The tented suites at Mwiba Lodge are tucked among boulders overlooking a river gorge.

Mwiba Lodge | Maswa Game Reserve, Serengeti Luxury Tanzania Safari Lodge

Truly get away from it all at Mwiba Lodge, where just 10 tented suites are tucked among boulders overlooking a river gorge in Tanzania‘s southern Serengeti. In this exclusive concession, you can witness the annual wildebeest calving, look for leopard or experience tribal traditions, in complete comfort and style.

The place

From the comfort of my daybed, which is on a raised wooden platform outside my suite, it feels like there’s nobody else here at Mwiba Lodge. I suppose it’s not that surprising, given the fact that the luxury Tanzanian safari lodge is scattered among massive stone boulders, ancient coral trees and acacias on an exclusive 70,000ha reserve bordering Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Maswa Game Reserve.Connected by wooden walkways on an escarpment overlooking the Arugusinyai River, Mwiba Lodge prides itself in its exclusivity and serenity – there are just 10 luxury tented suites in total, all of which are cleverly hidden from one another. I’m transfixed by the burbling river, the dazzling black and white as a zebra drinks at the springs below, and endless views of the dense riverine vegetation and surrounding plains of the southern Serengeti.

From the comfort of my daybed, which is on a raised wooden platform outside my suite, it feels like there’s nobody else here at Mwiba Lodge. I suppose it’s not that surprising, given the fact that the luxury Tanzanian safari lodge is scattered among massive stone boulders, ancient coral trees and acacias on an exclusive 70,000ha reserve bordering Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Maswa Game Reserve.

Connected by wooden walkways on an escarpment overlooking the Arugusinyai River, Mwiba Lodge prides itself in its exclusivity and serenity – there are just 10 luxury tented suites in total, all of which are cleverly hidden from one another. I’m transfixed by the burbling river, the dazzling black and white as a zebra drinks at the springs below, and endless views of the dense riverine vegetation and surrounding plains of the southern Serengeti.

The room

It feels almost wrong to call our suite a tent; canvas sided, it has proper doors, wooden floors and a deck overlooking the river. As the light waned, I’d ventured back inside, struck again by its understated luxury. The canopied king-sized bed has its own sustainable air-conditioning system and the sitting area has linen-covered sofas with copper lamps already lit up, giving the natural hues of cream and beige a warm and welcoming feel.Despite the choice of both indoor and outdoor showers and a glorious tub, I decided to save the pleasure for later, quickly washing up in the twin basins before heading to meet my partner at the main lodge for sundowners.After just a few steps I’m flanked by majestic boulders, and then the elegant thatched lounge is revealed. I order a cocktail at the bar and wander off to find my partner, who’s pottering around the library where our intimate dinner will be served. We enjoy our cocktails near the fireplace, working up an appetite and discussing the activities Mwiba Lodge has to offer.

It feels almost wrong to call our suite a tent; canvas sided, it has proper doors, wooden floors and a deck overlooking the river. As the light waned, I’d ventured back inside, struck again by its understated luxury. The canopied king-sized bed has its own sustainable air-conditioning system and the sitting area has linen-covered sofas with copper lamps already lit up, giving the natural hues of cream and beige a warm and welcoming feel.

Despite the choice of both indoor and outdoor showers and a glorious tub, I decided to save the pleasure for later, quickly washing up in the twin basins before heading to meet my partner at the main lodge for sundowners.

After just a few steps I’m flanked by majestic boulders, and then the elegant thatched lounge is revealed. I order a cocktail at the bar and wander off to find my partner, who’s pottering around the library where our intimate dinner will be served. We enjoy our cocktails near the fireplace, working up an appetite and discussing the activities Mwiba Lodge has to offer.

What sets it apart

Being in a private concession means we’re allowed to venture off road on our game drives, so we’ve had fantastic wildlife sightings from our private vehicle. We’ve witnessed magical sunsets, bush babies in the trees, a leopard on the hunt and, most incredible of all, the wildebeest calving. Back at camp, we spent many happy hours watching animals from the numerous hides around the property, as there are over 30 springs attracting wildlife.We also visited a Sukuma medicine man at his mud-hut home, curious to see what herbs and plants he uses to treat various illnesses. Earlier, my partner had had a mild allergic reaction to something; the medicine man analysed it by dancing and chanting, and with the help of a translator, we went into the bush to select a plant to treat it. We’re now convinced of his powers!Finally, I was delighted to learn that the lodge supports the Friedkin Conservation Fund, which was set up by Mwiba’s owner, Dan Friedkin. The trust helps conserve 2.5 million hectares of Tanzania’s protected wildlife areas, through anti-poaching units, mapping and research. It’s wonderful to know someone is looking out for this spectacular yet fragile ecosystem, and by staying here, so am I.

Being in a private concession means we’re allowed to venture off road on our game drives, so we’ve had fantastic wildlife sightings from our private vehicle. We’ve witnessed magical sunsets, bush babies in the trees, a leopard on the hunt and, most incredible of all, the wildebeest calving. Back at camp, we spent many happy hours watching animals from the numerous hides around the property, as there are over 30 springs attracting wildlife.

We also visited a Sukuma medicine man at his mud-hut home, curious to see what herbs and plants he uses to treat various illnesses. Earlier, my partner had had a mild allergic reaction to something; the medicine man analysed it by dancing and chanting, and with the help of a translator, we went into the bush to select a plant to treat it. We’re now convinced of his powers!

Finally, I was delighted to learn that the lodge supports the Friedkin Conservation Fund, which was set up by Mwiba’s owner, Dan Friedkin. The trust helps conserve 2.5 million hectares of Tanzania’s protected wildlife areas, through anti-poaching units, mapping and research. It’s wonderful to know someone is looking out for this spectacular yet fragile ecosystem, and by staying here, so am I.

At a glance

  • Exclusive, secluded tented camp with 10 tented suites (two sets interlead, for families) with infinity pool, shop, spa and gym.
  • Private concession, private airstrip, private dining available, private vehicles and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, bush dining, bush picnics, bush sundowners, spa treatments (one complimentary per guest, any further additional cost), Ndutu or Serengeti National Park day trip (complimentary for every 3-night stay), cultural visits and fly camping (additional cost).
  • Children welcome. Two family suites; others can accommodate a cot for children under three and the sofa can convert into a single bed for a child under 16. Babysitting and children’s safaris are available.

  • Exclusive, secluded tented camp with 10 tented suites (two sets interlead, for families) with infinity pool, shop, spa and gym.
  • Private concession, private airstrip, private dining available, private vehicles and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, bush dining, bush picnics, bush sundowners, spa treatments (one complimentary per guest, any further additional cost), Ndutu or Serengeti National Park day trip (complimentary for every 3-night stay), cultural visits and fly camping (additional cost).
  • Children welcome. Two family suites; others can accommodate a cot for children under three and the sofa can convert into a single bed for a child under 16. Babysitting and children’s safaris are 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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