Ubuntu Camp: Our full report
Ubuntu Camp is a small, mobile camp in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which moves two times a year ...... to optimise the chance of witnessing the great wildebeest migration. Between mid-November and mid-March, it is situated on the open southern plains, where the annual migration spreads out to graze. From mid-June to October it is located in the northern Serengeti, where it is perfectly positioned to witness the wildebeest crossing of the Mara River. The camp closes from mid-March to mid-June.
Ubuntu is typical of a small bushcamp, with a simple set-up and a real wilderness feel. Like its sister camp Olakira, 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.
- Dining style
- Group Meals
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Tea and coffee are brought to your room with your early-morning wake-up call.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are included, apart from Champagne and specially imported wines and spirits. Filtered drinking water is provided in all tents.
- 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.
Comfortable, friendly and relaxed, Olakira Camp moves between the Mara River and the southern Ndutu area, in line with the wildebeest migration.
In the northern Serengeti, near the Mara River, luxurious Sayari Camp offers excellent wildife all year – boosted further by the wildebeest migration.
Nomad Serengeti Camp
Serengeti Safari Camp is a well-appointed tented camp that moves several times a year to follow the predicted path of the migration.
Dunia Camp is well located for the migration from December to March, and has excellent game viewing for the rest of the year.
Namiri Plains Camp
Namiri Plains is one of the best camps in the Serengeti and its remoteness ensures a fantastic wildlife experience away from the crowds.
Set high in the kopjes with fantastic views, Lamai Serengeti offers top service and guiding and good migration sightings from Jul-Oct.
Kati Kati Camp
Kati Kati is a small, very simple bushcamp, which is well-positioned to explore the wildlife-rich Seronera area.
Ndutu Safari Lodge
Large and economical, but not luxurious, Ndutu Safari Lodge is well located in the southern Serengeti, so book early to get space.
Serian Serengeti is a mobile tented operation run by Alex Walker which moves between two locations following the wildebeest migration.
Kimondo Camp is based in the remote Lamai Wedge in the northern Serengeti from Jul–Oct, and on the southern Kusini plains from Nov–Mar.
Klein's Camp, in a private area of the northern Serengeti, sets high standards. Activities include walks, nights drives and Maasai village visits.
Serengeti under Canvas
Two of the three Serengeti under Canvas camps move through the Serengeti National Park every few months to follow the wildebeest migration.
Grumeti River Camp
Grumeti River Camp offers a laid-back atmosphere combined with top service, first-rate food, expert guiding and an excellent location.
Lemala Mara-Ndutu is a semi-permanent camp that moves between the north and south of the Serengeti to witness the wildebeest migration.
Lemala Nanyukie is a comfortable and stylish tented camp that opened in 2018 in the central Serengeti.
Lemala Kuria Hills
Lemala Kuria Hills is a luxury permanent camp that is ideally located for wildlife all year around, but especially during the wildebeest migration.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge
The large Lobo Wildlife Lodge has simple, functional rooms in a stunning location. It's a good base for exploring the north-eastern Serengeti.
Lemala Ewanjan is a comfortable and stylish tented camp in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti National Park.
Kusini Camp is permanent, luxury camp located on a beautiful kopje in a quiet, wildlife-rich corner of the south-west Serengeti.
The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is a large, hotel-style lodge and a good family-friendly base from which to explore the central Serengeti.
Kubu Kubu is a contemporary, tented lodge, well located in the central Seronera area of the Serengeti National Park.
Mbalageti is a well-run lodge in a quiet part of the Serengeti's western corridor – an ideal location during the Apr-Jun migration.
Serengeti Walking Mobile
This fairly simple camp offers only walking activities, but it's very well done and combines well with more conventional camps or lodges.
Serengeti Migration Camp is a smart tented camp, good for the wildebeest migration from Jul–Aug, or to explore the Lobo Kopjes any time.
Faru Faru Lodge
On the north bank of the Grumeti River, Faru Faru is a small, chic hideaway in this exclusive corner of the Serengeti.
Serengeti Green Camp
Serengeti Green Camp is a comfortable camping experience, in your own private safari camp and at the heart of a great wildlife area.
Singita Mara River
Singita Mara River Tented Camp is a luxurious camp in the isolated and rewarding Lamai wedge region of the northern Serengeti.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Serengeti Sopa Lodge is an international-style hotel offering good-value accommodation in the central Serengeti, with lovely views of the plains.
Kirurumu Migration Camp
Kirurumu is a rustic tented camp which moves around the Serengeti twice a year to follow the wildebeest migration.
Mkombe's House Lamai
Mkombe's House Lamai is a fully staffed private house in the Wogakuria Kopjes district of Serengeti National Park.
Sabora Tented Camp
Sabora Tented Camp is a smart tented camp – one of the most luxurious, professional and stylish properties to be found in Tanzania.
On a hill looking over the Serengeti plains, Sasakwa Lodge is grand, luxurious safari camp, one of the most opulent properties in Tanzania.
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Seronera Wildlife Lodge is large hotel-style safari lodge in the heart of the Serengeti, offering good value and a great location.
Serengeti Bushtops is a permanent luxury camp in the northern Serengeti, with spacious and private tents with their own hot tubs.
Ndutu Kati Kati
Ndutu Kati Kati is a seasonal tented camp, based in the southern Serenget from Dec-Mar, ideal for the migration as it passes through.
Lake Masek Tented Camp
Ideally located for the wildebeest migration from Dec–Apr, Lake Masek Tented Camp is a good, mid-market safari camp.
Olduvai Camp lies between Ngorongoro and the southern Serengeti plains. It's a good base for the southern plains during the rainy season.
Mwiba Lodge is a luxurious property located on a private concession on the edge of the southern Serengeti.
Four Seasons Serengeti
The Four Seasons Safari Lodge is the only hotel in the Serengeti offering international facilities such as a gym, spa and children’s club.
Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Serengeti Pioneer Camp is a luxurious tented camp in the central Serengeti, styled on African explorers' camps of the early 20th century.
Mara Kati Kati
Mara Kati Kati is a simple bush camp in the northern Serengeti, based from Jul-Oct near the Mara River for the wildebeest migration.
Mara Mara is a smart tented camp in the northern Serengeti, situated on a small hill close to the Mara River.
Nimali Mara is a luxurious safari lodge in a quiet region of the northern Serengeti with good access to the wildebeest migration.
Opened in July 2017, Nimali Serengeti is a smart, permanent tented camp located in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti.
Taasa Lodge is a slightly quirky option offering guided walks and night game drives, which are not permitted in Serengeti National Park.
Set high on a hill, in the Serengeti's western corridor, Kirawira is a relatively large tented camp in the Serena group.
Mbuze Mawe is a comfortable tented camp in a convenient, central-north location when driving through the Serengeti.