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Witness Nature’s Spectacle: Top 10 Migration Camps in East Africa (2024 Edition)


East African countries Kenya and Tanzania, explode with life during the Great Migration. This natural phenomenon has captivated explorers and wildlife lovers for centuries. Witnessing millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle thunder across the savannas is a bucket-list experience. Choosing the perfect camp from which to witness and enjoy this spectacle can be tough with so many incredible options on offer.

But before we dive in, what exactly is a migration camp? Essentially, it’s a luxurious mobile camp that moves with the migration. Nature has its own rhythm, and these camps follow that. Typically the camp is in the southern Serengeti from November to March. This is the calving season after the short rains when the southern plains are alive with new births. This naturally attracts the predators hoping for an easy meal.

Then the camp is packed up and moves north, usually during the quiet rainy months of April and May. It reopens again in June in the northern Serengeti where the wildebeest migration gathers at that time.

But just because they are mobile does not mean they skimp on luxury.

Alongside “migration camps,” we’ve also included some of our favourite permanent camps with enviable positions right on the doorstep of the migration action at its peak in northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara.

This blog unveils the top 10 migration camps in East Africa

1. Sayari Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania:

Nestled in the northern Serengeti, Sayari Camp boasts luxurious suites and front-row seats to the dramatic Mara River crossings. Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the seasonal migration at the river’s edge. Spend the day watching the thundering hooves and sweeping landscapes before retreating to the cool embrace of the rock pool for a relaxing evening. Another key offering to enjoy is their bush picnic option. (Bonus: Eco-conscious travellers will appreciate their impressive sustainability efforts.)

2. Olakira Migration Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania

Moves with the seasons

Embrace the nomadic spirit of the Great Migration at Olakira Migration Camp. This unique camp boasts nine luxurious en-suite tents that blend seamlessly into the wilderness as a temporary haven. These tents offer an intimate connection with the surrounding wildlife. Committed to sustainable practices, Olakira leaves no trace behind as it follows the herds, ensuring minimal impact on this pristine environment.

This is one of the Migration camps which moves with the seasons. It spends half of the season in the north for the migration river crossing (June to mid-October) and then the other half (mid- November to March) in the Ndutu plains of Southern Serengeti for the calving season.

3. Serengeti Migration Camp by Elewana, Serengeti, Tanzania:

Immerse yourself in the heart of the migration with this tented camp. Witness the awe-inspiring wildebeest herds from your private veranda or embark on thrilling game drives led by expert guides.

Africa wildlife safaris
A herd of common zebras (Equus Quagga) gallopping in Serengeti National Park Tanzania

The camp features 20 luxurious elevated tents, each offering spacious and richly furnished bedrooms, and our personal favorite feature, a 360-degree veranda deck. This unique camp allows you to witness the spectacle unfold in unparalleled comfort

4. Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania:

Situated on the banks of the Grumeti River, this luxurious camp offers breathtaking views and a prime location for witnessing the dramatic river crossings. Its secluded location, in a remote corner of the Serengeti far from the crowds, gives this lodge unparalleled privacy. andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti’s isolation allows for an intimate safari experience unlike any other. Imagine embarking on twice-daily game drives where you might encounter majestic lion prides, cackling hyena clans, or vast herds of resident grazers. But the true highlight awaits – a sighting of the rare black-and-white colobus monkeys, found only in this pristine pocket of the park.

5. Angama Mara, Masai Mara, Kenya:

Perched atop the Olooloogolo Hills, Angama Mara provides breathtaking views of the Mara Triangle and surrounding savanna. Swahili for ‘suspended in mid-air’, Angama offers high-touch safari experiences in one-of-a-kind locations across East Africa. Each of the tented suites is perched along the Great Rift Valley’s edge, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing unparalleled views. Relax in luxurious suites and enjoy exceptional game drives during the migration season. Hot air balloon rides and exceptional garden-to-table dining make this camp one of the most sought-after in Africa.

