Black and white illustration of Tor Saner's headshot
Written by
Tor Saner

Published on: March 28th, 2024

Last modified: July 9th, 2024

Tanzania awakens the senses. A country of beauty and excitement, deep cultural connections and wildlife on a massive scale. There are so many different places to stay in Tanzania; authentic safari camps in National Parks or lavish lodges on private reserves, perhaps you're drawn to riverside lodgings, camps on the shore of a great lake or remote hilltop hideaways.

Tanzania is a country of endless skies and dramatic landscapes. Adventure on safari and in hot air balloons to find the big five, enormous elephants, big cats and The Great Wildebeest Migration. There’s lots of amazing places to stay from mobile migration camps to stylish secluded lodges.

The Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar, along with Mount Kilimanjaro have firmly put Tanzania on the map but delve a little deeper and you’ll find breathtaking hidden gems. For example, the exclusive Singita Grumeti Reserve has no fenced borders so animals roam freely from its neighbour, Serengeti National Park. Adjoining the Serengeti’s southern border you’ll find Mwiba, a private reserve teeming with wildlife. Further south, between Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara is the protected area of Burunge, an invaluable wildlife corridor. Even Zanzibar has its own surprises, scratch the surface and discover private islands and exclusive villas.

To help you decide where to stay in Tanzania we've asked our experts to put together a list of their favourite properties, across the best locations.

Best Places to Stay in the Serengeti National Park

 

Home to the Big 5, Great Wildebeest Migration, thousands of cats and multitudes of plains game. Eternal skies and seemingly infinite grassy plains; the Serengeti National Park is on another level altogether when it comes to epic safari destinations.

Nyasi Migrational Camp

It’s hard to believe this beautiful camp is mobile. Following the wildebeest herds as they migrate and pitching up in one of two possible locations, you’re always in the thick of the action here. We recommend a stay at Nyasi in combination with a camp in a private reserve, away from the crowds – the perfect itinerary for any wildlife enthusiast.

Mila Tented Camp

Year-round wildlife means you can have a productive safari at any time, without the seasonality constraints of following the migration. Visit Mila after May when the rains recede and the hot air balloon flights begin for birds-eye wildlife sightings in remote areas, often inaccessible by jeep.

Wilderness Usawa Camp

Deep in the Serengeti National Park is where you’ll find Wilderness Usawa Camp, a mobile camp that follows the wildebeest migration. The location of the camp shifts as the migration progresses, with a preference for sites that offer easy access to key highlights, like river crossings, but that are also set apart from the more crowded spaces offering you a sense of privacy.

Front view of usawa safari camp bedroom

Serengeti Under Canvas

Operated by andBeyond, Serengeti Under Canvas is an exclusive mobile camp that moves five times each year to follow the pattern of the Great Migration. Each location consists of a private campsite with only nine exceptionally spacious tents. Here you’ll enjoy a private butler service, dining under the stars, scenic game drives and even hot air balloon adventures. It’s also an ideal choice for all ages, with a special family tent and a programme of fun activities for kids.

Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas

Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp

Set on the shores of the Grumeti River, Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp has earned its reputation as one of the national park’s best lodges for wildlife viewing. Each of its 20 elevated tents boasts wood floors, solar-heated water and a private 360º deck, while the main tent offers a lounge and a lovely swimming pool. Head to the river to spot hippos and crocodiles year round, or visit from May to June to witness the first river crossings of the Great Migration.

Nomad Mkombe’s House Lamai

For complete privacy and family-friendly experiences in the Serengeti, it’s hard to beat Nomad Mkombe’s House Lamai. This exclusive-use home is specially designed for families, with room for up to four adults and six kids – not to mention two swimming pools. You’ll have your own expert guide and safari vehicle to explore the park, as well as a personal chef, household staff and even childcare to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible for the whole family.

Nomad Mkombe’s House Lamai

Best Places to Stay in the Ngorongoro Crater

 

One of the world’s largest inactive volcanoes becomes the spectacular backdrop for your safari expeditions. The Ngorongoro Crater’s lush grazing lands and fertile, volcanic soil are a playground for massive rhinos, elephants and the big five. It can get busy here during high season so choose where to stay carefully to get the most out of your safari.

