Safari Lodges
The choices of accommodations in Tanzania are almost as many and varied as one could find anywhere. For many these overnight accommodations become a destination in themselves. From tented camps to cottages and rondavels to traditional hotels, and finally, five star luxury lodges with butler service. In short the most difficult part may be deciding at the end of your safari, which hotel was your favorite.

We have written a short description of some of the most popular to help you decide what's best for you. If, after reading these descriptions, you'd still like to know more, just let us know and we will be happy to forward more detailed information.

Serena Hotels

Tanzania: Arusha, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Zanzibar.
Kenya: Nairobi, Samburu, Amboseli

Whether on the Spice Isle of Zanzibar exploring Old Stone town, arriving in Nairobi after a long international flight, or after a dusty safari in the Serengeti, the Serena Hotels offer eight East African hotels. At a Serena hotel you can always count on a hot shower and a cold drink and an equally refreshing dip in the pool. The Nairobi Serena offers some of the cities finest dining, where you feast on fresh lobster or lean gazelle. The Serena hotels cater to the pampered traveler and offer an international standard series of Hotels. (Caveat- water is sometimes in short supply in more remote areas, hence; don't expect a bathtub in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro or Zanzibar hotels. Do expect hot showers) Though Zanzibar Serena has satellite television in each room, those in the Serengeti or Ngorongoro don 't - but, after all, you've come to these places for the gnus, not the news on CNN. For the financially twitchy, a satellite phone is available for international calls. Otherwise, you can expect the basic for luxury at any of the Serena hotels in East Africa.

Useful any time of year for any reason, whether business or pleasure.

ConsCorp Lodges
For the upscale pampered safari-goer try anyone of the ConsCorp properties. Each location is unique in design and décor yet they all share one thing in common - luxury. Exquisite food, large rooms and excellent service are guaranteed. Yes, there is a price. These are the most costly of the Lodges in Tanzania. Our two favorites are described here and may just fit into your travel plans after you get a sense of what they offer.

The Crater Lodge (located on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater) is probably the best known. Its fanciful flamboyant architecture and total luxury (including red velvet drapes, chandeliers, and claw foot tubs "with a view" of the crater) make this their flagship property in Tanzania. (The lodge has been featured in Architectural Digest) There are 30 rooms in all but the property has been divided into three separate Lodges within the grounds to avoid the feeling of a large hotel. One note. If you travel between June and August -bring your sweater as they do not have heat and it can be a bit chilly.

The setting and décor of Klein's Camp, located in the Lobo area just outside the Serengeti National Park, sparks visions of a by gone era. Each guest room is a separate rondeville perched on the side of a high hill overlooking spectacular views. Visitors to this lodge can also enjoy guided walks in the bush and night game drives due to the location outside of the park grounds. This property also has a swimming pool.

Maji Moto - Lake Manyara National Park
The Crater Lodge - Ngorongoro Crater
Grumeti River Camp - Serengeti (Western Corridor)
Kliens Camp - Serengeti (Lobo Area)

TAHI Lodges
These lodges are all currently owned by the Tanzania Government and while not the most luxurious, they certainly boast the best locations in each of the parks. Each has a spectacular view and is located either in or conveniently close to a National Park. They have the lowest prices of all of the lodge / hotel chains described here but you can be assured of a clean (if somewhat tattered) room, adequate food and moderate service.

Lake Manyara TAHI
Wildlife Lodge - Ngorongoro
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Lobo Wildlife Lodge

Ndarakwai Camp
Ndarakwai Camp is located within the Ndarakwai Ranch. The ranch is a private 10,000-acre game reserve with Mt Kilimanjaro in full view to the east and Mt Meru to the west. We work hard to maintain the principals of eco-tourism at our camp and when dealing with the local communities. The terrain provides wonderful variety for walks along the riverbed, up and down hills and across plains. Other activities available from camp include night game drives, visits to local Maasai villages, and an introduction to some of our orphan animals and our own brand of community conservation. The camp is nestled among towering fig trees along the Ngare Nairobi River (this river is seasonal). The facilities are the same as those used for luxury camping and include ensuite bathrooms with hot camp showers, roomy guest tents and a separate dining tent for each group. For more information click here.

Gibbs Farm Karatu (between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro)
This old Colonial coffee farm is straight out of Africa, offering a genteel and shaded respite between the long bumpy and dusty drive from Arusha to the Serengeti. Unwind in the shade of a fig tree for four o'clock tea and fresh baked cakes and cookies. The buffet lunch alone is worth the stop. If time permits, it's well worth staying the night to take the time to read, relax or watch iridescent sunbirds flutter in their established tropical English garden. Walk the gentle path to the waterfalls, or visit the farm's vast vegetable garden which supplies most of the lodges in the Serengeti, including, in the past, the Leakey's research camp at Olduvai Gorge. Like Ndutu, don't expect everything to arrive on time. Once an impatient American always an impatient one, but while on safari you learn to let go of expectations and let Africa take you for a ride.

Tarangire Lodge
This comfortable no frills tented lodge offers the basic needs (solar heated water for evening showers) and an old safari style feel where Africa safari hands meet. The view over looking the elephant, giraffe, and zebra packed Tarangire River cannot be rivaled anywhere. At night, you can barely hear "the grey ghosts", the gentle motions of elephant browsing acacia seeds outside your tent; your AM alarm call may be the lions roar. The new vaulted dining area is airy and spacious, offering abundant breakfast and lunch buffets. Don't miss the succulent barbecue every Wednesday night.

Best from June through September

Ndutu Lodge Serengeti
This lodge offers the charm and personal touch of an old hunting or research camp, but with modern amenities. Tucked in the forested areas near the open Serengeti plains its numerous thatched bungalows, dining and bar area were built around vast 100 year old table top acacia trees all of which over look Ndutu Lake. It is the perfect sanctuary from which to base safaris that focus on the wildebeest migration January and February. Look forward to sitting by the bonfire and expect to exchange wildlife stories with other guests. All the bungalows have been recently updated and renovated. Since Ndutu lodge is a local operation I can't compare it to the standards of the Serena hotel chain. Smaller lodges like this often heat water with firewood; while you will always get hot shower, if you arrive unexpectedly you may need to wait twenty minutes at the most.

Best from December to June when the wildebeest and zebra migration is in that area of the Serengeti.

Ngoro Sera Lodge
This is small elegant lodge is tucked at the lush leafy feet of Mt Meru, just twenty minutes from Arusha and not far from Kilimanjaro Int'l airport. It's the perfect place to stay before or after an international flight. It offers an intimate experience of Old Colonial Tanzania built from and around the ruins of a German farm. Beautiful manicured gardens are home to a variety of bird life. Colobus monkeys cry from the canopied jungle forest.