Kubu Kubu: Our full report
Opened in July 2016, Kubu Kubu provides a mix of nature and luxury in one of Tanzania’s best wildlife areas.This permanent tented camp is located on a low hillside with striking views over the Serengeti plains. It has plenty of space and a beautiful infinity pool.
The stylish Kubu Kubu is the more luxurious sibling of its smaller sister property, Kati Kati Camp. Both camps are situated in the game-rich central Serengeti, which we know to be reliably good for viewing wildlife throughout the year. Kubu Kubu is a marked step up from Kati Kati and provides modern accommodation in the form of spacious tented rooms and a large communal area.
Kubu Kubu’s 25 tented rooms are split into 13 double or twin rooms, two quadruple rooms, and five family units (which have two interconnected bedrooms). These are laid out in two rows, with half set slightly further up the hill. Each tented room is well-proportioned, with a couple of comfy chairs and raised deck outside, which overlooks the Serengeti. Despite being decorated in pale creams and neutral tones, we felt the tents were a little dark at times – although the wooden decks act as natural suntraps, which compensates for this.
You can find the usual range of amenities here, including tea and coffee facilities, a telephone and bathrobes. Unlike many other tented camps in the central Serengeti, there is a hairdryer and a water cooler. All tents have a large en-suite bathroom with a flushing toilet and a handbasin, as well as an outdoor shower with hot water and beautiful views.
The main area is a circular thatched structure with a sizeable lounge and dining area, and a flagstone patio at its centre. Despite its size, the lounge at Kubu Kubu has an intimate and cosy atmosphere, with comfortable chairs arranged in small clusters around low coffee tables. In one corner, there is a small library with an array of books and board games and, in the evenings, decorative beaded lightshades help create atmosphere. Friendly staff are on hand to serve complimentary cool drinks and a selection of tasty homemade snacks.
You can choose to dine inside, or weather permitting, on the wooden deck overlooking the swimming pool and the Serengeti plains beyond. We loved the views from Kubu Kubu and, in our opinion, these are some of the best in the central region of the park.
One of our favourite features is the beautiful infinity pool, which helps give Kubu Kubu a “wow factor”. Swimming pools are rare in this part of the Serengeti, and this is lovely place to relax in the heat of the afternoon. Please note that there are no pool depth markings or lifeguard present. Cream umbrellas and sunloungers are dotted around on the adjacent patio and, just behind the swimming pool, a small curio shop sells trinkets and pieces of local artwork.
When we last visited in February 2018, we were told that Kubu Kubu plans to offer some spa treatments, which are likely to be in the comfort of your own room. There is no date set for when these will be available.
The location of Kubu Kubu grants access to the plethora of wildlife that gives the Serengeti its great reputation, and it is a good place to look for cheetah on the open plains. You can choose to explore the central Seronera area, or venture further afield to the more remote southern or eastern Serengeti. The lodge can arrange bush breakfasts and cocktail sundowners on request. An early morning balloon safari is also available at an extra cost, followed by an indulgent champagne breakfast.
With 25 rooms, Kubu Kubu lacks the sense of intimacy and personalised service found at smaller tented camps but it is still undoubtedly very good. If you are looking for a stylish lodge offering a higher level of luxury than a simple bush camp, but with a comparably affordable price tag, then Kubu Kubu could be a great choice.
- Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- We would recommend staying here at least three nights to discover the wildlife of the central Serengeti.
- Kubu Kubu Camp is around a 30-minute drive from Seronera airstrip for those who fly into the park. Most guests will drive here with a private driver guide, as part of a longer safari around northern Tanzania.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- We spent a couple of nights at Kubu Kubu in February 2018 and found the food to be fresh, tasty and plentiful.
Breakfast is a varied buffet of tropical fruits, cereals, breads and pastries, with eggs and pancakes cooked to order. If you are leaving early, then it is possible to take a packed breakfast with you.
Lunch is à la carte when the lodge is quiet or served as a buffet when it is busy. On our last visit we tucked in to range of dishes, which included grilled tilapia (a white fish commonly found throughout East Africa), beef, fragrant rice, tomato pasta and salad. This was followed by rhubarb crumble.
Dinner is served as a buffet and typically features a range of hot and cold dishes; on our visit these included beef stew, fish, spiced lentils, vegetable dishes, rice and buttered potatoes. For dessert, you can choose from a selection of tempting dishes. One night we had a delicious barbeque, with a choice of either chicken or beef.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service is available.
- Drinks included
- All drinks are included, with the exception of premium wines, spirits and Champagne.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Kubu Kubu and there are two quadruple rooms as well as two family tents. When we visited there were a couple of families staying. Older children are likely to enjoy the swimming pool, and the lodge has a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Kubu Kubu has no minimum age.
- Special activities & services
- There are no special activities or services at Kubu Kubu.
- Currently, there are no cots or high chairs available at Kubu Kubu.
- Generally recommended for children
- Good for older children.
- The raised decks outside the tented rooms and dining area are fairly high and, as there is no lifeguard present at the pool, children should be supervised here. The camp is unfenced, and parents should be aware that large animals frequently wander through the area.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Kubu Kubu
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Kubu Kubu have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- We were told that 80% of Kubu Kubu’s power comes from solar electricity, however a back up generator is available. There are UK-style electrical sockets in each tented room.
- Fast WiFi is available throughout the lodge but is restricted to 200MB of data per day unless you choose to purchase more via their network provider. Given that Kubu Kubu markets itself as a luxury safari lodge, we felt that this was a pitifully small allocation and this is only enough to upload or download one or two photographs and look at a few webpages. There are internal phones in the rooms.
- TV & radio
- No TV’s are available at Kubu Kubu.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Kubu Kubu uses two boreholes and a solar pump.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Staff are first-aid trained and there is a medical kit on site. There is a resident doctor at the neighbouring Serena Lodge, and it would take around 1.5 hours to fly to Arusha, where there is a large western hospital.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- You are accompanied to and from your room after dark and Maasai guards are on duty throughout the night.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are present throughout the central area and in the tented rooms.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available at a cost of around $1 per item. This is typically a 24-hour service.
- There are electronic safes in all tented rooms and small amounts of currency can be exchanged, including GB pounds and Euros.
- Accepted payment on location
- Almost all drinks and meals are included at Kubu Kubu. Any premium drinks or extras can be paid for with cash or card. All major cards are accepted, including Mastercard and Visa, although there is a 5% surcharge.
The curio shop does not accept credit cards; it only accepts cash in US dollars or Tanzanian shillings.
Other lodges in Serengeti Migration Area
Alternative places to stay in this same area.