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Best for families with young children, Best for the Ngorongoro Crater, Best for Primate Watching andBest for out-there adventure.

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Mkombe’s House Lamai, Serengeti National Park

Best for families with young children
The majority of safari camps and lodges are not set up for young children, but this exclusive-use sister property to the eight-room Lamai Serengeti was designed especially for them: there are two fenced-off pools (including one for infants and toddlers), the staff cook to order and game drives are when it suits. Set on a rocky outcrop with classic Serengeti views, the simple thatched-roof construction has two suites with rooms for up to six children leading off them, and the stylish interiors — by Arusha-based Joanna Cooke — integrate local crafts. River crossings of the Mara River (July to October) are nearby.


Entamanu Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Best for the Ngorongoro Crater
This Unesco-protected caldera and highland area are home to a dense concentration of game — including the critically endangered black rhino and flamingos on Lake Magadi — and a cluster of safari lodges and camps near its two entry points. Low-impact Entamanu is set slightly apart, but close enough to have astonishing views into the crater bowl and the Serengeti behind (the name means “circle” in the Masai language). The seven tents are furnished in a beautifully simple style that showcases African crafts, and activities include cultural visits and unforgettable Highland walks with a guide, a Masai scout and an armed ranger.


Greystoke Mahale, Mahale Mountains National Park

Best for primate watching
The Mahale Mountains in western Tanzania are famous for their chimps: there are some 800 of them here, around 75 of them habituated. Guests at this spectacular beach lodge on Lake Tanganyika are likely to spot other primate species, too, including red colobus, red-tailed monkeys and vervets. Dhow trips are good for bird watching as well as swimming, well away from the shallow water and encounters with hippos and crocs. The six wood-and-thatch bandas have an upper deck reached by steps carved in an old canoe, and sunset is watched from a bar on the rocks.


Chada Katavi, Katavi National Park

Best for out-there adventure
This six-tent camp is way out west near Lake Tanganyika — guests often have it to themselves. Open from June to end October, it offers a changing wildlife spectacle as the Kakuma River dries up, the plains turn gold, and the remaining pools become increasingly contested by the huge numbers of hippos, while crocs hunker down in riverbank caves. The setup here is beautifully simple and life quickly becomes a mesmerising round of hot bucket showers, bush breakfasts and sundowners around the camp fire. For the full-on experience, opt for a bush walk out onto the vast Chada plain or a night’s fly-camping under the stars.



Lisa Johnson, The Times UK, September 2022

Chada Katavi