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Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
170 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“A great place to stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012

We arrived hot, dusty and tired from a long day in the Serengeti. The staff immediatly took over and made us most welcome. The room/tent was large and airy, but the shower was a bit weak, just a small point.

The meals were well presented and were of a high quality. The wines and spirits were also well priced.

Overall we had a great stay. Just make sure you have Tanzanian shillings for your 'extras' as the credit card machine seems not to work and payment with other currencies causes confusion.

Room Tip: Try to stay in the tents not adjacent to the path leading to the main building else you have people...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    183
    52
    14
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See reviews for
59
124
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
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Flower Mound, Texas
Level Contributor
88 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

The Serena Mbuzi Mawe Tented camp was our first lodge in the Serengeti after the long drive from Tarangire through th Ngorongoro Conservation area. We arrived late in the day, just as it was getting dark after witnessing a large part of the Migration on the road to the tented camp. We had to wait a short while before proceeding to lodge lounge from vehicle because of Water Buffalo crossing the trail :-).

We were very tired, dusty, and ready to stop but the quality and high standards of the Mbuzi Mawe Camp exceeded all of our expectations. It really is a great oasis after a long day on the road. Lodging is very comfortable, staff is very friendly, and the food was great. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: We had two tents numbers 14 & 15 which are close to dining and lounge area.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Oscar R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

This was the second camp we stayed in and it beat the first by miles! It is so nice and homely! The service is really good, the entertainment in the evening is really good too. The food was well cooked and plenty of it. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Weddinghunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2012

Mbuzi Mawe Camp
Enjoyed a two night stay during our May 2012 safari to the northern circuit. Newstar greeted us at reception and was a most enjoyable and personable hostess. We had tent #7 furthest from reception and maybe next to unit we had in Nov 2009. Now, a bamboo fence exists to the left of the tent possibly to discourage guests from taking a shortcut to the vehicle loading area or maybe as a crude noise barrier. Everything about our stay was great! Could not have asked for better service. The food was excellent. At dinner the first nite we enjoyed eggplant soup, rolls, garden salad and either pork chops or beef fillet with potatoes, rice and veggies. Then, a line of wait staff and chefs came into the dining tent with singing and clapping. We thought it was a nice way to greet guests but as they headed towards our table in the one corner we realized something was up. They presented Darla and I a decorated cake with “Karibu Tena” scribed on it. Newstar has told them we were previous guests and they appreciated us returning.
The camp set a great breakfast buffet and one could order eggs made to order. In addition, champagne was at the buffet along with water and various juices. As with most camps/lodges we were escorted to our tent after the evening meal given the proximity of wildlife. The second night just as we exited the last step our escort shinned his light across the small grassy area and there was a bull cape buffalo maybe 50 feet away! The bull paid no attention to us and kept on munching grass so our man motioned for us to stay on the path and headed us to our tent!
We had more than enough room in the en-suite tent, with good lighting and plenty of hot water for showering. Tents may be a bit close during the peak season depending on one’s neighbors but certainly met our needs for quietness. In the morning one could awake to the sound of birds or monkeys on the tent roof. Bulbuls, tchagras, go-away-birds and others were seen on the way to breakfast. The ancient granite koppies and native bushes make for a great setting.
As the camp was included in our safari package it is difficult to determine specific costs but for us was still a nice treat!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank wegoustay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2012

we had just spent 3 nights at kirawira so i will try not to compare. kirawira is old world, epic. this feels a bit more dated and less 192's hemingway but it does not matter. it is the same level of incredible service, wonderful people, smiles, cool layout, huge tents. I am so glad we came here for our last night. It is entirely different ecosystem. Arid, boulders, wildlife in the camp. They suprised us with an outdoor dinner in the bush with singers and dancers. A full bbq. Shamirie was our guide the entire trip and we still keep in touch. We spotted a leopard 5 minutes from camp! ANother plus is the easy access game drive to central serengeti. Central is packed with tour buses and can be depressing after being in the western area that is so peaceful. But a day in central will certainly show you a ton of game in quicktime. just be aware you will see about 500 trucks that day. By mbuzi its just you and the game. So much more intinmate.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank UKUSTRIPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

Wow - an amazing lodge. While this is tented, its a permanent camp.

Staff - lovely, friendly and always willing to assist.

Food/dining room - very good. All western style food, prepared with care. The menu was extensive and

Rooms - SPACIOUS! The rooms are huge, clean and have a nice warm shower. Its a bit awkward to have an open toilet within open site of the beds, but for one night it was okay. I wish we stayed longer - the rooms are great and the setting is special.

Gift Shop - No integrity. We specifically walked into the gift shop to support the local tribes of the staff. We felt that if we purchase things from the gift shop, the money would trickle down to the local tribesman who supposedly made all of the items for sale. Sadly, we purchased a "ebony" giraffe for about $30 - certainly expensive as we later found out when we were back in Arusha. However, after learning a bit more during our trip, it is pretty obvious the wood is not ebony but another heavy wood tinted black to look like ebony. I contacted the hotel via their website to complain and share my feelings, however 1 week later I did not get a response. We specifically asked if it was ebony wood and made by the local tribes people - and the lady in the gift shop insisted it was - While this did not ruin our experience, it certainly makes me less likely to recommend the Mbuzi Mawe.

Distance from Central Serengeti - FAR - be forewarned, its at least 1 hour from the main roads in the central Serengeti. The drive is beautiful, but this its a long drive at the end of the day.

No pool - rumor has it this hotel was built atop one of the natural springs - this has changed the wildebeest migration pattern - very sad if it is true.

Room Tip: I believe all of the rooms are the same. High quality and quiet.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank UWtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
107 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2012

Mbuzi Mawe is a wonderful tented camp located in the Serengeti. Of all the Serena properties on the Northern Circuit I stayed in, I'd have to say this was my favorite one. The tents are huge and have two double or queen beds. The colors inside are nice and bright making it light and airy. Not only was there a desk area with appropriate height chair but there was a small seating area which was good for reading or journal writing. The bathroom had double sinks and there was a large reclining lounger on the patio area. The food was excellent and the staff more attentive than at the other Serena properties. The best part was the closeness of the wildlife. Since the camp is not fenced, you are escorted starting in the early evenings. Good thing as there was a large Cape Buffalo next to my tent after dinner. There are plenty of photogenic klipspringers throughout and if your quiet, they will come very close. Would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Tent #14 was very quiet.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MichiganLaurena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp

Property: Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp
Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 112 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Embraced by an amphitheatre of monolithic rock sculptures known as kopjes, the reincarnated Serengeti Mbuzi Mawe Camp nestles in a secluded acacia glade with sweeping views over the alternately lush and burning plains of Serengeti National Park. Carefully sited on one of the main annual migrations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp Hotel Serengeti National Park

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