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“Luxury in the bush” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Serengeti Migration Camp

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Serengeti Migration Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Luxury in the bush”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights as part of our sky safari. The main building is stunning and we spent a great evening on the sunset deck having drinks watching the sun set and then continuing around the fire pit. The only thing that these rooms have in common with a typical tent is that they are made of canvas. The floors are wooden and there are glass doors out to the deck. We kept the curtains open to watch dawn break. Whilst we could hear the hippos all night, we couldn't see them from our tent. As well as noisy hippos we had hyrax (like big guinea pigs) noisily running all over the tent all night which takes some getting used to. On heading for breakfast the first morning we found a giraffe and a family of wart hogs along the way, along with the eponymous hyrax.
Breakfast on the terrace had amazing views.
We had 2 days of great game viewing with Stan and Elias and were lucky enough to see the migration in central Serengeti (a long drive but well worth it).
Like all the other Elewana properties we stayed in, this one was truly spectacular, but we agree with a previous reviewer that this one doesn't quite match up with regards to service. Good luck to Lauren and Ryan in fixing the few small things that need fixing.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HappyinKLnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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285 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2013

The entrance to this "tented" camped at once takes ones breath away. The lounge area is as impressive as others in the Elewana properties. Our stand alone tent (can't really remember the number but I am going to guess 16) was close to the hippo pool. The hippo's happily serenaded us each evening. The tents are really impressive, with atmospheric lighting, solar water heaters, large comfortable beds, solid wood floors and nicely furnished. Our tent opened out to a rock outcrop where we enjoyed dinner one evening by fire light, accompanied by 2 staff to keep an eye for wandering hippos. One of the novelties of the camp is that you have to accompanied after dark as animals can walk through the camp at night.

The staff were as in the other Elewana properties, friendly and attentive but perhaps lacked some of the little touches which we had become accustomed to in the coffee Lodge, Tarangire Treetops and Ngorongoro Manor.

Our guide Moses was very committed to the tasks we had set. Having been on safari for 4 days we had seen most animals with the Leopard and Cheetah having evaded us. Within five minutes of landing we had our first Leopard sighting. Our more impressive sighting of a Leopard was on our second day here spotted by his then apprentice Jackson. While we didn't get to see a cheetah (the tall grass in February is not an easy bedfellow for this pursuit) we did get some amazing sightings of loins, including an attempted take down of a warthog. Many of our animal sightings were found by our guides as opposed to by accident when coming across other vehicles that were stopped. Moses was perhaps the most committed and knowledgeable of the guides we had throughout the trip.

Moses took us on a walking tour down to the hippo pool and up a hill at the far side. We had excellent proximity to the hippos and also came close to two Buffalo's who thankfully were more nervous of us than we were of them.

Given that challenge presented by tall grass, we couldn’t have asked for more – the tall grass and difficulties this causes, actually adds to the sense of enjoyment when you do come across animals.

We were very happy with this experience, and can only image what this place must be like at peak migration

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David_OFlynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level Contributor
312 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

A very special place where you just cross the Grumeti River, where you can easily see a
hippopotamus walking from the river late at night and hear leopard calls, and you are very
close to game drives where you can see extended groups of wildlife. The hosts do all to
make your stay wonderful. If you have time, choose to make the afternoon walk to the river
with the guide -- it's your best chance to see families of hippos closeup in the river and the
short walk across the river and up the small hill gives you a sense of your surroundings.
True that here luxury is taken perhaps too far, but sunset on the upper deck is quite nice.
All in all a memorable experience.

  • Stayed August 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 weyl-59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

Top class service & genuine warmth mark this beautiful property in the heart of northern Serengeti.

The luxury tents are extremely comfortable & more 5 star than most good hotels & you are literally on top of the animals. Baboons will play on your roof in the morning while the chorus of yawning & belching hippos is merely yards away. Our tent (more of a villa) was 25 yards from a river full of hippos...Plugs are 3 pin & Mosquitos almost non existent as it gets quite cold in the evening.

