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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Thanks Carol, very handy to have. I must say though that we found the cheaper public campsites in Manyara and Tarangira to be uncrowded and perfectly fine.

    In Manyara we stayed at Endabash Public Campsite on the banks of the dry Endabash River in the center of the park. Endabash Campsite is well signposted and mapped, it is only about 15km from the entrance gate. There are flush toilets and cold showers in good condition. We were the only ones there. There are good shade trees but we set up camp away from these as the baboons roosted there at night and we did not want to be splattered with baboon poop. There are apparently public campsites closer to the entrance gate but those areas were far busier.

    In Tarangira Public Campsite No 1, also in the center of the park, is situated about 7km south of the entrance gate and is very good. There are new ablutions with flush toilets and showers. There is supposed to be solar heated water for showering but this was not functioning. Plenty of shade is present and the large site could easily accommodate more than 5 groups. There was only 1 other group present. Public Campsite No 2 (Simba Campsite) is in the north of the park where there was far fewer animals and the campsite was full of tsetse flies.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Indeed Stan, I had the impression that the majority of tour operators left these two parks in the late afternoon so I can well imagine that the public campsites are convenient and not full.
    Although sunrise at Lakeshore was a major highlight for me. But it is a big lake with a lot of shore so probably possible to see from just about anywhere.
    Last edited by Carol28; 2017/11/12 at 02:56 AM.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    There is some further info on Special Campsites in Serengeti here from Monstercruiser:

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...11#post3790311
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Thanks to all for the info in this and other threads. In August I'm planning a trip coming from the west (Ndabaka gate) heading out via the north (Kleins Gate) in the direction of Lake Natron. I've recently been told:
    1) its possible to simply arrive and pay camping, vehicle, park fees at the Ndabaka gate (even by credit card). No need to pre-book at the TANAPA office in Arusha. Is that right?
    2) self drivers can only stay at the public campsites. These would be
    Mbalageti (West), Seronera (central) and Lobo (north). This seems very inconsistent with all the tips and suggestions in this thread. Maybe the person meant that usually the SCS are heavily pre-booked by mobile operators (so as a practical matter you can't stay there) but if you are lucky you can get some bookings for SCS here and there? And if you manage that it seems there's a certain degree of flexibility with the rangers once in the area?

    Slightly off topic but if anyone has an estimate of the driving time from Lobo to Lake Natron via Kleins Gate and any decent spots to camp along the way that would be appreciated.

    GC

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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golf Charlie View Post

    self drivers can only stay at the public campsites.


    GC
    Don’t know where you heard this “fake news”, but fake it is...

    You do realise, don’t you, that the migration will be in the Maasai Mara in Kenya (or at least the very north of the Serengeti) in August?

    In August, it is pretty likely that you will be able to camp at most of the special campsites in the central and southern Serengeti as any mobile operators will have booked the special campsites in the north as that is where the herds will be. As for booking at Ndabaka gate, I don’t really know, but they are likely to send you to the HQ at Seronera where you ought to be able to book and pay for those special campsites available.

    As for timings between Lobo and Lake Natron, there is a recent report on this forum of exactly this. Look for it. As you will find out once you have done your research, there is nowhere to overnight between these places apart from bush camping - which will have land ownership and possibly security concerns. This is a rough, remote route as you will see when you read the latest report. Also, I presume you know that the land to the east of the Serengeti bordering Kenya to the north is a game reserve where hunting is allowed. There was (and continues to be) huge controversy over the leasing of this game reserve for hunting to a Middle Eastern family.

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  8. #46
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    I agree with what my expert friend WW has to stay above. I have quite a bit of additional advice.

    Currently the park has 6 public campsites around the crowded central Seronera zone with variably rundown facilities including kitchen, washrooms, dining, concrete trails, parking area and enough camping ground. These campsites are namely Dikdik, Nyani, Tumbili, Nguchiro, Pimbi and Ngiri. Dikdik is apparently usually the best if not too crowded.

    Further north there is Lobo public campsite and in the Western zone Ndabaka public campsite at the gate (I think). Lobo is usually not too crowded and there is no burning need to seek a special camp in that vicinity but look into it. I do not know of the public campsite at Mbalageti in the west, although there is a lodge there.


