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Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
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Reviewed August 4, 2011

We went in October when Olakira was based up north by the Mara River. The wildebeest were gathering and waiting by the river to do a crossing and we could see this from our tent. One afternoon we took a nap and woke up by Elephants walking right pass our tents. Amazing that was. The camp is fantastic, big, good quality tents with nice and big en-suite bathrooms and the staff was very accommodating and just amazing, even had a game of soccer with them :) The food was outstanding! The mess tent was very comfortable and in the evening we just threw all the pillows on the floor and sat there talking for hours. Hyenas and lions in the background as well as a rain shower which was just magical. I stopped counting how many wildebeest, lions, hippos, crocs, vultures, Maribu Storks, game we saw in the area but we even got to see a rhino (very brief but still :) which was just extra special. Olakira Camp is most definately one of the best out there and anyone going to the Serengeti not going to Olakira is certainly missing out on a great bush camp experience.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank rhinovr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

My son and I stayed 4 nights at Olakira, in the northern Serengeti, in July, 2011. My travel agent (Journey to Africa) planned the entire trip around availability at Olakira. When we arrived, I realized why. There is a scenic view of the Mara Rive about 300 yards away. The river then turns and comes within 100 yards from camp. You can’t see it there but you can hear it. The sound of rushing water with animal calls at night is great.
The camp is mobile and relocates between the southern and northern parts of the Serengeti to follow the migration. The tents are clean, have in-suite toilet and shower. Beds were very comfortable, All lamp lighting is 12 volt solar. They run a generator part time to keep the refrigerators at cold temperatures. Camp is all inclusive – laundry, wines, hard liquor. They charge extra for some premium wines. We stuck to the standard fare and they were great.
Except for tse flies while on game drives, we experienced very few bugs (at least at this location).
Then you have the service. Pascal, the manager, and his crew have the formula for superb service nailed down. Every time you arrive at camp, you are met with a warm hand towel to clean your face from road dust. Your guide will call camp 10 minutes before arrival and by the time you arrive at your tent, you have hot water for your shower. I have stayed at some very nice hotels in the USA and Europe. The service at Olakira was by far the most personal service I have experienced. They simply can’t do enough for you and there is always that smile.
The food was excellent by any standard, even more so when you consider the logistics of getting it there and preparing it in the bush. I had actually expected to lose a few pounds or at least hold my own. I was not successful. I simply could not pass any of it up.
When touring, I recommend leaving camp at 6:30 am with a packed breakfast. The temperatures are cooler, the animals are more active, and the tse flies are not flying yet. Best yet, you never know what you will run into while you are enjoying breakfast in the bush.
In summary, Olakira offers the opportunity to stay at a great location, with superb service, a friendly staff, excellent food, and at least 2 million of the 3 million wildebeests who live in the Serengeti.
I hated to leave and would return tomorrow.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank carlosm1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2011

This tented camp in the north east Serengeti is run by Asilia; we stayed at three of their camps during our trip and they all have a similar configuration with varying levels of service and luxury. Olakira was our favorite not only of the Asilia camps, but of all the places we stayed on this trip.

The tents are very nice with en suite bathroom facilities. The shower is on demand and hot water is brought to you. Having a flush toilet inside your tent is certainly a luxury! Laundry is included here, as are beverages, and the only extra charges you incur are for "top shelf" liquor. So you can relax and enjoy yourself without the nickel and dime charges of many places.

In the evening there is a campfire and then dinner. The dinner is generally one long table where all guests dine together, headed by the camp manager, which was Pascal at the time of our visit. Pascal has been running this camp for a number of years and by far this place had the best staff and the smoothest operation of anywhere we stayed. The staff showed initiative and did things for us we did not ask - like took and cleaned muddy shoes for us. Pascal checked with us several times a day to see if there was anything more he could do for us - much attention to detail was payed to every aspect of our visit. Staff here are happy and joking, confident in their responsibilities, and dedicated to service.

For lunch we got to sit in the shade of an Acacia tree one day, and had a lovely buffet style lunch the next. Boxed breakfasts and lunch were very good here. The food was excellent. Dinner service is also superb here.

