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“Could have stayed forever.....”

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Serengeti Bushtops Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
98 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Could have stayed forever.....”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

From the moment we stepped off the plane we were greeted by the friendly team and given the option of heading to camp or checking out the wilderbeast crossing which had just started. No prizes what we were there for and the crossing was in our sites... Many hours later and apologies to the chef for keeping him waiting we made it to camp to be met and made welcome like a long lost friend. I cannot speak highly enough of the entire team at bushtops as they go out of their way to ensure the experience is perfect. The accommodation as others have mentioned on numerous occassions is outstanding and with such perfect phone and internet reception I could have easily set up my office on the back deck and not returned home. The game drives were true safari experiences, mud roads unsure if we would be bogged, off road expeditions and not knowing what you were heading out to see and when you would see it however no problems we had hot water bottles blankets, tea, coffee, food and wine so we did not care how long it took to find that elusive leopard or cheetah as the scenery more than made up for it when the animals played hide and seek.
If there is to be any negative it would be that after a long day of game drives we were tired and ready for bed early. Dinner is from 7pm and even if you arrive on time it can be after 9pm before it is served. After almost falling asleep in my pasta on night two (I am not a late night person as you can tell or it could be the jetlag) we learnt to order our dinner at lunchtime and elect the time we wished to have it served, the team were more than happy to accommodate. Overall a wonderful experience and would return tomorrow.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Holidayfixation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Aartselaar
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

This is the most luxurious place we have ever seen and experienced.
The "tents" are really huge rooms with a great view and all the comfort you can imagine .
10 tents are well separated so when you see outside there is only nature!
Mr Pantaleo and his staff give an outstanding and personalized service. Food is fantastic ; à la carte in the bush!
The rangers have a extensive knowledge of the animals and nature in the Serengeti.
This is a place to remember and hope to go back again .

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank WimTAartselaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
santhià
Level Contributor
60 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We spent 3 nights at Bushtop last 26th August.
We had been on many safaris before and we were interested in the migration and crossing. We turned to Planet Africa Safaris that proved to be a very professional tour operator: Willow , the agent who planned our safari, realized exactly what we wanted and she suggested us to stay a few days in Kenya, in a conservancy bordering the Masai Mara, and a few days in Northern Tanzania so to have more opportunities to see the crossing and the migration.
We enjoyed the idea very much even though the transfer from Masai Mara to Tanzania is quite complicated notwithstanding the relatively short distance between the two places; it was also a little bit expensive but ,as we had a very short time ( 6 nights all together) , this was really the best option Willow could suggest to us .
We took a small plane in Ol Khiombo, flew to Migori (25 minutes) , took a road transfer to the frontier(30 minutes) , paid for the visa to Tanzania, took another small plane to Khogatende (20 minutes more)where we were finally transferred to Bushtop.
Anyway it was nice because it was like a flying safari.
At the airport we had a warm welcome by Kokane and John, the driver and the spotter, who offered us a glass of wine and some appetizers.
The road to Bushtop was around 1 hour and a half and when we arrived we appreciated very much the hot tub on the stunning veranda already prepared for us. fantastic!

We agree with many of the reviews: Bushtop is a luxury camp. The tent is very big, contemporary styled, beautifully furnished, with a big veranda where you have an amazing hot tub a big sofa and a big table where you can enjoy your meals privately.
The tent has an internal telephone connecting you with the reception at any time for any need. The mobile signal is everywhere.
The massage after a safari was a pure luxury in the middle of nowhere, really enjoyable.
The Lounge and restaurant area were quite elegant: here we had our meals at our own table and we enjoyed breakfast,early in the morning, on our veranda
Food was a la carte and excellent. Service was perfect. Staff was great.

Here guests do not share the same table as it was in other camps we stayed and, according to me, the overall atmosphere is more of a lodge/resort than a camp.

As I said ,it was a real luxury experience .
Only one thing “surprised” me negatively : a TV in the lounge as well as internet everywhere; personally I think that it was out of place in the bush ; people should appreciate to cut all the technological amenities we are used to in our everyday life : anyway this is just an opinion .

