In the course of our safari though Tanzania’s northern national game reserves, we spent a total of three days in the Serengeti, which was by far our favorite of those we visited. Both Lake Manyara and the Ngorogoro Crater had spectacular wildlife, but our experiences in those parks felt kind of “managed” compared to the Serengeti.
The other thing that made the Serengeti stand out (besides Dr. Darling getting spectacularly sick on our second day there) was the amazing tented camp we stayed at for our first two nights. Even people who don’t like usually like camping love this place, because you get all of the best parts of “living in the great outdoors” with none of the drudgery or discomfort that is often part of the package.
First off, the tents are huge and outfitted with comfy camp beds, and each has its own ensuite eco-friendly toilet and hot-water bush shower. This affords both privacy and safety, since wild animals often wander through the camp at night. I heard lions both nights we were there and camp staff reported buffalo and elephant making nocturnal visits during our stay.
The food was excellent and served in a common dining tent, so there’s no cooking or clean-up to worry about. We especially liked the fact that our guide stayed in the same camp and was able to join us for meals. (This was not the case in the lodges where drivers and guides have completely separate accommodations.) There’s also a large “lounge tent” with a fully-stocked bar and a solar-powered charging station for keeping your camera batteries and moblle phones topped up.
The staff was wonderfully friendly and attentive … especially when the Swede was feeling so poorly. And even though her experience of the camp was somewhat blighted due to her being ill, she also named the Serengeti Wilderness Camp her favorite of all the places we stayed during the trip. If and when we go back to Africa (Kenya remains on my Wish List), we’re going wildlife camp ALL THE WAY.