by Chris Walker Bush
January 10, 2018

Where to Stay on the Serengeti: The Ultimate Guide to Serengeti Safari Lodges and Camps

The Serengeti is without a doubt Tanzania’s most beloved tourist attraction, drawing tens of thousands of tourists from around the world each year.

When planning your Serengeti safari, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming.

Not only is the massive Serengeti National Park full of accommodation options, these options have different strengths and weaknesses dependent on the time of year you’re visiting.

A lodge that commands big bucks during the river crossing season is not worth your time during the calving season, while even the most decadent luxury lodges become affordable if you plan your Serengeti safari for the rainy season.

We here at Shadows of Africa know the Serengeti like the backs of our hands and can always recommend the best option for your safari, but here is our ultimate guide to the many Serengeti safari lodges and camps you can choose for your ultimate Tanzanian safari.

Are you planning a Serengeti safari in Tanzania? Here are the best places to stay for your Serengeti safari on any budget. From luxury to budget and everything in between, here are the best lodges, camps, and hotels in the Serengeti. #Serengeti #safari #Tanzania #Africa #travel #hotels Pin Me!

When and Where to Stay on the Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park covers a truly massive area of land, with different corners of the park offering up wildly different game drive and accommodation experiences.

Dependent on the time of year you are visiting, different areas of the park offer up something different.

The movements of the Wildebeest Migration, arguably the Greatest Show on Earth, further complicate things. If you’re hoping to track this massive movement of wildlife, you’ll want to be right at the heart of the action.

Below, we’ve broken down the best regions to stay in during each portion of the year.serengeti-tanzania-lion

January – March: Ndutu Region

Straddling both the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas, the Ndutu region lies in the southern Serengeti and is home to the Wildebeest Migration’s calving season.

While the calving season does not offer up the thrills of river crossings, it does present a remarkable opportunity to see the Wildebeest Migration in its entirety.

Tens of thousands of young Wildebeest are born during this period, and predators look to pick off an easy meal in the green and verdant expanses of this gorgeous corner of the park.

Lodges in the Ndutu region tend to be seasonal, closing their doors from April until October of each year.

Camping is not possible in the Ndutu region.

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April – May: Grumeti/Western Corridor

April and May are traditionally the rainy season in Tanzania, which presents a unique opportunity for visitors to experience luxury lodges at a fraction of the price.

While the Wildebeest Migration begins making its way north towards Kenya in earnest, the best game-viewing can be found in the Grumeti region of the Serengeti National Park.

Sometimes called the ‘Western Corridor’, this corner of the park is home to the Grumeti River. This is the first major obstacle in the path of the Wildebeest Migration and visitors can hope to see a river crossing as the herd attempts to cross the river.

For those not wishing to spend a fortune on their safari, April and May also see luxury lodges across Tanzania lower their prices substantially.

While tented camps are not ideal in the wet conditions, luxury lodges such as Serena, Sopa, and even the Four Seasons reduce their prices considerably at this time of year.

Camping is definitely not recommended in the wet and muddy conditions.

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June: Central Serengeti

June marks the beginning of peak safari season in the Serengeti, and the Seronera region at the heart of the park is where you’ll find the best game viewing at this time of year.

Due to the large number of lions, leopards, and cheetahs who call Seronera home, the Central Serengeti is worth visiting no matter what time of year your safari is.

In June, however, the area comes alive as the Wildebeest Migration continues on its way north.

For those wishing to camp, Seronera Campsite offers budget-friendly accommodation.

July – September: Northern Serengeti

The most popular time of year to visit the Serengeti is definitely during the months of July, August, and September.

With the Wildebeest Migration approaching the Mara River and the Kenyan border, the high drama of a river crossing becomes increasingly likely.

A number of seasonal camps and lodges open their doors for these months, catering to those who want to be as close to the action as possible.

Combined with some time in the Central Serengeti, a visit to the Northern Serengeti should be the ultimate goal of any adventurer looking to witness the Wildebeest Migration.

The area is also serviced by the Lobo campsite for those on a tight budget.

