In Swahili, ‘Namiri’ means big cat – and before the camp was built, the area was closed to tourists for 20 years to allow the cheetah population to restore itself. These grasslands are still a safe haven for big cats, including lion, and with the nearest other camps about an hour’s drive away, you’ll have incredible wildlife, almost all to yourself.
Namiri Plains is an exclusive property with a high level of luxury and design. It is owned and operated by Asilia Africa, a company with a fantastic portfolio of properties spanning Tanzania, Kenya, and Zanzibar. Within this impressive collection, Namiri Plains is one of its most popular camps.
Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, scheduled game drives and walking safaris, transfers between camp and Seronera Airstrip, and a laundry service. The camp is open throughout the year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via 75 minutes’ road transfer from Seronera Airstrip. It’s situated in the East Serengeti, at least an hour’s drive from the busiest part of the park. As there are only two other camps in the surrounding area, game activities from Namiri Plains remain very much off the beaten track. In fact, from 1985 to 2014, there were no safari camps or lodges allowed in the area at all because of a Franklin Zoological Society research project aimed at expanding the local cheetah population. Today the region is considered big cat country, and the word ‘Namiri’ actually means ‘big cat’ in Swahili! The camp is positioned on the border between the Serengeti’s southern short-grass plains and the park’s acacia woodlands.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT NAMIRI PLAINS CAMP:
Guest accommodation consists of ten tented suites, including one suite for family use. All are spaced well apart on each side of the communal lounge and dining tents, allowing for ample privacy. Made out of timber, stone, and calcrete, with a sweeping canvas roof held up by metal poles, the suites have a very elegant appearance. The bedroom of each standard-size unit contains a king-size bed or twin beds, bedside stands and lighting, a pleasant seating area, a couple of luggage racks, and ample storage space. Sliding doors along the entire front wall of the bedroom open out onto a private deck, where you’ll find comfy loungers and amazing views over Serengeti plains! There’s even a resin bathtub on the deck as well, which is accessed through glass doors from the tent’s washroom, positioned to one side of the bedroom space. The other en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins with a mirror over each one, and indoor shower. The family tent comes with all these features, plus an additional space with twin beds that’s suitable for two children. For big groups and families, Namiri Plains has built two new retreats each including a dedicated chef, a host, and a private safari guide and vehicle.
The communal lounge and dining areas at Namiri Plains occupy a tent apiece at the centre of the site, both looking out over the seemingly endless savanna, interrupted only by acacia trees. In the lounge tent, wood- or metal-framed well-cushioned sofas and chairs are placed around coffee tables, and the bar stocks a good selection of spirits, beers, and wines. Maps of the Serengeti adorn the walls, and there’s a handy battery charging station as well as a few books. The veranda is set with additional chairs and tables, as is the deck of the dining tent. Dining is a mix of separate tables and eating together, so you will likely experience a bit of both during your stay. Breakfast is usually a buffet, followed by a light lunch, then a more formal dinner – and guests often tuck in to al fresco meals. Pre-dinner drinks are enjoyed around the campfire, which is also the setting for general socialising and swapping safari stories! As the camp is very open, it isn’t unusual for guests to hear big game trundling by. The camp has a swimming pool complete with deck area, and a secluded spa for indulgent massages and treatments.
ACTIVITIES AT NAMIRI PLAINS CAMP:
The camp provides an exciting assortment of activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives– This part of the Serengeti is characterised by sprawling savanna, acacia woodlands, rocky kopjes, and little pockets of water. These pockets rise up from the underground Ngare Nanyuke river and entice a wealth of wildlife! Vehicle safaris offer opportunities to enjoy sightings of all sorts of species. As well as abundant cheetah, lion, and leopard, you can expect to see buffalo, wildebeest, Coke’s hartebeest, and spotted hyena. The drives take place during early morning and late afternoon, with full-day excursions also available – Namiri Plains’ staff are happy to pack up a picnic for you!
Walking safaris– Also accompanied by a knowledgeable and experienced guide, walks start out from camp during morning and afternoon too. And they can form part of a whole day out. You’ll be able to observe hundreds of bird species, along with the area’s insects and plant life.
Great Migration viewing– If you visit during the period from November to December, you might well see the huge herds of the Great Migration. Almost two million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles move from north to south through this eastern part of the park in their search for food on the southern plains of the Serengeti. April heralds the herds’ charge back north, rutting en route. This is usually up the western side of the Serengeti, but if you are lucky they may spread far enough to the east for you to see them at that time too.
Hot air balloon safaris– Balloon rides incur an additional charge too. We think it’s well worth it, however, for truly breathtaking vistas over the Serengeti! You’ll rise shortly before dawn and drift for an hour before returning to earth, and a delicious bush breakfast. Just contact a member of our team for further details.
Cheetah tracking– This activity is a must for fans of the fabulous felines! Offered at extra cost, it involves searching for cheetah on the plains and discussing the outcome with a local researcher. Highly recommended.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.