A safari-goer in Tanzania caught some great footage of sparring hippos in the Serengeti. Imagine watching this in person! It’s amazing what you can see on safari, isn’t it?
Namiri Plains is a new camp for safari enthusiasts who want bush luxury and a deeper wildlife experience while leaving a small environmental footprint. This luxurious six-tented camp is set among yellow-barked fever trees in a remote and beautiful area of the Eastern Serengeti called Soit le Motonye. It will open July 1.
“Namiri” means “big cat” in Swahili. A former cheetah sanctuary, the area has been unexposed to outsiders for 20 years and now has the highest cheetah density in East Africa. Lions and leopards are also abundant here. In addition, the wildebeest migration passes through this area twice annually and giant wildebeest herds are accessible from camp for three-quarters of the year.
Because Namiri Plains is the only camp in this area of the Serengeti, guests will have more of the plains to themselves and rarely encounter other vehicles on game drives. A permanent water source near the camp means unrivalled year-round access to fantastic wildlife, especially cheetah, lion and leopard.
Namiri Plains is about a one-and-a-half hour drive east of Serengeti’s Seronera airstrip. The six tents include a honeymoon tent and family tent, and the camp is open to guests 6 years old and up. It will be closed April and May.
Contact Ujuzi if you have any questions about Namiri Plains or planning a safari to the Serengeti!
Enjoy this music video of highlights from my recent trip to Tanzania! It was tough narrowing hours of video down to just a couple of minutes, but somehow we managed to get dozens of animals and five national parks in there. I think my favorite capture is the cheetah stalking and chasing its prey in the Serengeti. What’s your favorite footage?
On my recent tour of Tanzania, I visited dozens of lodges and tented camps in order to bring you the best of the best. This firsthand expertise allows me to create unforgettable safaris that truly match your travel goals.
While each traveler has unique needs, I’ve outlined a possible 11-day adventure safari with five-star accommodations below to give you an idea of what Tanzania has to offer. As an adventure safari, this sample itinerary hits northern Tanzania’s most famous wildlife areas and features overnights at some of the area’s finest tented camps – offering unprecedented intimacy with the East African landscape with all the comforts of five-star hospitality.
- Day 1: Arrive Tanzania. Overnight at Lake Duluti Lodge.
Lake Duluti Lodge is located on a 30-acre coffee farm next to a scenic crater lake on the outskirts of Arusha. Each of the 18 spacious chalets has a private deck with an amazing view of the ancient indigenous trees that provide shade to the farm’s coffee bushes. Lake Duluti Lodge prides itself on its fine cuisine, five-star service, top-class amenities and eco-friendly architecture and operations.
- Day 2: Arusha National Park. Overnight at Lake Duluti Lodge.
- Day 2–4: Tarangire National Park & Manyara Ranch. Overnight at Manyara Ranch Conservancy.
Manyara Ranch Conservancy is much more than a place to sleep; it’s a destination in and of itself. Guests have the unique opportunity to ride horseback among giraffes and zebras, go on morning safari walks, or enjoy night game drives on conservancy land. Zebras and other herd animals often wander through the camp during sundowners (cocktail hour). The six exquisitely furnished guest tents have electric lights available at all hours, and the en suite bathroom includes flush toilet and shower with hot water on demand.
- Day 5: Lake Manyara National Park. Overnight at Lemala Ngorongoro.
Lemala Ngorongoro is an intimate seasonal camp set in an ancient acacia forest near the rim of the crater, just a 15-minute drive from the crater floor. A small camp with nine luxury tents, the camp guarantees seclusion in a pristine forest environment. Each of the spacious standard tents has a king bed or two queen beds with duvets; gas heater; a leather couch; wood floors with rugs; 24-hour solar lighting; and an en suite bathroom with dressing area, flush toilet and a large safari shower. A family room is also available.
- Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Lemala Ngorongoro.
- Day 7–10: Ngorongoro Conservation Area & Serengeti National Park. Overnight at Pioneer Camp.
Located in the hill-dotted Moru Kopjes area of Tanzania’s south central Serengeti, Pioneer Camp offers superlative access to the annual migration and Big Five game. A large elevated lounge has sweeping views overlooking knobby granite outcroppings and the endless plains. Each of the 10 private tents pays homage to the mobile camps of the 1930s with solid wooden furniture and trunks, classic canvas chairs, throw rugs and gleaming copper wash basins.