    Also there are 108 special campsites at Serengeti in the Central, Eastern, Western and Southern zone of which all bookings are most easily done in advance through Tanzania National Parks Head (TANAPA) office in Arusha. The problem is that all of the most popular sites closest to the migration are usually already booked out by the private operators with their mobile tented camps.


    One can swop between bookings for public campsites (US$ 30pppd+18%VAT) for special campsites (US50$pppd +18%vat), perhaps book public campsites at Ndabaka gate ranger post at Western entrance and at the main Serondela HQ ranger post centrally, upgrade from a public site to a special site. This can usually be arranged there but they do not always have accurate information on what is currently occupied in their district, although they are supposed to. We found it best to book at the main parks board (TANAPA) offices in central Arusha. This is the center that controls these bookings and they know which are supposedly vacant. The problem is that they do not know where some of the campsites are located, not even the vague region within the park. The problem is that these special campsites are continually opening, closing and moving and their names are continually changing. Obtain the latest Giovanni Tombazzi map which you can buy off the internet and has most of the special campsites accurately named and mapped out and it will be handy to have with you when booking to ensure you are booking what you are looking for (www.gtmaps.com).

    I am not sure if special campsites can be booked at Ndabaka, but suspect so. If not book public campsites and upgrade at the park HQ at Seronera as mentioned. Don’t take a chance with staying in un-booked special campsites as the park officials do checks of your booking slips and if they catch you out there will be a hefty fine.

    The public campsites are usual crowded and the facilities are poor. Rather pay the extra 20US$ppd (+18%VAT). These sites enable one to get away from the maddening crowds. A special campsite is entirely on its own, for your private use and has no ablution facilities and is completely un-fenced. You live right amongst the animals and will have a fantastic experience far away from the myriads of lodge game viewing vehicles which mainly do not venture more than 10km from the bulk of the lodges which are in the central Seronera region.

    To ensure decent bookings, if you are sure of your dates for the special campsites, bookings can be done in advance for you by a local tour company in Arusha. Someone else gave a good report using Mauly Tours in Moshi and Arusha (www.mauly-tours.com). I gather there are a number available in Arusha that are very reliable.


    If you are fixed on seeing the wildebeest migration they will all likely to be in the far north of Serengeti and most will probably have already crossed to the Maasai Mara in Kenya which you cannot enter directly from Serengeti. However some years the migration can be a month or two late and you may be lucky. If you can manage to see the migration crossings this would certainly be an absolute highlight and if they are delayed further south still within northern Serengeti, you may want to look at special campsite in the north such as Kogatende, there are others north of Lobo. As mentioned these might well be booked out by operators. You can drive in a long day from Lobo to the Mara River if there are still river crossings. You also asked about the time and distance between Ndaka Gate and Kleins Gate. This is about 200km but the roads can be quite corrugated and will take you between 4 – 8hrs at game drive speeds. Look at this post it describes an improved road from Kleins Gate to Arusha. http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...11#post3790311
    Last edited by Stan Weakley; 2018/01/21 at 08:10 AM.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  10. #47
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Some more GPS points for Serengeti special campsites.
    I suggest having a look at the two links below for more detail.
    Seems Caldriver forgot to post?

    https://www.stuckinlowgear.com/singl...A-bit-too-much
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...kinlowgear-com

    Grumeti Special Campsite: S2 13,598 E34 23,866
    Kira Wira Hill: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Kira Wira 2: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Moru 3: S2 44,658 E34 46448
    Moru 4: S2 41,809 E34 46,490
    Sero 4: S2 26,361 E34 52,012
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  12. #48
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Some more GPS points for Serengeti special campsites.
    I suggest having a look at the two links below for more detail.
    Seems Caldriver forgot to post?

    https://www.stuckinlowgear.com/singl...A-bit-too-much
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...kinlowgear-com

    Grumeti Special Campsite: S2 13,598 E34 23,866
    Kira Wira Hill: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Kira Wira 2: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Moru 3: S2 44,658 E34 46448
    Moru 4: S2 41,809 E34 46,490
    Sero 4: S2 26,361 E34 52,012
    Gents ... just noticed your thread. Welcome to contact my son who is based in Arusha ... he flies into Serengeti on a daily basis plus he can give you heads up on other places outside of the expensive parks

    Kieran Barnard
    Www.Kbsafaris.com

  13. #49
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Special campsite for Tarangire:

    Kware: S3° 48.522' E35° 58.658' Might be ~100m south of here, amongst a very nice stand of Baobabs. We went to check it out but it was occupied so we left the occupants, a tour operator, alone but I still kept the waypoint.

