northern Serengeti camping


Jul 19th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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northern Serengeti camping

Hi all,
I am trying to organize a one month self-drive safari in August 2013. I have some difficulty finding camp sites in the northern section of the Serengeti for 6 nights of our trip, the rest of our trip is booked. TANAPA informed me that there are no special camp sites available for that time in the northern section of the Serengeti. The area I am hoping to stay would be around the southern shore of the Mara river so I could access the Lamai wedge or do day drives along the Mara river or Bologonja and Wogakuria regions.

I thought of a couple of alternatives and your advise would be very helpful.
1. Camp in the northern section of Lobo region (I think this would be too much driving).
2. Maybe one of the mobile camps would let me utilize their location for camping for a fee??
3. I could use a public campsite at or near one of the park gates in the north? I tried to find this on line but so far no luck...

Any advise/help would be welcome and appreciated. Cheers.
skeenaskater is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2012, 01:28 AM
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Why don't you try camps along the river including Grumeti River Camp, and Kirawira Camp. Check it out. I recommend that because you will also be able to catch the migration.
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Aug 15th, 2012, 05:18 AM
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We are just (2 days) back from Kenya and Tanzania - the migration was in the Western Corridor and (mostly) crossing into the Mara Triangle from Tanzania. The best viewing of the migration was from the Kenyan side - in the Mara Triangle. We drove to the south end of the Triangle and then along the Tanzanian border - along where the white border markings are. From there, we saw tens of thousands of wildebeests. It was very impressive. The migration is late this year - I gather they are normally more in the Mara by now (as they were when we were there in 2009).

We camped at Lobo for 3 nights, and spent one day driving up north towards Kenya - we didn't see much of the migration (many zebra and some wildebeests) but the scenery was spectacular and the regular game viewing was great. I think the migration was too far west for us to see it from there (directly north of Lobo). The drive didn't take as long as we expected - only an hour to the Klein's Gate, where we turned west.

The game viewing in the Lobo region wasn't as good as it had been in 2009, when we saw many lions and some cheetah, but it was lovely and quiet - very few vehicles.

I would consider crossing into Kenya and camping in the Mara. We spent five nights there on a special campsite, and it was fantastic - both the migration and regular game viewing - never seen so many tiny lion cubs. It took us 8 hours to drive from Speke Bay Lodge on Lake Victoria to the Oloololo Gate, but the drive was well worth it.

If you are considering camping the Mara, be warned that they are almost fully booked for August 2013 - have a look here (scroll down the page!).

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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Hi Robin!

Hope you had a great trip. Did you write a report again? I LOVED your last one. Thanks again for the very helpful answers. I have made some progress with planning our trip for 2013, we have booked a Land Cruiser through Fortes and we have booked all our SCS's through TANAPA. Only one problem, no availability as of yet for the very northern part (north of Lobo), so for now we are booked in Lobo for that period but I am hoping something will still come up closer to the triangle. Kenyan side may be a good idea. I was not sure about vehicle fees, border crossings, etc. but I will check with Fortes. Was it busy in Kenya? Good to hear you made it back safely


skeenaskater is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Just checked out the Mara booking site; all booked up for August 2013. I'll keep an eye on it but it does not look promising. Robin; how long do you think it would take to drive from Lobo to the Mara (Tanzanian side)?

skeenaskater is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Sure wish Tanzania didn't steal the Mara name for the northern part of the Serengeti... gets confusing for those unfamiliar. In the Northern Serengeti that you ask about is either the area in/around Kogatende (airstrip) or the Lamai Wedge a bit farther northwest.

From Lobo to the Kogatende area can be 3-4/hrs, depending on how many stops for game viewing along the way.
sandi is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Skennaskater, there are special campsites and public campsites in the Serengeti. The special campsites are used by safari companies for mobile tented camp operations. The public campsites are for campers. I don't think there is public one in the northern Serengeti and, yes, Lobo is too far away from Kogatende and the Lamai Wedge. The border between Tanzania and Kenya is closed within the parks. I assume that would be true, even for self-drive folks. I think you'd have to go out of the park on the west side to the border crossing there. This might be an area where you'll just have to "splurge" and stay at a semi-permanent camp. I recently stated at Serengeti Mara Camp in the Lamai Wedge (heard they had some damage in the recent storms, though) and the EMC Simiyu Camp in the Bologonja area. Both were excellent. There are other camps in the north, but are more expensive.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Thanks Sandi, 3-4 hours would be a bit too far on a daily basis. I was hoping for a place where we could camp closer to the Lamai triangle, even if it was outside the gate near Kogatende. ShayTay, thanks for the info. A camp is for this trip out of our budget. We are maxed out! I have booked special campsites at Lobo but the special campsites in the north were all taken (mostly by the mobile tented camps, I assume).
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