Mara River Tented Camp is an intimate camp with only six tented rooms.

Mara River Tented Camp | Serengeti National Park Luxury Tanzania Safari Lodge

On a U-bend of the Mara River in Tanzania, Mara River Tented Camp gives you front-row seats to multiple river crossings of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Boasting incredible Serengeti views, abundant wildlife and uncrowded game drives, this luxury Tanzania safari lodge is remote, exclusive and incredibly special.

The place

I’m spellbound at the endlessly gushing Mara River, which is the site of multiple river crossings during the Great Wildebeest Migration. We’re in the Lamai Triangle, in the northernmost corner of the Serengeti National Park. The almost 40,000ha of remote wilderness is cut off from the rest of the park by the river, and is sandwiched against Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.We’re staying at the exclusive Mara River Tented Camp, one of a handful of lodges located within the park proper. Isolated as we are in our triangle, with just six tents, we fully expect the game viewing to live up to the camp’s excellent reputation.

I’m spellbound at the endlessly gushing Mara River, which is the site of multiple river crossings during the Great Wildebeest Migration. We’re in the Lamai Triangle, in the northernmost corner of the Serengeti National Park. The almost 40,000ha of remote wilderness is cut off from the rest of the park by the river, and is sandwiched against Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

We’re staying at the exclusive Mara River Tented Camp, one of a handful of lodges located within the park proper. Isolated as we are in our triangle, with just six tents, we fully expect the game viewing to live up to the camp’s excellent reputation.

The room

I wake up to the early light of dawn, revelling in the soothing sounds of the river eddying and flowing beneath me. I’m surrounded by spun natural fabrics, canvas and stone; rich whites with hints of raw leather and Maasai colours, which adds to the peaceful ambiance.I’m so warm and comfortable in our plush king-sized bed at Mara River Tented Camp that it feels hard to get up … until I remember there could be game sightings from the deck. I gently nudge my partner awake and we go sit on the verandah with our morning tray of coffee and biscuits, looking across the river into the Serengeti grasslands that surround us.As the sun rises in a splash of colour, the wildlife of the Serengeti come to drink at the river – elegant giraffe, a dazzling zebra, an impala with his harem. We sit in complete silence, utterly mesmerised. It’s soon time to get ready for breakfast, which we plan to enjoy in the dining hall with the other guests, though we have the option of having it served on our game drive, right where we are at our tent, at the pool or next to the river.The en-suite bathroom feels like an indulgent luxury in a tented suite; it has a shower and rectangular bath next to a ‘window’ in the canvas that opens out to the river and plains. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to soak in the tranquility of the environment in the tub while my partner took a long shower.Feeling refreshed, we head to the lodge, which has an expansive lounge area with deep, low-slung sofas, a well-stocked bar and dining area that overlooks a horseshoe curve in the Mara River. Here, we can spend endless hours watching visiting wildlife on both the near and far riverbanks.

I wake up to the early light of dawn, revelling in the soothing sounds of the river eddying and flowing beneath me. I’m surrounded by spun natural fabrics, canvas and stone; rich whites with hints of raw leather and Maasai colours, which adds to the peaceful ambiance.

I’m so warm and comfortable in our plush king-sized bed at Mara River Tented Camp that it feels hard to get up … until I remember there could be game sightings from the deck. I gently nudge my partner awake and we go sit on the verandah with our morning tray of coffee and biscuits, looking across the river into the Serengeti grasslands that surround us.

As the sun rises in a splash of colour, the wildlife of the Serengeti come to drink at the river – elegant giraffe, a dazzling zebra, an impala with his harem. We sit in complete silence, utterly mesmerised. It’s soon time to get ready for breakfast, which we plan to enjoy in the dining hall with the other guests, though we have the option of having it served on our game drive, right where we are at our tent, at the pool or next to the river.

The en-suite bathroom feels like an indulgent luxury in a tented suite; it has a shower and rectangular bath next to a ‘window’ in the canvas that opens out to the river and plains. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to soak in the tranquility of the environment in the tub while my partner took a long shower.

