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“Fantastic Luxury tented camp”

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Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 September 2013

This is the real bush experience but super luxurious, we were there the first week of Sept. so plenty going on with the wildebeest migration and we only saw other vehicles occasionally except when we were near the Mara river and we saw lots on the congested Kenyan side. The tents are uber lux and it was a fantastic experience!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank doogie75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 - 214 of 357 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2013

We loved this place! Our favorite on our 2 week trip to Tanzania and Kenya. We were steps away from the Mara River (big steps). We saw spectacular sunrises from our luxurious tent. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. We had bucket showers (we called them talking showers as the staff would tell us when they poured the hot water in the containers). It's amazing that in the middle of nowhere the kitchen staff could create such delicious and interesting dishes.
Around the campfire at night we sipped wine, gazed at the stars, listened to the wildebeests and made friends with travelers from around the world. This is the place dreams are made of.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank catjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Set about a kilometre from the edge of the Mara in the middle of nowhere & the centre of everything wild & wonderful. Our tent was luxurious but rustic enough to feel real. The staff were charming nothing was too much trouble. The food delicious. How can they do it in the middle of the Serengeti? Our guide Nathan was brilliant. He found everything from herds of wildebeest crossing the Mara to mother & calf black rhino to leopard up a tree to lion cubs to everything.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vicki F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Olakira Camp is a great camp - however, we were really disappointed in the number of tourists in the Northern Serengeti... I guess we should have expected it given that it was during peak season and the Migration was in town... we were also warned about this by our agent at TrueAfrica so we weren't going in completely blind like some of the other guests staying in the camp..

To be completely honest, we weren't disappointed by the camp at all, more so by the Migration.. we've been on a number of safaris before, and the Migration, while impressive, was over-rated. The sheer volume of wildebeest IS impressive, but this only lasts for about half a day or so, then, the smelly wildebeest and literally swarms of flies do become less enjoyable.

When I spoke to our guide Nathan about this he rightfully said that there was nothing to be done - the wildebeest come for the new grass and on their way to the Masai Mara, and he flies follow them. He said (And I trust him) that the camp and region is much nicer when the Migration isn't actually there - lots of great prides of lion and that it's actually a really good place to see the Black Rhino which is pretty much extinct in Tanzania I am told...

I think if I were to recommend for my friends to visit the Serengeti I would probably tell them to do so when the Migration is in a different area, and that if they want to see the migration, they should do so by watching it on Nat Geo! It's far less smelly.

We have now stayed in a few Asilia camps in Kenya + Tanzania and really think they're top notch, and their recommended safari agent TrueAfrica were also really helpful in organising everything.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NomadicDuo2034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Additional Information about Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa

Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 128 Speciality Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Hotel Class:4 star — Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in the Great Migration at Olakira Migration Camp. You will feel the earth vibrate during brave winter crossings of the mighty rivers in the north, or be moved beyond measure by the mass summer calving on the south's grassy plains. Olakira follows the massive herds of wildebeest to two spectacular locations in the north and south of the Serengeti National Park. Home from December to March is the southern Serengeti, where herds of wildebeest calve simultaneously and the plains throng with new life. As the dry days of winter arrive, Olakira relocates north to the confluence of the Mara and Bolongonja rivers for spectacular game viewing at the Mara River itself and around the Lamai Wedge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa Hotel Serengeti National Park

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