This hotel is an ideal place to spend a few days exploring the central & northern Serengeti.

Run by a New Zealander & retired legal eagle Peter & his Zimbabwean wife Robyn from a marketing background, this is a warm, friendly & cosy spot. The welcome seems genuine & there is a homely feel to the 20 or so room property.

5 things that are great about this place are...

• location is excellent. Close to Lobo air strip & in the middle of excellent safari.. Views are just gorgeous!
• staff are lovely & warm most if not all of the time.. They mostly come from
Arusha & do 3 month shifts before taking 2-3 weeks off..tips are greatly appreciated usually at end of your stay or on a day by day basis...
• the rooms/villa/fancy tents are amazing... Nothing nicer than the pitch black darkness & a symphony of animal sounds just yards from where you sleep
•A drink on the hotel balcony with a log fire burning overlooking the sunset over the Serengeti as animals drift into the bush for a nights sleep is a very special experience
• breakfast on the deck as the animals awaken... Strong local coffee before a day exploring...a super way to start the day

6 things to be aware of..

• the time of year might be important.. Migration season in summer time sees scores of animals just outside the camp heading North at various paces toward Kenya & is probably best time although I haven't been, this is what I am told
• we went in January post rainy season & the area around us was very quiet which was nice as you had the whole place to yourself but the grass was long & animal spotting tricky... Big cats love to hide in the long lush grass...you need binoculars...the landscape is full of rolling hills & lush green grass & lots of trees...
• 3 days is probably enough.. A trip for day or two to the Crater is highly recommended even if it is packed full of others looking at same thing but animals are used to cars & jeeps & thus tend to carry on regardless
•it is easier see big game in central Serengeti so a day trip there is worth it.. Few hours drive...We saw Pride of lions eating a buffalo, vultures circling, hippos, crocs, a leopard, hundreds of elephants & giraffes etc
• private safari can be intense. Our guide Moses was very good but a few days on your own can get tiring.. Going with another couple you know ( not strangers) might break trip up a little for both guide & safari tourist
•food is good & sometimes very good but not fantastic but that's forgiven by warm smiles, service & all you can eat & drink any time you want. Wine pours as long as you keep drinking...As the coast is miles away fresh seafood is a non runner & food comes in from a distance so don't expect miracles but you aren't in San Sebastián..

Overall, a lovely stay. It isn't cheap but safari is never cheap but I guess in low season booking direct w hotel might get you a super deal. Clientele is mixed.. Probably 35% US, 35% European (mostly uk & French or German ) & rest might be Indian, Sth African or Asia.

Overall... Rooms are lovely. Safari is on your doorstep (literally) , views in morning & evening are superb, staff are nice & this place gets our thumbs up... You could do a good deal worse than spend few nights here as a base for really good safari.

You get here via Arusha.. Fly to kilamanjaro & connect to Arusha by car (one hour)... Most people over night here. Small planes fly into Serengeti air strips from Arusha's weird & wonderful dusty little air strip & you get collected at your stop.. All very easy.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 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?
3 Thank Okmick15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
215 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

After a scary trip late at night through roadside fires, after curfew due to another driver being bogged, we were delighted to be "home". Robyn and Peter were great hosts who gave beyond the expected in luxury pampering. The staff are really kind and caring and make you feel like part of the family. Loved the included beverages and snacks - especially on the roof at sunset. Breakfast was also terrific and the light was amazing. The best camp in 10 days and in a lifetime.

Room Tip: Ask for the hippopotamus suite and you see a magnificent family and friends of hippos right outside...
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  • Stayed August 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 DrJanetHall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

Our three-day stay in July 2012 capped off a 12-day self-drive Tanzanian adventure. I can't say enough about how fabulous this place is in every way. GO! Mortgage the house. Skip those contributions to the kids' college fund! GO! :) I think the best say to convey the magic of Serengeti Migration Camp is to share with you my 12-year-old daughter's story about it. (I promise you she's a great writer. It's well worth the read for the description of exciting animal encounters right in the camp!)


