Reviews of Grumeti River Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Want to go back!
As soon as we landed at Seronera and met Waziri who would be our guide for the next 4 days we knew we would like Grumeti. Whereas other driver/guides were just collecting their guests and getting them into the vehicles as fast as possible Waziri had a proper table laid out for us with tea, coffee, muffins and delicious hippo-shaped biscuits. This was very welcome after our 4.30 start from Nairobi!
The drive to the camp was long (Coastal timetables had meant we had to land at Seronera rather than the airstrip next to camp) but very rewarding. Within the first hour we had seen four bat-eared foxes playing in full daylight, hyenas and the three cats – lion, leopard and cheetah. These were followed by thousands of wildebeest as the migration had started early.
Arriving at camp we were greeted by singing staff and welcomed by manager Mussa who could not do too much for us. We were the only guests for the duration of our stay and were spoilt rotten! They even switched the wifi on early for us one day so that we could book flights for our next trip to Africa.
Rooms have changed substantially since Expert Africa’s last visit and are now decorated in peaceful colours of brown and cream. The big wooden headboards have gone and have been replaced with a modern, minimalist unit housing a fridge and safe. Entrance to the rooms is now through what used to be the shower, providing a useful ante-room including a butler’s cupboard where early morning tea of coffee can be left. We thought this was one of the best rooms we have had anywhere on safari (and we’ve had quite a lot!)
The room was taken care of by Tanu who kept it immaculate and amused us with his little notes wishing us Lala Salaama. We were very impressed when, after discovering we’re wine rather than beer drinkers, our fridge was restocked with wine.
Jackson’s food was delicious though our appetites could not cope with the quantity available – we are simply not used to three big meals a day plus nibbles! I hope my request for two of his recipes went some way to show our appreciation even though we couldn’t eat everything! Dinner was served in a variety of locations, from the main dining area to the lawn by the river (surrounded by lanterns which must have taken ages to set up) to the deck outside our room with champagne – sorry we didn’t fall for the story about the monkeys having wrecked the place to get us back there! John was a wonderful butler who provided excellent service without obsequiousness and was chatty and friendly without being pushy; he struck just the right balance for us.
Although this was supposedly not the best time to visit this area of the Serengeti we saw an amazing amount on our drives with Waziri. Vast numbers of wildebeest, huge, huge herds of topi, big prides of lions, elephants in a strop, a gazelle being born and loads of the usual suspects. Waziri was a great companion and guide and proved an excellent barman for sundowners too! It’s not often you find yourself discussing the future of the EU in the middle of the Serengeti! The one minor downside to Grumeti was that there are a lot of biting insects around, including tsetses, but the fly whisks in the vehicle did help to keep them off.
We would return to Grumeti without a doubt and give it six paws in all categories if the website allowed it!!
Jane awarded it the ultimate accolade by bursting into tears when we had to leave, much to Waziri's consternation!
The setting of this camp is beautiful, with the river and the hippos. The tents were also quiet nice- My suggestion is regarding the poor lighting, specially in the bathrooms.
The service was very good; the food was nice but I didn't get a special attention to my dietary needs.
The game tours were OK, not as good as compared to Nxabeja maybe because there are not so many animals in the area.
If I could go back to deciding the trip, I would have probably chosen another camp in the Serengeti with a better game area, like Kleins Camp or in central Serengeti. However, at the time I did not have the information I now have.
Grumeti River Camp review
A luxurious place but very straight on service.
A wonderful experience in everything and Deo, was the best butler we could of hoped of.
Beautiful setting and excellent service
The camp is in a beautiful setting and has the usual reliable, excellent @beyond standards,h owever the insistence on separate rather than communal dining arrangements is not to our taste.
The visit provided three highlights of our trip to the Serengeti......the black and white colobus monkey, a herd of common eland and a confrontation between an elephant and a group of hippos
Grumeti River Camp review
Magical location on the edge of the Grumeti river next to a hippo pool. The evenings at the camp were amongst the most memorable of our trip - eating by candlelight around a bonfire whilst chefs prepared fantastic cuisine and then a romantic dinner on our private terrace.
Excellent all round lodge - by far the best food of the trip, great location (except how close it is to the airstrip - you are definitely in the flight path), lovely permanent tented rooms that are nicely decorated with local influences and really nice staff.
Balloon flight and hippos, great combination
We spent two nights at Grumeti river camp and we are divided between this and Oliver's as our favourite camp. We loved having hippos in the river outside and watched them whenever we could.
At first we thought that we would find the game drives rather tame as we didn't go very far and we spent a lot of time looking at each group of animals but we came to really appreciate the opportunity to study the animals rather than just tick them off the list of things to see. Robert our guide knew the area very well and showed us hyena cubs in their lair as well as other more usual sights.
The tents are fantastic, the thatched roofs make them very attractive and they are well furnished and comfortable. The food here was the best on our holiday, the cold soups at lunch were particularly delicious, but everything was very good.
A really unexpected treat here was that balloon flights were started in November last year. We thought that we weren't going to be able to have one as we were so far from Seronera so we were thrilled when we arrived to hear that they had become available. It was a fantastic experience and I'm pleased that I was brave enough (having always been scared of heights) to take a ride.
The perfect lodge to stay at the Serengeti
Perfect ranger, Kilian made all his best effort to provide us with excellent game drives, the only thing that we regret was that the migration had already gone to Masai Mara. We met a couple at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge that had also booked for the Grumeti's but in the end their travel agency moved them to Klein's Camp, which considering that Expert Africa team is expert in Africa I could suggest that you would be more aware of these kind of details and try to do something like the couple's travel agency if possible since the price for the Klein's Camp is similar the the Grumeti's.
The service was great! And the staff very friendly! The room's are very cool, but if we compare with the other cc lodges they aren't excellent. Anyway we do feel that it was the ideal place to stay at the Serengeti.
Expert Africa comments
In 2008 the Serengeti’s great wildebeest migration was running substantially ahead of its normal schedule – a little more than a month. So it had completely passed through the Western Corridor, and left, before these travellers arrived here in late July.
This was very unlucky, but the migration is a natural event, and cannot be precisely predicted. We could have tried to move them to Grumeti’s sister-camp, Klein’s Camp, but even if that had been possible … the migration wouldn’t have been there either! In late July, it was in Ikarongo Reserve, where there are no camps, and the extreme north-west of the Serengeti National Park.
Grumeti River Camp review
Underwhelmed at first and disappointed to miss the migration but the camp grew on us and the staff were really good.
Saw some great snakes (Mamba, Spitting Cobras) and Colobus Monkeys which was cool. Loads of Tetse Flies though, especially by the river
On the first night they did a "surprise" gathering in the bush with all the guests which was ghastly and just reinforced that we were staying at a full camp. It was much (much) nicer when we just did sundowners on our own (ie just our vehicle). Side trip to Lake Victoria was good.