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Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
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Reviewed 31 August 2013

We stayed in 3 Asilia camps during our trip. Olakira fell short of the standard. The factors that contributed to this were:
1) Camp was at full capacity (9 tents) So there were 20+ guests in camp because some were triple rooms. Public dining areas and camp fire were crowded and very noisy. Usually in camp we enjoy the nature and hearing the animals, seeing the stars , the quiet nights. But this was something more like a party of drinkers with people speaking loudly trying to out do each other with their travel tales.

2) Tents were too close together to have privacy. We could hear when the neighboring tent was showering and hear every word being said in their tents. So when they were up in the morning, so were we. Like it or not. Try to have an afternoon nap?....Not unless the 3 adults in the tent next to you were too. If you were standing in the dining tent, you could see into the windows of tents 1-4.

3) The camp was near the river which gives a beautiful view. However what no one will tell you in advance is dead wildebeest are rotting in that river and that the odor is strong. Laying in your tent at night you can smell the decay. It is quite stinky. So in this case, the river setting was a negative rather than a positive.

4) Our driver was resident to the camp. Usually that is a positive. But in this case he was too inexperienced. He depended on the radio to tell him where the hot sightings were. And never stopped his vehicle to scan the horizon with binoculars. He had good intentions. But his driving skills, cultural understanding and game spotting was below standard for a camp of this price range.

As for the kogatende region of the Serengeti for game viewing - None of our group would come to this area of Serengeti if we were able to do the trip over again. The reasons for this are:

1) Dead Wildebeest everywhere. The smell is offensive. There are so many dead bodies the scavengers can't eat them all! And of those that weren't dead, many were injured from the crossing. So you see too many limping with broken legs or lying down to die. It is sad. And while it is an unfortunate part of the wildebeest cycle - it isn't pleasant to see. I can't imagine why it is so popular to come see the wildebeest injure themselves and die while crossing the river. Had we known this in advance, we wouldn't have come. It was a big downer to an otherwise great trip.

2) There are so many vehicles roaming the area that you are literally waiting your turn to see a predator. So those poor cats are being followed and watched all day long. When they move to try to hide, they are followed again. It felt like we were interupting and disturbing the nature rather than being a quiet witness to it.

3) The guides are off roading all over the place. They all know this is against the rules and conservation. But seem to be driven toward tips by there guests and are willing to disregard the rules. It is a free for all. And no rangers to be found.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Di D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

This was the most amazing part of our trip to Tanzania. The location was perfect, animals everywhere and the staff was outstanding. The tents are large, comfortable and clean. Everyday the food was delicious and setting for meals fantastic. We say every type of animal, five crossings of the wildebeest, a leopard, giraffe, a pride of lions eating a wildebeest, baby cubs, elephants, hippos, rhinos, cheetahs, zebras etc!! Special should out to our favorite guide Nathan who made the daily drives a time of learning, laughing and wonder!!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Raylene G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Fromt the moment Mesenga picked us up at the airstrip until five days later when unfortunately it was time to say good bye everything was perfect. Olakira Laimai is a fantastic camp, Mesenga a brilliant guide and Richard a fantastic host. The team at Olakira Lamai was wonderful and the cook was a genius. We enjoyed every second of our five night stay. Wildlife was fantastic. We saw several crossings, one lasted over 90 minutes and the highlight was the lion mum with her three week old cubs. Lots of opportunities for great photographs. It was really a pleasure to see the migration from the Tanzanian side, far away from the crowds in Kenya. The true highlight of our trip and one that can make a difference was however the visit to the local school in the village. It appears that we were the first ones that had asked to visit the school. Most visitors arrive by plane but I can only encourage you to visit also the village to get an experience of real life outside the national park. Some kids were scared as they had not seen a car before nor any white kids. We can only encourage those that come after us to do so too. The school looks like a construction site. The class rooms, teachers houses, teachers office, toilets etc. need finishing. We had brought some footballs and school material from Belgium but in addition bought Tanzanian school books for all the kids in the local village store but a lot more is needed. If you are interested in seeing my pictures of the visit to the school please have a look at my website http://www.withinafrica.com/p1045749821

I plan on making a photo book of this trip over the coming weeks. Any profits from the sale of such book will go entirely to support the school. If you are interested please check out my website for any updates.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank arctickids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2013

This Camp is located within sight of migration point number 8 on the Mara River in the Serengeti. It is not unusual for wildebeest that have just crossed the river to linger in the camp. We were so lucky to have encountered the migration within a few minutes of arrival at the camp site from the airstrip. But it is not only the spectacular migration that warrants a visit to the Serengeti. We saw several lions, lion cubs, leopards, hippos, giraffes, and rhinoceros, as well as many of the hoofed animals. (Elephants seemed to be in short supply.) The camp is well organized, with provisions for contacting the staff in the middle of the night and escorts to and from your facility after dark. Moreover, the staff was very flexible in terms of eating times for our family, that included two kids under 10 years of age. This was very much appreciated. The facility is also the launching pad for a balloon ride over the Serengeti.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sanford C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

What can I say, we had an outstanding time at Olakira. We traveled with three generations ranging from 10 to 70 in age and we all loved it.

The pros:

- Camps were very well equipped and beautifully appointed.
- Richard, the manager, is a gem. Anything he could do to make our stay better, he was happy to do.
- The rest of the staff was excellent - the equivalent to Four Seasons in the middle of the Serengeti!
- The food was amazing. We live in NYC and generally do not expect great food when we travel. The chef at the Olakira was excellent and all that weight we lost in our prior two weeks of travel, we gained back!
- The view from the camp was awe-inspiring. Ask them to wake you in the morning with coffee and have them open the front doors to your camp and enjoy the wonderful view - it doesn't get much better.
- Be sure to go to dinner ahead of time to enjoy the camp fire.
All in all, it was fantastic (and we are a tough crowd to please). Cheers to Richard and his staff! Thank you for making our stay so memorable.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank KAL0923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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