Best Lodges in Tanzania

Ultimate Safari Getaways: The Best Lodges in Tanzania

Are you embarking on a journey through the heart of Africa’s wilderness? A safari in Tanzania will leave you spellbound with majestic landscapes and abundant wildlife. You need to ensure that where you relax and spend the rest of your time, when not on a safari, is everything you want.  This guide will provide you with the best lodges in Tanzania so you will have an experience like no other, as experienced as part of my trip to Tanzania.

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Why Visit Tanzania?

Tanzania boasts some of the most renowned national parks and wildlife reserves in the world. The allure of Tanzania lies in its vast savannahs teeming with iconic African wildlife, including the legendary Big Five and many others animals and birds. Whether you’re a seasoned safari enthusiast or embarking on your first African adventure, Tanzania promises an unforgettable experience.

Exploring Tanzania’s Main Safari Parks

Arguably Tanzania’s most famous safari destination, the Serengeti National Park is renowned for its annual Great Migration, where millions of wildebeests and zebras traverse the plains in search of greener pastures. This iconic park offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing year-round.

The breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater, is a natural wonder unto itself. The crater’s unique ecosystem supports a dense concentration of wildlife, making it a must-visit destination for any safari enthusiast.

Known for its large elephant herds and iconic baobab trees, Tarangire National Park offers a quieter, more intimate safari experience. Visitors can enjoy game drives along the Tarangire River, where wildlife congregates during the dry season.

Nestled at the base of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is celebrated for its diverse habitats, from lush forests to expansive grasslands. The park is particularly famous for its tree-climbing lions and abundant birdlife.

As one of the largest game reserves in Africa, Selous Game Reserve offers a remote and wild safari experience in southern Tanzania. Visitors can explore the reserve’s vast wilderness encountering a myriad of wildlife along the way. This was the place I was able to find African Wild Dogs which was the goal of visiting this reserve.

African Lion Ngorongoro

Typical Safari Day

Wondering what a typical day on a safari looks like? Usually your day starts at 6 or 7 am for a morning drive. Once you return back and enjoy a hearty breakfast, the rest of the morning and early afternoon is yours to enjoy at your lodge. Typically you head out on an afternoon game drive around 4 or 5 pm. You will return to your lodge for an enjoyable dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening before you turn in for the night.

Some lodges offer full day excursions when you start, with a hearty breakfast before you head out all day to explore, with a packed lunch. Usually you return to the lodge in the late afternoon to relax and unwind into the evening.

Ensure that your lodge has the activities and amenities that you want as part of your safari experience. Below you will find the best safari lodges in Tanzania, as experienced by myself, or recommended as a top place to stay.

TIP: Book your safari with a tour company to ensure you reap all the benefits of the experience without any stress. I work with a local safari company in Tanzania and I can help you plan your safari trip.

Safari Lodges in Tanzania – Serengeti National Park

Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl

Located deep in the Serengeti National Park, the Seronera Wildlife Lodge offers a luxurious experience. Artfully constructed around a rocky outcrop, using glass and wood elements, it perfectly blends into its surroundings. The pool and scenery you get while relaxing by the pool is spectacular.

Its proximity to several waterholes attracts a wide array of wildlife, day and night, providing guests with unparalleled opportunities to observe the animals in their natural habitat.

The lodge offers local and international cuisines for the buffet style meals and also has an indoor and outdoor bar to treat yourself at the end of your safari exploring day. It was the only place I stayed at that had a coffee/tea maker in the room.

At night, the sounds of animals around the lodge, make you think they are right outside your door. If you are looking for a luxury safari lodge in Tanzania, then this is one of your best options.

Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Kati-Kati Tented Camp

Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl

If you are looking for a true safari experience, then the Kati-Kati Tented Camp is the way to go. This is not one of the luxury lodges in Tanzania, but it was one of the best places I stayed. It’s a glamping experience with comfortable beds in a large tent, amazing meals and right in the middle of the Serengeti.

I loved the unique bucket showers you could take. You pre-arrange when you are going to take a shower. The staff will fill the buckets for you when you are ready. Then you pull a handle to release the water while you shower.

TIP: Shower after the safari, not in the morning, as the water has been sitting in the sun through the day, so the water will be nice and warm.

As soon as it is dark, when you walk to dinner you do so with a flashlight and staff will accompany you back to your tent. Across from the tent is the open savannah, no fences. Once inside you may fall asleep to the sound of lions and hyenas crying in the distance. Truly a unique experience that I highly recommend.