October – November: Central Serengeti

With the Wildebeest Migration mostly taking place in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya during these months, the Serengeti experiences a little bit of a downturn in terms of visitors.

This shouldn’t put you off, however, as the Serengeti is worth a visit at any time of year.

Large herds of elephants, giraffes, antelopes, and zebra call the park home throughout the year, and big cats remain regardless of where the Wildebeest Migration is.

As the Wildebeest Migration begins its movement back into the south during these months, there’s every chance you’ll catch the herd without the usual crowds.

The Seronera/Central Serengeti region of the park is worth a visit at this time of year, and boasts some of the park’s most luxurious and unique lodge and tented camp experiences.

December: Ndutu Region

The Wildebeest Migration comes full circle as it returns to the Ndutu region in December.

While Christmas and New Year’s are typically busier and more expensive than other times of year, it’s a fantastic time of year to visit Tanzania and end/begin your year on a unique note.

Where to Stay in Ndutu (December – March)

The Ndutu region is home to the Wildebeest Migration’s calving season and presents a fantastic opportunity to see the entire herd in one place before it sets off.

Lodges and camps in the Ndutu region can sit in either the Serengeti National Park or the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, so it’s important to know where your game drives will be taking place. Entering both parks means paying two park entry fees.

Lodges in this region are typically only open from November through until March.

Budget Lodges in Ndutu

Due to the seasonal nature of the region, there are no public campsites available in either the Serengeti or Ngorongoro sides of Ndutu.

This can make planning a budget visit to the Serengeti tough at this time of year, but a night in Ndutu is definitely recommended.

Medium Cost Lodges and Camps in Ndutu

It’s entirely possible to spend a night or two in the Ndutu region without breaking the bank. A number of family-friendly lodges and camps open up each year to welcome visitors from around the world.

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Kenzan Ndutu

One of our most popular seasonal camps, Kenzan’s Ndutu camp moves into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area every year to offer an ideal launching point for experiencing the Wildebeest Migration’s calving season.

Experience ‘glamping’ in style, as you’ll spend the night in a comfortable double bed in your private tent. Take a hot shower, read by lantern light, and experience the ambiance of Tanzania by night.

Recommended For: Budget travelers.

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Ndutu Safari Lodge

One of the only brick and mortar lodges in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area portion of the Ndutu region, Ndutu Safari Lodge is perfect for those who want to experience wilderness without having to spend the night in a tent.

Each of Ndutu Safari Lodge’s 34 stone cottages afford guests a view of Lake Ndutu as well as ensuite facilities.

While you’re in a lodge, you’re still very much at the heart of the action, and nightly campfires make you feel like you’re truly in Africa.

Recommended For: Families.

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Kati Kati Ndutu

Part of the Tanganyika Wilderness Camps brand, Kati Kati Ndutu delivers the same fantastic service and comfortable rooms that area trademark of TWC.

Located in the Southern Serengeti, Kati Kati Ndutu is a perfect base from which to explore both Ndutu and the Seronera region.

Comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and a roaring campfire are all a part of the Kati Kati experience.

Recommended For: People wishing to overnight on the Serengeti site of the Ndutu region.

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Kirurumu Ndutu

A higher end mobile camp based in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Kirurumu Mobile Camp offers a more intimate experience than other camps in the region.

With just seven tents, you’re guaranteed a break from the crowds that tend to flood into the Ndutu region for calving season.

Solar powered lightning in your bedroom and ensuite bathroom are also a huge plus, as many camps on the Serengeti work by flashlight after dark!

Recommended For: Those with a little extra cash.

Luxury Lodges and Camps in Ndutu

The Ndutu region boasts a number of extravagant tented camps for those wanting a more luxurious experience from their calving season safari.

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Ndutu Under Canvas

A slightly more upmarket offering than Kati Kati Ndutu, this TWC operated camp gives you the experience of living like a king without having to spend a fortune.

With just eleven tents on site, guests are treated to a far more intimate experience than they might find at busier camps.

