Serengeti Pioneer Camp has lovely views of the southern Serengeti National Park.

Serengeti Pioneer Camp | Serengeti National Park Luxury Tanzania Safari Lodge

Discover what it was like to stay in the safari camps of the 1930s at Serengeti Pioneer Camp, which has all the style of an almost forgotten era. Here you can enjoy unparalleled views of the Moru Kopjes and Lake Magadi in Tanzania, and get close to Great Wildebeest Migration.

The place

A cluster of tents appears out of the southern plains of the Serengeti, nestled on a slope of a granite outcropping – our first sighting of Serengeti Pioneer Camp. We jump out of the Land Cruiser to a very warm reception.Heading to the thatch-roofed open lounge, our breath is taken away by the stunning views of the Moru Kopjes (where our guide Moses tells us you can visit Maasai rock art) and Lake Magadi, a large soda lake accessible from camp that’s home to a few thousand pink flamingos. As we’re shown to our suite to wind down, we’re told that the camp is unfenced and that we’ll always have an escort at night, making us feel a bit like celebrities.

A cluster of tents appears out of the southern plains of the Serengeti, nestled on a slope of a granite outcropping – our first sighting of Serengeti Pioneer Camp. We jump out of the Land Cruiser to a very warm reception.

Heading to the thatch-roofed open lounge, our breath is taken away by the stunning views of the Moru Kopjes (where our guide Moses tells us you can visit Maasai rock art) and Lake Magadi, a large soda lake accessible from camp that’s home to a few thousand pink flamingos. As we’re shown to our suite to wind down, we’re told that the camp is unfenced and that we’ll always have an escort at night, making us feel a bit like celebrities.

The room

I instantly fall in love with our tented suite at this luxury Tanzanian safari lodge. Three sides of its canvas flaps have been rolled up, making it open to the outdoors. Looking out onto a stretch of open savannah where zebra and wildebeest roam, we really feel like we’re part of nature.Although you’d never guess it, the camp is not permanent – it can be packed up in just three days. Moses tells us that this is part of the camp’s aim to leave no footprint on the surrounding environment. It also runs on solar power and uses local products; a sustainable ethos that makes it much more special to us.We walk into the suite, which is draped in throw carpets, with leather furniture, a desk and king-sized bed. The roof, which soars to the sky, is draped in fabric, and long curtains fall to the floor – closed at night for a warm and homely feel. It has a decidedly 1930s feel, like an explorer tent of old. We take a quick look at the bathroom with its copper taps and rainfall shower before we head out for an afternoon game drive. As we’ve timed our stay in line with the southern Serengeti leg of the Great Wildebeest Migration, it’s not hard to find the herd at all. What an incredible sight!After thoroughly taking in the astonishing mass of wildlife, we have sundowners and snacks nearby. We watch in wonder as the sun drapes the plains in molten gold, painting the sky with rose-coloured clouds that becomes darker indigos and gunmetals as the night encroaches.

I instantly fall in love with our tented suite at this luxury Tanzanian safari lodge. Three sides of its canvas flaps have been rolled up, making it open to the outdoors. Looking out onto a stretch of open savannah where zebra and wildebeest roam, we really feel like we’re part of nature.

Although you’d never guess it, the camp is not permanent – it can be packed up in just three days. Moses tells us that this is part of the camp’s aim to leave no footprint on the surrounding environment. It also runs on solar power and uses local products; a sustainable ethos that makes it much more special to us.

We walk into the suite, which is draped in throw carpets, with leather furniture, a desk and king-sized bed. The roof, which soars to the sky, is draped in fabric, and long curtains fall to the floor – closed at night for a warm and homely feel. It has a decidedly 1930s feel, like an explorer tent of old. We take a quick look at the bathroom with its copper taps and rainfall shower before we head out for an afternoon game drive. As we’ve timed our stay in line with the southern Serengeti leg of the Great Wildebeest Migration, it’s not hard to find the herd at all. What an incredible sight!

After thoroughly taking in the astonishing mass of wildlife, we have sundowners and snacks nearby. We watch in wonder as the sun drapes the plains in molten gold, painting the sky with rose-coloured clouds that becomes darker indigos and gunmetals as the night encroaches.

What sets it apart

Based in the middle of the Serengeti, Serengeti Pioneer Camp is remote, enough to feel like you’re away from the crowds yet close enough to the action. If you time it right, you can experience the southern Serengeti migration practically on your doorstep.I loved how the staff took care of our every need: organising our meals around our game drives, moving our dining table to enjoy morning views or starry skies, and arranging a picnic at a private hillside spot. Every night we’d find a hot-water bottle warming our bed, and would fall asleep to the sounds of the night. Whether we were swimming at the pool during the afternoon or spending hours gazing at our breathtaking surroundings, we couldn’t get enough of this special camp.

Based in the middle of the Serengeti, Serengeti Pioneer Camp is remote, enough to feel like you’re away from the crowds yet close enough to the action. If you time it right, you can experience the southern Serengeti migration practically on your doorstep.

I loved how the staff took care of our every need: organising our meals around our game drives, moving our dining table to enjoy morning views or starry skies, and arranging a picnic at a private hillside spot. Every night we’d find a hot-water bottle warming our bed, and would fall asleep to the sounds of the night. Whether we were swimming at the pool during the afternoon or spending hours gazing at our breathtaking surroundings, we couldn’t get enough of this special camp.

At a glance

  • Intimate 1930s-style safari camp with 12 guest tents (including one family tent) and swimming pool in the southern Serengeti National Park.
  • Private dining, private vehicles available (additional cost) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, bush picnics, bush sundowners, swimming pool, campfire dining and hot-air ballooning (additional cost).
  • Children welcome and babysitting available. One family suite, and all rooms can fit an extra bed. Children’s activities on offer.

  • Intimate 1930s-style safari camp with 12 guest tents (including one family tent) and swimming pool in the southern Serengeti National Park.
  • Private dining, private vehicles available (additional cost) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, bush picnics, bush sundowners, swimming pool, campfire dining and hot-air ballooning (additional cost).
  • Children welcome and babysitting available. One family suite, and all rooms can fit an extra bed. Children’s activities on offer.

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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