Kati Kati Tented Camp

Serena Serengeti Safari Lodge

Recommended by Kim, Explore Your Bucket List

The Serena Serengeti Safari Lodge is a perfect location for visiting the Serengeti. When you arrive you are welcomed by local musicians and dancers which really sets the stage for your authentic experience at this lodge.

The accommodations are spread around the property and are designed with thatched roofs that look like African huts. Inside the rooms are very comfortable and have private balconies. The entire property is full of African art and natural looking furnishings and the grounds are lush with tropical native plants.

There are many amenities provided including a lovely lounge, pool area, laundry services and an expansive food buffet with cooks creating made-to-order dishes.

The property is surrounded by nature and therefore an escort is required for walking from the rooms to the main lodge at night. Animals do come quite close – we even saw zebras on the front lawn on the morning of our departure!

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge

Recommended by D&J of Make Them All Trips of a Lifetime

Located deep inside the Serengeti National Park, the Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge absolutely blew us away from the moment we arrived. Ideal for spectacular sunsets and game viewing, each of the 25 luxury tents are built on a platform on the slope of a hill, overlooking the Serengeti.

With ample room and high ceilings, each also boasts large canopy beds, ensuite bathroom and private deck. The most luxurious feature for us was the unique and private outdoor shower.

At the main building, the buffet style meals served at the restaurant were plentiful and delicious, and the large terrace offered daily snacks and sundowners, with a phenomenal view.

On the second level, guests could relax in a large infinity pool, or visit the spa or gift shop. The staff were all attentive and welcoming, and after sunset, we were escorted to and from our tents by friendly Maasai Warriors.

The Serengeti is vast, but the game drives did not disappoint. We encountered many zebras, baboons, elephants, gazelle, lions, cheetah, giraffe and large numbers of wildebeests beginning the great migration.

Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge was more than a luxurious place to relax between game drives, it made us fall in love with the Serengeti.

Unique Travel Experience Tip: opt for a hot air balloon safari that offers breathtaking views over the Serengeti landscape.

Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge

Safari Lodges in Tanzania – Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl

Perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, offers a spectacular window into African wildlife in one of the most unique settings on the planet. The lodge provides panoramic views of the crater below, where an abundance of animals live in a self-contained world teeming with elephants, lions, rare rhinos, and a multitude of other species.

Guests can enjoy game drives into the crater, experiencing close encounters with wildlife in a vast, unspoiled landscape. The lodge itself blends comfort with the natural environment, allowing for an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most breathtaking wildlife sanctuaries.

The rooms are spacious with an ensuite bathroom, coffee/tea maker and a verandah or balcony so you can view the crater. This luxury lodge has gym and spa facilities as well as reliable WiFi. Definitely an experience to be at this location with it’s amazing view.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Ngorongoro Coffee Lodge

Recommended by Kim, Explore Your Bucket List

Situated 60 kms from Lake Manyara National Park and with easy access to the Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Coffee Lodge is a luxurious lodge to base when visiting these areas. 

This is a beautifully appointed lodge with very spacious rooms, top-notch furnishings and private balconies. Rooms are a great option for families since most have two beds included. The bathroom has upgraded amenities and provides access to a shower or tub outside. This is a wonderful way to end a long day on safari.

The pool area offers stunning views over a coffee plantation and the grounds in general are lush and host large trees and numerous plants. It is a very serene location for enjoying your downtime.

The main lodge is centrally located and offers comfortable seating for using the onsite wi-fi. There is also a bar and gift shop located in this area. Meals are served buffet style, and the staff is available to bring drinks from the bar. Overall, this is a very well-run location with excellent service.

Ngorongoro Coffee Lodge

Hhando Coffee Lodge

Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl

Nestled on 15 acres of a coffee-growing region near the Ngorongoro Crater, Hhando Coffee Lodge offers guests a serene escape amidst the picturesque landscape. Its unique charm lies in its blend of traditional African architecture with modern comforts, providing an authentic yet luxurious experience. 

Surrounded by verdant coffee plantations, guests can indulge in freshly brewed coffee while soaking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and listen to the baboons calling in the forest. I loved hearing that!

The property includes a lovely swimming pool, albeit pretty cold,  a few open fireplaces to enjoy and beautiful gardens. Your cottage includes an amazing large bathroom, bedroom and private verandah where you can sit and enjoy hearing the birds found in Tanzania.

Hhando Coffee Lodge

Lodges in Tanzania – Lake Manyara / Tarangire National Park

Lake Burunge Tented Lodge

Recommended by Kim, Explore Your Bucket List

Staying in a tented camp rather than a traditional lodge can be an exciting part of your safari. Lake Burunge Tented Lodge has an excellent location close to the Tarangire National Park and from the patio, you will have views through the trees of Lake Burunge.