The Buffalo and the Hippo

We were in Tanzania. My mom had planned this incredible trip, picking out amazing camps to stay in. While she was excited about them all, she was most anticipating the three nights at our last camp of the trip, Serengeti Migration Camp. And as soon as we arrived there, I knew why.
We got out of our Land Cruiser, which we named Elsie (LC, get it?) and looked around. There were beautiful trees everywhere, and out in the distance, a small mountain on which you could see wildebeest, cape buffalo, hippo, and more. Possibly the best part were the adorable hyraxes, chubby and sleek, shimmying up trees and staring at us with amazing eye contact. We followed our greeters with amazed expressions. They probably got this a lot.
As we entered the lounge-type thing, we were greeted by Robyn, the head of the camp. She smiled and welcomed us, beginning the usual talk we had gotten before about how showers worked, mealtimes, etc. However, this time we got, “Now, there are many animals living around camp. You may come across a giraffe, baboon, or warthog in your path.” Wait, what? “Also,” she continued, “at night, hippos and cape buffalo come out to graze. They are very dangerous, so be cautious.” I looked at Grace and grinned. This was so cool! We didn’t even register the word “dangerous” in her sentence.
We got to our tent (after indeed coming across a warthog and a couple baboons, not to mention the hundreds of hyraxes) and it just got better. The luxury tent was nestled into the trees, raised from the ground a few yards, with a deck in the back. I went out there and saw a giraffe, just hangin’ out. This was pretty amazing.
Now that you have an idea of this camp, I’m going to skip to the third day. After coming back from an amazing safari drive, we were chilling out on the deck with drinks, watching hippos on the hill. (That’s a normal sentence when you’re in Africa!) Then Robyn, who was so nice and hilarious with her near-death incidents with animals, came up. “There’s a giraffe by the office if you’re interested.” Interested? Duh! Grace and I scrambled up excitedly and headed to the office.
We walked quietly up the deck by the office and saw a giraffe casually eating leaves off an acacia tree. I sucked in air and sat down on the floor. I stared at the giraffe, and she stared back. I wondered at how exotic she looked, almost prehistoric with her small horns and angular face. Her huge, warm eyes bore into mine. I held my breath in silence. After what felt like an eternity in a minute, she decided we weren’t too threatening and went back to gracefully separating leaves from thorns. The camera hung from around my neck, but I didn’t think of using it, didn’t think of breaking the still of the wondrous moment.
We finally left when our rumbling tummies told us to do so. After an amazing meal, my dad and I were exhausted. We decided to head up to the tents before my mom and Grace. We walked down the wide, winding stone stairs lit by rosy lamps and the hyraxes’ glittering eyes. At the bottom, there are always several guides with flashlights to take you to your tents (we tourists couldn’t be trusted to get ourselves there without being eaten by something or other). My dad and I held hands as we cheerfully walked down to our tents. I waved a greeting to a nearby baboon about halfway to our tents. We kept walking along the sandy path, enjoying the sound of nighttime animals calling to each other. Suddenly, two tents away from mine, our guide stopped and hissed in his heavy accent, “Shhh.” I froze, excitement bubbling inside of me; I knew that an animal must be nearby if we had stopped. Our guide robotically moved his flashlight to the right, illuminating a hulking figure.
“Buffalo,” he whispered. I looked at my dad, eyes wide. I knew that cape buffalos were the most dangerous animals in all of Africa because they were so unpredictable. I had heard stories of buffalos trampling people for no apparent reason. And here we were, thirty feet away from one snorting and snuffling in the tall grass. My dad squeezed my hand. Just when I thought things were okay, the buffalo wasn’t going to charge, and we would make it to the tent, the guide swung his flashlight out to the left. “Hippo,” he breathed. He said it like “Heepo” and I would’ve laughed if I hadn’t known that a hippo was - guess what? - the second most dangerous animal in Africa. My heart felt like it was trying to escape as I stared at the gray tank yanking up grass outside of a tent.
He turned to the right, casting a light over he buffalo. “Buffalo,” he said again, raising his eyebrows to make sure we knew it was there. We got it the first time, I thought. “Heepo,” he said with his flashlight out to the left again. Yes, I know, I thought. Buffalo, heepo, buffalo, heepo. The two most dangerous animals in Africa, hanging out on either side of us.
Suddenly, as I accepted the fact that I could very well die this very minute, I felt more exhilarated than scared (though there was still a large part of me that was terrified). This was the animals’ home, and – for the meantime, at least – they were letting me experience it. I saw the beauty in the buffalo and the heepo – um, I mean, the hippo - and a strange calm washed over me. I looked up at my dad and smiled, a bit nervously. He smiled back with the same expression. And looking at the buffalo, the hippo, the beautiful savannah around us, the friendly guide, and my dad smiling in wonder, I had one thought running through my head. I was in Africa.

