Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania
At a Glance
Beautiful views to Lake Manyara and the escarpment beyond
Delicious and well thought our meals
Lots of places in the main area to relax - all with lovely vistas
Day trips into the Tarangire National Park
Contemporary safari chic tented rooms
Swimming pool in a stunning setting
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.
To start planning your holiday to Chem Chem
Chem Chem is a chic and contemporary lodge offering guests an incredible relaxing slow safari experience. With a unique surrounding ecosystem and strong cultural elements, Chem Chem provides a unique departure from the standard safari experience.
Chem Chem Safari Lodge is perfectly situated in its own private concession, in an optimum position to explore both the Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. The views from the lodge are sweeping and spectacular; it overlooks the rift valley’s western escarpment and is in the “migration corridor” between the two parks – a fantastic location for some lovely game viewing.
The lodge offers full day game drives into the Tarangire National Park and into Lake Manyara National Park; birdwatching and walks are also a highlight. While some guests will arrive with their own private guide, the guiding at the lodge is of a very high standard.
Accommodation at the lodge is comfortable and stylish – just eight tented rooms, set apart for privacy and each with beautiful views out over the plains in front of the camp. The tents have large private decks on which to relax between activities, and a bathroom with an enormous “egg-shaped” bath. There is also a family room which is perfect for families or for groups of friends travelling together.
For those lazy afternoons between game drives, Chem Chem also has a small bush spa offering massages, pedicures and manicures and other treatments – or just choose to relax by their pool on the comfortable sunloungers.
We were hugely impressed with Chem Chem when we visited – the service was excellent, efficient and friendly and the food was delicious – it’s within easy reach of two great parks and is the perfect place to start your Tanzanian sojourn.
It also combines particularly well with its sister camp, Little Chem Chem, where there is excellent big game to be found and beautiful sunrises to watch.
With just eight luxurious tents carefully designed to complement the lush surroundings, each suite-style tented villa offers an elegant bedroom, reading room, full bathroom, outdoor shower and wooden deck area, perfect for evenings by firelight. Furnished in a contemporary vintage style, the interiors are classically chic, featuring dark woods, earthy colours and natural fibres. One of the tented rooms also has a second bedroom next to it separated by a short walkway - perfect for families.
Children aged 10 years and over are welcome at both the Lodge and Little Chem Chem. No children under 12 are allowed on game walks but a child-friendly nature walk is offered as an alternative. Child minders and special children's activities are available at Chem Chem Lodge.
The discreet service is personalised and geared to your requirements, whether it be a romantic dinner for two in the bush or a relaxing massage under the shade of a baobab tree. Other facilities within the camp include a dining room serving gourmet fusion cuisine, lounge, library, sundeck, swimming pool and an excellent spa. there is also a gym and the rooms all have yoga mats.
Chem Chem offers an unforgettable experience, exploring its private concession in an open 4×4 Safari Jeeps, on foot or on horseback accompanied by a highly sophisticated safari guide. Beautiful private picnics, sunset dinners and barbecues can be arranged on the shores of Lake Manyara or under a baobab tree. You can walk with the Maasai, go Flamingo Watching on Lake Manyara, go animal tracking, go on photographic safaris, do day trips to Lake Manyara, day trips to The Tarangire National Park, Hot Air Balloon Trips, School visits, Helicopter rides, Cultural Tours
Chem Chem - This new camp isn't for Big Five safari-goers it's away from the crowds and designed for folk who prefer to take it easy in the bush. There are almost 10,000 private acres in which to walk with the Maasai, who'll teach you how to creep up on a giraffe before it thunders off, all slo-mo swaying neck and knobbly knees. A pool is hidden in the trees for dips in the afternoon heat; there's a library of amazing photograph books; and horses can be rounded up to gallop the lake shore. Sit at a postcard-writing desk carved from a fallen tree and revel in the flit of multicoloured birds, the rustle of palm leaves, the sight of whirling dust devils in the distance. In the mornings, a silver pot of tea is delivered (with biscuits), you can see game at the waterhole and baby monkeys press their noses up against your tents windows boo!
Set within 400 hectares of private palm forest on the shores of Lake Manyara, separated from Tarangire National Park by a slither of grasslands, Chem Chem safari camp is blessed by its situation. In summer the lake is aflutter with thousands of birds, including clouds of pink flamingos; in winter it is so dry that Masaai warriors, toting silver ice buckets and spears, serve sundowners on its sandy bed. There are two game reserves nearby: 20 minutes' drive away, the elephant-filled Tarangire, and two and a half hours' drive up the Rift escarpment, the Ngorongoro Crater. The Chem Chem safari experience doesn't just centre on game, though; it's about enjoying a 'Slow Safari' and appreciating the surroundings: floating in the small bush swimming pool watching zebra and giraffe, being massaged under shaded thatch with ILA organic products, learning to stalk giraffe with Masaai trackers, hanging out in the eight spacious canvas suites drinking tea from silver pots, lazing on a linen chaise-longue flicking through a book or savouring the delicious cuisine. The owners, Nicolas Negre (a passionate French hunter-turned-conservationist) and Fabia Bausch (a Swiss former financier), have created a place in which peace, ancient landscapes, local people and fine wine are highly valued. Service is sweet and attentive - the staff are villagers - and the interiors calm and natural, from the tree-trunk chairs carved by Negre to the chic, monochrome photographs.
When to go December to February for birds and lush landscapes; June to October for great herds on the Tarangire River.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
I absolutely loved Chem Chem when I visited - it's a beautifully situated lodge with fantastic views over the plains down towards Lake Manyara - the plains are dotted with giraffe, zebra and the odd warthog.
The staff could not have been more charming and efficient - the food was out of this world with delicacies such as the very best Tanzanian beef and supremely wonderful chocolate fondant for pudding with hand made ice cream - we could tell that the chef in residence was benefiting from the training he was receiving from a Michelin starred chef!
We had the most beautiful sundowner on the shores of Lake Manyara, watching the water turn the colour of molten gold as the sun disappeared over the escarpment.
I hugely recommend this to anyone who wants to see a bit more of Tanzania - and would not hesitate to return myself.
Flamingo Watching on Lake Manyara
Harder to predict than the Great Migration, the Flamingo migration is equally incredible to witness as they descend on Lake Manyara in their thousands. An amazing photo opportunity or simply the chance to witness these spectacular birds in their element.
Game drive in Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara is a tiny gem of a national park in Northern Tanzania, famed in particular for its flamingos. Go on game drives here in search of tree-climbing lions, elephants, waterbuck and hippos.
Hot Air Ballooning Over Lake Manyara
For an entirely unique view of the beautiful Lake Manyara National Park, get up before the day is quite born and hop aboard a hot air balloon to rise up with the sun and soar over the wakening bush.
Location & directions
Tarangire National Park, Northern Tanzania
Chem Chem Tarangire lies between the immense savannas of Tarangire National Park and the bird-rich waters of Lake Manyara in its own 4000-hectare private land concession and lies in the “migration corridor” between Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. This fantastic location is perfect for unforgettable walking safaris and bird watching excursions.
How to get there
8-hour 40-minute British Airways international flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. From Nairobi it's then a 1-hour international flight to Arusha Airport. Chem Chem is a 2-hour 30-minute transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport or a 1-hour 30-minute transfer from Arusha.
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