• Ten Amazing Things to do in Serengeti National Park

    May 6, 2019

    Ten Amazing Things to do in Serengeti National Park


    The very name conjures up a wealth of images, doesn't it?

    Wide open plains dotted with wildebeest, zebras, and antelope as far as the eye can see.

    A pride of lions painted red-gold by the rising sun as they prowl through the tall grass in search of a morning meal.

    The chortling of hippos as they wallow in their pools to escape the heat of the midday sun.

    Brightly colored hot air balloons floating lazily in the crisp, clear morning air.

    Tanzania's Serengeti National Park is one of the world's most beloved and recognizable wilderness areas, and there is so much more to do than 'just' go out on game drives.

    Are you planning a safari to Tanzania's Serengeti National Park? Here are the top 5 things you need to do on a Serengeti safari trip in Tanzania! #serengeti #safari #tanzania #travel

    10 - Go on a Nature Walk

    Walking safaris are not as common in East Africa as they might be in South Africa, but there are still opportunities to stretch your legs.

    Depending on where you are staying, you may have the chance to take a guided nature walk.

    While not technically a walking safari, these nature walks give you a chance to learn about local flora and fauna and soak in the utter quiet of the Serengeti plains.

    Ask your Shadows of Africa safari expert how you can ensure your tented camp or lodge offers guided nature walks.

    9 - Enjoy a Bush Dinner

    Regardless of where you are staying, your meals on the Serengeti are going to be something special. From BBQ buffets to traditional cuisine to succulent Chinese or Indian meals, you're not going to go hungry!

    If you're looking to have a romantic dinner for two, many properties offer a bush dinner away from the main restaurant.

    Little by candles or a crackling fire, you'll dine under the stars with table service as if you were in a five-star restaurant. A bush dinner is a great way to add a little extra romance to your Serengeti safari.


    8 - Camp Under the Stars

    While we're on the subject of stars, there is something primal and magical about pitching a tent out on the Serengeti and falling asleep to the sounds of the wilderness.

    Shadows of Africa are experts at arranging camping safaris. We not only provide all of your camping equipment but send along one of our staff chefs to ensure you're eating well. Got a dietary requirement? Don't worry: our chefs have you covered!

    Camping on safari can be a great way to conserve your budget as well, although we don't advise it during a rainy season safari.

    7 - Take a Night Game Drive

    Night game drives are not allowed within Tanzanian National Parks and that holds true of the Serengeti, but it is possible to take a night game drive in one of the neighboring conservancies.

    If seeing the Serengeti by moonlight and spotlight is on your bucket list, you'll need to be staying at Buffalo Tented Lodge. Buffalo Tented Lodge is one of the only properties in all of Tanzania who can lead night game drives.

    You can also take a night game drive as part of your visit to Tarangire National Park, with a number of properties offering the experience.

    6 - See the Moru Kopjes

    Scattered around the heart of the Serengeti's Seronera region are towering piles of stones known as kopjes. Popular with lions who like to stretch out on them to soak up the sun, they are a distinctive feature of the Central Serengeti.

    No game drive to the Serengeti would be complete without observing a lazy pride of lions stretching, playing, and relaxing on the stones that inspired The Lion King's Pride Rock.

    It is even possible overnight close to these impressive structures, with tented camps such as Kisura Tented Camp and Ole Serai Moru Kopjes built in the shadows of these massive rock formations.


    5 - Relax by the Pool

    After a long and dusty day out on safari, there are few feelings more heavenly than slipping into a deliciously cold pool and soaking in the last of the sun's rays. While not all properties on the Serengeti can boast a pool, those that do are great for families on safari with children.

    Properties such as Melia Serengeti and the Four Seasons Safari Lodge boast truly impressive infinity pools from which you can indulge in a little game-viewing, with poolside service of cocktails a great way to finish your day.

    Relaxing by a Hippo Pool

    Of course, tourists aren't the only ones who enjoy a good soak on a hot day. The Serengeti's resident hippos love a good wallow!