Crater Lodge

Crater Lodge is located dramatically on the rim of the volcano, where baroque chateaux meet Maasai thatch roofs. Serious about their impact initiatives and special touches, this is the perfect place for couples looking for romantic gestures and who are keen to learn about conservation.

Gibbs Farm

Gibbs is a working farm and a sanctuary for busy safari goers. Run by generations of local families since it was established in the early 1900’s there’s a warm, friendly atmosphere. This camp is perfect for families who will love hiking, community visits, biking, milking the cows, baking lessons or coffee roasting – the list goes on.

Entamanu Private Camp

If you want to enjoy the wonders of the Ngorongoro Crater with minimal distractions, consider Entamanu Private Camp. This sole-use camp has four cosy cottages, two of which are specifically meant for families. All of them boast private decks with privileged views of the crater. Entamanu was designed to leave a minimal footprint on the natural environment – and to give guests unparalleled access to its stunning surroundings via game drives and highland walks.

Entamanu Private Camp, Tanzania

Lemala Hamerkop House

Located on the Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate (also known as Kiligolf), Lemala Hamerkop House is an inviting home-away-from-home in Tanzania’s Arusha region. This private four-bedroom house has its own garden and swimming pool, making it an ideal place to stay at the start or end of your safari trip. Your every need will be catered to by the dedicated staff and private chef, and golfers will enjoy access to the country’s only championship golf course.

Lemala Hamerkop House

Best Places to Stay in Singita Grumeti

 

There are no crowds in the Singita Grumeti, but lots of wildlife. The reserve shares a fenceless border with the Serengeti so the animals can roam between the two, but other travelers cannot. Limited guest and vehicle numbers mean your wildlife sightings are almost private.

Sasakwa

Coveted antique furniture, chandeliers, silver candelabras, parquet floors and an infinity pool make Sasakwa the most opulent lodge on our list. Exceptional safari coupled with wellness and wine experiences and community and anti poaching post visits add interesting variation to a stay here. A great all rounder property working for families and anyone looking for a truly luxurious safari.

Singita Sabora

Thousands of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles pass by Sabora during the migration between May and June, attracting predators who are looking for prey. With a focus on excellent cuisine this romantic camp is perfect for couples and anyone looking to experience the migration in total luxury.

Singita Serengeti House

Singita Serengeti House is a sanctuary of comfort and luxury in the remote Grumeti Game Reserve. One of only a few camps in the area, it promises a truly special sense of seclusion and silence. The exclusive-use house includes four guest suites with private terraces, a large swimming pool, a fitness centre, a massage treatment area, tennis facilities, a media room, a fire pit and plenty of other perks – plus all the activities and access of a traditional safari camp.

Best Places to Stay in Ruaha National Park

 

Located in the heart of Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is an off-the-beaten-track destination where pristine wilderness stretches as far as the eye can see. This enormous wildlife area is absolutely teeming with animals – from lions and elephants to giraffes and zebras – but has hardly any visitors thanks to its remote location and low density of safari camps.

Jabali Private House

If you’re going to venture into the wild landscapes of Ruaha, there’s no better home base than Jabali Private House. This is the sister property of the renowned Jabali Ridge camp, offering increased privacy for groups and families. It features three bedrooms, a lounge area and a private plunge pool, as well as a personal chef and butler. You can also take advantage of the spa, library and other facilities at Jabali Ridge, so you really will have the best of both worlds.

Jabali Private House

Best Places to Stay in Mwiba Wildlife Reserve

 

Mwiba Wildlife Reserve neighbours the Serengeti and shares its abundant big cat, plains game and bird population. It’s also beautifully diverse with open plains, rivers, waterholes and rocky outcrops. With restricted visitor numbers you’ll enjoy exclusive wildlife and cultural experiences.

Legendary Mwiba Lodge

This lodge is perfect for nature lovers who want to totally immerse themselves in this ancient land. With close ties to local communities you can learn about those who live here. Treehouse style, on a hill of massive boulders and on the banks of a wide river – Mwiba is all about connections.

