If you are looking for seclusion, luxury and the ultimate in fine service - all located in one of the most remote areas of the Serengeti - Kirawira Tented Lodge is an experience not to be missed! Hemmed in by the dense Acacia groves that envelope the banks of the Grumeti River, Kirawira's lofty location on a hilltop offers sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding woodlands.
Kirawira Tented Lodge is a member of the prestigious 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World' and is certainly one of the most luxurious tented lodges in all of Tanzania. Posh yes, but pretentious no! The team at Kirawira Camp is not complacent about this prestigious award but seem to be constantly striving to provide the finest service possible. There is a stark contrast between the surrounding untamed wilderness and the sophisticated luxury you experience once you enter this canvas draped oasis, but it is a paradox that works beautifully.
Weary travelers are graciously greeted at the door with a hot towel and a cold refreshing drink by one of the attentive staff. The mahogany bar, lounge and dining tents are draped in khaki and canvas, allowing you to experience Africa's unique sights and sounds in open air ambience long after you've parked the land cruiser. The dining is exquisite, the wine list is long and white glove service leaves nothing to be desired. Close your day and contemplate the magic of Africa while you lounge in the refreshing blue pool. Or enjoy an evening sundowner on your own private veranda as banners of pink and gold stream over the evening sky.
As night envelopes the camp, bask in the warmth of a blazing campfire under a dancing canopy of stars. Once you are back at your own private tent, stretch out in your comfortable bed and allow the natural rhythms of the African night gently hum you to sleep. You may choose to sleep in, or pre-arrange to have the staff wake you bright and early with steaming hot coffee and delicious muffins delivered to your balcony. Keep an eye out for Henry, one of the resident genet cats, as he may steal unattended muffins left on your private balcony! (Although having the experience of meeting one of these beautiful genets in person is well worth the price of a muffin!)
Although there is plenty of resident wildlife to witness all year long, Kirawira offers especially splendid game viewing from May through mid July during the northward wildebeest migration. During the northward migration, Kirawira boasts a front seat to the thunderous theatre that is the million-strong wildebeest migration. Additionally, throughout the entire dry season (May to November), the surrounding area offers great wildlife viewing for resident animals including giraffe, elephant, lion, hyena, impala, topi, crocodile, hippo and several species of primates including the beautiful black and white colobus monkey (this species is only found in the Western Serengeti). Kirawira can also make a great spot in November when a portion of the southward migration may pass through the area especially if the onset of the rains is delayed. During November, some of the migratory wildebeest and zebra accumulate in the Western Serengeti before making their final southward leap to the southern Serengeti Plains.
Elegant yet intimate, accommodations consist of just 25 luxurious sleeping tents, 3 main tents (bar/lounge, dinning, gift shop) and an immaculate swimming pool. A charming blend of native wood, stained glass and jewel-hued Persian rugs compliment the African art decor. The main lodge facilities are located at the top and center of the hill while the sleeping tents are positioned around the perimeter of the hill.
The sleeping tents are spaced roughly 50 feet apart along bricked pathways, offering privacy and seclusion. Tents 1 - 15 have the best views, as these are set higher on the hill. Tents 16 - 25 are set farther down the hill and have a better bush feel. Tents 3 - 6 are the closest to the main lodge areas (i.e. dining tent) and are recommended for those individuals seeking more accessible accommodations.
Describing the rooms as tents is somewhat misleading and a better description might be luxury cabins under canvas. The tents are elevated above the ground being constructed on wooden stilts, which gives them a special charm not unlike a tree house. Each tent is accessed via a short set of stairs (about 10 - 15 steps), which leads to a beautiful private veranda. The verandas are well appointed with a small table and chairs (even hammocks upon request!) and offer stunning views of the woodlands below. It is possible to continue your safari experience from here with a pair of binoculars.
Each tent is tastefully decorated with hardwood furnishing in grand safari style. A delightful blend of lavish details and camp practicality, each room features generous four-poster beds, hand-made patchwork quilts and spacious trunk wardrobes. Write the day's events in your journal at the charming wooden writing table, fitted perfectly with a chair and brass lamps. To the rear of each tent is an elegant mahogany-paneled bathroom with his and her marble washstands, polished brass fittings, a black-and-white tiled shower and separate tiled compartment containing the toilet. There are electrical outlets in each tent, and since Kirawira Camp runs the generator 24-hours a day, it's easy to find time to charge those camera batteries.
Kirawira Camp is located in the western corridor of the Serengeti. Situated at the westerly end of the corridor, the lodge is roughly 20 miles east of Lake Victoria. The lodge lies just south of the Grumeti River, which runs almost the entire length of the corridor. Few visitors ever make it out to the western corridor and most are content just to game drive and lodge in the Central Serengeti. A rewarding experience awaits those willing to explore the remote western corridor, especially if the migration is pouring through.
Food and Drink
Expect excellent food and superb service at Kirawira Tented Lodge. The extensive menus at Kirawira features a full range of options to satisfy the most discerning of travelers. You will feel like true royalty as you are waited on hand and foot by a gracious staff donning traditional white Swahili robes and turbans.
Enjoy full English breakfasts and five-course meals served over starched napery on delicate blue china and weighty silver. Kirawira is especially known for their tasty breakfast pancakes, so be sure to indulge in these before heading off for a day 'in the bush.'
Savor elegant entrees made with the freshest of ingredients. You will always have the option to indulge in the local-flavored cuisine as well as familiar Western fare. The menu features delicate soups, sensational salads, hearty entrees, local cheese boards, decadent desserts and fresh-brewed Arabica coffee. A full selection of alcoholic beverages are served, and you'll find there an excellent wine list featuring both European and South African choices. Of course, if your appetite for game viewing outweighs your taste buds, the staff will gladly pack a delicious boxed breakfast and picnic lunch for you to enjoy while on safari.
Wake up calls are taken the night before and coffee or tea and muffins are delivered to your tent in the morning at the predetermined time. As previously mentioned, breakfast and lunch boxes are available, or you can choose to dine at the lodge in the dinning tent or on the outdoor patio. You will be escorted to and from dinner each night for safety reasons - after all you are in the middle of a very remote wilderness! Simply shine your flashlight outside of your tent to flag a member of the staff to escort you.
- Selection of personal stationery, post cards and bird lists
- Elegant dining tents, extensive wine lists and sumptuously creative menus.
- Dishes can also be prepared to personal guest specification
- Personal valet service to each tent
- International cocktails and fine wines by the campfire or on the 'Sun downer' terrace
- Lake Victoria tours
- Refreshing beauty treatments and relaxing aromatherapy massage
- Extensively stocked gift and safari-requisites tent
- A library of Africana books
- Full medical back-up and emergency evacuation facilities
- 24-hour generator electricity in all tents
- Laundry service
- Hair drier in each tent
- Private Game Drives
- Game viewing from Camp
- Picnic Lunches