    The Retina Hippo Pool is located in the Seronera region of the Serengeti and is a great spot to photograph yawning hippos from the safety of your safari vehicle.


    4 - Take a Sunrise Game Drive

    Many of the Serengeti's animals are most active during the cooler morning and evening hours, making a sunrise game drive the perfect opportunity to spot leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and other crepuscular animals on the move. If you're intent on seeing African Wild Dogs, this is also the best time to spot the elusive pack hunters.

    Shadows of Africa allows its clients unlimited game drives between 06:00 and 18:00 (park operating hours), so all you need to do is let your driver know that you'd like a sunrise game drive and he'll make it happen.

    Whether you take a picnic breakfast with you or return to your lodge to take full advantage on the buffet, a sunrise game drive is an invigorating way to start your day. Just don't forget to bring a coat!

    3 - Stay in a Luxury Tented Camp

    There's something magical about falling asleep to the sound of lions roaring and Wildebeest... doing whatever it is they do.

    Pitching a tent at the heart of the Serengeti isn't everybody's cup of tea, so the luxury tented camps of the Serengeti offer a nice balance between creature comforts and, well, creatures.

    Offering the perfect blend of modern comfort and closeness to nature, the luxury tented camps of the Serengeti are hugely popular year round. Budget tented camps such as Thorntree and Kisura are the entry-level properties on the Serengeti, but luxury options like Ole Serai, Kubu Kubu, and Lemala Nanyuki are redefining the glamping experience.

    Whatever your budget, it wouldn't be a visit to the Serengeti without at least one night in a tented camp. However, if you're visiting Tanzania during the rainy season, a brick and mortar lodge is the best option.


    2 - Take a Hot Air Balloon Safari

    For a little added romance on your trip, you should consider adding a hot air balloon safari.

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of soaring several thousand feet above the plains of the Serengeti at sunrise. You're afforded a completely unique view of the Serengeti and its inhabitants, and the silence is utterly remarkable.

    Once you touch down on the open plains, you'll enjoy a decadent champagne breakfast out in the wilderness. It's the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. We've even had several clients pop the question after their hot air balloon safari!


    1 - Witness a River Crossing

    The #1 attraction in all of East Africa, the annual Wildebeest Migration sees more than a million wildebeest and zebras making the arduous journey north onto Kenya's Maasai Mara. The Serengeti plays host to the migration for much of the year, but from July to September each year, you can get front row seats to the high drama of a river crossing.

    Speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert about the best time to see the river crossing and they'll arrange for your trip to take you into the Kogatende and Lobo regions of the Serengeti.

    Our six-day River Crossing Safari and five-day Flying River Crossing Safari are the most popular options for seeing a river crossing, but any of our itineraries can be modified to include a visit to the Northern Serengeti.

    If time allows, you should also consider a cross-country safari to both Kenya and Tanzania. This way, you'll have the chance to see a river crossing from both sides!

    Here are the five things you need to add to your Serengeti safari itinerary! If you're heading to Tanzania's Serengeti for a safari trip, don't miss out on these five adventure activities! #travel #safari #serengeti #tanzania


    A Wealth of Options

    As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do in Serengeti National Park.

    Speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert about how to maximize your enjoyment of your Serengeti safari.

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  • How to Plan The Ultimate Lion Safari

    August 10, 2018

    Planning the Ultimate Lion Safari

    When people think of African wildlife, a variety of images probably come to their minds.

    The colossal silhouette of an African elephant against the backdrop of thorny acacia trees.

    Long-necked giraffe or stealthy leopards.

    But for most, the regal lion is the most enduring symbol of Africa, and they come from all around the world to experience their own lion safari.

    But if you're as obsessed with lions as we are, where is the best place to go for a lion safari?

    Do you want to see lions on your African safari? Here's how to plan the ultimate lion safari on your travels to East Africa! #lion #safari #africa #travel #tanzania

    Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

    One of two places in the world that can proudly boast being home to tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is a popular choice for Tanzanian lion safaris.