View of Legendary Mwiba Lodge set upon the rocks among the trees above the river, Mwiba Wildlife Reserve Tanzania

Best Places to Stay in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area

 

Famous for huge buffalo herds, big tuskers and striking pink flamingos, this area is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream.  The Burunge Wildlife Management Area sits between Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park – an important wildlife corridor and conservation area.

Chem Chem Lodge

Start your day with sunrise flamingo sightings and end with sundowners on the banks of Lake Manyara. Chem Chem also proudly celebrates Maasai culture and invites you to explore their way of life. This intimate camp is perfect for families who want to experience a gentle safari with meaningful cultural connections.

Giraffe walking behind the swimming pool of Chem Chem Lodge, Lake Manyara Tanzania

Little Chem Chem

Little Chem Chem is great if you love elephants; the area is a haven for big tuskers who enjoy the water sources, rich vegetation and understand they’re respected and protected here. A great choice for wildlife enthusiasts who want to experience walking safaris or nighttime game drives, not allowed in the national parks.

Forest Chem Chem

Set in a wooded area, dappled light and cool shade make the exclusive-use Forest Chem Chem comfortable and calm. At the most family friendly safari camp on our list your guides lead you on adventures through the woods to local villages, great lakes and onto beautiful open savannahs. The big tuskers roam here with giraffe, zebra and plains game.

Best Places to Stay in Zanzibar

 

From the bustling capital of Stone Town you’ll travel to your perfect beach villa or stunning private island. Here you can enjoy soft white sands, idyllic beaches, crystal waters and the sight of billowing sails on dhow boats as you relax under the palms. Zanzibar island is easy to get to, yet will feel a world away from your wildlife adventures on the mainland.

Zuri Zanzibar

Explore a labyrinth of jungle pathways, lush green gardens and sandy beaches. With its enviable lagoon location, perpetual high tide and tropical spice farm, Zuri has long been one of our top picks. A great all rounder property, perfect for families or couples looking to enjoy the privacy of the jungle villas, stunning sunsets and great food.

White Sand Villas

Pristine bleached white pathways lead you to the white sand beach, punctuated with green palms and pretty gardens. Private villas with plunge pools and gourmet food will suit couples looking for romance. A sandy playground and separate baby pool will attract families and we highly recommend everyone take a trip on the waves in one of the crystal kayaks.

Xanadu Villas

Private villas with a plunge pool and butler service are perfect for couples looking for peaceful solitude. Spiral staircases, curved walls, archways and high ceilings display Zanzibar’s rich Arabic heritage. An idyllic beach front spa, bathed in cool breezes along with delicious, healthy food leave you feeling refreshed and totally relaxed.

xanadu-villas Zanzibar

Best Private Island Resorts in Tanzania

 

Beyond the velvety sands and turquoise waters of Zanzibar, Tanzania boasts some entirely private islands that are equally idyllic. Whether you’re planning the perfect honeymoon or hoping to end your safari adventure in style, there’s no better way to escape the world for a while and refresh your spirit than spending a few days on one of these isolated oases.

Thanda Island

Thanda Island is located off of Tanzania’s eastern coast, close to Mafia Island. The tiny teardrop-shaped isle has just one private villa and two thatched bandas with room for up to 18 guests total, making it the perfect retreat for a large group or family trip. The decor is bright and airy; the suites are spacious and air-conditioned; and the surroundings couldn’t be more picturesque. There’s even an in-house marine biologist to guide diving and snorkelling trips.

Mnemba Island Lodge

Venture by boat to your intimate private island in paradise – the perfect honeymoon escape.  A relaxed atmosphere allows you to connect to nature in your incredible location. For those who want a memorable adventure we recommend trying scuba diving excursions for an underwater experience you’ll never forget.

mnemba-island-zanzibar

 

Plan your adventure to Tanzania

Whether it's seasonal migration camps or secluded lodge in the mountains, we spend a lot of time researching and testing the properties we recommend to ensure where you stay is as luxurious as possible. Our safari experts bring decades of first-hand expertise, building you an unforgettable tailor-made trip to Tanzania.