Before dinner, warm yourself by the campfire at Serengeti Under Canvas.

Serengeti Under Canvas | Serengeti National Park Luxury Tanzania Safari Lodge

Moving to different Serengeti campsites along the Great Wildebeest Migration path in Tanzania, Serengeti Under Canvas makes sure to offer the best possible sightings of this spectacular event. Here, you’ll experience an authentic mobile safari with luxury tents, exceptional game viewing and even hot-air ballooning.

The place

I walk outside my canvas tent, feeling a thrill as I see the endless vistas of rolling grasslands stretching before me. I can’t believe I’m here, finally, in the Serengeti. As the aptly named Serengeti Under Canvas moves with the Great Wildebeest Migration from the south, there’s every chance we’ll witness it first hand, which would be the experience of a lifetime. I look out over a small bluff with several flat-topped acacia trees ahead of a small river, and imagine thousands of wildebeest thundering across it. Just being here is a dream come true.

I walk outside my canvas tent, feeling a thrill as I see the endless vistas of rolling grasslands stretching before me. I can’t believe I’m here, finally, in the Serengeti. As the aptly named Serengeti Under Canvas moves with the Great Wildebeest Migration from the south, there’s every chance we’ll witness it first hand, which would be the experience of a lifetime. I look out over a small bluff with several flat-topped acacia trees ahead of a small river, and imagine thousands of wildebeest thundering across it. Just being here is a dream come true.

The room

I feel a slight breeze brush across my skin, which causes our tent’s chandelier to tinkle merrily. I walk back into our large, Bedouin-style tent (apparently the lodge has the largest mobile tents in Tanzania) and hug myself in glee. This is safari camping as I’d imagined it – along with some creature comforts like a double bed with crisp linen and fluffy blankets, crystal glassware and a floor draped in Indian rugs. There’s also a sitting area with a daybed inside, should we manage to tear ourselves away from the incredible outdoors.I love the his-and-hers open-air showers (en-suite, yet still completely private). Despite them being bucket showers, they somehow don’t make me feel like I’m roughing it at all. I simply tell our butler Joseph when we’re ready and he fills the hanging canvas bags with some 20 litres of hot water each, which is more than enough to have a proper wash.A few hours later and we’re sitting inside the open-air mess tent, enjoying cocktails as we tell stories of our safari adventures. The sight of over a million wildebeest moving steadily over the rolling savannahs, a grey mass separated occasionally by the tan flanks of Thomson’s gazelle, will forever be engraved in my mind. We couldn’t have experienced such a spectacular congregation and diversity of large mammals anywhere else.

I feel a slight breeze brush across my skin, which causes our tent’s chandelier to tinkle merrily. I walk back into our large, Bedouin-style tent (apparently the lodge has the largest mobile tents in Tanzania) and hug myself in glee. This is safari camping as I’d imagined it – along with some creature comforts like a double bed with crisp linen and fluffy blankets, crystal glassware and a floor draped in Indian rugs. There’s also a sitting area with a daybed inside, should we manage to tear ourselves away from the incredible outdoors.

I love the his-and-hers open-air showers (en-suite, yet still completely private). Despite them being bucket showers, they somehow don’t make me feel like I’m roughing it at all. I simply tell our butler Joseph when we’re ready and he fills the hanging canvas bags with some 20 litres of hot water each, which is more than enough to have a proper wash.

A few hours later and we’re sitting inside the open-air mess tent, enjoying cocktails as we tell stories of our safari adventures. The sight of over a million wildebeest moving steadily over the rolling savannahs, a grey mass separated occasionally by the tan flanks of Thomson’s gazelle, will forever be engraved in my mind. We couldn’t have experienced such a spectacular congregation and diversity of large mammals anywhere else.

What sets it apart

For me, this was a truly authentic safari experience in the heart of Africa. Despite the modern luxuries of butlers, gourmet food and outstanding service and guiding, at the end of the day we’re camping out in the wild, with nothing separating us from the great outdoors other than a canvas flap. It’s a thrilling feeling of merging with the environment. We slept to the sound of grunting ‘gnus’ and woke to the sound of birdsong, feeling safe with a loud horn next to our bed in case of emergency.What makes it even more special is knowing that respect for the land, animals and people is rooted in the camp’s ideology; staying here means living in harmony with the environment. And, like the myriad wildebeest and zebra that cross the Serengeti plains, Serengeti Under Canvas migrates too, to ensure we witness this unbelievable natural spectacle up close.

For me, this was a truly authentic safari experience in the heart of Africa. Despite the modern luxuries of butlers, gourmet food and outstanding service and guiding, at the end of the day we’re camping out in the wild, with nothing separating us from the great outdoors other than a canvas flap. It’s a thrilling feeling of merging with the environment. We slept to the sound of grunting ‘gnus’ and woke to the sound of birdsong, feeling safe with a loud horn next to our bed in case of emergency.

What makes it even more special is knowing that respect for the land, animals and people is rooted in the camp’s ideology; staying here means living in harmony with the environment. And, like the myriad wildebeest and zebra that cross the Serengeti plains, Serengeti Under Canvas migrates too, to ensure we witness this unbelievable natural spectacle up close.

At a glance

  • Luxurious semi-permanent tented camp that moves across the Serengeti. Features 18 Bedouin-style tents (including one family tent) split across two separate, intimate campsites.
  • Mobile camp that follows the Great Wildebeest Migration, private vehicles available (additional cost) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, stargazing, hot-air ballooning (additional cost), Lake Victoria day trip (additional cost) and Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands tour (additional cost).
  • Children over six years are welcome, and babysitting and WILDchild activity programme is available. Children aged 6–12 can participate in game drives at lodge manager’s discretion. One family tent, and daybeds in other tents for children under 12.

  • Luxurious semi-permanent tented camp that moves across the Serengeti. Features 18 Bedouin-style tents (including one family tent) split across two separate, intimate campsites.
  • Mobile camp that follows the Great Wildebeest Migration, private vehicles available (additional cost) and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, stargazing, hot-air ballooning (additional cost), Lake Victoria day trip (additional cost) and Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands tour (additional cost).
  • Children over six years are welcome, and babysitting and WILDchild activity programme is available. Children aged 6–12 can participate in game drives at lodge manager’s discretion. One family tent, and daybeds in other tents for children under 12.

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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