Oliver's Camp stands on a sandy ridge in the south-east of Tarangire National Park.
Oliver's Camp: Our full report
In the quiet south-east of Tarangire National Park, beside Silale and Lormakau marshes, Oliver's Camp is a lovely tented camp that sits on a low, sandy ridge. Open from June to the end of March, it is particularly good for game in the height of the dry season, when the marshes attract huge herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. It originally started off as a temporary camp, but was made permanent in 2008.
Oliver's Camp is the sister camp to Olakira, Dunia and Sayari Mara, and offers the same good guiding and a friendly bush experience.
The main mess tent at Oliver's is a cream, open-sided tent which looks out into the surrounding bush and is furnished with comfortable leather armchairs, reclaimed dhow-wood tables and campaign furniture. This all comes together to create a very traditional tented camp, which is stylish but still very authentic. Dining is communal, with everyone seated at one long table, so there is a very sociable and friendly atmosphere to the camp.
In front of the mess tent is a firepit, surrounded by directors' chairs, where guests gather before and after dinner to chat about the day and listen to the sounds of the bush.
Oliver's Camp has ten large tented rooms raised up on wooden platforms, and suspended under thatch. The interiors are rustic but tasteful and practical: chunky furniture made from the timber of former dhows, lampshades adorned with Masaai beads, leather-bound books, tree-trunk bedside tables, solar-powered lights and an open canvas wardrobe. In front of each tent are two sunloungers on the deck where you can relax, read, or perhaps sit and birdwatch with a pair of binoculars.
There are no power sockets in the tents, but you can charge any batteries in the main office. Each tent also has mosquito spray, a radio to contact the office, a torch and a digital safe.
The en-suite bathroom is at the far end of the tent, with no partition. You'll find a single sink set on a heavy wooden table, some space to store your luggage and a flushing toilet. A door leads out to an open-air rainshower which, although designed to look like a bucket shower, is fully plumbed, so there is plenty of hot water. The shower is enclosed by a wooden fence, allowing you to shower while watching the sunset in privacy!
Oliver's has a range of activities on offer. The camp is located in a special wilderness area where walking and fly-camping are allowed, usually on the plains or in the sand river. There are resident guides who can take you out on shared activities, and both walks and game drives are available. If you're making use of the camp's vehicles and guides then walking is included in the cost, but night drives remain an extra cost. The camp has recently bought night-vision goggles for their night drives, to add an extra element of excitement!
Alternatively, you can opt to arrive with your own private vehicle and guide. In this case, walks were charged at US$60 extra per person, and night drives at US$50 extra per person on our last visit in 2011.
You can also arrange to do a hot-air balloon safari over Tarangire National Park from Oliver's; ask us to help plan this into your stay.
Oliver's is a lovely tented camp with a great location in the far south of the park. Even though it is now a permanent camp, it still retains a real bushcamp feel, and has a rustic charm with a luxurious edge. The food, service and guiding here are very good and the camp offers a great wilderness experience.
Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights
Directions: Oliver's Camp is in the southern end of Tarangire National Park. It is a short drive to Kuro airstrip or about three hour's drive to Arusha.
Owner: Property group: Asilia
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food at Oliver's on our last visit in October 2011 was great.
Breakfast consisted of a buffet of cereals, fruit and yoghurts, followed by a hot breakfast, cooked to order.
Lunch is two courses – a buffet main course where guests can help themselves, followed by dessert.
Dinner is a three-course affair. Guests congregate around the campfire for a drink before dinner, where the waiter will announce the menu for the evening. We enjoyed butternut and lemon soup to start, followed by lamp chops served with rice, roasted pumpkin and zucchini, and rounded off with a creamy passion-fruit coulis. All courses were delicious!
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Most drinks are included
Birdwatching: Tarangire National Park is the best park in Tanzania for birdwatching. Avid twitchers will enjoy sitting in the central 'mess tent' at Oliver's and looking out into the surrounding acacias where you might spot flycatchers, superb starlings, morning thrushes, and even a pair of yellow-winged bats!See more ideas for Birdwatching in Tanzania
Walking safaris: Oliver's Camp offers guiding walking safaris within Tarangire National Park - a great way to experience the environment from a different perspective and really appreciate the little things.See more ideas for Walking safaris in Tanzania
Attitude towards children: Oliver's Camp will happily accept children from the age of 6.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Oliver's Camp is a small friendly camp that is welcoming to older children, though parents should be aware that this is a bushcamp and that it is not fenced. Parents should keep a close eye on their children, who are their responsibility at all times.
Communications: Oliver's Camp has internet for office use only. There is usually cellphone reception in the camp, though Oliver's requests that guests do not use their phones in the communal areas.
TV & radio: No
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: The managers and guides at Oliver's Camp are all first aid trained, and the camp has links to the flying doctor service.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Askaris (guards) escort you around at night, as animals do wander through the camp.
Fire safety: There is a firebreak around the camp and all tents have fire extinguishers.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry at Oliver's Camp is included – but it is hand washed so no underwear is accepted. Soap is provided in the bathrooms for this.
Money: There are safes in all the tents for storing valuables.