Reviews of Olakira Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
66 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Olakira Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
Sundowner and evening meals are deliberately a more communal activity here, and we loved the opportunity to get to really learn about the other guests over dinner. Food was again good quality and plentiful. Conversations were animated and great fun. Definitely a more camp like vibe.
Our manager Zainab looked after us well and the staff were as attentive as ever.
One of the chief attractions of Olakira is arriving at the time of the River crossings, but you are hostages to the thought processes of Wildebeest !. Early rains had resulted in considerable herd movements and we arrived knowing that many thousands had crossed in the fortnight before. Fortunately we had seen a good crossing the last time we were there, and as the numbers crossing had dwindled, we decided that rather than the necessary sitting and waiting that is required to view these crossings, we'd spend more time on game drives and if we caught one so be it. As it happened there were only a small number of small crossings during our stay. Luck of the draw.
Other wildlife sightings were however plentiful in terms of herds, lions and birdlife. We got to watch a very young male leopard for half an hour on the evening of our arrival. Last time we'd seen a fair few leopards, this time we saw many more lions instead. It was a recurring theme that we had completely different experiences than our previous safari, and that in essence is the beauty of it." See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
The tent was comfortable, spacious, and clean and the Olakira staff spoiled us terribly." See all these reviews: 13n in Tanzania
Staff were keen and attentive but were notable less experienced than those elsewhere.
Our guide Juma was good fun and worked hard for us" See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania; 6n in Zanzibar; 1n in Kenya
"Best place for migration and river crossings"
There’s plenty of game here, and we saw active leopards, cheetah, a hyena kill, lions and so on, as well as the awesome hordes and hordes of wildebeest, a spectacular sight in its own right. But, the absolute stand-out experience was the river crossing, and we saw two short ones (half an hour or so), and two mega-crossings of over three hours non-stop, with crocodile attacks both successful and unsuccessful. It was breathtaking and mesmerising. Yes, there is a bit of a vehicle scrum to race down to the banks once the animals have entered the water, but you forget this once you’re in position - and Daniel was always in the right position.
Be aware of how chilly this area can be - you are best off taking a bobble hat/beanie, and several warm layers. Blankets and hot water bottles are provided if you’re under-dressed!
This is a mobile camp, that moves twice a year. Nevertheless, it’s well-appointed and luxurious. The tented rooms are spacious and comfortable, with a nice seating area looking out over the plains. There’s plentiful hot water in the shower, but none in the hand basin, so you have to make sure you order a flask for hand-washing - the camp doesn’t automatically provide this, so we were rather caught out on our first morning.
The camp doesn’t wash any underwear, male or female. There’s no shower cap or hair dryer.
Morning coffee and biscuits are delivered to help with that early morning start. Hot water bottles make the nights comfy, as this area of the Serengeti in august was cool and wet most evenings and nights. You have a dedicated ‘butler’ to look after you and your room. The ten tents are spread out along a long track so, if you’re infirm at all, ask for a low-numbered tent near the central area.
You can have pre-dinner drinks around a nice boma (when it’s not raining), but there aren’t enough chairs, so it’s a bit irritating having to wait for a chair to be found. Dining is at a communal table under canvas, with an open-front, but you can also arrange your own private dining. Dinner is served at 7.45 pm, and there’s not much flexibility about this, meaning that if, as often happened with us, you got back a bit late around 7 pm, it was all a bit rushed (you had a choice of either a shower or a drink round the boma, but not both).
Dinner is a self-service buffet, which isn’t all that convenient, but the food was very good. Lunch was also very nice. We mainly had picnic breakfasts in the bush, which were great fun and delicious. When we had breakfast in the camp, the service was really slow. There’s also a drinks tent, and you can have drinks or afternoon tea there, theoretically at any time, although there wasn’t always a staff member around to serve. Wines here are mediocre.
Staff can be a little over-zealous in their interaction with guests. There is a tendency for an intrusive (but well-intentioned) stream of staff lining up to interrupt your meals with questions about how much you are enjoying the food/safari/lodge/life in general. It would be nice for the management training to address this." See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania
All the accommodation was excellent.
Once again the guides were very knowledgeable, great fun to be with and made our teenage granddaughters first safari experience very special.
The rest of the staff could not have done more to make our stay very very pleasant.
The Mara wildebeest crossings were exceptional and spectacular. Our drivers were particularly skillful in positioning us in perfect places after the "Wacky Races" !!" See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania
"It is hard to imagine a more special place"
But the best thing about this amazing place is the staff. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and nice and made us feel truly special. We were very sad to leave them at the end of our stay. The guides (our personal guide was Lenga) are very knowledgeable and the safari with them is an unforgettable experience." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
Great game drives - our guide (Kaneal, if I'm spelling it right) was very knowledgeable; he got us in very good places to observe what was happening - some domestic life with a pride of lions, the migration of about 400 wildebeest over the Mara River, a lone female lion eating a freshly killed wildebeest - lots and lots of birds --" See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya; 3n in Tanzania
"Great location with excellent guide"
The camp is comfortable, staff is helpful and the food was very good." See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya; 3n in Tanzania
If I ever go back, that's exactly what I would hope for." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 4n in Rwanda
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