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“An Excellent Choice in the Central Serengeti!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

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Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“An Excellent Choice in the Central Serengeti!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2009

This lodge had a lovely feel and was very well run. The staff were obliging and bar staff "Mgini" was quiet a character.

The bar for "sundowners" offerred a bushy outlook and some great viewing and photo opportunities of the local bird-life.

The buffet selections for breakfast and dinner were of an exceptional standard. However the picnic boxes could be vastly improved upon.....our only fault with the lodge.

The accommodation was very comfortable offerring a traditional thatched hut, complete with verandah. Guards were required to escort guests back to their rooms after dark as a safety precaution, but one never felt endangered. It was quite a treat being in such a tranquil setting.

The gift shop was excellent and offerred a good selection of books and African Handicrafts.

The hotel offerred the service of downloading photo's to CD, which helped us immensely. The biggest camera card for sale at the gift shop was 512MB, so we recommend you have sufficient camera cards before commencing safari's.

We thoroughly enjoyed our two nights here and would recommend the lodge without hesitation when visiting the Seronera Area of the Serengeti. We viewed many more animals in this area of Serengeti in July than in the northern region. We were lucky to see many hippo's and lions, plus a lion kill and cubs, 4 cheetahs, 1 leopard
and much more. Fab game-viewing.

There is an air-strip close to this lodge for chartered flights.

Whilst at the lodge, The Management and Staff were the recipients of an "Award of Excellence" for the highest standards in the Serengeti. We congratulate them and highly recommend the lodge. The Manager, reception, bar and kitchen staff make an excellent team.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank C0nstantlyOnTheG0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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825 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Orlando
Level Contributor
89 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2009

Nice location to stay while visiting the serengeti. You can look for wildlife while driving to the lodge as well as right outside your door. Food was ok, but nothing to write home about. Rooms were clean, but bathroom could use some new paint. Hot towels were a nice touch when arriving at the end of each day.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank love2travel071187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2009

I was very disappointing with Serengeti Serena - especially since we had just come from Mbalageti Safari Camp, also in the Serengeti - which is a million times better.

We were traveling with my husband's family - 6 of us in total, so we needed 3 rooms. The other members of our party got much better rooms with great views over the valley below. Our room was stuck behind their room, so our only view was of their bathroom.

The room itself was sparse. Single beds with cheesy African print bedspreads.

There was obviously meant to be a hairdryer in the room, as there was a hairdryer holder on the wall, but it had probably broken so they had removed it. No problem - I brought my own, so I plugged it in to the wall socket. I had only been blow drying my hair for a minute when the smoke alarm in our room started going off. I think their wall socket was faulty - great when you're staying in a thatched room. The alarm went off for about 5 minutes - an earsplitting, terrible noise. We ran around trying to turn it off, or flag down a staff member for help. No one came, no one assisted us, no one seemed to care that their was a potential fire on their property - so I can only guess this smoke alarm goes off regularly.

The food was OK, our waitress had never heard of milk. Every time we ordered coffee she would bring it without milk. We asked again and again. Eventually we had to get someone else to bring us milk, because the term seemed completely foreign to her. We got put at a sad little table right at the entrance to the kitchen where they wash dishes and talk incredibly loudly.

I found the waiters at the bar very good - the only great service we received. There is also a great look-out point next to the pool that we enjoyed very much.

When we checked out, my husband's father paid the very high bar tab without questioning it. He then came to ask us if we had managed to drink $160 worth of alcohol. We then checked the bill and found that the hotel had charged us for someone else's drinks - we checked the bar receipt and saw that it was someone else's signature, but they had charged it to one of our rooms. We had to fight to get our money back. The manager was very surly, told us it wasn't his fault and it happens all the time - "it's those Italians" he told us. No apology. If it happens all the time, then get a better system - get guests to show you a room key when buying drinks - don't make it the guest's problem.

