Lobo Wildlife Lodge has been built into the volcanic rocks of the northern plains
Lobo Wildlife Lodge: Our full report
First constructed in 1968, the large Lobo Wildlife Lodge was until recently run by the government, and its old-fashioned, stone structure still remains largely unchanged despite new management. One of just a few lodges in the Serengeti National Park to have really excellent views, this Wildlife Lodge is built in and around the distinctive Lobo Kopje, a large hill of rounded granite boulders that rises from undulating plains of the northern Serengeti.
It's a very photogenic corner of the Serengeti – some of the granite boulders in these kopjies are the size of a tennis ball, others the size of a small tower block.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge's 74 rooms are fairly monotonously placed in a number of square, box-like adjoining blocks. All of the rooms are directly next to one another down long, white-painted corridors, which are often open on one side.
Each room is decorated in the same, no-nonsense 1960’s style: white, stone walls, highly polished wooden floors, twin beds with uninspiring fabrics, and stainless-steel light fittings. The décor largely lacks imagination, but we do enjoy the big glass windows as some have great views. Electronic safes, kettles and hairdryers have also been added to the rooms.
All of the bedrooms at Lobo have en-suite bathrooms, which, like the bedrooms, are functional but dated. Each has a white tiled bath with a shower attachment, a flush toilet and a white basin set into a polished wooden surround, below a large mirror. There are clean towels and complimentary toiletries provided.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge has a dining room, a Moroccan-themed bar and a swimming pool with a stunning location overlooking the plains from quite a height. There's also a very small shop. In these communal areas the designers have often tried hard to incorporate some of the kopje's huge rocks. Integral to the dining room is the trunk of a tree, encased in glass, which reaches up and opens to the roof. We're told that until recently, a leopard used to come down here, in full view of the diners! Meals are usually buffets, and whilst perfectly edible – they won't win any awards for their cuisine. The décor is surprisingly good though with a strong influence from North Africa and Arabia.
The real stars of the show are the scenery and the wildlife. The area has excellent resident game. On a previous stay in the vicinity, over just two nights in September, we saw two separate prides of lion, as well as a fleeting leopard (we're told there are five resident leopards in the area of this large kopje) – plus a large herd of buffalo, a family group of elephants, and plenty of plains game. The best of these sightings were in the very early morning, so get going early here if you can.
The great migration passes through the Lobo area on its way south, down the eastern side of the Serengeti National Park and Loliondo Game Controlled Area, between about October and November. You may also see elements of the migration heading north around there, during August and September. So whilst Lobo works as a game destination all year round, it's particularly worth going to between about August and November. Note that because it's so far to the north of the park, the game-drive roads around here can be marvellously quiet – we had a whole-day's drive north from here, in September, on which we only saw about two other vehicles.
Our viewBeing raised above the surrounding plains may make Lobo rather windswept but it's always spectacular. If you want a good-value base in the north of the Serengeti, and can tolerate run-of-the-mill food and bland room decor, then Lobo delivers – just make sure you come for the wildlife and scenery; not the luxury. That said the main areas all have lots of character and great effort has clearly gone into procuring the furnishings.
Ideal length of stay: Stay at least 2 nights here to explore the surrounding game.
Directions: Lobo airstrip is 2.5km from the lodge.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Packed breakfasts and lunches can be arranged from Lobo Wildlife lodge for those wanting to make the most of the wildlife viewing in the surrounding area. However if you want to eat in the lodge then both meals are served as a buffet with a wide selection available. Breakfast is available between 06:30 and 09:00 and lunch is served between 12:30 and 14:30.
A three-course dinner is available from 19:00. There will be a soup or salad to start, followed by a choice of three mains (one will always be vegetarian), and a desert. Lobo Wildlife Lodge tries to combine international food with local cuisine.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: No drinks are included at Lobo – everything is paid for when you are here. A beer currently costs roughly US$3.
Further dining info: Room service is possible at Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Lobo – and being a large lodge, there are some quite large areas inside that children will enjoy. It's probably one of the Serengeti's more suitable lodges for younger children.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services: Babysitting is available on request.
Equipment: They have cots and highchairs.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Like any area with dangerous game, parents must supervise children constantly when they stay at Lobo Wildlife Lodge. There are some great vantage points on the rocks where you can watch the sunrise and sunset – but at most they have basic wooden fences which are not very secure!
Power supply: Generator
Power supply notes: On 5am – 10am and then 5pm – 12pm. There are plugs in all of the rooms and adaptors are provided.
Communications: There is limited cellphone network coverage at Lobo, but internet access is only in the office, and they told us it was very slow and unreliable.
TV & radio: There is a television in the bar.
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: Hot water is only available from 05:30-09:00 and 17:30-23:30.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: Lobo has links with the flying-doctor service. There is s dispensary and a qualified nurse on site.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Lobo has links with the flying-doctor service. There is s dispensary and a qualified nurse on site.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers around the property and some of the staff are trained to use them.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is not included at Lobo and costs $1–4 per item. Laundry is dried according to the weather.
Money: Lobo will exchange small amounts of US dollars, euros, pounds sterling and Tanzanian shillings.
Accepted payment on location: The lodge accepts cash payment in US dollars, euros, pounds sterling and Tanzanian shillings, as well as Visa and Mastercard, for which they add 5% commission.