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“great camp and location”

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Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
calgary
Level Contributor
64 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“great camp and location”
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We spent 4 nights at Olakira and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Within 30 minutes of landing at the airport we saw a crossing of approximately 5000 wildebeest with only a couple of other vehicles. However, we were shocked when we returned on two other occassions and there was total chaos with vehicles racing to get to the river's edge. Our guide was excellent and he tried to coordinate with other vehicles so that the animals weren't spooked, but it didn't seem to matter to drivers from other companies. The same occured on a leopard sighting, one driver approached to within a few feet of the leopard, scaring the animal, and blocking the view of others. There definitely needs to be some work done with some companies. However, all of the vehicles I saw from Asilia camps were respectful and courteous.
The food at Olakira was good, the service was excellent, lots of hot water for showers, and all of the employees went out of their way to make your stay enjoyable.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CalgaryTravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

We enjoyed three nights of our August, 2014, safari at Olakira camp. This was our family's second trip to Tanzania and wanted more time in the northern area. We were not disappointed. Within 24 hours of arriving, our amazing guide Ebenezer had showed us the big 5 and a migration crossing. Whatever we asked for he delivered. He knew the area so well we even had to rescue another Jeep who had become lost at dusk. The prides of lion, leopards, cheetahs, and rhino were just some of the highlights. The camp was as we anticipated from our pervious stay in tented camps. Samson greeted us every morning and evening with his, "How are youuuuuuuu?" The staff here really seemed to enjoy their job.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank LMK3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Olakira was our third stop in our 50th Anniversary Safari. We started in Ambroseli Serena, then went to Kichwa Tembo, then Olakira, and finished up at Explorians Ngorongoro. The trip was arranged by Maureen Stover at Go2Africa, who was invaluable. Good on ya, Maureen!

We flew from Kichwa Tembo, flying first to Migori, then going by land across the border at Isabania, then catching a plane from Tarime to Kogatende. It took about 4 hours total. The border crossing was easy. BTW, we're too old for Yellow Fever shots, so had a waiver. I don't think that they checked...

We were greeted at Kogatende by Baraka, our guide. He had the coffee, tea, and snacks ready when we got there - after using the toilets. (The sign says Kogatende Airstrip and Toliets ;-)) The vehicle was an open-sided one with three rows of passenger seats, coolers between the seats, and electric plugs for recharging.

Olakira is a mobile tented camp with only nine customer tents, so it is quite different from most of the others. No walkways, just paths. There is a little electricity in the room (solar and batteries), but not enough for recharging. The tent is divided into three parts. Entering the tent, you have a sitting area with chairs and tables. Behind that, there is a bedroom area that is spacious. In the back is the restroom, with a flushing toilet, sink, and... a gravity shower. When you want to take a shower, you let your butler know (or let the guide know when you are coming back to camp) and they bring hot water to your tent and pour it into a bladder above the shower. Our shower did not work well, even after they worked on it. There was just a trickle of water, making it kinda hard to shower. There is a waterproof floor, but it isn't really even, catching my wife out a couple of times.

Morning wakeup came in the form of the Tent Butler quietly asking if it was OK to come in. Then he comes in with coffee, tea, and biscuits for a wakeup snack, sets them up, and leaves.

Olakira doesn't have an electrical fence, so animals wander through the camp. The night before we got there, a hippo wandered through at dinner time, munching his way through the camp. In our pictures, notice the three elephants grazing by the tents. Also, they have the guests go to and from the tents with a guide at night (they call him the Taxi) who is armed. We were in tent #4, very close to the dining tent, so for dinner, we'd just start walking. Before we got 25 feet, the Taxi had seen and caught us. They take it pretty seriously...

The two large green tents (in photo) are the lounge area and the dining room. As there is no outside entertainment, they make their own. Before dinner, everyone meets around a fire for drinks and safari stories, in what they call Bush TV. Then, you go in for dinner, with everyone eating at the same table and the same time. The cook comes out and announces each course. We found this approach to be very enjoyable, as we met the other guests and spent time with them - which did not happen at the other camps.

You can recharge batteries in the vehicle or in the lounge. There is one internet-connected laptop in the administrative area that you can sometimes use.

Food was consistently excellent. I ate several things that I didn't know what they were, and several that I don't usually eat, and it was all excellent.

Olakira is serious about seeing game. It is located within sight of Wildebeest Crossing #7. You can watch the wildes gathering and getting ready to cross from your tent, then blast down to see the crossing itself. We hadn't seen a crossing at Olakira, and, on the last day, they started gathering. They'd go down onto a sandbar, look around, and go back. We went down and watched them for a couple of hours until it got too dark for them to cross, We went back to camp, they decided to cross anyway, and we blasted down just in time to see a great crossing!