Recommended For: Adventurous luxury travelers.

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Lake Masek Tented Camp

Boasting an incredible location on the very shores of Lake Masek, Lake Masek Tented Camp is the fancier big brother of Ndutu Under Canvas.

Each tent is equipped with a wooden viewing deck and an outdoor shower, bringing you closer to the action than you ever imagined possible.

Coupled with delicious food and an unbeatable location, it makes Lake Masek Tented Camp a must see in the Ndutu region.

Recommended For: Honeymooners and luxury enthusiasts.

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Sanctuary Kusini

The only permanent tented camp in the Ndutu region, Sanctuary Kusini is a part of the popular Sanctuary brand and affords guests a spectacular view of the Serengeti from its hilltop location.

Each tent at Sanctuary Kusini is equipped with a private deck from which you can often spy zebras, buffalo, lions, and much more.

Recommended For: Those wanting a little privacy and romance.

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Angata Migration Camp Ndutu

The Angata brand has become synonymous with affordable luxury, and their Ndutu camp is no exception.

With just twelve tents, Angata can offer personalized service in addition to its delicious food and ideal location.

Recommended For: Adventurous luxury travelers.

Where to Stay in the Western Corridor (April and May)

The rainy season may be low season in Tanzania, but it’s peak season in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. As the Wildebeest Migration moves towards the Grumeti River, so too do tourists looking to see a river crossing.

Budget Lodges in the Western Serengeti

Due to the seasonal nature of the region and the fact it is most popular during the rainy season, camping is not a possibility in the Grumeti region.

If you're on a tight budget, consider staying in a budget or medium lodge (or camping) in the Central Serengeti.

Medium Lodges in the Western Serengeti

The Grumeti region is serviced by a number of affordable tented camp options for those wanting to experience the Wildebeest Migration.

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Grumeti Migration Camp

Located just outside of the Serengeti National Park in the Grumeti Private Reserve, Grumeti Migration Camp offers a different experience than you might get elsewhere in the Serengeti ecosystem.

Its private location means you’re away from the worst of the crowds, but you’re still close enough to the Serengeti property to arrange hot air balloon safaris or venture deeper into the wilderness.

Each private tent provides guests with a private balcony, ensuite bathroom facilities, and a front row seat to the Wildebeest Migration.

Recommended For: Those wanting a base between Seronera and Grumeti.

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Mbugani Migration Camp

Another mobile camp that follows the movements of the Wildebeest Migration, Mbugani sets up shop in the Kirawira region of the Western Corridor every May through July.

Boasting 24/7 electricity, large ensuite bathrooms, and huge viewing windows from which to see all of the action, Mbugani is our go-to recommendation in the Grumeti area.

Recommended For: Families.

Luxury Lodges in the Western Serengeti

There are some truly stunning luxury properties in the Serengeti’s famous Western Corridor. While some lay in the nearby Grumeti private reserve, they all offer access to the Serengeti proper as well.

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&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp

The epitome of African luxury, the &Beyond brand has become synonymous with both extravagance and offering completely unique accommodation experiences.

Their Grumeti Tented Camp is no different, with its Grumeti location offering spectacular views of both river crossings and the lodge’s private hippo pool.

Features of note include its outdoor kitchen and dining area, its domed bar, and its wonderful African design. It truly is something special.

Recommended For: Honeymooners and older couples.

Sasakwa-Pool-singita

Singita Sasakawa Lodge

A lodge that practically oozes old world charm, Sasakawa Lodge gives guests the experiences of being explorers from Europe or the Americas in deepest, darkest Africa.

From claw-footed bathtubs to leather scented libraries to the on-site tennis court, this is a lodge that very much makes you feel like the wealthy of old without taking you away from the African landscape you’ve come to experience.

Recommended For: Families and those wanting a break from tented camps.

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Serena Kirawira Tented Camp

Part of the popular Serena brand of luxury properties, Kirawira Camp is the jewel in the Serena crown.

