Where to Stay in Tanzania: Our Favourite Safari Camps and Lodges
Published on: August 9th, 2022
Last modified: July 27th, 2023
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
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.
Songa Tented Camp
Enjoy front row seats for the famed river crossings at Songa Tented Camp, situated close to the Mara river. In August the migrating animals cross the water to reach Kenya, careering down steep banks and crashing through the waters while crocodiles and lions lie in wait.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a wide river – Mwiba is all about connections.
Best Places to Stay in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area
Chen 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.