Ubuntu Camp: Our full report
Ubuntu Camp is a small, mobile camp in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which moves three times a ...... year to optimise the chance of witnessing the great wildebeest migration. Between late November and March, it is situated on the open southern plains, where the annual migration spreads out to graze. From May to mid-July it is in the western corridor. It then moves to the north of the Serengeti until early November, where it is perfectly positioned to witness the wildebeest crossing of the Mara River.
Ubuntu is typical of a small bushcamp, with a simple set-up and a real wilderness feel. Like its sister camps Olakira and Kimondo, it moves to follow the migration.
The camp benefitted from new tents in 2017 and on our visit in 2018 it was looking great. The seven tented rooms are unpretentious but well-designed, each with a sturdy bed (which can be turned into twins if necessary), and some director’s chairs. The colours are fairly muted, but a couple of patterned terracotta cushions add a splash of character. A nice feature is a serving hatch in the door, where your early morning wake-up drink will be delivered. Windows on three sides of the tent let in plenty of light and the overall feel is simple yet stylish.
At the rear of each tent, there’s a small place to store your clothes, with a dressing gown and some wellies. The en-suite bathroom, separated from the bedroom by a canvas curtain, has a single basin with running water, a flushing toilet and a bucket shower, which is filled upon request.
A new addition in 2018 was a spacious family tent, which is a good choice for families or two couples travelling together. We were impressed, as this is easily one of the largest family tents we have seen in the Serengeti. The two en-suite bedrooms are at either end of the tent, with a large lounge area in the middle.
The canvas-floored main tent has a few director’s chairs, some more substantial sofas and a collection of traditional carved dark wood tables. Terracotta and grey fabrics and wicker mats create a natural feel, while Arabic patterns lend a Moroccan edge. When the canvas sides are pulled back, it is a breezy place to relax during the day. In the evenings, lit only by lanterns, this area has quite a magical feel. If you have some spare time between game drives, a selection of coffee-table books and board games provides some entertainment. There is also a small bar, tea and coffee facilities, and a charging station for batteries.
Meals at Ubuntu are communal and generally take place in the nearby dining tent, or weather permitting, outside under the stars. Eating with the other guests, and sometimes the guides too, makes these sociable and often very interesting occasions. Before settling down for dinner, guests usually meet around the campfire for a well-earned drink and to compare stories and sightings of the day.
Guests at Ubuntu come primarily for the great migration, which is typically found in the southern plains between November and March, then in the western Serengeti from May through to early July, and in the north between late July and October. Some will visit with their own private driver and guide, while others will make use of the camp’s own guides; ask us about the pros and cons of each.
Ubuntu’s small size, unfussy layout, good service and reasonable price tag make it a great choice for those who enjoy a simple, bushcamp set-up and want a good-value base from which to see the migration at various stages.
- Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- Spend three nights at Ubuntu Camp to give you enough time to explore the surrounding area properly, although you may want more during the time of the migration
- When Ubuntu Camp is located in the southern Serengeti, most guests drive here with a private vehicle and guide. When it moves to the western corridor or more remote north of the national park, most choose to fly to a nearby airstrip, depending on where the camp is located.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- We didn't have a chance to sample the food on our visit to Ubuntu in 2018, but the standard of food at its sister camps – Olakira, Dunia, Sayari and Oliver's – has always been excellent.
You can expect a varied breakfast buffet of fruits and cereals, accompanied by eggs cooked to your preference. Alternatively, if you have an early start, then you can take a packed breakfast with you to enjoy in the bush.
Lunch at the camp is served either as a buffet or à la carte, depending on the camp occupancy. This will generally be light and refreshing, and made with lots of fresh ingredients. However, many people choose to take a packed lunch out with them on safari.
The three-course dinner is likely to be of a very high standard, with plenty of flavour.
- Wildlife safaris
- Ubuntu moves throughout the year roughly following the movements of the wildebeest migration, therefore at most time of year this should be an excellent base to catch site of this phenomenon.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Ubuntu Camp is happy to have children aged seven and over.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children must be seven years or older.
- Special activities & services
- Ubuntu Camp will prepare special meals and arrange earlier meal times for children.
- There is no special equipment.
- Generally recommended for children
- Ubuntu is a friendly camp that feels relaxed and unpretentious, and the team will always make families feel welcome. However, parents should note it is also a very wild camp and children should not be allowed to wander around unescorted.
- Children are the responsibility of their parents and should be supervised at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Ubuntu Camp
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Ubuntu Camp 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
- Ubuntu has a back-up generator, and there are UK plug sockets in the tents.
- There is a satellite phone and internet for emergencies only.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or radio at Ubuntu Camp. WiFi is only available in the communal area.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The tents are fitted with bucket showers and flush toilets.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The guides at Ubuntu Camp are first-aid trained and there is equipment for minor injuries at the camp. For more serious cases, the camp would call the flying-doctor service.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Ubuntu Camp is unfenced and big game does sometimes wander through, so the team will escort you around the camp at night. There are Maasai guards on site, who are on guard throughout the night.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in each of the tents.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry, with the exception of underwear, is included; it is handwashed and line dried and, weather permitting, usually returned within 24 hours.
- Ubuntu Camp has no currency exchange facilities. There are electronic safes in each room.
- Accepted payment on location
- Ubuntu Camp accepts cash payment for any extras in US dollars, Tanzanian shillings and euros, although cash is rarely needed here.
Other lodges in Serengeti Migration Area
Alternative places to stay in this same area.