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“amazing african experince” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa

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Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Long Beach, California, United States
1 review
“amazing african experince”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

We absolutely loved this camp. Beautiful isolated setting overlooking a river (we were there in June when the camp is in the north). The tents were nice, and the food was fantastic (we are vegetarians and they had no problem accommodating us). Pascal the manager runs a great operation. All the staff and guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and went out of their way to make our stay amazing. I would not have changed a thing.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaclyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Orange County
Level Contributor
129 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

We drive along the Ngorongoro Crater rim to go north to Serengeti. As we drop down the Crater’s slope we get into Masai country. There are 40,000+ Masai living in the Ngorongoro Wild Life Preserve according to our guide. They do not eat wild meat. They are nomadic herders, caring for and eating cows, goats and sheep. So you drive down this steep slope where you see Wildebeests, zebras and gazelles mixed in with sheep and goats and young Masai boys tending their flocks. Miles go by this way as we drive toward Serengeti. Then we get to the Great Migration. The Wildebeests are gathering together for their migration north. We turn of the main road to drive to our camp. We drive 15 miles across the plains and we are completely surrounded by Wildebeests. They disappear into the distance becoming little more than black ants on the horizon. According to our guide, the mega herd is now 4 million strong. Estimates used to put it at 2.5 million animals. However, the Mara River has not been flowing as strongly the past several years. The Mara claimed 500,000 Wildebeests each migration between drowning and Nile Crocodiles. Apparently none are drowning the so the number of breeding animals has increased dramatically. It is very hard to describe. These animals are about the size of a cow. They are antelope and weigh 500-600 pounds. They are everywhere and they are the Big Mac of the plains. We leave the plain for a small forest and a game drive as we head to our next camp, Olakira. Along the way we see Dik Dik, giraffe and a chameleon. He was awesome. We watched him change color as he moved across the terrain. We found a group of three male cheetah and watched them sleeping in the sun. We then came across a female cheetah eating a gazelle. We also watched a striped hyena go running to a Wildebeest leg he had hidden in the bush. He pulled it out and ate it while we watched. We came across a pride of 6 lions sleeping in the sun. We also found a leopard in a tree, thus completing our “Big 5.” We finished our game drive with seeing a group of bat eared foxes going out for an evening hunt.

Olakira means “Shooting Star” in Swahili. We got a taste of the camp at night. After a warm welcome and getting settled we headed out to the campfire to meet our camp mates. Pascal is the manager. He does an excellent job of putting people at ease, getting everyone introduced to each other and talking. From the fire we proceeded to have dinner with everyone at one long table. The tents are much closer together than at Oliver’s Camp. I miss the privacy. I also miss a permanent water supply. However, Olikira does some things much better that Oliver’s. First, getting everyone involved. They do that better here. My wife says the food is better here than the other tented camps we stayed at. She appreciates the hot plates that keep the food warm. She also likes the hot coffee, as opposed to other camp’s lukewarm coffee. Then there is the hot water bottle in the bed at night, she let out a yell to get over the initial shock of finding one in her bed. You put your feet in under the covers and come across a wiggly, fuzzy, warm lump, I knew about the water bottle but she did not, oops my bad… She also says this is the best mattress we have had so far. All in all, she really likes this camp.

Up early at our guide's advice for a 7:00 game drive. We start the day with a bang, literally. Two leopards are mating. We then see a very beautiful and pregnant cheetah. Next is some tourists stuck in the swamp. Our guide seems distressed. He wants to help the guide get his car unstuck because he has a winch. However, he does not want to waste our safari time. We say go ahead and he tries to get them unstuck to no avail. We then find another stuck safari car. This time we are successful in pulling them out of the swamp. While this is ongoing we watch a third lion hunt which is unsuccessful. We are 1 for 2 on pulling tourists to safety. The lions 0 for 3. Way to go Jackson (our guide). We also see a baby striped hyena and a lion pride with a not so fresh kill. The smell is bringing the vultures.

We are now back at camp after enjoying lunch. My wife thinks our guide may have been too aggressive in his approach to the animals today. I do think he is trying to get us closer than before. However, I trust his judgment. The thing about this park is you are not restricted to driving on the roads. This means the guides can drive whereever they want. Which is probably why we saw so many stuck vehicles. But you can get closer to the animals here which makes the game viewing the best we had on the whole trip.

We get to “Bush TV” in time to get settled in and get a drink. “Bush TV” is a campfire we all sit around and watch while talking. Pascal makes everyone get up and talk about their day. I am already with a great story and I totally blow it. As a lawyer, I was professionally embarrased. My story is awful. Worst, my story is followed by the former British Ambassador to Egypt waxing poetic in his damnable accent. That dude told an awesome story. I really messed the bed on that one. Dinner is a nice affair as I sit next to the camp manager, Pascal. He seems pretty uptight but he runs a tight ship.

