With some of Africa’s biggest parks and reserves filled with all manner of game and birdlife, a rich Maasai culture, and landscapes that change from great bulky mountains to deep calderas and vast stretches of grassland, Tanzania is everything you’d imagine an African safari destination to be. But experiencing these things doesn’t have to mean compromising on accommodation. Luxury can be found amidst the wilderness of Selous Game Reserve, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, and on the lip of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Namiri Plains, Serengeti National Park
Situated in central Serengeti, over an hour’s drive from any other camp, Namiri Plains offers a remote and intimate safari experience in a secluded area of the Serengeti. Between December and March it’s possible to see the Great Migration herds as the wildebeest have their young in the southeast of the Serengeti, and you can watch as calves take their first tentative steps. Hot on the heels of these grazing herds are predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah.
The camp is located on what was, until fairly recently, a cheetah research base inaccessible to tourists for 20 years. Cheetah and lion populations therefore thrive here. You might also encounter leopard, buffalo, spotted hyena and, in rare instances, black rhino.
The camp’s eight canvas tents have far-reaching views over the plains, with sides that open out during the day. Each tent has an en suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers, a king-sized bed, and a safe. There’s a family tent for up to four guests (children must be aged five and over to stay here), as well as a more luxurious honeymoon tent.
The communal mess tent is scattered with sofas and has a shaded outdoor seating area. From here, you can sit and watch animals coming to drink at the natural waterhole next to camp. Meanwhile, in the dining tent you can enjoy cooked or continental buffet breakfasts and three-course dinners.
Activities from the camp include twice-daily game drives in 4x4s (which come complete with mini fridges), guided walking safaris out in the bush (extra cost), and time spent with a local cheetah researcher to learn more about the area’s endangered cats. At an additional cost you can take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti, giving you bird’s-eye views of the wildlife in the early morning light.