Dunia Camp

Serengeti, Northern Circuit, Tanzania Book from Book from £1133 per night

Tucked away in the Moru Kopjes, this secluded camp, run entirely by women, boasts impressive game viewing and dazzling sunrises
A short drive from the Naabi Hill gate in the southern Serengeti, Dunia Tented Camp is perfectly placed to explore the southern stretches of the National Park. The Ndutu area, Moru Kopjes, southern plains and Central Serengeti valley are all easily reachable, but the secluded setting of the camp means you escape the high season crowds and discover an area of the park that others rarely touch upon. The location is second to none and boasts bush views that stretch out endlessly from your tent door, to reveal some of the Serengeti’s most breathtaking vistas.

After a day of amazing game viewing - leopards, cheetahs, a family of lions asleep under a tree - we approached camp at dusk, weaving along muddy river banks and across a weathered wooden bridge, under which crocodiles bask in shallow waters and you sometimes see hippo. Warmly welcomed with a glass of tamarind juice and a hot towel to rid ourselves of the day’s dust showers, we felt instantly spoilt - and this attentiveness to detail continued throughout our stay. We slept and dined extremely well, but it was the memories of the genuine, all-female staff that stayed with us long after we'd left - nothing is too much trouble for this friendly team.

Why we chose this partner

  • Spacious, comfy tents with an authentic safari feel, but unexpected home comforts (bathrobes, hot water bottles)
  • The spectacular location and bush views; we witnessed one of our most breathtaking sunrises to date
  • Delicious and varied food, incredible given that you're in the middle of the bush! Our guides ate with us, which gave us a chance to share stories
  • The variety of scenery and game viewing in this area was very special - the Great Migration passes through the park, and it's well known for its big cats and occasional sightings of black rhino
  • The camp is staffed entirely by women - a real first in Tanzania

Please be aware

  • The superb service and food, coupled with its remoteness and small size, mean prices are high (typically USD 800-1000 pp per day) - but they include all meals, drinks, game drives, private transfers, internal flights and hefty park fees ... pretty much everything, in fact
  • All meals are eaten around 1 long table, which means you do need to be sociable in the evenings
  • With only 8 tents this small camp books up quickly in high season
  • More rustic than other safari camps in our portfolio (eg bucket hot-water showers), but still lovely

Best time to go

June to September is dry season, and the weather is less hot and less humid, but still warm. It's a good time for game viewing as animals start to congregate around shrinking water sources. Temperatures become increasingly hot through October, with heavy concentrations of game around lakes and rivers; we visited during this month and it was superb. Rainy season is November to May, during which things get increasingly wet and sticky, with April and May having the heaviest rainfall. This is the 'green season' with lush vegetation, full rivers and lakes, and abundant birdlife and wild flowers.

Our top tips

The safaris featured here include a private driver, so you can choose where and, to a certain extent, when you take your game drives. For example, you can request back-to-back drives from 8-4pm with a picnic lunch en route, allowing you to go further afield, beyond the other vehicles. Or you could go on a night drive - other guests saw leopards and elephants on theirs.

Great for...

Eco
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Room:

Lodging

With just 8 tents, the atmosphere of the camp is intimate and personalised, with lots of attention to detail (we loved the furry hot water bottles placed in our bed while we were at dinner, and the dried flowers on our pillows). All are comfortable and spacious with firm beds, funky cushions and functional storage. The bedside tables are lit by traditional ‘gas lantern’ lamps which cast a warming glow and make the tents all the more cosy to retire to. Bright throws and rugs add splashes of colour to the neutral safari tones and sheepskin rugs underfoot make the early starts infinitely more palatable.

The front of the tent serves as a spacious porch area complete with luxurious daybeds and a coffee table; perfect to relax and take in the breathtaking views of the bush. What really marked our stay was nature's wake-up call. Nothing can quite match the dramatic orange Serengeti sun streaming in through the front of the tent each morning as the birds are starting to wake. We sat in awe and watched the landscape come to life.

At the back of the tent is a surprisingly good bathroom, complete with a copper sink and jug, that gets filled with hot water each morning. There are fluffy white towels and cotton bathrobes along with hanging space for clothes. The toilet and shower units are partitioned off by heavy canvas flaps; the latter is a ‘bush shower’ and hot water is supplied by a large canvas bucket which is hoisted up for you by a Herculean member of the camp staff first thing in the morning; you can also arrange pre-dinner showers on request. There are lots of thoughtful extras, too: cotton wool buds, large dispensers of shampoo and shower gel; even a tin of washing powder to wash delicate items you can't put in the camp laundry.

Guest security is top priority at all times (this bush camp is literally in the wild), and at night you are escorted to and from your tent along the lamplit paths by a trusty Askari who makes sure you safely follow the marked route and don’t make any wrong turnings after dark!

Our meals at Dunia were so delicious and fresh that we completely forgot the remoteness of the location. Breakfast, served from 6am, was a self-service spread of cereals, toast, homemade jams and pastries. You can also have eggs as a cooked option; just ask.

Lunch is normally a picnic box taken with you on your game drive - perhaps quiche, sandwiches, fresh fruit, juice and cookies. However, the great thing about Dunia’s location is that you can split your day into 2 game drives and come back to the camp for lunch and a rest if you prefer, thus escaping the midday heat. The lunch in-camp is an impressive buffet; we enjoyed a fresh aubergine salad, a vegetable couscous and crusty bread, followed by a delicious fruit salad.

Dinner is served at 8pm, following drinks around the campfire to discuss the day’s sightings with fellow guests. We started with a 'vegetable tower' topped with melted cheese, followed a buffet main with an amazing array of salads and meat dishes. Our favourites were the lamb skewers and a hearty potato salad. Dessert was a perfectly light lemon meringue pie with a strong espresso chaser.

All meals are eaten around a long table which gives you a chance to socialise with other guests. We really enjoyed this, but if you wish to dine alone just let the manager Richard know and he will prepare a private candelit table set away from the group - we saw one being set up for honeymooners and it looked very romantic.

Activities

  • There are 2 game drives a day included in your tarif - normally 1 in the morning and 1 in the late afternoon, with lunch at camp in between. And you'll be in expert hands: how these ladies spot wildlife from such distances is a miracle - but they do. We saw leopard, cheetah, lions under a tree, and heaps of elephants, zebra and buffalo

  • If you're here between September and December, you may be lucky enough to see great herds of wildebeest walking in long lines, as part of the Great Migration

  • Birders will be in their element, with lots of ostrich, bustard, lilac breasted rollers, eagles, Egyptian geese-herons, various types of vultures and the beautifully bright superb starlings

  • Take a sunrise balloon flight over the plains and watch the animals waking up to the new day

  • Back at camp, kick back in the communal lounge area and browse the impressive collection of photography books or play one of the board games

Activities include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Safaris
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife
Activity:
Kid Friendly:

With Kids

Children below 5 are not allowed unless the camp is booked exclusively. Kids aged 5-18 are charged 50% of adult rate when sharing with 2 adults. Extra beds can be provided.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Transport

The game drives and most camp-to-camp transfers are in comfy 4WD Toyota Landcruisers, with either 5 or 7 seats. All seats are by the window, with extra large windows for photography and driving comfort. They also have a pop-up roof for enhanced game-viewing in the parks, as well as a coolbox stocked with soft drinks, wildlife- and bird reference books, Maasai blankets, and a camera/phone charging point (with UK adapter).

The transfer back to Kilimanjaro Airport is normally in a light aircraft- typically a 12-seater Cessna caravan.

Transport:

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