Steeped in the atmosphere of East African safari camps of old, Oliver's Camp is set in a remote sector of southern Tarangire National Park among some of Africa's densest concentrations of wildlife. Established by Paul Oliver in 1992, this camp is for safari enthusiasts who want a genuine wilderness experience in one of the most uncrowded corners of East Africa. After extensive travels through Africa, Oliver settled in Tarangire National Park in 1985, finding what he believed was the perfect spot for his dream safari camp. Wild and unspoiled by mass tourism, his small camp proved very popular, still today delivering incomparable wildlife viewing, deeply local expertise and intimate charm on a very personal level.
Guest relish a slate of adventures: off-road game drives, night drives, walking safaris, bush breakfasts and wilderness "fly camps" are all on offer in this slice of untamed Tanzania, though they're typically off-limits for guests in the busier, more standard national park settings that lie to the north. Though far from the typical Tanzania tourist circuit, this simple yet deluxe tented camp spares nothing when it comes to comfort, from hot showers to gourmet dining. Ten spacious canvas tents have heavy wood furnishings and geometric-patterned woven rugs in a palette of beige, brown, rust and orange, and all have en suite bathrooms with private open-air shower. The camp is partially powered by solar-generated electricity and is designed to blend in with its wild environs, making a minimal footprint on the land that envelops it.
Chem Chem Lodge
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Chem Chem Lodge is secluded within the Burunge Wildlife Management Area between Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks. The intimate outpost lies on the scenic western side of the wildlife concession. Eight tent-style suites flank the main lodge, evoking the spirit of a vintage safari operation. Each spacious canvas tent, set well apart from the others, has a private lake view and incorporates local materials like lava stones and wood. Luxury en suite bathrooms have indoor and outdoor showers, dressing room, dressing gown and slippers. Yoga mats are provided, and private patios are complete with an indulgent day bed. The family suite, which can sleep four adults or two adults and two children, consists of a full suite connected to a vintage-style tented room with two single beds, a rocking chair, small desk, and its own bathroom with indoor shower and dressing room. The two rooms are built on the same platform and are connected via a small wooden bridge.
The lodge's main house embodies the shape of a flamingo with its wings spread for landing. One wing holds the full-service gourmet restaurant and an outside fireplace, while the other wing contains a bar, lounge, fireplace and fully stocked library. Expansive wooden decking offers multiple vantage points around the compound, while the Eagle's Nest viewing tower offers an even more awe-inspiring panorama over Lake Manyara. A swimming pool is hidden in the trees, offering an escape from the afternoon heat, while the Chem Chem Amani Spa offers further modes of relaxation.
Tarangire Treetop Lodge
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Tarangire Treetops sits astride an ancient elephant migration route within a private game reserve. Around the camp, rolling hills studded with baobabs offer striking views of Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley wall. The 20 luxury suites of this boutique-style lodge are perched high up in ancient baobab and marula trees. Each suite is completely open on one side, blurring the division between indoors and out. Constructed of locally sourced natural materials, each lavishly furnished suite features chic, contemporary African décor, an en suite bathroom and a large private deck, the perfect place to relax and soak in the wonders of the mesmerizing landscape. The dining room, reception and lounge areas encase a massive 700-year old baobab tree and overlook the swimming pool and waterhole, the latter attracting a steady stream of wildlife coming to take a drink.
Though Tarangire National Park, known as the “Baobab Capital of the World,” is often overlooked in favor of Tanzania’s more famous safari destinations to the north, it rivals parks like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in terms of spectacular scenery and sheer abundance of wildlife. The Tarangire River courses through the red-dust plains and is the lifeblood for one of Tanzania’s greatest concentrations of animals. Wildlife viewing in Tarangire is superb and is based on the animals’ annual migrations in search of water. Guests have an excellent chance of seeing lion, leopard and cheetah,as well as herds of up to 300 elephants, buffalo, migratory wildebeest, zebra, impala, gazelle, eland, the rare fringe-eared oryx and endangered African wild dog. The park also offers some of the best birding in East Africa. The range of activities available at Tarangire Treetops includes day and night wildlife drives, guided walking safaris, Maasai culture tours and romantic dinners in the bush.
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Shaded by a stand of mature umbrella thorn trees, the 12 tents of Swala Camp merge classic safari romance with the amenities and appointments of a fine hotel. Tents feature a spacious open-plan design and are furnished with comfortable king or twin beds, campaign chairs and plush sofas. Built on raised wooden decks, each tent enjoys excellent views of the camp’s private waterhole, where a steady parade of wildlife including leopard, lion and elephant, comes to drink. The spacious en suite bathrooms provide all the creature comforts, with both indoor and private outdoor showers. Each tent also has its own personal attendant to look after individual guests’ every need.The contemporary main lounge, library, and dining area where sumptuous Pan-African meals are served, are built on a raised platform around an enormous ancient baobab tree. A stunning infinity swimming pool overlooks the water hole.
Though Tarangire National Park, the “Baobab Capital of the World,” is often overlooked in favor of Tanzania’s more famous safari destinations to the north, it rivals parks like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in terms of spectacular scenery and sheer abundance of wildlife. Set in the southwestern corner of the park, Swala borders the Gurunsi wetlands and sweeping savanna with views across the Tarangire River basin, offering the perfect diversity of habitats for world-class wildlife viewing. No serious safari enthusiast should miss the sheer concentration of elephants, plains animals and predators at home in this baobab-studded ecosystem. Activities include twice-daily wildlife drives, visits to a local school and a beekeeping project funded by the camp, as well as breakfasts, picnics, and sumptuous dinners served al fresco. Optional night drives and nature walks are available at an additional cost.
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