‘Luxury’ Serengeti camps (approximately $1,000 per person per night)
Mobile Camps - Don’t ever rule out Serengeti Safari Camp in the classic price bracket – it’s a superb property. However, at the top end of the mobile camp market, sit Alex Walker’s two Serian properties, Serian Serengeti and Serian Lamai. Offering private safari and with locations on either side of the Mara river, these camps are truly outstanding. Out of the two, I would choose Lamai solely due to the fact the camp is located in the significantly quieter Lamai Wedge and often home to Alex himself! &Beyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas is another mobile option here, but when you pay over $1,000pppn and don’t have a guide like Alex in house I’ve always believed the value on offer is debatable.
Permanent Lodges - Lamai Serengeti is nothing short of exceptional. With the best views of the entire area and a well-tuned team, this permanent lodge is usually my go-to place for top-end safaris. Its sister property Mkombe House is also sublime – a private family house option for small groups and families. Competition to Lamai is Asilia’s Sayari, but the location and sheer character of Serengeti Lamai wins for me.
Across the river from Lamai is Singita’s Mara River. This is an exceptionally finely tuned property where luxury levels skyrocket, albeit in a fairly ‘light’ camp. I find the price quite eye-watering considering the camp has no pool, for example, but the sheer quality of Singita Mara is undeniable. It’s the place to go if incredibly high service levels are important to you.
The final place to mention is the Singita Reserve in the western Serengeti. This is a great option to end for a few nights of sheer luxury but not an area to get the river crossings even if they do still have good migration herds. The best of these is Faru Faru, while Sasakwa deserves its own special mention for being a genuinely 5-star luxury hotel option in the bush, the likes of which I have not seen elsewhere in Africa.
My suggestion for the ‘Luxury’ price bracket – If you are looking for a mobile camp and want a genuine ‘bush’ experience then go and stay with Alex at Serian, as there are very few companies that epitomise the essence of safari in this way. For something a little more luxurious, I can’t get enough of Lamai Serengeti – there is a character about this lodge that very few camps can match. However, if truly 5-star luxury is your focus then start with either Serian or Serengeti Lamai and move down to Singita Faru Faru (one of my Top 3 camps anywhere) or Singita Sasakwa… a destination in itself.