With twenty-five ensuite tens set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor, Kirawara Tented Camp prides itself on its gourmet dining, its old world meets African aesthetic, and its selection of fine wines for those all-important sundowners.

Recommended For: Those looking for a Serena circuit discount.

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Mbalageti Serengeti

A more affordable luxury option than some of the other lodges on this list, Mbalageti nonetheless offers first class accommodation and dining facilities for those in the Western Serengeti.

Offering both tented rooms and chalet style cabins, Mbalageti has something for everybody. Whether it’s a rustic tent with a bathtub on its private balcony or a cozy cabin with all of the comforts of home, you’re in good hands.

Recommended For: Barefoot luxury.

Melia Serengeti

One of Shadows of Africa's favourite lodges, Melia Serengeti comes into the market as a perfect halfway point between conventional luxury properties and the decadence of lodges like Four Seasons Safari Lodge.

Boasting an infinity pool with a stunning savanna view, three fantastic restaurants, an on-site spa, and world-class service, it's a gorgeous home away from home that is ideally located to access both the Central and Western Serengeti.

Recommended For: Honeymooners, groups, and families.

Where to Stay in the Central Serengeti (Year Round)

When people say ‘Serengeti’, they’re often picturing the beating heart of the vast wilderness. The Seronera region is often known as ‘big cat country’ due to the larger numbers of leopards, lions, and cheetahs in the region.

Its central location makes it something of a crossroads for those heading west, south, or north – so it’s rare that your trip won’t include a Central Serengeti lodge or tented camp.

Budget Lodges in the Central Serengeti

As the most popular corner of the Serengeti with tourists, the Central Serengeti is serviced by the Seronera Campsite.

While this is definitely a rustic camping experience, there’s something to be said for sleeping out under the stars and experiencing Africa’s wilderness as countless explorers have before you.

All camping safaris with Shadows of Africa include camping equipment and the services of a private chef, so you’re not left to fend for yourselves!

Thorntree Camp

The only budget tented camp in the entire Serengeti, Thorntree Camp is the only way to spend a night in the Serengeti and spend less than $400 USD.

Despite its lower than average price-tag, however, Thorntree offers comfortable rooms, an unbeatable location, 24/7 electricity, and WiFi. You can't ask for much more than that when it comes to bang for your buck!

Recommended For: Budget travelers.

Medium Lodges in the Central Serengeti

Seronera’s popularity means that it provides the broadest variety of accommodation options, with both tented and lodge facilities to be found in abundance.

For those wanting their WiFi and comforts from home, the Central Serengeti lodges provide this in spades.

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Kat Kati Tented Camp

Another property from the ever-reliable Tanganyika Wilderness Camps, Kati Kati Tented Camp has served hundreds of Shadows of Africa clients over the years.

The epitome of a tented camp experience, you’ll sleep in a comfortable bed with ensuite bathroom while being lulled to sleep by the grunts of Wildebeest and the high-pitched chuckle of hyenas.

Recommended For: Everybody.

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Kenzan Tented Camp

Kenzan’s Kisura Camp is another Shadows of Africa favourite, offering comfortable accommodations at the heart of all the action.

There are no fences or walls here to separate you from the untamed wilderness of the Serengeti, but your tent will be an escape from it all as you take a hot shower and sleep in a big, comfortable bed.

Recommended For: Everyone!

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Kiota Tented Camp

A luxury camp at family-friendly pricing, Kiota Tented Camp is fast becoming one of Shadows of Africa’s most recommended options in the Central Serengeti.

Part of the impressive Chaka Camps brand, Kiota hilltop location in the Central Serengeti affords guests spectacular 360 degree views. The large, breezy tented rooms have plenty of windows to allow you to enjoy it all from the comfort of your bed or desk as well!

If you want luxury but don’t want to break the bank, Kiota is a must.

Recommended For: People with a little extra spending money.

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Sopa Serengeti

For those who want a roof over their heads and more comforts from home, the ever-reliable Sopa provides a brick and mortar lodge at the heart of the Serengeti.

The Sopa brand is well-known across East Africa for its comfortable rooms, its big swimming pools, and its delicious buffet dinners.

