serengeti.
Kati Kati is actually a great option for someone doing the northern circuit on a particularly tight budget. It is by no means luxurious - but it is simple, easy and great value for money in an area that has become extremely expensive. A group of great staff and a clean bed is all some people need from a trip to one of the best game viewing areas of the Serengeti.
Kusini Tented Camp
Kusini is a brilliant camp of exceptional quality. But the prices are getting quite steep. There are some good mobile camps that get you away from the crowds and among the migration for better value. Kusini gets a 3 paw rating.
Mbalageti Tented Lodge is actually quite lovely, but its size lets it down. The rooms are very good and the main area is inviting and warm but when you have up to 80 people in the lodge it doesn’t really feel like a typical safari camp or appeal to us. It is also seasonal interms of the Great Migration, only being located in the right area for a short period each year..
Migration Camp is a luxury Permanent Lodge owned by the Elewana chain located in the North Central area of the Serengeti. We really like the actual property but the one main issue is the location. Yes it is good for the migration around the early July time but the herds move through here so fast that it’s very easy to miss them. There is good resident game here but as this area of the Serengeti is quite shrubby and wooded- spotting them can be troublesome. Depending on the time of the year we would either be more inclined with a Northern Camp in the Kogatende area or something in the South or West.
We really like Ndutu Lodge for two reasons, its location and its simplicity; ok this place is not going to blow you away but from the December to March time when the herds are in this area its is the best value permanent lodge in the whole area. For this reason, especially in February time this lodge gets very booked up. This is a ‘drive in’ lodge which requires to bring your own vehicle and guide from Arusha which also means that this lodge can get booked up by the mass market safari companies.
Although Kirawira is a tented camp, it is not your typical small and personal safari camp. Being owned by the Serena chain it is larger than most but it also offer a fine level of service and quality and in most cases, better than the larger lodges in this category. Located in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti, it gets a season passing the migration but there is also great resident game here. The tents have great views and you should be able to see the migration from your room in June and July.
Serengeti Bushtops is a lovely luxurious lodge in the North of the Serengeti, not necessarily in the best position but it’s an incredibly well-crafted and beautiful lodge that caters for every luxury one could ask for in such a remote part of the world. If you’re looking for a vintage Africa safari experience, which this remote expanse of Africa is famous for, this lodge will seem rather over the top with too many modern touches. So you might be better off with one of the mobile tented camps like Serian or Nomads Serengeti Safari Camp. Due to the focus on luxury we find that this lodge tends to appeal more for the mass market tourist as opposed to a seasoned safari goer.
The Serengeti Sopa is a large hotel in the central Serengeti. It offers a great location for a stay any stay throughout the year with excellent residential game in the area. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing and the hotel certainly has its following with both the larger group tours and families. However, for the smaller and more intimate trip, while it has a good location set away from the busiest areas of this central area, it can feel a bit busy.
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