- Day 11: Fly back to Arusha for departure flight to U.S. or extension to Zanzibar.
I recently took a whirlwind tour of Tanzania, visiting five national parks and Zanzibar to find the best accommodations for safari travelers. At each place, I visited an average of half a dozen lodges and camps. All in all, I inspected 39 properties in 9 days.
It was a lot of work, but it’s important to me that I see the properties I’m recommending to my clients in person. It’s rare in the travel business for agents to visit each country and property they work with, and that’s the difference I strive to offer: firsthand expertise that allows me to create unforgettable safaris that truly match each client’s needs.
For a short adventure safari with 4-star accommodations that hits northern Tanzania’s most famous wildlife areas, I would recommend:
- Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania. Overnight at Arumeru River Lodge.
Arumeru River Lodge is on 12 acres of an old coffee plantation near Arusha National Park. The property has 23 standard rooms and 6 junior suites in cottages that border an exquisitely kept garden populated by a resident family of dik-diks. Family rooms and triples are available. Arumeru River Lodge offers half-day guided hikes in the nearby rainforest for a nominal fee and free guided garden walks through its grounds.
- Day 2/3: Tarangire National Park. Overnight at Tarangire River Camp.
Tarangire River Camp, a 21-tent camp that includes four roomy family tents and a spacious swimming pool for refreshing dips after a long day of safari. The camp overlooks the winding Tarangire River, which attracts a variety of animals even in the dry season when little water is visible. Electricity is available 24 hours.
- Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park. Overnight at Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge.
Exploreans Lodge is a 20-cabin luxury resort close to Ngorongoro Crater. The grounds are astounding, with vast well-kept vegetable, flower and herb gardens. Cabins have a living room, bedroom, en suite bathroom, and a balcony that overlooks a wildlife reserve and coffee plantation, with the Ngorongoro mountains off in the distance. On-site amenities include massage and spa services, a swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool spa. Exploreans is known for its small touches that make a stay truly great, such as a pillow menu that allows guests to choose from several different options to ensure a good night’s sleep.
- Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge.
- Day 6/7/8: Ngorongoro Conservation Area & Serengeti National Park. Overnight at Lake Masek Tented Camp.
Masek Luxury Tented Camp has 20 well-appointed tents with en suite bathrooms that include a large tub, enclosed outdoor shower, two vanity sinks and a hair dryer. Each tent has a furnished veranda that overlooks Lake Masek, where hippos and Big 5 game abound all year. Electricity and hot water are available 24 hours a day.
- Day 9: Fly back to Arusha and depart for home or extension to Zanzibar.
Keep an eye out for next week’s posting on 5-star accommodations!
Located in the hill-dotted Moru Kopjes area of Tanzania’s southcentral Serengeti, Pioneer Camp offers superlative access to the annual migration and the ‘Big Five.’ A large elevated lounge has sweeping views overlooking knobby granite outcroppings and the endless plains. Get an even better view of the surrounding landscape and its inhabitants through the lounge’s spotting scope.
Each of the ten private tents pay homage to the mobile camps of the 1930s with solid wooden furniture and trunks, classic canvas chairs, throw rugs and gleaming copper wash basins. All have en-suite facilities that include a flush toilet, sink with oiled bronze fixtures, and rain showerhead. A digital safe and writing desk with stationery complete each room. Electric lighting is available in the rooms 24 hours a day, while cellphones and other equipment can be charged at the camp’s charging station adjacent to the dining room.
Serengeti Pioneer Camp strives to have a low ecological footprint. Solar power heats the water and provides much of the camp’s electricity, and the dining tent features local seasonal produce prepared to the highest standards. The character of the area is preserved as tents are connected to the main area by natural stone paths that formed over the eons.
Comfort is also key here. Service is exemplary, and attention is paid to the smallest details. If you need to recharge after a long day at safari, relax in the plunge pool or use the camp’s stargazing scope to gaze at the southern sky. Another nod toward comfort: Pioneer Camp is a convenient 50-minute drive from the Seronera airstrip, allowing visitors to minimize time on bumpy roads by flying in and out of the Serengeti.