I also think that they should provide an all inclusive formula with at least wines included -maybe with a limit-.

There were not many animals actually around the camp probably because of the high grass all around, typical of this period.

As I said before our highlight was the migration and especially the crossing (which we saw also in Masai Mara) and we appreciated a lot the fact that. as ours was a specific target, we were given our own Land rover for the three days we stayed there.
This year the migration was 2-3 weeks later than expected so wildebeests were not around the camp , they were just a few miles away ,right on their way to Serengeti Bushtop.
We spent our time only for the crossing and we realized that it’s not like documentaries show:
Actually you need to be at the right place at the right moment and be very very patient.
The first day we waited for the wildebeests to cross for almost 7 hours but they didn’t cross. there were thousands of them on lines , running, grouping, going up and down ;they used to go down the river they seemed to be willing to cross but they didn’t : this show went on all day long! It was very funny!
The following day, after another 6 hours we were rewarded : they finally did and it was memorable!
As I said we saw the crossing a few days before in Masai Mara too but there were around 100 land rovers waiting for it and the whole reserve was very busy.
In Serengeti we saw very few land rovers and we were the only 2 ones to see the crossing and I think that this really made the difference.

Thanks very much to Pantaleo and Lawerence for your friendly attitude and your company in front of the fireplace,
Anna and Francesco from Italy

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank santhianna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dumfries, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

It is hard to beleive that you in the middle of the African bush, the phone reception is better than we have at home! Serengeti Bushtops is the most luxurious place, but no matter how fantastic the accommodation it is the people that make your stay SO special. The 'rooms' are described as 'tents' - hardly! They are large raised 'appartments', each one descretely separated from the next so that you feel completely alone. You can sit in your own private hot tub and watch the wildlife roam past - quite surreal. The rooms have everything you require, complimentary services include laundry (and they make a very good job!) and massages (so do they!) The tents are just a short walk from the dinning area and reception, and you are escorted back and forth after night fall.
The food is excellent, the staff equally so, nothing is too much trouble. They all speak very good English and our guide and spotter were very knowledgable about the flora/fauna and wildlife.
Would highly reccommend this place to anyone

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank r c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2012

We stayed at Serengeti Bushtops for three nights at the end of August 2012 as part of our honeymoon.

From the moment we were met from the plane, the service was first class. Pantelo and his team were all extremely attentive and ensured that we had a fantastic time. All the little touches such as the hot water bottles in your bed at night/early morning games drives, cups of tea in bed in the morning, filling up the hot tub so that is ready when you return from your game drive, really made the stay extra special. In addition, Wifi is now available in all the tents at the camp.

As noted by other reviewers, the food is excellent and there is a good choice of dishes. We were particularly impressed with the standard of food provided when we had lunch out in the bush when we did a full day game drive.

The safari drives were also fantastic. Our guide and spotter had excellent knowledge and were keen to show us as many animals as possible. In addition to seeing lots of animals, we were lucky to see the wildebeest migration and a group of lions hunting. There were a few animals around the camp during our stay. We were woken up by buffaloes eating next to our tent and we also heard lions.

Overall, Serengeti Bushtops was a fantastic place and the highlight of our honeymoon. We would not hesitate to recommend it. Thanks to Panteleo and his team for a fantastic stay.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Steve_jackie_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
50 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We have done many luxury safari's in South Africa and Kenya, but none can compare with the unbelievably high standard of this camp and the accommodation, as well as the outstanding service from all the staff.The tents are on a raised wooden platform, simply huge, with a sumptous king-size bed (and mosquito net), desk&chair and lounge chairs, with a proper flush toilet and shower that optionally opens out to view the vista below. Surrounding all this is an enormous deck, with a dining table&chairs, sunken lounge and spa, which will be filled by your personal butler at request on your drive home, so its piping hot and ready to enjoy as soon as you arrive back. The Bulgari amenities were appreciated by my wife, and I was thrilled to see 24 hour power in the tents to charge the cameras/camcorders which is not often available in many tented camps. Free wi-fi is available in the lounge and reaches to some of the tents. In the cold early mornings the lovely warm blankets and hot water bottles they give for the morning drive out was a real bonus. A masai warrior sits outside your tent each night with a spear, but whether this is truly for protection , show or ambience I'm not sure. Its quite safe to walk around unescorted during the day but at night the masai warrior will escort you with his spear and torch.

