Kusini Camp

Kusini Camp: Our full report

Rooms
12 luxurious tents
Traveller's rating
Average (65%) From 4 reviews
Children
Best for 12+
Open
Closes in April and May

Standing on top of a kopje in a remote and very quiet corner of Tanzania’s south-west Serengeti, Kusini Camp is an exclusive permanent tented camp with 12 luxurious tents. Opportunities for wildlife viewing are excellent, with lion and buffalo regularly seen around camp.

Kusini Camp is very similar to its sibling, Swala Camp in Tarangire. It is one of the more exclusive and remote places to stay in the Southern Serengeti, and offers opportunities for great wildlife viewing. The manager told us that they regularly see lion and buffalo around the camp.

Although we only dropped in briefly on our most recent visit, in February 2018, the staff were friendly and welcoming, and there appeared to be a good atmosphere about the camp.

The camp’s 12 tents, each named after a local bird, are raised on polished wooden decks and nicely spaced out from each other, offering sufficient privacy from other guests. The tents are not huge, but they are perfectly spacious and very comfortable.

Inside, although they’re fairly simple in terms of design and furnishings, they.
are tastefully decorated, with a very large double bed (which can be split into two singles) draped in a mosquito net. Stripy cushions and pale green bedding add a splash of colour, as does the local beadwork hanging delicately on the wall. An armchair and free-standing lamp can be found in one corner, with a dark wooden dressing table and large lockable wooden trunk opposite.

At the back of each tent is an en-suite bathroom, with two basins and, through a separate door, a flushing toilet and plumbed-in shower. You’ll find Molton Brown and Africology toiletries, as well as towelling bathrobes and slippers. Wellington boots and umbrellas are provided for wet days.

Each tent has a wooden veranda at the front, where you can relax on the lounging chairs after a game drive. All of the tents have a good view, of the surrounding bush but tent number 8 – which is often reserved for honeymooners – probably has the best.

The tents are connected by a serious of footpaths to the central lounge and dining area. This is bright and airy, and a relaxing place to sit with a drink, or chat with other guests – or you could draw up a leather stool to the small bar. Bright orange drapes hang from the ceiling above clusters of cream and brown sofas and armchairs, and the walls are tastefully decorated with large wildlife photos and local artwork. There are local handicrafts and maps are on sale in the little gift shop.

Each evening, sundowner drinks and light snacks are served on the beautiful kopje next to the lounge tent. It’s a stunning spot and is definitely one of Kusini’s highlights.

Guests can either stay at Kusini on a full-board package, arriving with your own guide and vehicle, or can fly in and stay on a game package. For fly-in guests, the camp has its own driver-guides and exceptionally comfortable vehicles.

Our view

Although our last visit to Kusini was fairly brief, the staff were friendly and the atmosphere welcoming. The tents are fairly simple in terms of design and furnishings, but retain an air of luxury and comfort. It is worth noting that tsetse flies were quite numerous in the surrounding areas, although not majorly bothersome once you are within the camp’s buildings.

Geographics

Location: Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights

Directions: Kusini is a 15-minute direct drive from Kusini airstrip. A light aircraft flight will take just over an hour to Arusha.

Key personnel

Owner: Sanctuary Retreats

Staff: Camp managers (2018) Van Heerden and Esmerelda Haasbroek

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Although we didn’t have time to eat at Kusini when we last visited in February 2018, the food here is reportedly very good.

Breakfast is typically served from around 6.00am. As well as a buffet of cereals, breads and fruit, hot dishes can be cooked to order.

The lodge will prepare a bush lunch for guests out on game drives, and a packed lunch on your day of departure. For those in camp over lunchtime, a set menu is available from around 12.30pm.

A three-course dinner is usually served from 7.00pm, with a barbecue arranged once a week. The menu changes daily, and lodge prides itself on the variety and quality of the food they serve.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: All drinks are included except premium wines and spirits. Drinking water is supplied in all rooms.

Further dining info: Room service is available on request with advance notice. Special private sundowners can be arranged in advance from US$10pp.

Children

Attitude towards children: Well-behaved and supervised children are welcomed at Kusini, although the managers do not feel that it is suitable for families with very young children, or those with lots of energy.

Property’s age restrictions: No official age restriction, but suggested to be best for children aged 6+

Special activities & services: No special activities or services for children. Children’s meals are possible if arranged in advance

Equipment: No equipment provided.

Notes: Kusini is situated in an unfenced wildlife area, with arge and dangerous game known to walk through the camp. Children must be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Combination of power

Power supply notes: 24-hour electricity and charging points in all tents. There is a back-up generator.

Communications: The camp’s main form of communication is radio, but they have a satellite phone for emergencies. WiFi is available in the common areas.

TV & radio: No.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: All tents have plumbed-in showers and flushing toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a first-aid kit on site and a number of staff members are first-aid trained. The nearest hospital is in Arusha and the camp has access to the flying doctors service.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Askaris (traditional Masaai guards) guard the camp at night, and guests are always accompanied to and from their tents after dark.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are positioned in every tent; there’s also a large fire hose on site.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Complimentary laundry service, returned within same day. Please note that for cultural reasons the camp will not wash ladies’ underwear, but washing powder is provided in the tents for this purpose.

Money: Each tent has an electric safe for storing valuables. No currency exchange service is offered.

Accepted payment on location: Most major currencies are accepted, including US dollars, euros and GB pounds, as well as Tanzanian shillings. Mastercard, Visa and American Express are all accepted but there is a minimum spend of US$50 for card payments and a 5% surcharge. Although it is possible to add staff gratuities to your credit-card bill, we would always recommended leaving these in cash if possible.

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