Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp: Our full report

Rooms
10 tents
Traveller's rating
Excellent (92%) From 31 reviews
Open
All year

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, 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. Further down from the main area, in a secluded, shady spot is a small deck used for private dinners. On our last visit in July 2013 the camp were building a rope bridge across to this area, but it is currently accessed by steps.

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 is one honeymoon tent and a family tent consisting of two tents joined together.

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$50 extra per person, and night drives at US$50 extra per person on our last visit in 2013.

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.

Our view

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.

Geographics

Location: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

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.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

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

Special interests

Honeymoons: For rustic charm with a luxurious feel, Oliver’s camp is a great destination for a honeymoon to Tanzania. Enjoy a large tented room under a thatch roof, stylish furniture and delicious food. Expect thoughtful touches from the staff, to make you both feel really special.

See more ideas for Honeymoons in Tanzania

Birdwatching: Tarangire National Park is the best park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Avid twitchers will enjoy sitting in the central 'mess tent' at Oliver's 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

Children

Attitude towards children: Oliver's Camp will happily accept children from the age of 6.

Property’s age restrictions: Children under 16 are not permitted to walk in Tarangire National Park.

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.

Infrastructure

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 protection recommended: 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.

Extras

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.

Accepted payment on location: Oliver's Camp will accept payments in cash, as well as Visa and MasterCard, although there is a 5% charge for these cards. They cannot accept Amex or travellers' cheques.