Having worked in the Serengeti, and regularly travelled to the likes of Tarangire, the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, it is inevitable that certain camps and lodges have become my ‘favourites’ over time. I am by no means a fussy traveller, but I do appreciate a touch of luxury from time to time (who doesn’t?!). However, the most important thing for me personally when staying somewhere is the experience as a whole as opposed to just one or two aspects of a lodge.
1. Lamai Serengeti
Built on a kopje (rocky outcrop) in the northern Serengeti, Lamai is arguably the flagship of the Nomad properties in northern Tanzania. Each room is spacious and well appointed, but most importantly it provides the inhabitants with a seemingly endless panoramic view of the vast plains. Lamai is one of four premier tented lodges in the northern Serengeti, but its location and style set it well apart from its competition. As an added bonus, walking safaris are also available along with the standard game drives.
2. Alex Walker’s Serian Camp
Quite simply the best of the mobile camps in the Serengeti, this premier camp combines simple luxury with as authentic a safari experience as a safari-goer could hope for. With a biannual change of location, Alex Walker’s Serian ensures that it is almost always situated where the migrating wildebeest are to be found. Both walking safaris and game drives are available to guests staying here.
3. Kuro Tarangire
A classic-style tented camp of exceptional standard, Kuro Tarangire is situated in the heart of Tarangire National Park close to the game-rich Silale Swamp. As is the norm for any Nomad Tanzania property, Kuro offers its guests a truly authentic safari experience and can boast of excellent standards of guiding (both on foot and by car), food and service. Game viewing is superb in and around the general area, with big game like lion, elephant, leopard and wild dog regularly seen.
4. Namiri Plains
Namiri Plains is an Asilia Africa camp in the east-central Serengeti. Miles away from any other lodge or camp, Namiri is one of the few properties in the Serengeti that can guarantee what is in essence a private safari experience. This classic tented camp has been set up in an area that has been closed to the public for the past 25 years for big cat research, so needless to say big game viewing here is excellent! Guests can do both walking safaris and game drives.
5. Singita Faru Faru
As a part of the Singita portfolio in Tanzania, Faru Faru is quite simply in a class of its own. Decadent luxury is combined with exceptional standards of guiding to ensure guests have the best possible experience both away from and at the lodge. Besides being an all-round excellent lodge, this premier property also offers various activities such as horse-back safaris, night game drives and walking safaris to really set it apart from the rest.
6. Serengeti Safari Camp
The first of the truly mobile camps in the Serengeti, Serengeti Safari Camp has steadfastly been following the Great Migration since the mid-1980s. As a part of the Nomad Tanzania portfolio, Serengeti Safari Camp guarantees exceptional standards of guiding and excellent standards of food and service. The reality is that this classic camp offers its guests an almost unrivalled safari experience.
7. Nasikia Tarangire Ndovu Camp
With its very central location within Tarangire National Park, the adventurous Nasikia Ndovu Camp provides an excellent base from which to explore the park. The camp itself is very much a no-frills property, but each tent is comfortably appointed while the friendly, efficient service and hearty food belies the very affordable price tag this superb little camp comes with.
8. The Manor at Ngorongoro
On the rolling foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater in the midst of a beautiful coffee plantation, sits The Manor. An elegant colonial-style property, this premier lodge is something of a throwback to Tanzania’s colonial era. Both the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park are easily accessible from here, while activities such as extensive nature walks and horse riding are a possibility. As it is set outside any national park boundaries, it is less expensive than accommodation in the park, making it an attractive option compared to properties of a much lower standard on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim.
9. Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge
Hotels and lodges in Arusha are by and large used for a one night stopover before or after a safari. However, Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge bucks this trend with a fantastic location on the slopes of Mount Meru, which it combines with a myriad of activities such as fishing, horse riding, and hikes in Arusha National Park and on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, to name but a few. Ngare Sero can be seen as a classic-style lodge and makes for an ideal stopover for those who are looking to do something a little different to the traditional safari experience.
10. Nasikia Mobile Camp
Nasikia Mobile Camp is an adventurous camp that moves twice per year to keep up with the migrating herds of the Great Migration. The camp consists of between 8 and 12 tents, ensuring that it retains the air of a traditional tented camp and that it remains capable of providing a very personalised level of service. All in all, Nasikia Mobile camp provides an excellent option for those who are unwilling to compromise too much on their safari experience while being on a slightly tighter budget.
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