The camp location is a good one in this part of the Serengeti. This is a mobile tented camp, which means it is only up for part of the year and then removed. This is a very pleasant way to stay on safari, but know yourself - tented camps offer the most rustic wildlife experience yet you still have the luxury of flush toilets and hot water. If you like camping this is the best option for you! Permanent camps have tented walls but are often on wood or concrete foundations and are more your speed if you are an RV type of camper. Lodges are more like resorts or hotels, African style, and are a nice choice if you do no t like camping or you feel you need surroundings more similar to home. As far as tented camps go, Olakira is outstanding and we would love to stay there again.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
4  Thank DAEsmae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2011

My husband and I had a business trip to Dar es Salaam and decided to sandwich in a safari to the Serengeti. We had a very short window of time, but our travel agent (Kerr and Downey) convinced us that we should venture a trip to the northern Serengeti since we were keen to see the Great Migration. After a half day trip on a series of Cessna trips from Dar to Kogatende, we finally made it. From the moment our safari began, we were not disappointed. Olakira is a temporary camp situated on the Tanz/Kenyan border that positions itself to be in the perfect spot for the Great Migration. An estimated 1.3 M wildebeests, thousands of zebras and hundreds of ungulates make an annual pilgrimage to this part of the country, following the rains and the new grass, and arriving here anytime after June. We had to travel by jeep for an hour or two to meet the herds, but on the way we saw 3 black rhino, lions, a cheetah and 80 bird species. Olakira guides were fantastic, and the food was great. The manager, Pascal, went out of his way to please. Although Olakira is a top end camp, as a temporary camp, you need to be prepared to rough it a little bit....take biodegradable soaps and shampoos and leave-in conditioner..your shower only lasts 4 minutes. Make sure you bring long sleeved clothes to ward off the Tse Tse flies, and take your antimalarials, but this is true anywhere for this the region. We loved this location; much less congested than Seranera, and very much an authentic safari experience. We would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank superbug_stopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2011

I have read previous reviews and cant believe people are complaining about Olakira camp!!!!!

The light plane trip into the airstrip was insane as we descended we could see the plains filled with wilderbeasts and the airstrip is right next to the Mara river and we saw a tonne of Crocodiles upon our approach..
Our reps from Olakira werent there to meet us but its sister camp Sayari was and they looked after us.. then our camp guides came for us ( they were dropped off other guests to catch the same plane we landed in to take them out..

We found our guide was amazing ( it annoys me that i cant remember there names now..this is the problem with writing a review much later) and so was the driver ( he was actually a trainee Guide)

The Camp:

This is a mobile camp that follows the migration so what that means is the camp does not leave a permanent footprint on the National Park .. Now I have been camping alot in my time and i can hardly say Olakira is roughing it..
The camp was set up above the Mara river with sweeping views of it and the valley .. the setting was ideallic !
The tents are very well appointed it had a very rustic feel.
The staff were very friendly and the food was always fresh and very tasty with a different meal every night.
Sundowner was always a highlight, it was set up on the edge of the camp with deck chairs set up around a huge bonfire.Where drinks were served and discussion flowed with the sighting and antics of the day..
Make sure you do the couples table which is set up where sundowner drinks are held when the rest of the guests as in the dining camp .The table is set with candles all around and you have the bonfire crackling for addition light.With our back to the edge of the tall grasses our view was at a distance the dimly light tents and a star studded sky.
At one stage we both had tears in our eyes as we heard in the distance lions roaring and Hippos from The Mara being quite vocal..until that stage we were both in a trance just not believing we had finually made it to Africa after 10 years of trying...it was at that moment we had realization..

The area:

As with all safaris it is about 50% luck and 50% guides intuition.. well we had both on our side, we got to see 3 Rhidos ( mother and baby and one male in hot persute)
we were the only car that got to see them it was a rare sighting indeed. We also got to see a crossing which is very difficult to see normally ( to give you an idea a wildlife photographer was waiting 4 hours and nothing so he left.. we actually past his vehicle when we were heading to the river...all of a sudden our driver sped up ..we could see it too the dust in the air in the direction of the river... we all jumped out and saw 100 wilderbeasts crossing...the photographer was back but after the majority had already crossed)

I have rambled on but it was Olakira Camp that made a dream become a reality and there is absolutely no fault I can find what-so-ever with this camp..

If what I have written above confirmed your decision to go to this camp.. then I am truely glad...

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Monosafari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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