6. Governors Il Moran Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya:

This luxurious tented camp offers a front-row seat to the Mara River crossings. Nestled amidst the vibrant wilderness of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, Il Moran Camp offers an unforgettable escape for luxury seekers. Part of The Governors’ Camps collection, Il Moran caters to those who crave a touch of exclusivity.

This intimate camp boasts only 10 luxurious tents, each one a spacious haven nestled amongst the shade of ancient trees. Il Moran Camp is one of the few Masai Mara camps which offers three game drives each day at sunrise, late morning and again in the late afternoon.

7. Simbavati Migration Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania

Moves with the seasons

This is the second of our featured Migration camps which moves with the seasons. It spends half of the season in the north for the migration river crossing (June to mid-October). Then after the short rains, it spends November to March in the Ndutu plains of Southern Serengeti. Ready for the calving season.

Simbavati Migration camp offers six en-suite Luxury Mobile Tents with a king-sized bed and views over the Serengeti plains. Being the newest kid on the block in terms of luxurious migration camps on the move, it is also one of the most stylish. In- room facilities include a private viewing deck, coffee and tea-making facilities and an en-suite bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower. So you don’t miss out on comfort by any means.

Simbavati Migration Camp exterior

8. Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge, Serengeti, Tanzania:

Nestled amidst the dramatic Kuria Hills, this lodge offers a unique perspective on the migration. Lemala Kuria Hills boasts a prime location, placing you right next door to the legendary Mara River, forming the border between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Guests can look forward to exceptional dining and The Melengali Spa, in a separate tent, provides a welcome opportunity to relax and enjoy a treatment or two!

9. Lemala Mara/Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania

Moves with the seasons

Lemala Mara/Ndutu is the third of our selection to offer this unique twist on the classic safari experience. A single mobile tented camp that migrates with the seasons, ensuring you a front-row seat to the awe-inspiring Great Migration all year long.

Unlike the others, it renames its camp, so it is Lemala Ndutu in the south.

Lemala Ndutu’s 9 luxurious tents are perched on the edge of a permanent marsh, offering an unparalleled amphitheater to witness the drama of the migration. Nestled in the heart of the Ndutu region, bordering the southern Serengeti, Lemala Ndutu awaits. Picture yourself surrounded by classic savanna landscapes – vast, flat grassy plains teeming with life. This is one of the finest locations in Ndutu to witness the migration unfold between December and March.

Witness the River Crossings (June – October)

As the seasons change, so does Lemala’s migration camp. It rebrands as Mara for its northern location between June and October. Here the 12 tents are set up under the shade of majestic Euclea trees in one of the best game-viewing areas of the Northern Serengeti. The exact location varies each year, ensuring minimal disruption to wildlife.

No matter the season, both Lemala Ndutu/Mara offer high-quality safari experiences with excellent guidance. This ensures you get the most out of your time. Maximizing your wildlife encounters and gaining a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders unfolding around you.

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10. Oliver’s camp, Tarangire, Tanzania:

A little-known fact is that the migration herds spend part of their time as far south as Tarangire National Park.

In the secluded Tarangire, Oliver’s Camp offers an exclusive safari wilderness experience, away from crowds, with some of the best guides in Africa. This camp is truly beautiful, yet it feels rustic and homelike at the same time. Oliver’s offers superb dry season game viewing & walking safaris, providing a real up close and personal safari experience with their excellent guides. Your private deck is the perfect place to sit with a cold drink and enjoy the stillness and serenity of the African bush.

Oliver's Camp

There is a perfect migration camp waiting to welcome you in East Africa. Get in touch with our expert team to select the ideal choice.

Top Ten Migration Camps in East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) was written by Anja of Cedarberg Africa

Anja has spent all her working life in travel and loves to explore new areas. These are some of her personal favourites.

Cedarberg Africa is a specialist tailor-made safari company for East Africa & Southern Africa. We focus on upmarket tailormade safaris for discerning people. We know how confusing and time-consuming it can be to plan a migration safari. So we’ll discuss what you are looking for, weigh up the different options, then put together a unique safari trip just for you. So that you get a hassle-free trip of a lifetime to share with your loved ones

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