Great migration in northern Serengeti
From Late July to October one of the greatest wildlife spectaculars on Earth occurs in the northern Serengeti – the magnificent wildebeest migration. With unfathomable numbers of these immense creatures traversing the landscape and crossing the mighty Mara River it’s important to find a base that is close to all the action or, better yet, within viewing distance.
Here’s a list of the top five lodges that allow you to get up close and personal with the Serengeti’s mighty wildebeest (and not compromise on comfort).
Nestled amongst the rocks of the Kogakuria Kopje and offering panoramic views of the stunning surrounding landscape, Lamai Serengeti is only a few kilometers from where the wildebeest cross the Mara River.
The rooms are designed to take advantage of the natural space and light of this spectacular location whilst preserving the essence of the surrounding environment.
The lodge offers 4x4 safaris to explore the area surrounding the Mara River during migration season, or walking safaris depart from the lodge to explore the small valleys, rivers and rocky kopjes that make for prime wildlife spotting landscape at any time of the year.
One of 2012’s finalists for best safari property in East Africa, Sayari, which is Kiswahili for ‘universe’ offers permanent luxury tents right in the middle of the iconic vast plains and endless African skies that characterize the Northern Serengeti.
With 15 spacious rooms to choose from in 2 wings, all offer luxurious bathrooms with rainfall showers and baths overlooking this stunning wilderness. Or, for the ultimate indulgence, there is a private suite at the edge of the camp for honeymooners or those after complete privacy.
A communal lounge area with a library and comfy cushions is a great place to converse with other travellers about the day’s adventures and you can choose to either dine together or privately under the twinkling stars of the Serengeti sky.
The camp offers walking safaris in the early morning or late afternoon or off-road game driving to explore the Mara River area and its wealth of zebra, topi, hippo, crocodile and, of course, wildebeest.
Overlooking the Grumeti River and its resident hippos, the Serengeti Migration Camp offers 20 luxury tented lodges and a honeymoon suite nestled in the North Central Serengeti. Each room offers 360-degree verandahs that create private sanctuaries from which the surrounding wilderness and resident wildlife can be experienced, together with the luminous Serengeti sunset. Rich furnishings, white linen lined beds and modern facilities allow you to take in the wild drama (and wild sounds) within luxurious comfort. In addition, a split-level main lounge tent, swimming pool, restaurant and viewing platforms across the river and the rugged landscape beyond combine to make Serengeti Migration Camp a truly memorable place to witness the great migration.
For an intimate experience Ubuntu is a cosy seasonal camp that follows the migration of the 1.5 million wildebeest through Serengeti and offers an up-close position close to the Mara River crossing. While lightweight and easily transportable, this traditional canvas safari camp doesn’t compromise on comfort with solar power, flush toilets and en-suite bathrooms. ‘Ubuntu’ refers to the characteristics of generosity, consideration and humane-ness towards others and the small team of local Tanzanians at the camp exemplify these qualities. Ubuntu offers an ‘under-the-skin’ Serengeti experience, great foot and truly African hospitality.
Set within the immense remote wilderness of the Northern Serengeti at the foot of a spectacular kopje, Lemala Mara is a luxury semi-permanent seasonal camp that follows the migration through Mara and Serengeti. With two of the largest river crossing points within close proximity to the camp, occasionally guests are spoiled with views of this natural spectacular from the camp’s comfort as wildlife numbers soar.
Their tents are some of the most spacious and comfortable in all Africa, fitted with king size beds, wooden flooring, duvets, flush toilets, 24-hour solar lighting and fantastic safari showers. The mess tent is exquisitely decorated with leather sofas, chandeliers, side cabinets, rugs and chests and the guides highly experienced to take guests to where all the action is in open 4x4 safari vehicles.
Regardless of lodging choice, a visit to northern Serengeti between the months of July and October is something you will never forget!