If you’re traveling with kids or can’t stand to be off the grid for too long, Sopa Serengeti is where you’ll want to be.

Recommended For: Families and large groups.

Luxury Lodges in the Central Serengeti

The best and most extravagant luxury lodges in the Serengeti can be found in the Central Serengeti. From the glitz and glamour of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge to impressive tented camps like Pioneer’s Camp and Serengeti Under Canvas, the Central Serengeti is the perfect place to splurge on your luxury safari.

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Kubu Kubu Tented Camp

The most popular of the luxury camps in the Serengeti, Tanganyika Wilderness Camps’ Kubu Kubu offers up personalized service and luxury accommodations at affordable prices.

With twenty-five spacious tents and dedicated dining and relaxing tents, guests can soak in the Serengeti’s natural beauty from the grounds, from their dining space, or even from their private deck.

Recommended For: A special occasion or a trip where this is your treat to yourselves.

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Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp

A Serena property with a twist, Mbuzi Mawe’s stone-floored tents perfectly marry the wilderness experience with private bathrooms, WiFi connections, and spacious rooms.

Dining out under the stars while watching traditional Maasai dance is sure to be an experience you’ll treasure for years.

Recommended For: Honeymooners and couples.

Pristine-Infinty-Pools-at-Four-Seasons-Safari-Lodge

Four Seasons Serengeti Safari Lodge

The Four Seasons brand goes hand in hand with unforgettable luxury experiences and their Serengeti Safari Lodge is no exception.

From the decadent meals to the spacious rooms to the infinity pool overlooking a very active watering hole, the Four Seasons experience is like being on safari while you’re on safari. In fact, it’s not unusual for us to have guests call mid-safari to ask if they can extend their stay!

Recommended For: Couples, families, and Instagram models.

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Serena Serengeti

Ideal for families, Serena Serengeti is the perfect middle ground between creature comforts and affordability.

Blending the African aesthetic with old-world charm, Serena’s rooms are a fusion of African architecture and European style.

Like all Serena lodges, their Serengeti property boasts a huge swimming pool, private balconies on the rooms, and delicious meals.

Recommended For: Families and large groups.

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Angata Serengeti

Like all Angata properties, Angata’s Serengeti location is all about affordable luxury. With just twelve spacious tents set out in the wilderness, Angata boasts customized service and stunning views of the Serengeti ecosystem.

Recommended For: Barefoot luxury.

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&Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas

If money isn’t an object, you could do a lot worse than &Beyond’s spectacular Serengeti Under Canvas.

We’re talking chandeliers, private butler service, and luxuriant Indian rugs all mixed in with the traditional experience of dining under the stars and sleeping with only the sounds of the Serengeti to lull you to sleep.

Recommended For: Honeymoons and anniversaries.

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Serengeti Pioneer’s Camp

Part of the gorgeous Elewana collection of properties, Pioneer Camp aims to recreate the glory days of the 1930s, when safaris were very much ‘off the beaten track’.

Of course, as a luxury property, it achieves this with plenty of style and flair. The glamorous tented accommodations speak to the glory days of Europe while still embracing the African location, while dining out under the stars immerses you in the very wilderness you’ve come to experience.

Recommended For: Special occasions.

Where to Stay in the Northern Serengeti

From late June through until September/October, the Northern Serengeti is the place to be on the Serengeti.

As the Wildebeest Migration reaches the Mara River, the chances of seeing the high drama of a river crossing and maybe even a crocodile attack increase.

The lodges and camps of the Lobo and Mara region of the park all aim to put you as close to the action as possible.

Budget Lodges in the Northern Serengeti

The Northern Serengeti is home to the public Lobo Campsite, offering those wanting to see a river crossing a chance to stay in the region without having to pay a fortune.

As with all of our camping safaris, we provide all camping equipment and a private chef to ensure you’re well taken care of.

Medium Lodges in the Northern Serengeti

There are a number of fantastic tented camps and lodges in the Northern Serengeti. With reasonable prices and great facilities, they make the Northern Serengeti accessible to families and those on a budget.