We are the last ones up. Everyone else has already had breakfast and left the camp. As we were getting ready I heard a US couple saying goodbye to the Ambassador and asking him to stop by if he was ever in their area. His brush off was very undiplomatic. Funny, I really liked the staff here but found the guests rather unlikable or unknowable. Whereas, the other camps I really liked and was able to connect with both the staff and guests.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank david b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2012

My 81 year old mother and I stayed two nights at the Olakira Camp March 2012. It was a fabulous experience and well worth getting out of the luxury lodges for a couple nights. It is fabulous to eat outdoors for dinner under the breathtaking African night sky! The food was delicious, staff attentive, and the safari drives fruitful--we saw lots of lion and cubs, cheetahs and cubs as well as a myriad of other beautiful animals. The great migration was just forming but there were still thousands of wildebeest and zebras roaming about. This was my first time in a tented camp and so I learned a few things which other first timers may be interested in. This facility does do laundry (cost included) but will not do underwear and will not do laundry on a rainy day, as they air dry the clothes (I mention this as you might want to have a backup plan for your laundering). The bathrooms and showers are located in the tents behind a partition which is behind the beds. There is plenty of water in the toilets (occasionally they didn't flush but if we waited half an hour or so they would flush no problem). You have to ask the staff to bring hot water when you want to take a shower and they put it in a bladder which hangs outside the tent. There was plenty of water for my shower (much needed after 8 hours of dusty driving!). Also, they will provide you with metal bottles of water which can be refilled when ever necessary. I kind of wished I had brought several plastic bottles of water with me though as I drink a lot of water. I don't mention these things to complain in any way shape or form because it was a fabulous experience. I just am including them to help with planning and deciding if this is the right experience for you. Oh, one last thing which I learned from my other safari in Botswana which was reinforced here...you do need an escort after dark when walking from the dining tent to your sleeping tent. It is very important to follow this rule. This camp provides 2-way radios to contact staff in the event of unwanted attention from animals or need of escort. I felt very safe inside my tent though...the flaps zip up and the floors have the tent material too which I guess is a mechanical barrier for snakes. I was told that occasionally elephants can uproot the tents but there was none in the area when I was there.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Sy_Snootles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012

We travelled as a couple to Serengeti in February/March this year to observe the birthing of the Wildebeest. Olakira was our camp of choice and we were so pleased with how it turned out. Pascal the manager and his team (Michael, Karim, Future and many others) looked after us as if we were family and nothing was to much trouble. Our wedding anniversary was on the 29th February and the fuss made, the special dinner and the cake that was produced all made our celebration very special indeed. We had visits from the animals and an elephant who took a liking to the fruit and vegetables in the kitchen all made our wildlife experience all the more authentic. A truly remarkable camp.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank carton01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
138 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2012

The camp moves twice a year to follow the Migration. It consist of 9 comfortable tented room with en suite bathrooms. My wife and I spent 3 days there in February 2012. It is very comfortable and well located. We had lions in the area overnight. Safe, but a real thrill. Food, staff and the facilities are first rate.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mittyc2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Wyoming
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

I am not a camper and generally avoid "adventure" travel without flush toilets. Olakira is an oasis of remarkable amenities and superb service . We visited their Serengetti camp in mid-March and enjoyed glorius sunrise coffee in the tent with the sounds of wildebeest nearby and gazelle poking around silently just outside. The food is wonderful and the wines are excellent! The camp is beautifully appointed down to the last detail. You feel like you are on the set of "Out of Africa" and almost expect Merly Streep to look up from the writing desk in the tent.The animals? lots of them! We saw lions, cheetas, leopards, elephants, hippos, all the antelope family, flamingoes, wart hogs, hyenas...everything except rhino. And everything was relatively close to the camp. We even enjoyed coffee on the roof of the vehicle one morning amid the sea of migrating zebra and wildebeest that stretched to the horizon in every direction.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tutuwalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2012

We spent 3 nights at the beautiful Olakira Camp while it was based in the Northern Serengeti in October and had the most wonderful stay.
The location just by the river provided all the classic Serengeti views and the camp had the perfect level of understated luxury - complete with hot showers (by means of a bucket rigged up outside the tent), very comfortable mosquito-netted bed, excellent and inventive food (even for vegetarians like myself), and friendly and attentive service. We could hear hippos, elephants and, one night, even lions from our tent. Our driver-guide, Jeremy, was wonderful, patient and professional and we were lucky enough to see a river crossing by the migrating wildebeest, as well as other memorable sites like a family of cheetahs.
Little things like the fact that Jeremy collected us on arrival from the airstrip (despite a redirection that we didn't know about) with a picnic in tow and a plan to make the most out of the longer drive as a result of our plane’s detour, the fact that all the camp staff were so helpful and friendly (without being obsequious) and the truly fantastic food and good wine, set this place apart from anywhere else we stayed. The camp was remote and beautiful and everything we could have asked for. If I had to find one thing to complain about, it was that some of the management (but not staff) were a little hard to take with levels of over-'attentiveness' bordering on the annoying and a bit of a hierarchical attitude. While there were some more difficult guests on one of the nights, most of our fellow guests were interesting and friendly and we genuinely enjoyed chatting around the campfire.
This was our favourite place we stayed during our trip to East Africa and we would highly recommend it. Although it is very expensive, we thought it was worth it. Also, since it included everything there were no surprises and it ended up being comparable to other places which weren't nearly as lovely.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Loui-fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa

Property: Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Hotel Class:4 star — Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in the Great Migration at Olakira Migration Camp. You will feel the earth vibrate during brave winter crossings of the mighty rivers in the north, or be moved beyond measure by the mass summer calving on the south's grassy plains. Olakira follows the massive herds of wildebeest to two spectacular locations in the north and south of the Serengeti National Park. Home from December to March is the southern Serengeti, where herds of wildebeest calve simultaneously and the plains throng with new life. As the dry days of winter arrive, Olakira relocates north to the confluence of the Mara and Bolongonja rivers for spectacular game viewing at the Mara River itself and around the Lamai Wedge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa Hotel Serengeti National Park

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