Room Tip: Can't possibly be a bad tent in the place.
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  • Stayed July 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?
8 Thank Kathy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
67 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

The property is the very picture of a permanent high-end safari camp. The open air common area was adorned with striking African-related art (carvings & photographs) and populated with comfortable dark leather sofas and chairs. Robyn greeted us upon arrival and gave us a run down on staying at the Migration Camp (typical camp stuff - don't go anywhere after dark without a security or camp staff escort, wild animals come through the property throughout the night, etc...).

Our tent was a bit down the way from the main buildings. The walk to and fro made for nice bit of exercise as did the stairs to our tent. The tent was very well-appointed. It isn't really a tent as much as it is a very nice hotel room with canvas walls, screen windows and a lovely bathroom.

Watching the sun set from the upper patio deck while chatting with other guests was relaxing and watching the local cat - a camp pet - steal appetizers off unattended plates was entertaining.

The staff was very attentive regarding food and drink requests. The selection of dining choices was a bit varied and the food was good though most of the other places we stayed had better vegetables/side dishes. The African drums that signal the start of the dining hours was a nice touch.

The last night we were there the loud sound of an animal grazing right outside the tent woke me up. The tent, on a bit of a slope, was on a raised platform, was on a raised wooden floor which also served as a wrap around porch. Which was a good thing because Cape Buffalo, notoriously bad-tempered creatures, were our grazers. One got stuck on the wood decking of our tent so there was some noise as it pulled itself free. Amazingly enough, my husband slept through the entire episode. The next morning, there was a small chunk of wood missing from the deck where the animal had triumphed in freeing itself.

Overall, Robyn, Peter and their staff do a very nice job. I would recommend the Migration Camp to anyone interested in going to the Mara River to watch a wildebeests crossing, which we were fortunate enough (thanks to our attentive guide) to witness.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank billfisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serengeti Migration Camp

Property: Serengeti Migration Camp
Address: Northern Corridor, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Serengeti Migration Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away in the vast plains, the Serengeti Migration Camp is located at the starting point of one of the world’s great wonders - the Annual Migration. The Serengeti Migration Camp, part of the Elewana Collection of Lodges, Camps and Hotels in Tanzania and Kenya, has been recognized for its exemplary experiences in accommodation, culinary excellence, and game viewing safaris. Travelandleisure, one of the travel industries largest travel trade portals, has conducted a comprehensive poll with its large readership of travel professionals and has subsequently voted the Serengeti Migration Camp the 6th Best Safari Camp in the World and the Tenth Best Hotel in the World. The Migration Camp comprises 20 unexpectedly large elevated canvas pavilions, featuring hardwood floors and luxurious furnishings, and each room has its own private deck with a 180 degree view of the Serengeti. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serengeti Migration Camp Hotel Serengeti National Park

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