The vista from the deck is expansive but somewhat plain ie: no water hole in sight, and we really didn't see much game wandering past to be honest.The food is of a very high quality european standard, with an extensive wine list, and the wait staff explain the options extremely well.We have never come accross such a highly educated, professional and experienced and friendly staff. Before dinner each night we all sat around the camp fire and discussed the days highlights with each other, the extremely knowledgeable game rangers and camp managers, who all spoke excellent english.

They were able to accommodate our 10 year old daughter in our tent in a single bed with us, which still left plenty of room, and she had a wonderful time, but don't expect a kids club or kids activities- you are here to safari and that's what you do. Usually its a morning and late afternoon game drive but on one occasion we went out all day and seemed to drive across the whole Serengeti!. The only disappointing aspect was the game viewing which was not as good as we had experienced elsewhere in South Africa or the Masai Mara in Kenya, apart from the usual antelope, hyena and commonly seen species, there was just one pride of lazy lions on the rocks, one cheetah, however we did see two wildebeest crossings which was very exciting although there were no crocs or other predators at the crossing points, and the massive herds of wildebeest were quite something. One of the limitations is that you have to keep to the roads/tracks in the Serengeti, which is a national park, and can't go "off road" like we could in South Africa or parts of Kenya. We were actually there in mid-July for 3 nights (I have been meaning to write this for a long time, but only got around to it now), and timed things perfectly by flying up to the Masai Mara for the following 3 nights-where we saw more crossings (and a lion kill a wildebeest). The Tsetse fly were a real bother the first day, how they manage to bite you through your clothing is quite astounding. Take a powerful but compact torch, plenty of mossie repellant, and you should have powerful zoom lenses for your cameras- we had a Canon 7D with L series 70-300mm zoom ad Sony videocamera with 10X optical zoom and could have done with a more zoom range. "The Green Pod" bean bag gave us the stability we needed for the 7D & big lens.

Room Tip: All tents are identical and face the same direction, and are screened from each other by bush for pr...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank richard_s_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2012

This place is a must visit for the Serengeti. Beautiful tents in the heart of the bush with herds of elephants (it's safe) roaming around the camp. Amazing staff and service throughout, from the waiters and bartenders to the drivers and camp managers (Pantaleo and Lawrence). No one takes better care of their guests better than Pantaleo and Lawrence, both extremely passionate, knowledgeable, and hospitable. Our butler was Maria, who was also very nice and helpful. Our safari guide was Godson, a human encyclopedia with a phenomenal knack for service as well.

The tents themselves are beautiful, with comfortable beds, a great outdoor couch/sitting area, and cool African decor. The views of the open planes and mountains were stunning as well. Massages are complimentary which was a nice added feature after long days out on game drives. The shower took a while to get a decent temperature, but the pressure was great. Overall amazing tents in a beautiful setting.

Also, there was wi-fi in all of the tents, which was a nice to have feature as well.

Overall amazing experience and amazing accommodations.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serengeti Bushtops Camp

Property: Serengeti Bushtops Camp
Address: Wogakuria 10, north western Serengeti, Serengeti National Park 14708, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Hotel Class:5 star — Serengeti Bushtops Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Tanzanian haven for serious safari seekers, Serengeti Bushtops is an oasis of 5-star luxury within one of the world's most magical settings. Picture yourself gazing out over the stunning scenery of the Serengeti. Imagine returning from safari and watching the sun set from the comfort of your tent's private hot tub. Consider the thrill of watching the annual migration thunder across the mighty Mara river. Or simply revel in the thought of being pampered by your butler and our friendly staff, before enjoying our fabulous cooking and fine wines in the comfort of our restaurant and shared spaces. This combination of safari adventure, first class facilities and blissful relaxation has delivered Serengeti Bushtops' unwavering promise of Wild Luxury ever since we opened in June 2010. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Serengeti Bushtops Camp Hotel Serengeti National Park

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