Driving circuit - There are 3 major chains of hotels represented in each of the parks, the best are the Serena hotels, next the Sopa and the Wildlife lodges come a very poor third. These are easily linked by a private driving safari from Arusha. It is also possible to drive into some of the more private camps and lodges and, as a superb way to keep costs down, it is now also possible to mix driving and flying, large and small lodges!
Flying circuits - At the other end of the spectrum there are quite a few, truly world class lodges that have appeared over the last few years. CCAfrica and Grumeti Reserves camps can cost up to $1,500 a night, but there are also camps run by operators such as Asilia and Nomads that offer great value as well as exclusivity, while following the Great Migration. On the whole these lodges are connected with short flights…but a good choice is to look to drive between a few and fly the longer road journeys.
Guideline prices for the north are as follows:
Serena / Sopa hotels as part of a private mobile safari - $550 per person per night on the basis of 2 people or $450 per person per night on the basis of 4 people
CCAfrica (now &Beyond) properties, and the Grumeti Reserves properties are about $900 to $1,500 per person per night.
Asilia and Nomads offer superb Mobile tented camps which track the migration and cost about $700 per person per night.
Usually visited for an afternoon at the start of a safari. Or 2 nights if you stay at The Tree Lodge. A small but scenic park, good for birds and elephant (and occasionally the infamous tree climbing lion!).
The CCAfrica property in Manyara, a beautifully styled luxurious tented lodge set back from the shores of lake Manyara. Generally recommended for a couple of nights...
Guide Price$1,000 on game package * Recommended *
A great small tented lodge on the top of the rift valley escarpment. Perfect base for walking and to see the nearby Manyara National Park.
Guide Price$550 on the basis of a private mobile safari * Recommended *
A good hotel perched on the edge of the rift valley escarpment, a good base for exploring the Ngorongoro Highlands and the nearby park. Has a pool.
Unique and diverse, the Crater, though a “must see”, is surprisingly small once inside and most people find that one day is quite sufficient to drive around. Its size compared to the vast expanse of the Serengeti means that you will see many other vehicles.
The CCAfrica property at the Crater – an incredibly romantic lodge with an inspirational design. This is voted in the top ten hotels on the planet and, in peak season (July and August), has a price tag to match!! Exceptional value in November and March.