Albatros Travel East Africa sales manager Julian Camm and guide Masha Nhambu recently returned from a trip through southern and western Serengeti. 32 properties and countless wildlife sightings later, they have lots of advice on what will be a good fit for your client (in the right price bracket), along with creative ideas on how your guests can see the best of the Serengeti without battling crowds. This might mean combining a visit to one camp to see the migration with a visit to a camp in another region in the park to experience its wide open spaces and incredible wildlife with few other tourists. Here’s a brief summary of some of the camp highlights from their exploratory trip. These are properties that stood out in each of their price brackets and that Albatros would recommend for North American clients. They are listed in order of ascending price point.
Kati Kati – the perfect lead-in property in the Serengeti. Albatros gets great rates and it’s the perfect place for your clients to spend two nights in the Serengeti if their focus is wildlife and their budget is limited. They are dotted in the Central Seronera area of the Serengeti. During the migration in the south they will have 4 camps in Ndutu, and when the migration is in the north they will have 2 camps in strategic locations. From $250-$300pp rack range including concession fees.
Ndutu Camp – an oldie but goodie, they have recently lightly refurbed the rooms and while the thatch and stone cottages haven’t changed on the outside, the interiors have a fresh look. A solid 3 star, basic but comfortable, however the food and service take it up a notch. Price wise it is a great option though in peak migration season (December – March) it will be very busy. We like it as a great value option in the low-season (June – November) for its quality cat sightings, especially cheetah.
Kiota Camp – Permanent sister camp to the seasonal Chaka Camp, it is an incredible value for what you get. In a price bracket above Kati Kati, but guests get a lot more for it, and a more refined experience. The camp is located just north of Seronera towards Banagi Hill and is elevated on the slope of the hill overlooking Seronera. A firm favorite and a great value.
Chaka Camp – this is a great property for chasing the migration. The rates are competitive in light of their location, and again this camp offers great value. The camp moves with the migration. When in Ndutu, it is situated on a great site overlooking the lake, and when in the north, they have a new site that is just +/- 10 minutes from the river.
Siringit Serengeti – this is a luxury product in the Seronera area with only 8 very comfortable tents. This is perfect for those looking for a luxury experience with a somewhat limited budget. A certified ‘Julian Camm favorite’ in terms of value for money.
Lemala Nanyukie – Beautiful area of the Serengeti, east of Seronera about 45min drive towards Namiri Plains. The rooms are fantastic. Definitely one of my favourite Lemala properties. It comes with a price but compared to the other high end properties in the same bracket and with Lemala specials combined with their other properties, you can get an incredible product that is expensive but well worth it.
Singita Grumeti (Sasakwa/Sabora/Faru Faru/Serengeti House/Explore) – We have all heard of these properties and I came away with a new appreciation and, yes, the value (!) they present to those who can afford it. On this visit, I got an intimate look at the amount of effort that goes into conserving the area and allowing a pristine piece of bush to be available exclusively to Singita guests. I left thinking that guests are actually getting a bargain in that 5-6 star price bracket! When you compare Singita to other properties in the region with similar rates, service and star levels, the camps and lodges in Singita Grumeti are the top choice in this price category, hands down.