Expect a warm welcome on arrival at the Serengeti Serena Lodge.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge: Our full report
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge sits amongst acacia trees north-west of Seronera, in the Kyabatero Hills. From its elevated position, this 66-room Maasai village-inspired lodge has lovely views overlooking the Serengeti plains.
The main areas are housed in two adjacent ‘rondavels’ (African-style huts) and contain the reception and curio shop. From there, covered stone walkways, flanked by papyrus-filled streams, lead to the rooms, the two-tier restaurant, the lounge and bar. The restaurant is spread across two levels with high-domed roofs and carved pillars. One has a wrap-around outdoor terrace that is covered and very popular with guests when it’s too warm to dine inside. The circular open-air buffet sits between these two tiers and you can see the chefs cooking in the middle; all meals are served from here buffet style. The lounge and bar are housed in a separate building with some seating areas on the mezzanine level. Like the restaurant, they have rustic African-inspired décor.
Stone pathways lead through the acacia trees to the two-storey thatched-roof bedrooms. Each rondavel contains two units: one downstairs and one upstairs. The rooms are semi-circular with stone-tiled floors dotted with African rugs. Twin or double beds dominate the room with carved wooden headboards and African-print bedspreads. There is a dressing table with a mirror above, a luggage rack and built-in cupboards with hanging space and shelves. Sliding glass doors lead out onto a small balcony furnished with two canvas director’s chairs so you can relax and enjoy the views over the Serengeti.
The bathrooms are small and functional with tiled floors, a flush toilet, a single basin with round mirror above and a tiled shower with glass door. White towels, toweling bathrobes and branded toiletries are provided, as well as a hairdryer.
A large semi-circular swimming pool is located in the gardens with views of the Serengeti below. Terracotta-striped sunloungers and umbrellas are provided and there is also a changing room with toilets nearby.
Spa treatments are available at an extra cost, and can be taken in the guest rooms, or in the massage tent near the swimming pool.
Our viewThe Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is family friendly and its central location makes it a good base from which to explore the Serengeti at most times of the year. However, it is also popular with tour groups and can get very busy. Booking here is difficult and sadly over-bookings are common.
Ideal length of stay: We suggest a two night stay to explore this part of the Serengeti
Directions: The Serengeti Serena is 340 km’s from Arusha (about 8 – 10 hours drive) or 60 minutes by air. Seronera airstrip is 27 km’s from the lodge.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Serena Lodges
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: On a recent visit to Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, we didn’t stay long enough to enjoy a meal. However, the manager explained that all meals are served buffet style and are typically as follows:
Breakfast is Continental with a selection of breads, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, and a full English breakfast is also available with eggs cooked to order.
Lunch is a wide choice of soups, salads, stir-fried vegetables, pastas, meat from the grill (chicken, sausage or fish), and curries with naan bread and different varieties of rice. A buffet of desserts and fresh fruit is also on offer.
Dinner is a selection of soups and salads to start, followed by grilled meat, such as pork chops or boerewors sausage, and fish such as Nile perch, as well as beef curry with a selection of vegetables and rice, and pasta dishes with a variety of sauces. A vegetarian option is also available. Dinner concludes with a dessert buffet and a spread of cheese and crackers.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included. Soft drinks start from US$2 and wine ranges from US$30–40 a bottle.
Further dining info: Room service is not available
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Property’s age restrictions: No age restriction
Special activities & services: Early mealtimes can be arranged and baby-sitting facilities are available. The swimming pool is ideal for children and a qualified lifeguard is on hand. Nevertheless, adults must supervise small children.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available as well as children’s games.
Generally recommended for children: We recommend the Serengeti Serena for children. Interleading family rooms are available and the lodge caters well for children of all ages.
Notes: Children will need to be constantly supervised by their parents as the lodge is not fenced and game wanders in freely throughout the day and night.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: WiFi is available throughout the lodge. Cellphone reception is available in the main areas but not in the rooms. Direct dial telephones are available in the bedrooms.
TV & radio: There is a TV in the main lounge as well as in the only suite.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There is a doctor on site. The nearest hospital is in Arusha, which is an hour away by air.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: The lodge has guards on duty 24-hours a day and there is also a resident TANAPA ranger on site.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the main areas as well as at each room.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an additional cost. The cost ranges from U$0.50 for a pair of socks, U$1 for a pair of shorts or a t-shirt to just under U$2 for a jumper or a safari suit.
Money: Digital safes are available in each room. The lodge is able to exchange small amounts of U$ dollars, euros, British pounds and SA rands.
Accepted payment on location: Mastercard, visa and American Express are accepted at no additional charge.