What’s new in Northern Tanzania

Africa specialist, Louisa and worldwide travel specialist Jules, recently returned from exploring the Serengeti and Northern Tanzania including discovering two stunning new lodges, which we are now new additions to our safari offering.

I have just been lucky enough to return from the most incredible adventure to Northern Tanzania. The last time I visited the Serengeti was 2003, so it was incredible to rediscover this pocket of Africa and once more be blown away by the vastness of the landscape and views. I began my journey at Chem Chem, a fantastic lodge which opened last year on the shores of Lake Manyara.

Chem Chem has already started turning heads and appeared on the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2012. The lodge’s tented rooms have been beautifully finished with a stone bathroom boasting an outside shower off to one side.

The lodge has the most beautiful panoramas across the plains towards Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley escarpment beyond. Chem Chem is one of those lodges you really can do as much or as little as you like, the food here was delicious with unusual combinations, which is why I think it is a wonderful place to start a Tanzanian safari.

I spent a very relaxing afternoon sitting and watching zebra and warthog coming down to drink. We then drove down to the lake shore for sundowners – a real highlight as the sun dropped behind the escarpment and turned the flamingo filled lake to gold.

I even tried my hand at a Maasai spear throwing contest… it’s probably quite lucky that my life does not depend on my spear throwing ability as my maximum distance must have been a couple of meters! The Maasai put my efforts to shame by hitting the target perfectly.

Early the following morning, I went for a lovely walk with the Maasai askaris during which they showed me how they make a fire (no matches allowed); we also crept up on foot incredibly close to the resident giraffe who were very relaxed and carried on feeding.

Next stop was Lamai Serengeti which is Nomad Tanzania’s new lodge in the northern Serengeti. Lamai is in the perfect location when the annual wildebeest migration moves north to the Maasai Mara, usually in late July to mid-October and given that the camp’s within reach of the Mara River, you might have a chance of witnessing an exhilarating river crossing. Luckily wildebeest don’t recognise international borders and some of the vast herds stay around the Lamai area, which has very few lodges.

The views from Lamai Serengeti are just stunning over the rocky kopjes and hills to the Maasai Mara beyond. With just 12 tents, the lodge is split between the Main Camp and the Private Camp.

There are several prides of lion that live in the area and the kopjes are a favorite spot for elusive leopards.

We went for a lovely guided walk one evening from the lodge and climbed up onto one of the kopjes for a superb vantage point and were then brought a very welcome gin and tonic sundowner, the perfect end to an action packed trip.

Chem Chem and Serengeti Lamai work well together as a combined itinerary and are wonderful bases from which to experience Northern Tanzania’s wildlife and landscpes and its best and most remote.

For more information on our luxury safari vacations to the Serengeti, contact Louisa and our Africa team on 020 8682 5060.