    Mbweha: S3° 47.443' E36° 04.804' Nice campsite right on the river. Large flat site just up from the river bank, several shade trees and a few places a self drive vehicle could set up.

    Stan posted all the other special campsite waypoints I had (thanks Stan!).

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  15. #50
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Some more GPS points for Serengeti special campsites.
    I suggest having a look at the two links below for more detail.
    Seems Caldriver forgot to post?

    https://www.stuckinlowgear.com/singl...A-bit-too-much
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...kinlowgear-com

    Grumeti Special Campsite: S2 13,598 E34 23,866
    Kira Wira Hill: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Kira Wira 2: S2 10,058 E34 09,563
    Moru 3: S2 44,658 E34 46448
    Moru 4: S2 41,809 E34 46,490
    Sero 4: S2 26,361 E34 52,012
    Note on Moru 4 - There are two access roads up to this campsite, one to the North and one a 100m or so South, both from the road that runs to East of this kopje. Presumably the two roads are intended to be driven in a loop, one in and the other out of camp. When we arrived we were driving north to south we saw the first road that was totally overgrown and washed out. We hemmed and hawed and decided we couldn't drive it and so wondered if it was accessible from the West side, so we turned around and drove a few kilometers up to the North and down the road that goes to the west of the campsite and there is no road, and so we were thinking that this campsite is no longer accessible, which probably explained why it wasn't booked.

    More driving around later that day revealed the second road on the East side. So a long winded way to say "there are two roads, if you see the first one is inaccessible keep going."

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  17. #51
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Hi,
    I went with my son on a two weeks camping trip in North Tanzania in January 2019.
    Here is a few infomation on the diferent campsites where we stayed,
    I don t use or have gps coordinates. I have a Veronica rood map of the Serengeti and the NCA.
    For Tarangire and Manyara I have used the Bradt guide and I also took a picture of the Tanangire mat shield at the entrence gate.
    In Tarangire we stayed:

    2 night at the public campsite situated at the north west corner of the parc on the north side
    (not far) of the river. Ok campsite, espesially the site on the southern section with a view towards the Tarangire river valley.
    Something stired up the baboons sleeping around on the first night. It (lion(s) i think, judging by the intensity of the barking, enough for a big cat but not as intense as when for a leopard) went througt the campsite.
    1 night at Kware apesial campsite on the soutern side of the river.
    To get there you can take the river crossing just south of the public campsite ( if the water level allows it),
    After the river turn left into the road that runs parallell to the river until yo see the signpost towards Kware (on the right side)
    Alternativellt you can cross the river at the bridge then take to the rigkt on the road that follow the river, the turn of to Kware is then on your left.
    Kware is in between tree big baobads tree. There was knee high grass on most ot the ground between the trees. Verry nice site that feels verry isolated. In the night we heard one hyena, in the morning we could hear at least one buffallo close by but didn t saw him. There was a few vervet monkeys on the baobabs but apparently they where not habituated to people and never came close to us, we also found a large spider under one tent when we left.

    to be folowed...
    Last edited by Phili; 2019/07/19 at 12:43 AM.

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  19. #52
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Right: Kware special campsite; left: Tarangire public campsite

  20. #53
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Some more info on Serengeti special campsites that I have gleaned from a member's trip report here https://ramsaytravels.blogspot.com/2...onal-park.html

    I am quoting directly with minor editing from the post on 22 July 2019.

    SERENGETI: "Because we could only get 2 nights in Kogatende special campsite number 7 and the rest would be public campsites, we decided that we would have one night in Dik Dik (public) , one night in Lobo (public) and then push north to Kogatende (special) which is on the Mara River, then back to Dik Dik (public)for a night."

    ........"We met the ranger at the Kogatende Air Strip - a very friendly guy. We asked him where we find (Kogatende) SCS 7. He said that due to environmental issues all special campsites had been moved from the Mara River and were now along the main road going south. He said that number 7 was really far away, and he could rather give us number 1 which was 4.3km south of the air strip".

