“Fabulous colonial-style tented camp within the game-filled Tarangire National Park, specialising in walking safaris”
There are 10 tents, all with thatched roofs and wooden decks. Inside are wooden writing desks, old trunks doubling up as side tables, African cloth-covered cushions and bedspreads, attractive lamps with beaded shades and chunky beds with planked headboards. These can be set together to make a kingsize bed; the tents are large enough for an additional single too if you want. Expect to find bottled water, a whistle and a torch, an umbrella and mozzie repellent as well as a safety box hidden away in one of the trunks. The tents all have some privacy, with a table and 2 cushioned loungers under your front canopy for relaxing during the day.
Large ensuite bathrooms with outdoor showers are tacked on at the rear of each tent. Handmade soap, shampoo and bodywash along with towelling bath robes felt like extra-special treats in this remote, bush location.
New in 2013 is Little Oliver, an enclave of just 5 luxury tents, a couple of km away. Each has an indoor and outdoor bathroom, and the camp is totally self-sufficient with its own dining area, kitchen, guides and vehicles, so it's perfect for a group to hire, although tents are also available on an individual basis.
If you prefer, fly-camping can be undertaken from here; a night in the bush with a lightweight tent and a guide for an even deeper safari experience.
From the moment we arrived at camp, and were greeted with a chilled fruit juice and a hot face towel, we sensed that we were going to be cared for at every turn. And the food at Oliver's was the best we had at any camp during our trip.
We loved the ‘one tribe’ vibe at meals. Guests eat lunches and dinners around one large table and all meals are hosted by camp managers. But if you find this idea just a bit too sociable, you can request a separate table or have meals brought to your tent. There's also a viewing deck for suppers under the stars.
Breakfasts get going from around 6.15-6.30am onwards so as to slot in with morning game drives. A big buffet spread is laid up to one side of the dining tent, whilst out front a cook prepares whatever cooked breakfast takes your fancy. Freshly baked muffins were an unexpected treat as were the linen table cloths and napkins.
Lunches often take the form of a ‘boxed lunch’ to allow more time for your game drive or, if you prefer, you can eat a light buffet back at camp. A choice of 3 salads,quiche, curried lamb, homemade bread and fruit for dessert was plenty.
Evening meals begin in proper bush fashion with drinks around the boma where you’ll be swapping stories of the Big Game kind with your fellow guests. Then a 3-course dinner is served at your table. We had astonishingly good food. To start, an avocado salad with freshly made French bread. This was followed by an excellent steak with red wine jus, dauphinoise potatoes and crunchy veg. Dessert was a coffee/chocolate fondant. All drinks are included as well as a house white or red; if you prefer there’s a small selection of ‘cellar’ wines to choose from.