    During the annual wet season (April - May), the park comes alive with life as all manner of wildlife flock to the lake's shores.

    Hippopotamus and water birds are popular sights in the park, but it is its resident tree-climbing lions that make it a good lion safari destination.

    Believe me, you haven't seen a lion until you've seen it lazily lounging in the branches of an umbrella acacia!

    When to Visit: April, May, or November.

    Where to Stay: Check out our fantastic Lake Manyara accommodation guide!

    What to See: Hippos, water birds, and tree-climbing lions.


    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    The other park that can boast tree-climbing lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is a popular spot between Kibale's chimp trekking and Bwindi's gorilla trekking.

    The park's Ishasha sector is especially popular, as it is here that you can find prides of lions relaxing in trees between meals.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park is arguably Uganda's best safari park, but it's especially popular as a lion safari destination. It's the perfect stop on the road to Bwindi!

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: There are some fantastic lodges in Queen Elizabeth, but Enjojo Lodge puts you closest to the action!

    What to See: Lions, elephants, antelope, and chimpanzees.


    Maasai Mara, Kenya

    One of Africa's most famous safari destinations, Kenya's Maasai Mara is a fantastic place to spot lions in the wild.

    While only home to the Wildebeest Migration for a few months of each year, the Maasai Mara is a top-class lion safari destination regardless of what time you visit.

    The best part about the Maasai Mara is how affordable accommodation can be during the off-peak season, with luxury lodges for the price you'll pay for a regular tented camp across the border!

    When to Visit: Year-round for lions or in August/September for the Migration.

    Where to Stay: There are too many Maasai Mara lodges to count! Our favourites are Sopa Maasai Mara, Ashnil Mara, Mara Leisure, and Ol Moran.

    What to See: The Big Five, African wild dogs, and the Wildebeest Migration.

    lions tanzania babies

    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    The piece de resistance when it comes to lion safari destinations, the Serengeti is Africa's most stunning wilderness and the home of the annual Wildebeest Migration.

    With an abundance of Serengeti accommodation options and something to be seen throughout the year, it is the ultimate safari destination.

    The Seronera region, in particular, is known as 'big cat country', and the famous Simba kopjes are said to have inspired Pride Rock from The Lion King!

    When to Visit: Year-round. Check out our post on when to visit the Serengeti.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Serengeti accommodation guide for some great ideas.

    What to See: The Big Five and the Wildebeest Migration.


    Akagera National Park, Rwanda

    You don't need to take an international flight to see lions while in Rwanda.

    Akagera National Park is now home to a pride of 14 lions, making it possible to embark on a lion safari as a day trip from Kigali!

    While not of the same quality as a safari destination as the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, Akagera National Park is the perfect option if you're in Rwanda and need more to do than 'just' gorilla trekking.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Consult your Shadows of Africa safari expert for Akagera accommodation recommendations!

    What to See: The Big Five, Nile Crocodiles, and water birds.


    Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

    If you want to see a kill, there are few places better than the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

    Rare are the days where guests on safari in Ngorongoro Crater don't see a pride of lions guarding a fresh kill against hyenas looking for an easy meal.

    When you add the spectacular backdrop of the soaring crater walls, you've got a recipe for an unforgettable lion safari.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Ngorongoro accommodation guide.

    What to See: The Big Five, especially rhinos.

    Planning a lion safari? Reach out to your Shadows of Africa expert and let them help you design the perfect itinerary!

    Want to experience a lion safari in Africa? Here's how to see lions on your travels to East Africa! #safari #africa #lion #travel

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  • Where to Stay in Lake Manyara: The Best Hotels in Lake Manyara National Park

    July 12, 2018

    Where to Stay in Lake Manyara

    One of Tanzania's most beloved national parks, Lake Manyara is a popular stop-off on the way to (or from) the Serengeti and Ngorongoro regions.

    Home to Tanzania's tree-climbing lions, a startling variety of bird life, and the many hippos who call its waters home.