The game was simply incredible. We spent hours watching a Super Pride with 22 lionesses and children (the males were lazy that day). They started in a cluster of rocks, where we saw two females. They came down, and the others followed. They kinda half-halfheartedly looked at some wildes about a quarter of a mile away, but lost interest and started to play among themselves. It was hilarious, and they had a ball.

We drove through confusions of tens of thousands of wildebeests several times. We saw a crossing, a male lion roaring at a female who refused his advances, two cheetahs from twenty feet. a lioness walking through a herd of wildebeest as they formed a fifty yard circle around her, sleeping leopards, lots of crocks, elephants, zebras, and giraffes. Baraka was exceptional - knowledgeable, patient, funny - he has it all.

We took a Hot Air balloon ride ($100 more than in the Mara). We had to leave Olakira at 5:30 for a 6:30 takeoff (one of our balloon-mates left his resort at 4:15 ;-(( and drove through the dark to the takeoff site. The balloon is huge, and has a basket that seats 16 customers and the pilot. The basket has four compartments for four passengers each, and you get in the balloon by climbing in and laying on your back. When the pilot is ready, he gooses the burner and the basket rotates 90 degrees and you're upright - and flying. Game viewing from the balloon was OK - lots of elephants and wildebeests, a few lions, and a nice view of Olakira as we flew over. When we landed (in the original, laying down position) with a 19 knot wind, the basket immediately turned on its side and bounced six times - pretty hard - before coming to a halt. They unloaded us, took pictures, and drove us to the breakfast site overlooking the Mara river. Great breakfast with champagne and eggs to order. Oh - and more pictures. And then, off on a game drive!

Olakira was full when we were there - all nine tents - but we never had more than four people in the safari vehicle, and half of our game drives were solo!! It was Fantastic!!

All in all, Olakira was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Fantastic game, great tents, outstanding food, and - Baraka, who is a Super Guide!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Mexico
Level Contributor
150 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We spent two nights here and then moved to another bush camp (Lemala Mara) because Olakira could not accommodate us for our full four nights on the Mara River. So it is interesting to compare our experiences at the two different camps. This camp does not have WiFi but did allow me to use their laptop to communicate with my elderly parents. The tented bedrooms and bathrooms at both camps were very similar, although Olakira had a better system for alerting the camp staff should an emergency occur at night when you aren't supposed to leave your tent without an escort. One of us is very petite and she could not reach the handle to turn on the shower at Olakira without using a hanger to hook the end of it. The food at both camps was similar and good. We had laundry done at Olakira and after we left we discovered that in pressing several pieces with their charcoal fueled iron they had left little dots of ash all over the "clean" items. Luckily the ash washed away when the items were put in our Maytag washing machine at home. We had a private guide provided by our safari company. He commented that he was not well treated by the staff at Olakira and probably would refuse to return there with future clients. He was much better treated at the Lemala camp. As guests we found the service at both camps to be equally excellent. We took this trip to sub-Saharan Africa specifically to stay in a tented camp and this experience did not disappoint us. It was wonderful to wake in the night to magical whoop of the hyenas and the roars of the lions.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank astrobob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, 27 August 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us; we are glad you had such a great stay at Olakira. The proximity of the animals and the sounds of the night are truly amazing.

We will definitely look into the concerns your driver mentioned to you.

Warm regards,
Marleen Haverkamp - Marketing Manager at Asilia Africa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Just returned from four incredible nights at Olakira. Every single member of staff did their utmost to ensure our stay was fantastic. Their friendliness and professionalism contributed hugely to a memorable experience. We had wonderful wildebeest crossings, at which our guide, Nathan, managed to position us in the "pound seats". The game drives were incredible. The food was delicious . The tents were comfortable and beautifully furnished, but retained the "under canvas" feeling of being close to nature. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience. The worst thing about it, was having to pack up and leave at the end of our stay.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elejames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We spent 4 nights with the fantastic staff, guides at this camp! Their passion for excellence and making your time with them the most memorable African experience ever, can not be surpassed!
Our amazing guide 'Nathan' had a sixth sense when wanting to find a particular animal, a most humble & accommodating man.
Highly recommend this camp!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cazzalooma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Charles, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

This camp was the first time we were at a mobile camp and we really felt we were at one with nature. The sounds of nature are all around you all night long but no worries the animals really never bother your tent. Going to sleep hearing the wildebeests is wonderful!! We saw 4 migrations one we could see from our table at lunch time as the camp was quite close to the river. The staff was very accommodating and the food and wine was wonderful! The bucket showers were interesting but happy to have a flush toilet!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cheryl f
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

Property: 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 #13 of 115 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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