The Great Migration: the Serengeti mobile tented camps leading the way

By John O’Ceallaigh

There’s a slight problem when it comes to planning a Great Migration holiday in Tanzania and the clue’s in the name: the spectacle moves through the immensity of the Serengeti. A number of safari camps circumvent the issue, literally, by following the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebras and various hangers-on that form this momentous carnival. Launching in September, the latest offering is the Siringit Migration Camp by African safari outfit Mantis. 

The new mobile camp comprises eight high-end tents (two of which can be connected for families or groups) as well as separate dining and lounge tents. Those structures will be erected on raised platforms (rather than laid directly on the ground) to minimise their environmental impact. Each tent will include an en-suite bathroom, on-demand hot water and eco-friendly flush toilets. There’ll be a private verandah ideal for some quiet evening contemplation, and a writing desk should creative inspiration strike – though there’ll be Wi-Fi available throughout the camp too, which tends to hamper productivity I find…

The camp will be stationed in the Northern Serengeti from September to October; in the Southern Serengeti from December to March; and in the Western Corridor from May to June. Rates start from US$1,200 (£860) per night, including full board, return transfers to the closest airstrip and two daily safari drives. 

All serving tourists keen to witness the full intensity of the Great Migration, a number of established mobile safari camps will compete with this new offering from Mantis. Comprising six tents, Nomad Tanzania’s Serengeti Safari Camp will also offer en-suite bathrooms, on-demand hot water and eco-toilets. The fundamentals at &Beyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas are similar, though there’s a greater effort here to go all out in terms of providing a traditional sense of luxury. Private butler service comes as standard, tents are decorated with chandeliers and meals are served on silverware. The camp moves five times a year so is at the heart of the action at pretty much all times. (Rates start from US$810/£635 per person per night.)

Still, for travellers who are committed first and foremost to the idea of staying in a camp rather than following the Great Migration itself, there’s probably no more impressive option in the Serengeti than Singita’s newly updated Singita Sabora Tented Camp, one of a handful of accommodation options provided by Singita in its 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti reserve.

I was massively impressed by the tented camp when I stayed there on what was a truly best-in-class safari back in 2018, but only learned about this new update by chance. I recently recommended the property to a friend who promptly booked a stay and then shared pictures of his accommodation with me. It turns out that Singita has used lockdown as an opportunity to collaborate with designers Cécile & Boyd and GAPP Architects to completely revise the offering – unable to travel easily, the designers oversaw much of the update over Zoom. Finished simply with mesh, canvas and weave, the nine massive tented suites now include private meditation decks and secluded outdoor salas with shaded daybeds. Each offers views of a nearby waterhole and their permanent placement on the site means guests can avail of a more sturdy range of amenities. My friend was frequently wowed by the kitchen’s prowess and made good use of the pool, spa and gym, and occasionally plundered the camp’s help-yourself Guest Deli. Full-board rates at the camp cost from $1,650 (£1,300) per person per night. 

The Great Migration in action. Image: Unsplash
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