    "He sent one of his assistant's to show us where it was. We don't know how he knew where to turn into the bush as there was not even a hint of a road. Eventually we arrived at S01*36.165' E034*52.983' in the middle of a field of long grass, surrounded by wildebeest. It was quite scary - although some of the grass had been flattened by wildebeest lying in it - one wouldn't see a predator coming through the grass. We however enjoyed being put to sleep by the mooing wildebeest who did not let up all night. Because of the dryness we weren't allowed to make a fire".

    "Unfortunately there are no public campsites far up in the north, so one has to book a special campsite if you want to be near the river. The campsite was not great at all, but it did pay off - we must have seen seven or eight crossings the following day"!
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  22. #54
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Following the tread on the campsite where staying on our January 2019 trip in Tanzania.
    After leaving Tarangire we went to Manyara np where we had booked Bagayo 1 s.c. for one night.
    The site is easy lay quite deep in the park and is signposted and easy to find. Bagayo 1 is west of the main track down south, there are a couple of cleared places where the ground is flat enought to camp. The bush is quite thick around the site with limited visibility of the surounding area. In the morning we could hear one elephant close by but we never saw him. We saw a genet around the site when it become dark and later in the night.
    I actually enjoy this site since it feels verry isolated in the bush.
    Out from Manyara the day after we went to Migombani camp just outside Manyara. A great campsite with fantastic views of Lake Maryara and the escarpement.
    The day after we went to Simba campsite in the Ngorongoro C. A.
    Ok campsite on a large grassy lawn with lot of people/tents around, be prepare to wait in front of the ablution block if you want to shower in the evening. There is a resident buffallo graizing the law, it came close to our tent in the night so beware.
    From there we went to Seronera and chose to stay at Dik dik public campsite for tre night.
    I was with my son with had only been camp in the bush once so I had booked only tre night in special campsite but it turn out that he actually started to feel save after a few night in the tent.
    We then went to Moru 6 but when we arrived there it was occupied by a mobile safari camp. The site is situated at the base of a medium size kopje at the edge of the trees with views of the plains on one side.
    We decided to go to the ranger post to sort it out. It turns out that the ranger didn t seems to know themself witch side was occupied and witch was not..
    In the end we took one ranger with us and visited to site that where occupied before we find one that was free, Moru 5.
    Moru 5 is one of the first site one meet comming from Rongai and Seronera and is actually quite far from Moru 6.
    to be continued

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  24. #55
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  26. #56
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Moru 5 is situated in a clearing on the top of a verry large kopje. Verry nice site where the shade is provided by a large candelabra tree.
    For our last night in the area we decided to stay in Ndutu where we thaugt the main part of the migration was.
    When in Simba we had booked a reserve campsite for Ndutu.
    After meeting at the Ndutu ranger post we whent with a ranger to a site in an open acacia woodland on the edge of a small hill.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	558774 first pic: Moru 5, second pic: Ndutu reserve campsite

  27. #57
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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Thank you for the info Phili, I had feared that all info on special campsites in Serengeti particularly, had died down.

    Do you have any GPS co-ordinates for Moru 5 or Ndutu Reserve Campsite? Any further campsite detail and comment would also be welcomed.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    You are welcme Stan, I hope to read your next travelling report in return
    I don t have Gps coordinate but the sites where fairly easy to find, for some througt looking at the maps on Tanapa weebsite, at the gates and also after asking asking for the location at gates and in the game ranger post.
    For general orientation we where using the Veronica Roodt maps.

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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowones View Post
    Stan, once again thank you!

    Its looks like we will be starting our own "africa" thread.

    To others who post here and on other threads, please dont stop posting. It is truly both inspiring and motivating.

    The plans are in motion. 2020
    So what happened to your 2020 plans?

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    Default Re: Info on special campsites in Serengeti.

    Probably no new information however the Special Campsite near Kogatende is at (or around) 1.560781, 34.883082.

    The "standard" campsites around Seronera were OK when we were there, however Lobo campsite was overrun and the ablutions were disgusting. We were allowed to camp a little distance (mbali kidogo) from the limits of the camp by the ranger, and it was an improvement.

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