Olakira Camp

Serengeti, Northern Circuit, Tanzania Book from

A simple camp in the Serengeti, perfectly located for wildebeest and zebra migrations
In true nomad fashion, Olakira Camp changes location according to the time of year. Between December and March, 9 safari tents are located in the southern Serengeti at Ndutu, amidst calving wildebeest and zebra on their migration journey south. The spectacle of thousands of animals giving birth to their young is fantastic to witness, and this camp allows you to remain close to the action when other visitors have had to leave to get back to their lodges. And the proximity of Lake Macek and Lake Ndutu, which normally have water all year round, further enhance the likelihood of seeing a huge amount of game.

From June to November the camp shifts north to the Bologonja close to the Mara River and the Lobo area. This area is famous not only for its glorious landscapes, but also for its big cats; lion and leopard are frequently spotted.

We loved the authentically ‘bush’ feel of Olakira Camp which somehow seems to get you closer to the vast, open wilderness of the Serengeti and to its ineffable beauty.

Highs

  • All meals can be taken with your guide. We loved that this gave us the chance to learn more about the Serengeti, Maasai culture and all things Tanzanian
  • An authentic and remote camp, far from other lodges, in a quiet part of the Serengeti
  • Highly knowledgeable guides and exceptionally friendly staff
  • Top eco-credentials

Lows

  • There is only a short distance between the tents which detracts from the just-you-and-the-bush feel of the camp; but this is imposed by Park authorities
  • Off-road game drives - once a highlight - are no longer allowed at any time of year
  • It's hard to get to, but that's what makes it so special

Best time to go

The short grass plains (Dec-March) transform when the first rains start, allowing the grass to grow from a dull brown to a bright green. The volcanic soil enables nutrient rich grasses to attract the pregnant wildebeest to feed and give birth.

The central Serengeti, Moru Kopjes and Seronera valley (April-June) are the most popular areas of the Serengeti, and ideal in European springtime. The wildebeest migration will be passing through the area, heading out of the short grass plains towards the western corridor.

The western corridor provides very exciting game viewing between June and August, as the wildebeest migration meets the Grumeti river, where some of the largest Nile crocodiles can be found. The results are spectacular - and gruesome.

The North (August-November) is perhaps the best kept secret of the Serengeti, relatively devoid of tourists. The migration across the Mara river, traversing some of the most photogenic areas, a patchwork quilt of colour and diversity.

Our top tips

Take a balloon safari over the plains at sunrise, and watch the animals waking up and coming to life.

Great for...

Eco
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Safari Camp
  • 9
  • All meals included
  • 5+ year olds welcome
  • Closed: 1 Apr 2017 - 31 May 2017...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Balloon safari
Room:

Rooms

There are only 9 tents in the camp, so the atmosphere is remote, intimate and utterly tranquil. Heavy duty canvas, mozzie-netted drop-down window flaps and simple director-style chairs impart an authentically ‘safari’ guise, whilst inside every effort has been made to make your bush experience as comfortable as can be.

Twin beds are joined (unless you specify) to make huge, kingsize doubles, there are attractive carved bedside tables, bright durries on the groundsheets and eye-catching African fabric bedspreads and pillows. Lighting is from low wattage eco-bulbs powered by a 12V battery which is brought along to your tent at nightfall; during the day it is recharged by solar power.

Behind a first canvas partition is a small dressing room, with a tin sink set into a simple wooden vanity unit, a wooden rack with white towels and a hanging space for clothes. Partitioned off behind a second flap are the toilet and shower. Hot water is supplied by a large canvas bucket, which is hoisted up for you first thing in the morning; ask if you would like extra hot water delivered for your pre-dinner ablutions.

At night it all looks simply magical when paraffin lamps are lit along the pathways threading out from the dining tent to the tents. We chose to sleep with our window flaps open and awakening to the sound of birdsong with the sun rising over the Serengeti was an experience that no words could ever describe.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Extra beds
  • Toiletries

Eating

As with most safari camps, meals are taken in a communal dining tent which, in its simplicity, felt utterly in synch with the bush setting: dark wooden table, canvas-style director's chairs and side flaps raised high to open out the view of the surrounding bush.

Breakfast generally gets on the go at 7am though it can be earlier if you’re keen to head off on a game drive at first light. When we stayed things were a little slow to amble into action but this was hardly a problem: the animal world was waking up and the dining tent was a perfect place from which to watch the action.

The chances are that you’ll be out of camp at midday so lunches tend to be of the boxed variety; ours was just fine with excellent homemade quiche, chicken rolls, carrot and cucumber sticks, cold juice from our jeep’s fridge, fruit and yummy chocolate cake.

However, it is dinner that steals the show. It begins with drinks round the boma, followed by a similar formula: homemade soup, a hearty stew or roast meat, and a freshly baked. A house red or white is always included, although wine lovers might prefer to choose amongst a small selection of cellar wines - and there’s even champagne if you’re in celebratory mood. Some nights tables are moved to a small clearing just beyond the tent and you dine out beneath the stars.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Communal dining
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

There are 2 game drives a day included in your tariff. (If you have booked for shared drives, these usually take place in the morning and afternoon, and you return to camp for lunch. If you have booked private drives, or if your shared group agrees, you can ask for your drives to be back-to-back, so you go out from 8-4pm, with a picnic lunch en route - the advantage of this is that you can go further afield.) If you have a private driver, he'll act as your guide too; if you're part of a group drive, there may be a driver and separate tracker. Either way you'll be in expert hands. Depending on when you visit, you'll see the vast numbers of zebras and wildebeest as part of the Great Migration, or more relaxed plain animals, plus (hopefully) cheetahs and leopards.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Safaris
  • Wildlife

Kids

Children under 5 are not allowed unless the camp is booked exclusively. Children aged 5+ are welcome and staff are happy to prepare special meals and arrange earlier meal times for children. Kids aged 5-18 years are charged 50% of the adult rate when sharing with 2 adults. Extra beds can be provided.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

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