The tented camp offers large spacious rooms with very comfortable beds and indoor bathroom facilities. The tents offer spectacular views through the mesh walls of your surroundings. And they have a lovely porch on the front to watch the sunset from.

The main lodge has a swimming pool and a wonderful deck where drinks can be enjoyed at the end of the day.  From here we also saw elephants grazing in the mornings. The food here was excellent, offering a made-to-order main dish with a combination of buffet side dishes.

Being close to the water there are many animals nearby and staying in the tents allows you to hear the animals at night. We were awoken one night by a pride of lions roaring loudly only 200m from our tent. This was an experience we will never forget!

Lake Burunge Tented Camp

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Sitting on the edge of the escarpment, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers breathtaking views over the National Park and the stunning Lake Manyara in the distance. This area is a haven for bird enthusiasts, as it is home to over 300 migratory birds including flamingoes.

The lodge blends luxury accommodations with eco-friendly design, ensuring a comfortable stay while minimizing environmental impact. Guests can enjoy guided nature walks, bird watching, and cultural tours, enhancing their safari experience. The lodge has a panoramic swimming pool, a spa and fine dining options that ensure relaxation and indulgence after a day of adventure.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Escarpment Lodge

Recommended by D&J of Make Them All Trips of a Lifetime

Perched high on the rim of the Great Rift Valley, the Escarpment Luxury Lodge is a safe haven overlooking Lake Manyara. With only 16 private luxury chalets, each is very large, tastefully decorated and boasts phenomenal views. In addition to a large four poster bed, ensuite bathroom and shower, tucked away in the forest, our chalet included a deep claw-foot tub, additional outdoor shower and large private wrap-around deck with a view.

After a long, hot game drive in the nearby Lake Manyara National Park, we thoroughly enjoyed soaking in the tub (with the provided lemongrass bath salts) but be weary of the large olive baboons that live nearby and ensure all the doors are always locked.

The main house provides delicious buffet and a la carte meals (plus yummy cocktails) in the main restaurant or on the outdoor deck, but on our first night, we were surprised with a special anniversary dinner. Tucked away on the deck near the outdoor pool, a romantic table was set up just for us. All the staff were outstanding and went out of their way to make us feel special.

We also opted for the bush boma dinner, which included a private Maasai fireside performance and dinner under the stars, inside a large boma shelter. Everything about the Escarpment Lodge was luxurious and relaxing.

Escarpment Luxury Lodge Lake Manyara

Lodges in Tanzania – Selous Game Reserve (Nyerere National Park)

Southern Tanzania is not as commonly traveled as northern Tanzania, but the Selous Game Reserve is a gem and a different experience, not often experienced by many. I only had the opportunity to stay at one lodge in this area.

Selous Kinga Lodge

Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl

Sitting just outside the entrance to the Selous Game Reserve, is Selous Kinga Lodge, a luxurious intimate lodge that provides a connection to nature that is different then exploring the Serengeti. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in a range of activities, including game drives to see elephants, lions, and rare African wild dogs, serene boat safaris on the Rufiji River for bird watching and crocodile sightings, and guided nature walks to explore the rich biodiversity of the area. 

The whole reason I visited this area was with the chance to find African wild dogs and for bird watching, both which were extremely successful!

Kinga Lodge offers amazing food in an intimate setting, serene pool for relaxing, comfortable sitting area to unwind and reliable WiFi. I highly recommend this lodge if you are visiting Selous Game Reserve.

Selous Kinga Lodge

Preparing for Your Tanzanian Safari Adventure

Before embarking on your Tanzanian safari adventure, it’s essential to pack appropriately. Be sure to include lightweight, breathable clothing in neutral colors, a wide-brimmed hat, sturdy walking shoes, and plenty of sunscreen. Additionally, don’t forget essentials such as insect repellent, binoculars, and a camera to capture those unforgettable moments. Ensure you have your safari packing list maximize your safari experience.

Planning Your Dream Safari

Ready to experience the wonders of Tanzania for yourself? Let me help you plan the safari adventure of a lifetime. I work with a local company on the ground in Tanzania, so we can ensure you get a good deal and everything will be taken care of. We will ensure every aspect of your journey is seamlessly orchestrated from accommodations to game drives.

Herd of Giraffes

With a plethora of safari lodges in Tanzania, scattered throughout its national parks, Tanzania offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing and immersion in nature, and these were just a few of the ones that have been experienced and loved. Wherever you decide to go, I promise a safari experience like no other. Prepare to be amazed by the beauty and majesty of Africa’s wilderness!

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