We last left off with Journey Specialist Angie as she was leaving the Ngorongoro Crater, her second safari stop on Tanzania’s Northern Circuit route. Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.
The Serengeti lives up to its hype! I loved the contrasted experience of staying in a mobile migration camp (Serengeti Safari Camp) and then a lovely permanent lodge (Lamai Serengeti) set in the kopjes (hills).
Mobile safari camps such as Nomad’s Serengeti Safari Camp change location a few times a year broadly following the wildebeest migration. It is an exciting way to experience the migration, resident wildlife and be right where the action is likely to be at a particular time of the year!
There is something so freeing and authentic about a stay in a mobile migration tent. I really felt grounded, but still enjoyed all the creature comforts and finer touches. At night we sat around the campfire to enjoy stories and reflections of the day’s sightings. One night we were even joined by a pack of curious hyenas who strolled by under the moonlight! The very next day we enjoyed an intimate sighting of a male leopard a short 10 minutes from Serengeti safari Camp. We were the only vehicle there and marveled at the stunning cat as he climbed a tree, enjoying a big stretch en route. Just around the corner a baby hyena encouraged a chorus of ‘awwws’ within our safari vehicle.
The icing on the cake was our last few nights at Lamai Camp. Lamai, oh my – What a treat! Its special location perched up on a hill lends itself to amazing views and a cozy feel tucked away among the rocks. Its beautiful interiors offer a unique approach to the safari experience and it feels very integrated into the surrounding environment. The circular main areas have sweeping views and there is a funky bar area to enjoy. The camp staff at Lamai become fast-family and I enjoyed every moment back at the lodge (in between fun-filled bush-walks and exciting game drives). Lamai has a prime position between the July and September months to witness the great wildebeest migration and it is close enough to the Mara River to potentially see the natural phenomena of the herds crossing the river and all the action that comes with it!
A favorite safari moment was during our bush walk where we trekked right from the lodge and into the wilderness. A herd of wildebeest and zebra become weary of our presence and took off in every direction in a cloud of dust. A bush walking experience really awakens the senses and the sounds are just beautiful whether it be a thousand zebra hooves hitting the ground, the wind buzzing through the grass or bird calls over head. At one point on our walk our guide stopped, pointed to the rocks a few feet away and had caught a glimpse of a lioness. The thrill was incredible!
Back at Lamai it was time to unwind and put our feet up. We sipped on an afternoon shandy by the pool, enjoyed an in-house massage by the lovely Victoria and took time to read a book in the open and comfortable lounge area. On our last night we were treated to a ‘Swahili’ night with all local cuisine and a special surprise that I will not share here in case you’re planning to visit. We never wanted to leave!
Before I knew it, my 10 days exploring Northern Tanzania had come to a close. It was a wonderful mix of exceptional wildlife sightings, lovely accommodations, delicious food, enjoyable company, and spectacular scenery. There is a reason the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park are so well-known. They offer an exceptional and diverse wildlife experience perfect for a first-time safari goer or a veteran like me.
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