The Serengeti Sopa is a brightly coloured lodge in the central Serengeti.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge: Our full report
The Serengeti Sopa Lodge, located in the south-western section of the Serengeti, has a lovely location, spread out along the top of a hill with spectacular views across the Serengeti plains below. It is a large 73-roomed property and is good value and very friendly.
The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is part of the Sopa chain which also includes the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and Tarangire Sopa Lodge. It is a relatively large hotel with all of the facilities you may expect from a place of this size and arguably a bit dated but it is meticulously maintained by the staff and so is always spotlessly clean.
The main areas including the reception, lounge, dining area and bar, are light and airy, with cool tiled floors and decorated in bright fun colours. At the front are large floor to ceiling windows and doors, which make the most of the views over the Serengeti plains below. The main bar has terracotta cement floors, different coloured walls and wrought iron upholstered chairs and tables dotted around. There are large windows on three sides maximizing the fantastic views beyond. Outside is a shady terrace with more tables and chairs. The dining room is large and airy with tiled floors. To one side is a long buffet area where most meals are served.
The Serengeti Sopa also has a small gym, TV room and a curio shop. In front, in a grassy lawned area, is a large swimming pool, surrounded by cream-coloured sun loungers, umbrellas as well as some tables and chairs.
There are two different standard of rooms at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge located in two wings on either side of the main area; with 69 standard rooms and four suites.
The standard rooms are located on two floors and are very similar in style – with the same bright colours used in the main areas. The rooms have a slightly rustic feel to them and are fronted with huge glass windows so that you can make the most of the views. The rooms are quite simple and functional and slightly lacking in African character – but they are spacious and comfortable. The rooms are entered via a lobby with a table and chair as well as a mini-bar, which is filled on request. The bedroom has two double beds with mosquito netting, hanging space for clothes, a digital safe and hairdryer and sliding doors leading onto a balcony. The bedroom also has sisal carpets on the floors. The ensuite bathrooms are decorated in bright blue mosaic tiles and yellow painted walls, with a flush toilet, single basin and a spacious shower.
Eight standard rooms are inter-connecting which is ideal for families or friends travelling together.
The four suites are double-storey and are much larger. These rooms are entered via a lobby, very much like the standard rooms. There is a lounge on the ground floor with a spiral staircase leading to the bedroom and bathroom upstairs. These rooms have plenty of space to relax, including numerous sofas and a vast king-sized bed! There are two balconies in the suite, one off the lounge and another upstairs off the bedroom.
As with the standard rooms, the suites have a mini bar, hairdryer and hanging space for clothes, though they also have a standing fan for hot evenings. The ensuite bathroom also has a huge bath, double basins and large twin showers.
Activities from the lodge include safari drives, which you would do with your own private vehicle and guide, as the lodge does not provide their own guides and doesn’t offer any additional activities.
Our viewThe Serengeti Sopa Lodge is a rather fun and bright, although not very stylish, large lodge. It is located in a great part of the Serengeti – ideal for seeing the migration passing through around May, but has good resident game all year round. The staff here are very friendly and, considering its size, it feels quite personal. It is also good value and family-friendly so for those who prefer the idea of staying in a hotel-style lodge, with all the amenities of a large hotel, rather than a smaller intimate tented camp – this is a really good alternative.
Ideal length of stay: Two to three nights is ideal, especially during the migration, to explore this part of the Serengeti.
Directions: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is a one hour drive (61km’s) from the Serengeti Nabi Hill gate and about 40 minutes (45km’s) from Seronera airstrip.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Sopa Lodges
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is usually served in a buffet style and is of a reasonable standard. It isn't particularly fancy however it is always tasty and very hearty. Most guests staying here spend a full day game viewing in the park and the lodge provides a packed picnic lunch.
The breakfast is always a vast buffet with cereals, fruits, yoghurts and breads. There is also a selection of cooked breakfast items such as bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomatoes and eggs to order.
Lunch is a three course meal, with a few choices for each course. On a previous visit to the Serengeti Sopa Lodge we had choice of chicken wings with a sweet chili dip or soup for a starter. Then the main course was a choice of chicken supreme, fish, a beef burger or tomato pasta. For desert we could opt for either a chocolate mousse or a fruit platter.
Dinner is usually a la carte and served to the table. Occasionally they have special themed nights. On a previous visit we had a really tasty 'Africa buffet' night which included Ethiopian beef stew, chapati, ugali (thick corn porridge) and kachumbari (tomato and onion salad).
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge, but you can expect to pay about US$2 for a beer or US$30 – 40 for a bottle of wine.
Further dining info: Serengeti Sopa Lodge can do room service on request, but there are no phones in rooms so it has to be arranged in advance.
Attitude towards children: Serengeti Sopa Lodge welcomes children of all ages
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge.
Special activities & services: Games are available in the main area and there is also the swimming pool to keep children entertained during the heat of the day.
Equipment: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge has cots and baby chairs and can assist with babysitting from the housekeeping. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge has cots and high chairs. Child minding is available using housekeeping staff. Though parents should note that the staff are not professionally trained in child care. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge can also do special meals for kids.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is very friendly and welcoming towards families, it also has a great pool which children will really enjoy.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: There is cell phone reception at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge and an internet café which charge US$4 for half an hour. WiFi is available in the main areas but not in the rooms.
TV & radio: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge has a TV room with satellite television
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge has a doctor on site which is free of charge. They also have links to flying doctors.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: There are 12 askaris (guards) dotted around the property and are on duty 24 hours. Guests are escorted to their rooms at night in case of wildlife wandering around. A Tanapa ranger is permanently located at the lodge.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers dotted around the main areas and between rooms. There is also an evacuation card in all the rooms with an assembly point indicated. There is also a fire-break around the lodge.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an extra charge.
Money: The Serengeti Sopa Lodge can exchange small amounts of cash.
Accepted payment on location: You can settle your bill at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge in US dollars, British pounds, Euros and Tanzanian shillings cash. You can also use Visa and Mastercard at no additional charge.