Buffalo Luxury Camp is just outside the park boundaries, in an area called Loliondo.
Buffalo Luxury Camp: Our full report
Buffalo Luxury Camp is set in a 60 acre site a short distance into the Loliondo concession, just outside the Serengeti’s Klein’s Gate. As well as game drives within the Serengeti itself, guests who stay here have the added benefit of being able to do other activities such as night drives and walks, which are not allowed within the park boundaries.
Opened in May 2012, this is a relatively new addition to the area, and we came across it by accident on one of our recent trips to Tanzania. There are 20 rooms in total, spread out in rows across the hill - the majority of which are known as “suite tents". Quirky and spacious, these tents are raised on solid stone bases, and suspended under a corrugated iron roof. Bizarrely they have a proper closing door, despite being made from canvas. Inside, colourful rugs cover the timber floors, and animal skin covered cushions and brown leather sofas make the lounge area a comfortable place to relax. Up a few steps, the bedroom area is dominated by a large aluminum framed bed. A luggage rack and some hanging space for clothes are provided. The tiled bathroom is located towards the back of the tent. Each has large bathtubs, with a separate shower, and his-and-her sinks. Hairdryers are provided – although can only be used when the generator is on.
The style of both the bedroom and the bathroom is a little eccentric and individual – which may not be to everyone’s taste, but does make a nice change from the usual bush-camp style.
The five “chalets", located slightly further down the hill, are each named after the “Big Five". These are significantly cheaper than the suites – but in many ways, we actually preferred them! The tents each have their own verandah with a couple of deck chairs set out on, much like the suites. Inside, they are smaller than the suites, with a much more rustic feel. The large bed is made with a wooden frame, the green canvas floor has some dark red rugs spread over it, and a small armchair in the corner gives the room a more comfortable feel. The fairly small bathrooms are at the rear of the tent, separated by a canvas flap. There is a single sink, flush toilet and hot shower here. For the price, we think these rooms are very good value for money.
The main communal areas are a large glass-sided structure set at the top of the plot, with fantastic views down the hill and over into the Serengeti. At the top – the all inclusive bar has a good selection of South African wines, set with a few bar stools and some animal print sofas and coffee tables to relax on before or after dinner. There are a few easels set up should anyone feel particularly inspired by the views! A few steps down, the dining area is laid out with individual tables, although, weather permitting, tables are sometimes set up on the verandah outside.
Game viewing here is likely to be at its best as the migration is heading up to the far north of the Serengeti (around July/Early August) and then again, when the herds are heading down to the Lobo area (around mid-late September into October). The camp is close enough to use it as a base to explore inside the national park itself – but the benefit of staying in the Loliondo area, is that you can also do other activities not permitted within the park itself. Walking and night drives are both possible, and you will be accompanied by an armed ranger and a Maasai tracker. The camp can also arrange for a visit to a local Maasai village for those who want to experience a little of the local culture. One guided walk and one night game drive are included per person in a stay.
Our viewThe views from Buffalo Luxury Camp were certainly spectacular, and the opportunity to do activities such as walking and nightdrives makes it a good alternative to the more expensive Kleins Camp in Loliondo. The individual décor, quirky touches, and comfortable accommodation mean this camp is a good option for those looking for something slightly different than the usual bush-camp experience. Please note, however, that we haven’t experienced the guiding here first hand, so we’d recommended that you visit it as part of a drive-in safari with your own driver-guide.
Ideal length of stay: Stay here for 2 – 3 days to explore this area of the Serengeti, and try some of the extra activities available.
Directions: The camp is 3 miles from Kleins Gate.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Unfortunately, on our last trip to Buffalo Luxury Camp, we didn’t get a chance to try the food here, however, we asked the manager what we could expect.
Breakfast is usually a vast buffet selection with fresh fruit, cereals, and hot items such as eggs and bacon. There is also a selection of teas, coffees and juices.
Lunch is also a buffet selection with a choice of three salads and two meat dishes as well as freshly baked bread.
Dinner will again be a buffet selection, unless the lodge is very quiet, when they will do a set menu.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Most drinks apart from champagne, premium wines and sprits are included.
Attitude towards children: The camp welcomes children.
Property’s age restrictions: There is no minimum age.
Special activities & services: The camp has designed some fun activities for children such as short bush walks, star gazing and identifying animal tracks.
Equipment: There is no special equipment.
Generally recommended for children: Game can and does walk through the camp – so this wouldn’t be suitable for very young children, however, the option to get out of the vehicles and visit local villages, mean that families may enjoy it more than somewhere inside the national park.
Notes: Children must be supervised by a parent at all times as the camp is not fenced.
Power supply: Generator
Power supply notes: Sockets with three square pins, suitable for British plugs
Communications: Sockets with three square pins, suitable for British plugs
TV & radio: No
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There is a first aid kit at the lodge.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: They have askaris and security guards patrolling.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in each room.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: Guests can store valuables in the main office.
Accepted payment on location: Payment for any extras here is in cash only. They accept £, €, Tanzanian Shillings and $US.