Feeling refreshed, we head to the lodge, which has an expansive lounge area with deep, low-slung sofas, a well-stocked bar and dining area that overlooks a horseshoe curve in the Mara River. Here, we can spend endless hours watching visiting wildlife on both the near and far riverbanks.

What sets it apart

Everything about Mara River Tented Camp encourages us to embrace the outdoors and connect with nature. From sprawling views over the Serengeti and the Mara River with its incredible wildlife crossings, to bathtubs that allow you to indulge in the very same views, this camp is a place to reflect, unwind and experience a deeper connection to all that’s around you.I love the fact that the camp is off the grid and that it uses recycled and natural materials. The food also deserves a mention – it’s absolutely delicious, and the dining is remarkably flexible; when my partner was relaxing at the pool during lunchtime, a table was set up right there without us needing to ask. We even enjoyed a traditional Tanzanian meal on our last night, giving us a taste of the region’s unique and flavoursome cuisine.

Everything about Mara River Tented Camp encourages us to embrace the outdoors and connect with nature. From sprawling views over the Serengeti and the Mara River with its incredible wildlife crossings, to bathtubs that allow you to indulge in the very same views, this camp is a place to reflect, unwind and experience a deeper connection to all that’s around you.

I love the fact that the camp is off the grid and that it uses recycled and natural materials. The food also deserves a mention – it’s absolutely delicious, and the dining is remarkably flexible; when my partner was relaxing at the pool during lunchtime, a table was set up right there without us needing to ask. We even enjoyed a traditional Tanzanian meal on our last night, giving us a taste of the region’s unique and flavoursome cuisine.

At a glance

  • Intimate luxury safari camp in a remote section of the Serengeti. It has just six tented rooms and a plunge pool overlooking the Mara River.
  • Remote, exclusive location (the only lodge in the Lamai Triangle), views of Great Wildebeest Migration river crossings, private airstrip and maximum six guests per safari vehicle.
  • Game drives, bush breakfasts and bush dinners.
  • Children 10 years and older are welcome, with babysitting services and tailored activities to suit each family. Two family suites and additional beds available.

  • Intimate luxury safari camp in a remote section of the Serengeti. It has just six tented rooms and a plunge pool overlooking the Mara River.
  • Remote, exclusive location (the only lodge in the Lamai Triangle), views of Great Wildebeest Migration river crossings, private airstrip and maximum six guests per safari vehicle.
  • Game drives, bush breakfasts and bush dinners.
  • Children 10 years and older are welcome, with babysitting services and tailored activities to suit each family. Two family suites and additional beds available.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is a wonderful time to visit northern Tanzania, with the vegetation initially lush after the rains, but then dying back, making the wildlife that much easier to see. Temperatures are cooler (although the days are warm and sunny). With the wildebeest herds assembling to make the perilous crossing of the Grumeti River, this is the busiest time of the year here. Tarangire is a great option now, with locally migrating wildlife concentrating along the Tarangire River, or take in the tree-climbing lion and beautiful seasonal waterfalls at Lake Manyara.

The long dry spell between the rains sees the vegetation cycle being repeated: lovely green grass immediately after the rains subsequently starts to wither. As food and water become scarcer, game concentrates around waterholes, making wildlife viewing particularly easy in January. Wildebeest calving in January and February on the southern Serengeti short-grass plains means a glut of kills – it’s the best time for predator action. Away from the Serengeti, this is an ideal opportunity to see resident game in the Ngorongoro Crater and at Lake Manyara, and birders will enjoy spotting migratory species.

These are perhaps not the ideal times to visit northern Tanzania as they represent the two peaks of the wet season – the long rains in April and May; the short rains in November. This does mean however that you’ll be sharing the game reserves and national parks of northern Tanzania with far fewer people, and there’s still plenty to see. During the long rains, the Great Wildebeest Migration moves north in the Serengeti, through Seronera towards the Western Corridor, while in November the herds return from the Masai Mara.

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