All in all, this isn't a great place to stay - if I were doing the trip again, I would spend a little bit more to stay at one of the better camps. You travel so far to get here, you may as well spend a little more on great accommodation.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank stateofflux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
199 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2009

Stayed 3 nights in late March 2009 as part of 9 day safari. A nice lodge, in a nice setting, but with surly desk staff. Other staff in restuarant, bar, room service and guards to walk you around at night ( required) were all quite pleasant. Room was nice, not elegant, water was available 24/7 - altho after a heavy rain our bathroom was flooded. Internet access available - somehat expensive $10 for 30 minutes - but look where you are. Food was as a large varied buffet at all meals but the meats were VERY salty. After the first night we asked to have our meat without salt and specially without any spices. Chefs were agreeable and by night 3 were prepared for us and told us so. Other wise food was food. This was the second nicest lodge we stayed in - see review of Ngorogoro Sopa Lodge by me - if only the desk staff were not so arrogant!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scscientist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised by the Serena Serengeti; as someone who's not a fan of chain hotels, I was a bit concerned about staying here, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. Luckily, the place wasn't full so I may have felt differently if it had been. As it was, the location and views over the plains were great, the room itself was clean and fairly spacious, and architecturally it felt that the lodge blended into the landscape. The pool area is rather cramped so it's impossible not to be subjected to other people's conversations, but since mostly you want a quick dip after a game drive, that's not too much of a problem. The food is average; all buffet style. Better than some lodges in the region, but pretty much the same every day so if we'd been there more than two nights I think I would have tired of it quite quickly. The staff were mostly great, although some of the junior and trainee staff were so rude as to be almost comical.

As an average-costing lodge in the Serengeti, this really isn't a bad option.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HRB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2009

The Serengeti is an amazing park and this hotel offers a nice respite from the long days out on game drives. As a large hotel, you get luxuries that we didn't find as often in smaller ones
*regular and consistent hot water in the bathroom
*decent internet connection to send an email home to let everyone know we were fine
*People available around the clock to get you whatever you need

As a large hotel though, you're also going to deal with every type of traveller. One of my biggest complaints about the hotel was less the hotel itself, but rather the people we had to overhear complaining. Bugs, lizards, coffee took over 5 minutes to come to the table. This is a large hotel, but we're in the Serengeti not Miami, expect these things to happen.

We took advantage of a sunrise walk with the entertainment director, Hagai--a really remarkable individual. The only negative thing about this was that reception had failed to tell us there was a charge, something that Hagai casually mentioned at the beginning. During the entire walk we couldn't but be distracted by the nagging question "How much is this walk costing us??"--on safari, you never know! Fortunately, it was only about $15/person a cost WELL worth taking.

We had room number 66 and recommend it to anyone as it's at the very end of the row of "houses" and next to a clearing where apparently animals like to come and play. Having spent 2 days there, both days we were awoken by elephants right outside out bedroom window. Amazing.

Visits to these parks are less about where you lay your head and more about how you spend your days, in my opinion. With this said, Serena Serengeti is a VERY comfortable place to lay your head.

Stayed January 2009
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica_Sz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2009

My husband, adult son, 4 other friends and I..all on a photo safari through Tanzaniai booked with Roy Safari's stayed at Serengeti Serena for two nights. The accomodations, cleanliness, quality of the food and ambience were all outstanding and only exceeded by the incredible customer service and friendliness of the staff.. They couldn't do enough to make our stay terrific.

Our room was well sized, stocked with nice amenities and had lovely french glass doors overlooking a beautiful view of the Serengeti beyond. It was wise to keep the doors closed; one afternoon a baboon knocked on the glass door and a glance beyond revealed close to 50 of his or her friends on the lawn.

We had the same waiter for the time we spent at the hotel and he made a concerted effort to learn each of our names. The buffet included an exceptional variety and we had no difficulty finding wonderful possibilities to choose from.

I truly enjoyed meeting and talking with Eric and Innocent, two wonderful managers at the hotel who are very obviously dedicated to ensuring guest's needs are addressed.

Overall, staying at Serengeti Serena was definitely a high point of our 12 day trip!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Colorado17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Property: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Address: Mbingwe Valley, Serengeti National Park N/A, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by a traditional African village this extraordinary lodge presents a vibrant design concept rich in indigenous craft and cultural detail that is without compare. Set high on a hill with rolling visas over the teeming plains of a natural amphitheater it also enjoys a ringside seat for the greatest show on earth, the annual migration of the wildebeest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serengeti Serena Safari Hotel Serengeti National Park

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