Namiri Plains is owned and operated by Asilia Africa, a company with a fantastic portfolio of properties spanning Tanzania, Kenya, and Zanzibar. The camp has received awards from The Times, Condé Nast, and TripAdvisor! The 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 any other property. From 1985 to 2014, there were no safari camps or lodges in the area, as part of a Franklin Zoological Society research project aiming to expand 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Guest accommodation currently consists of eight tented suites, but by October 2019 the tented rooms will have been replaced by stylish stone chalets with a striking canvas roof. At the moment, there is one tented suite for honeymooners and one for family use, and the new camp will retain this set-up. All rooms are spaced well apart on each side of the communal lounge and dining areas, with the honeymoon suite farthest away. The new rooms will be larger than the original tents, with glass sliding doors leading onto a small veranda – this will provide a great spot for wildlife watching, with amazing views over the Serengeti’s plains! Presently the standard and honeymoon rooms contain a double bed, bedside tables and lighting, a seating area, a hanging rack, and a few shelves. Overall the furniture is quite plain, but the combination of contemporary furniture with African soft furnishings looks great. En-suite washrooms offer a flush toilet, a washbasin with mirror over, and a classic bucket shower. The new rooms will have plumbed-in water for proper showers and a large free-standing bath. Additional amenities include a radio walkie-talkie, an electronic safe, a flashlight, insect repellent, waterproofs, and boots. The family room will continue to provide all these features, plus an additional space with twin beds that’s suitable for two children.
Namiri Plains’ communal lounge and dining areas occupy the centre of the site, both boasting spectacular vistas over savanna and woodlands. In common with the guest rooms, they contain fairly plain furnishings on a palette of neutrals and splashes of blue. 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 campaign chairs and occasional tables, as is the porch of the dining tent. Everyone eats together in the dining tent – whether for buffet breakfasts and lunches or formal dinners – 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 new camp will boast a swimming pool and a 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 black rhino, buffalo, wildebeest, Coke’s hartebeest, spotted hyena, aardwolf, and ground pangolin. 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.