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29 April 2021

Best lodges for a nice view in northern Tanzania

YZ expert Linda has just returned from an extensive safari to northern Tanzania. Here she picks out her favourite views:

There is something truly special about looking out across the African bush from an elevated position – anywhere you look might just be the right place to catch a glimpse of one of the resident animals getting on with their day-to-day lives. Maybe you’ll catch sight of elephants walking in family groups while foraging for food, breaking branches, and ripping leaves off the trees as they go, or hippos lazing in small pools of partially dried-up riverbeds. You never know what you might see when your eyes focus on a specific area.

Sunrise and sunset are magical times in the bush, before and after the heat of the day, and northern Tanzania has some excellent vantage points where you can enjoy these transient hours. If you want to discuss the best lodge in northern Tanzania, you can send our experts a message here.

Lemala Mpingo Ridge in Tarangire

Bathtub view, Lemala Mpingo Ridge, Tarangire, Tanzania
Pool views, Lemala Mpingo Ridge, Tarangire, Tanzania

Situated on the edge of a hill, Lemala’s Mpingo Ridge in Tarangire offers one of the best ways to enjoy the sunrise. Each of this property’s guest suites has a private deck, and it is seriously worthwhile getting up before dawn to watch the sunrise over the park from your outdoor bathtub. Seeing the sun creeping over the distant hills, illuminating the plains below, and slowly creeping up towards your deck from your tub adds a whole new dimension to appreciating the sunrise!

Nomad Entamanu in the Ngorongoro Crater

Entamanu views, Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Views, Entamanu Ngorongoro, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater area has some of the most famous views, so staying on the crater rim is really the best way to make the most of these views, particularly at sunset when most visitors have returned to their lodges for the night. This also has some spectacular night views of Tanzania!

I was lucky enough to stay at Nomad's Entamanu Ngorongoro – what a beautiful tented camp with spectacular views! Really down to earth yet still safari chic, this camp is tucked into a quiet corner of the crater rim, away from the busy main routes. A perfect retreat after spending the day exploring the crater floor.

Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Private dining, Serengeti Pioneer Camp, Tanzania
Sunset views, Serengeti Pioneer Camp, Tanzania
Bedroom veranda, Serengeti Pioneer Camp, Tanzania

From the Ngorongoro Crater, I travelled north-west, past the Olduvai Gorge and into the Central Serengeti. My first stop was Elewana’s Serengeti Pioneer Camp. This is a superb camp for getting the best views over the central plains of the Serengeti, as the lounge and bar area is thoughtfully set on the edge of a kopje in among the boulders. Whereas a lot of camps will set up dinner en famille, Pioneer Camp prefers to set up individual tables for each group. Staff love to maximise their spaces around the camp – my dinner table was set up just in front of the main camp with hurricane lanterns. Breakfast the next morning was a wonderful surprise, as they had set up my breakfast table on the swimming pool deck, looking over the view.

Lemala Nanyukie in the Serengeti

Plunge pool views, Lemala Nanyukie, Central Serengeti, Tanzania
Aerial view, Lemala Nanyukie, Central Serengeti, Tanzania

Heading towards the more remote eastern Serengeti plains, my next stop was Lemala Nanyukie. The views from this camp can best be described as ‘sweeping’ – not elevated but no less beautiful, as Nanyukie’s wide decks with sunken lounges and private plunge pools are great for spending some quality time just relaxing and looking into the surrounding African bush. I could quite happily have spent a whole day on my private deck! The eastern plains are most famous for cheetah sightings, and they did not disappoint – in only two days we saw a lone female cheetah relaxing on a termite mound, a mother cheetah with five cubs sleeping and playing in a shady patch, and four brothers hunting together at sunset.

Nomad Lamai in the Serengeti

Bedroom view, Lamai Serengeti, Tanzania
Deck views, Lamai Serengeti, Tanzania

From the eastern plains, it was time to head north in search of the Great Migration. At this time of the year, the herds should have been heading south down the eastern corridor of the Serengeti, but, as it turned out, they had followed the rains west again and we only saw a few stragglers after all.

However, staying at a really beautiful camp in the northern Serengeti made up for missing the majority of the migration. Lamai Serengeti, sister camp to Entamanu, where I’d stayed on the Ngorongoro Crater rim, stays true to the understated ‘safari chic’ of Nomad Tanzania. Built into the Kogakuria Kopje and designed to blend into their surroundings, the rooms are a perfect vantage point for watching the wildlife below going about their everyday lives. Even without the Great Migration herds, the wildlife in this area is superb. With the rains just starting to fall, the hills become lush and the rivers fill up. For me, the atmosphere of this camp was a highlight of staying here – it has just the right combination of luxury, excellent hosting, and relaxed ambience to check all the safari camp boxes.

Nimali Mara in the Serengeti

Views, Nimali Mara Lodge, Serengeti, Tanzania
Swimming pool view, Nimali Mara, Tanzania

A brand-new camp in this area, Nimali Mara Lodge is more of a luxury lodge for game viewing in Tanzania. Its super-luxurious suites are scattered around the main area, which is set into a kopje – literally built into rocks, so when you are approaching the lodge it’s difficult to see until the last minute. The bar is backed by an enormous boulder and looks over the lounge area, which in turn looks over the plains – this was without doubt the most elevated view I enjoyed in the northern Serengeti. And the elevated swimming pool is certainly worth spending an afternoon relaxing in!

Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge in the Serengeti

Bedroom, Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania
Views, Lemala Kuria Hills, Serengeti, Tanzania

My last stop on this trip was the fairly new Lemala Kuria Hills, a beautiful combination of a tented camp and luxury lodge. The suites, so big you can’t call them tents, look out across the hills from a granite boulder vantage point – and each has a private plunge pool.

Which camp has the best views in Tanzania?

Personally, I find it really hard to pick a favourite, but it’s definitely one of these three:

  • Nomad Lamai
  • Nimali Mara
  • Lemala Nanyukie

The property best suited to you will come down to the style of camp you prefer, and the question of where to stay in all honesty will most likely be decided by availability if you wish to travel in high season. However, you really can’t go wrong with any of the properties as a luxury safari camp option with great views in the northern Serengeti!

Which is the best camp for wildlife viewing in Tanzania?

When it comes to wildlife viewing in Tanzania, it is tough to argue against the Great Migration being most people’s highlight! With that in mind, the best camps for wildlife viewing in Tanzania will often be the mobile tented camps in the Serengeti, which move from one location to the next over the course of the year. They are always in a prime location, which maximise wildlife viewing opportunities!

My personal favourite camps for wildlife viewing in Tanzania are:

The permanent lodges are also fantastic though and if you are in the Northern Serengeti from around June to November, Nomad Lamai and Lemala Kuria Hills will offer sensational game viewing!

If you would like to experience any of the views that Linda did, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help with planning your Tanzania safari. Alternatively, do take a look below for more inspiration:

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