Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a spectacular safari destination famous for the Big Five and big cat sightings. It’s also one of the best places to view the annual great migration that sees millions of wildebeest and zebra cross the endless plains in columns of dust. Watch predator–prey interactions, including crocodile that lie in wait at river crossings. Although you can see animals year-round, the best time for a migration safari is June/July to October, when most of the river crossings happen. With a wealth of wildlife acting as a drawcard, there are many accommodations in the area. Here are 10 of the best Serengeti safari lodges and camps, in alphabetical order.
1. Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp
Makoma Hills is home to Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp, which has a panoramic view of the throngs of wildlife across the Serengeti plains. This exclusive camp is a marriage of excitement, serenity and luxury. Explore on a safari vehicle to find the Big Five, big cats and the herds of the great migration. Relax on your deck at camp and listen to the call of the wild, enjoy a romantic bush picnic or take a bath with a view. Do a Maasai culture tour to learn about their traditions, song and dance. Drift over the herds and landscapes at dawn in a hot-air balloon.
2. Ang'ata Serengeti Camp
Ang’ata Serengeti Camp is one of the top Serengeti safari camps. Ang’ata is the Maasai word for wilderness, appropriate for a camp with a natural setting and view of plains and wildlife. It lies at the hub of the park. The camp offers game drives in all directions, including to Moru Kopjes, Maasai Kopjes with their rock art, N’gong Rocks, and the Grumeti River and western corridor. Expect to see big cats and the Big Five year-round, with the thrill of massive herds crossing the plains during the annual migration. Relax at camp between game drives or enjoy a private bush lunch. Make time for a hot-air balloon ride high above the plains for a memory to treasure.
3. Four Seasons Safari Lodge
Four Seasons Safari Lodge is one of the most sophisticated of the Serengeti safari lodges. It lies in one of the best areas to see the Big Five, plains wildlife and predator–prey action during the migration. Elevated platforms give superb views of the surrounding landscape. Sit on your balcony to watch elephant and other animals come to drink at the waterhole below. Go game driving or bush walking with your guide. Return to camp to relax in the spa or at the infinity pool. Go hot-air ballooning to watch the sunrise over the plains and get a different perspective of the wildlife.
4. andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
On the banks of a river in remote western Serengeti lies andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp. The river, a tributary of the Grumeti River, lures a wealth of animals to drink. You may spot rafts of hippo in the river pools in front of your tent. The camp is rustic but elegant, with a rim-flow pool and open-fronted communal areas with views of the river. Go on a game drive to enjoy the Serengeti magic with its huge lion prides, big cat sightings and elephant year-round. For the adventure of a lifetime soar in a hot-air balloon above the wildebeest and zebra hordes.
5. Kiota Camp
Kiota Camp stretches out on Banagi Hill with a bird’s-eye view of the Seronera River Valley. Surrounded by woodland and grassland, it’s a quiet place to relax before and after your game drives to see the amazing density of wildlife. Take a moment to admire Serengeti’s swathes of plains, umbrella trees and giant rock outcrops. Relax on your shaded porch with a pair of binoculars to watch passing animals or have a picnic lunch on the plains. Enjoy a hot bucket shower before dinner and sit around the campfire to listen to the calls of the night.
6. Lamai Serengeti
On a jumble of giant rocks at Kogakuria Kopje stands Lamai Serengeti, commanding views of the herds crossing the plains below. This area bustles with topi, buffalo, giraffe and wildebeest year-round and you’re almost sure to see lion. The camp is near the Mara River where you can see thousands of wildebeest and zebra hurl themselves into a river swarming with crocodile during the great migration. After an action-packed game drive, relax and watch passing animals from your private veranda or the open-fronted communal lounge. Change gears to explore the kopjes (small rocky hills) on a bush walk with your guide.
7. Mapito Tented Camp
Mapito Tented Camp is one of the Serengeti safari camps that lies just outside the park boundaries. The luxury tents evoke the ambience of a colonial hunters’ camp. See lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe and antelope on your game drives. The camp is on the route of the annual migration so expect to see big herds between June and August. Go on a night drive to see predators hunting, and nocturnal species such as bush baby and serval. Enjoy a guided walk to learn about plants, birds and insects.
8. Mbugani Seronera Camp
Imagine being close to the thrilling sights and sounds of the Serengeti, but with the comforts of home. That’s what you get at Mbugani Seronera Camp. Each large tent has its own sitting area or you can mingle with other guests in the lounge tent. The camp overlooks a natural water source where you may see lion, leopard or buffalo. Enjoy action-packed game drives to appreciate how the Serengeti teems with wildlife. Watch the sunset and relax in the circle of safari chairs around the campfire to enjoy stories from the guides. After dinner, retire to your tent and wake early for another exciting day.
9. Melia Serengeti Lodge
Overlooking the Mbalageti River valley, Melia Serengeti Lodge blends African and colonial style. The lodge is surrounded by nature but doesn’t compromise on the services of a luxury hotel. Experience the thrill of wildlife action that you’ve seen on nature documentaries. See lion, hear hyena call and smell the dust as wildebeest gallop across the plains. Explore on foot with your Maasai guide for a closer connection to nature. Enjoy a bush picnic while nature thrums around you. Drink in the view of the valley from your terrace and relax at the pool or in the spa. Against a riotous canvas of the rising sun, take to the skies for a hot-air balloon ride over the plains.
10. Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Serengeti Pioneer Camp is ideally placed among Serengeti safari lodges for access to the annual migration and the Big Five. With wide views overlooking Moru Kopjes, Lake Magadi and the vast plains, it’s reminiscent of the classic mobile camps of the 1930s. Enjoy a fruitful day of wildlife viewing. Have a bush picnic at a private site on a hill that has a jaw-dropping view of the plains below. Enjoy cocktails on the sunset deck, dine by lamplight under the stars, or float in a hot-air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of the Serengeti.
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