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Chaka Tented Camp

The Chaka Migration Camp makes its home in the Northern Serengeti during peak season, boasting the same great facilities and comfortable tented accommodation that you can find in their permanent Kiota Camp in the Central Serengeti.

Twelve spacious tents and a gorgeous outdoor dining area put you at the very thick of things, while the smaller number of tents ensure you’re given personalized service.

Recommended For: Everyone!

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Kenzan Mara Tented Camp

For those who want a tented camping experience on a budget, Kenzan Mara Tented Camp is the best option.

Embracing the rustic camping experience without robbing you of creature comforts, Kenzan Mara’s location is a great place from which to witness the Wildebeest Migration.

Recommended For: Location, location, location!

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Lobo Wildlife Lodge

A newer player in the Northern Serengeti, Lobo Wildlife Lodge is a family-friendly lodge for those who might want a break from sleeping in tented accommodation.

Located atop a volcanic backdrop affording stunning views of the surrounding wilderness, Lobo Wildlife Lodge boasts panoramic views, a nearby waterhole, and unrivaled access to the nearby Mara River.

Recommended For: Families.

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Mara River Kati Kati

Just as their properties in Ndutu and Seronera offer comfort and a brilliant location at affordable rates, so too does Kati Kati’s Mara River camp.

While some tented camps do their best to emulate a hotel room inside of their tents, Kati Kati embraces the idea of immersion with a far more simple (but no less comfortable) tented camping experience.

Recommended For: Everyone!

Luxury Lodges in the Northern Serengeti

As befits the most popular attraction in the Serengeti, the Northern Serengeti has some truly stunning luxury lodges and camps for those with a little more money to spend.

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Angata Bologonja Tented Camp

The most affordable option when it comes to luxury camping in the Northern Serengeti, Angata’s Bologonja Camp finds the right balance between comfort and cost.

Like all Angata properties, it boasts a smaller number of tents to maximize the level of personal care you can expect to receive from its staff.

Recommended For: Barefoot luxury.

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&Beyond Klein’s Camp

&Beyond’s Northern Serengeti property is Klein’s Camp, and it boasts the level of decadence you’d expect from the premier luxury brand.

Situated in a private concession that straddles both the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara, Klein’s Camp offers something you can’t get anywhere else in either country.

Its location means off-road driving, night game drives, and guided hikes are all possible while staying at the property, while you can still duck across to the Serengeti proper to see the Migration in action.

Recommended For: Romance.

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Bologonya Under Canvas

A luxury property from the people being Kati Kati and Kubu Kubu, Bologonya Under Canvas is affordable luxury with front row seats to the Wildebeest Migration.

Moving three times each year to keep pace with the Wildebeest Migration’s movements through the Northern Serengeti, you’ll always have the best seats in the house to see all of the action.

Recommended For: Special occasions.

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Lemala Kuria Hills

A luxury lodge located at the very centre of the Wildebeest Migration corridor, Lemala’s Kuria Hills property is all about putting you at the thick of the action without robbing you of your privacy.

Each of Lemala’s fifteen suite tents boast 24/7 electricity, private plunge pools, and huge glass windows to afford you a spectacular view of the Serengeti.

Offering an all-inclusive experience with unrivalled views from every point of the property, Lemala Kuria Hills is the perfect place to indulge your desire for a little luxury.

Recommended For: Special occasions.

Singita-Mara-River-Tented-Camp

Singita Mara River Tented Camp

With an eye towards both sustainability and giving back to the local economy, Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp makes use of natural, recycled, and locally sourced materials wherever possible.

East African art and design immerses you fully in the culture you’re exploring even as you’re ideally located to experience the Wildebeest Migration.

Recommended For: Barefoot luxury.

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As you can see, there is certainly no shortage of options when it comes to Serengeti safari lodges and camps.

With something for every budget and every taste, it’s simply a matter of consulting with your Shadows of Africa safari expert to find the right fit for you!

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