Updated: Sep 4, 2020
*Kenya and Tanzania are back open! American travelers can now travel to East Africa. Reports from the ground are that Covid-19 sanitary precautions are in full effect, masking and social distancing are the norm, and travelers are feeling extremely safe during their travels here.*
When you start planning an African safari, one of the most important considerations is where to stay.
Across Africa, you'll find a wide range of accommodation options. Modern hotels. Resorts in the bush. Private homes. And of course, the classic luxury tented camp (which you'll see featured here in our ultimate family safari sample itinerary!)
So what makes these our favorites? They are all small and intimate. Home to outstanding safari guides. Located in wildlife-rich areas. They are the safari experience most travelers have in mind; that Out of Africa experience.
Nothing says luxury like a chic mobile safari camp set up in far-flung, remote destinations away from crowds. Total privacy.
Here are a few of our all time favorite tented safari camps.
Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp - Maasai Mara - Kenya
Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp is owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa it extends an era of luxury and quality and returns to the original spirit and essence of ‘safari’.
Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp provides the romance of safari under cream canvas tents, the style of the bygone era of the twenties, while at the same time supplying the amenities required by today’s modern world travelers and professional guides whose qualifications are the highest in Africa. Offering an abundance of wildlife, a guarantee of privacy, and the highest standards of professional guiding in a luxurious and authentic camping environment.
Here you can enjoy a private canvas bath with bubbles (& bubbles) at sundown, private hikes in the hills with a Masai guide, evening lectures on history and conservation, private Masai Warrior School session (kids love this!), participate in their reforestation efforts, enjoy a private massage and yoga session, and more.
Of course the location can't be beat in a private conservancy (which means you can walk in the bush) adjacent to the Maasai Mara, home to the greatest concentration of big game wildlife in Africa.
Olakira Migration Camp - Serengeti - Tanzania
The mobile Olakira Migration Camp follows the wildebeest migration around the Serengeti, from the epic river crossings in the north to the southern plains where they give birth to thousands of calves each year.
Between June and November, Olakira is in the north to witness the crossing of the Mara River. Here, watch thousands of wildebeest take a leap of faith into the water, facing hungry Nile crocodiles and cantankerous hippos. When the herds are on the move, the air is full of grunting, thudding hooves and billowing dust. From December until March, we move camp to the southern plains of the Serengeti, where the wildebeest go to give birth and graze on lush grass, and predators such as lions and cheetahs gather to prey on the young.
Sarara Camp - Northern Frontier District - Kenya
In the remote Samburu lands of northern Kenya, the peaks of the Mathews Range surge toward the sky, studded with forests of cycads and juniper and surrounded by vast stretches of savanna. Against this primordial backdrop, a solitary cluster of tents sits perched on a hill, their thatched roofs seeming to blend with the bush to become part of the land itself.
This is Sarara Camp, a beautiful tented camp nestled within the pristine the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy.
Near camp, an ancient watering site known as the singing wells draws Samburu families, who meet during the dry season to dig wells for their cattle. Sarara Camp represents a collaborative venture with the local community, and the Samburu are an integral part of daily life here, serving as guides on game drives, bush walks, and village visits. Explore the diverse habitats of northern Kenya on guided safaris by foot, by 4x4, or horseback, and encounter a variety of wildlife, including leopards, zebras, giraffes, and more.