    A popular location for optional activities such as night game drives, Lake Manyara offers a variety of accommodation options while also being a short drive from the huge variety of accommodation in Karatu.

    Planning a safari to Lake Manyara Tanzania? Here are the best hotels and places to stay on your safari trip to Lake Manyara! #lakemanyara #tanzania #safari #travel #africa


    Most budget travelers will find there are better options in nearby Karatu, but Lake Manyara National Park is also home to both a campsite and budget lodge that cater to those on a tight budget.

    Twiga Camp

    If you're not looking for all of the bells and whistles, Twiga Camp is the best value for money you can find in the area.

    With both regular rooms and campsites, there are a variety of options to suit all budgets. The presence of a swimming pool and on-site restaurant make it a cut above other campsites in Tanzania's National Parks too!

    Recommended For: Budget travelers and adventurous travelers.


    There are a number of Lake Manyara lodges for those on a conservative budget, with both tented camps and brick and mortar options available.


    Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge

    Boasting one of the most breathtaking views of Lake Manyara you're likely to find, Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge is a brick and mortar lodge catering to families, large groups, and those who want affordable accommodation close to the park.

    While the rooms are a little small and it lacks some amenities, you can't beat the stunning view.

    Recommended For: Families.


    Escarpment Lodge

    Perched on the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the aptly named Escarpment Lodge is another property that can boast a gorgeous view of the park.

    Its infinity pool, huge viewing deck, and gorgeous decoration make it a better option than Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge for those who want a little something special.

    Recommended For: Those with a little extra money.


    Kirurumu Manyara

    For those wanting the tented camp experience, Kirurumu Under Canvas offers stunning views of the Great Rift Valley and the thrill of camping in the wilderness.

    You're not roughing it in your tented accommodation, either! There's hot and cold water, 24-hour electricity, and all of the comforts you'd expect to find in a hotel room.

    Ideally located between Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire - Kirurumu Manyara is a great place to base yourself for a few days.

    Recommended ForAdventurous travelers.


    Lake Manyara's immense natural beauty and its position on the Great Rift Valley escarpment lend it to some truly spectacular luxury lodges.

    Lake Manyara Kilimamoja

    The best value when it comes to luxury properties in Lake Manyara, Kilimamoja offers luxury services at a price that even medium travelers can afford.

    From the same family behind the popular Ole Serai and Oldeani properties, Kilimamoja is one of our favourite lodges.

    Recommended For: Luxury on a budget.


    Serena Lake Manyara

    The popular Serena chain of hotels has a strong presence in Lake Manyara. For those traveling with their family or a large group, the trusted Serena brand is always a good option.

    Like other Serena properties, Lake Manyara Serena can boast a large pool, spacious dining facilities, and comfortable lodge accommodation.

    Recommended For: Families.


    Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp

    For a luxury tented camp experience, Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp is the place to be.

    Combining world-class luxury with a closeness to nature you won't find at other Lake Manyara lodges, Wildlife Safari Camp is perfect for those wanting the comforts from home while also enjoying an authentic African bush experience.

    Recommended For: Barefoot luxury and adventurous luxury.

    Ultra Luxury

    There may not be many top luxury options in Lake Manyara, but the one the park can boast is one of the best.


    &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

    From the first name in African luxury experiences comes Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Not only is this one of Tanzania's most photogenic properties, it's also one of its most decadent.

    Each of the property's nine tree house suites can boast 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Designed to leave a minimal footprint on the surrouding ecosystem, Tree Lodge combines &Beyond's signature flair for luxury with an experience that is akin to sleeping in the trees like on of the park's famous tree-climbing lions!

    Recommended For: Honeymooners.

    Here's where to stay on your safari trip! All the best hotels and lodges in Laka Manyara Tanzania for your African safari adventure #africa #tanzania #lakemanyara #safari


    While Lake Manyara National Park may not boast the same variety of accommodation as Ngorongoro or the Serengeti, there is nonetheless something for all tastes and budgets.

    Got a favourite that you don't see here? Let us know!




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