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Serengeti Sopa Lodge View Full Tanzania Map

Lodge Overview

The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is a mid-range ‘hotel style’ lodge located in the southwestern section of the Central Serengeti. Serengeti Sopa Lodge, opened in 1992, resides in the Niariboro hills and offers magnificent views, spacious rooms, well-appointed facilities and exceptional wildlife viewing during late April, May, early June and November due to the presence of the wildebeest and zebra migration. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge also provides convenient access to the main game circuits of the action packed Central Serengeti and Seronera. The Seronera River Valley in particular, with its abundance of resident animals including all the big carnivores, is a must see no matter what time of year

The one big draw back with the Serengeti Sopa Lodge, along with the other two lodges in the Central Serengeti, is that it is a large tourist hotel (170 person capacity). Depending upon your specific tastes, this could either be a positive or negative characteristic. For those seeking the ultimate luxury adventure experience in the Central Serengeti, the Private Luxury Camp may make a better choice.

The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is the only lodge in the Serengeti offering quad rooms (two queen size beds) suitable for a family of four including two small children. All the other lodges in the Serengeti offer either doubles or triples and cannot accommodate a family of four in a single room.

There are two other lodges in the Central Serengeti including the Serengeti Serena Lodge and the Seronera Wildlife Lodge. The Serengeti Serena Lodge is arguably a bit nicer then the Serengeti Sopa Lodge in terms of quality of accommodations, service, amenities and food. However, the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is recommended over the Serengeti Serena Lodge during those few months that wildlife viewing is significantly better from the Sopa Lodge. From late April to early June, the northward wildebeest migration will be passing through the valley in front of the Serengeti Sopa Lodge as the great herds follow the Mbalageti River into the Western Corridor. During November, the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is also in a better position for the southward wildebeest migration. In conclusion, the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is recommended over the Serengeti Serena Lodge during late April, May, early June and November.

The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is certainly a very nice lodge but it does fall a little short in comparison to the other smaller luxury lodges and tented lodges located in other areas of the Serengeti. However, the choice of permanent lodging is relatively poor in the Central Serengeti considering that this area offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the park. For those seeking more intimate and adventurous accommodations in the Central Serengeti, we strongly recommend private medium camping or private luxury camping. The Central Serengeti does offer the best private camping options in all of Northern Tanzania. For the adventurous, one or two nights camping in this area may make a better choice then one of the large ‘hotel style’ safari lodges including the Serengeti Sopa.

We highly recommend to diversify the types of accommodations throughout your safari by including smaller luxury lodges, tented lodges or private camping as well as the larger properties like the Sopa Lodges. The smaller lodges do provide a more intimate, natural and authentic safari experience and can be much more rewarding for some people. However, we recognize that everyone is different and our goal is to provide individually tailored safaris to assure that you get the most rewarding experience possible. Please feel free to talk it over with your Africa Dream Safaris representative as to which lodge in the Central Serengeti makes a better match for your specific tastes.


Location

The Serengeti Sopa Lodge (altitude of 5,223 feet) is located in the southwestern section of the Central Serengeti. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is located 13.9 miles or 45 minutes southwest of the Seronera Airstrip. The Seronera Airstrip is roughly located in the center of the Seronera River Valley. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is well positioned to easily access the Seronera River Valley game loops. With an early 6.00AM departure from the lodge it is possible to be game driving the Seronera River by 6.45AM in hopes of seeing the famous Seronera lions in action or at least the remnants of a kill made during the night. The Serengeti Sopa Lodge resides just inside the plains/woodland border at the beginning of the western woodlands. To the east and southeast are the famed Serengeti plains. To the west and north are the woodlands. Just to the south of the Serengeti Sopa Lodge are the stunningly beautiful Moru Kopjes. The Moru Kopjes area is home to the remaining population of black rhinos in the Serengeti and is also a main transitional zone for both the northward migration (late April to early June) and southward migration (November).

Longer game drives are also possible from the centrally located Serengeti Sopa Lodge to more remote areas of the park including the famous Serengeti eastern plains and the GOL Kopjes. The GOL Kopjes are approximately 28 miles to the east or a 2-hour drive away. This drive is only recommended during the green season when the GOL kopjes are green and packed with game.


Access

A stay at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is usually incorporated into our fly-in and drive-back itineraries towards the beginning of your safari. You will most likely either be arriving directly from the nearby Seronera Air Strip during the green season or from the Western or Northern Serengeti during the dry season. It is about a 2-hour drive to the Sopa Lodge from either the Western Serengeti or Northern Serengeti. It is about a 1.5-hour drive southeast to the Naabi Hill park gate.


Accommodation

The well-appointed Serengeti Sopa Lodge consists of 79 comfortable and spacious rooms. The rooms are in two-story stone blocks. All rooms have good views of the below savannah. Furniture and fixtures are simple and modest. Each room features brass lamps, two comfortable queen sized beds and a wooden writing desk. There is even a separate sitting room off from the bedroom. The ensuite bathrooms are spacious and include a shower with tub, washbasin and hairdryer.

The Serengeti Sopa Lodge is the only lodge in the Serengeti offering quad rooms (two queen size beds) suitable for a family of four including two small children. All the other lodges in the Serengeti offer either doubles or triples and cannot accommodate a family of four in a single room.

The main guest areas are cavernous. The reception and dinning areas are in grand Sopa style and feature floor to ceiling glass windows that look out over the surrounding landscape. The dinning room, being located on the second floor, offers especially good views. Both are well decorated with various artifacts, sculptures and wooden carvings.

Equally impressive is the lounge and bar area, which makes for a great place to mingle with other guests and share the safari highlights for the day. The lounge and bar area are located in another large separate room just off from the lobby. There is a traditional circular bar and various comfortable chairs and couches spaced throughout the room. There is also a particularly good gift shop located on the premises which stocks gift items as well as other items including film and toiletries.

At the back of the hotel just outside the main lobby is the large pool, which overlooks the semi-wooded landscape. The surrounding ground is nicely landscaped and includes lounge chairs with wooden umbrellas. This is a great place to enjoy a break between game drives, take in a sunset or gaze up at the stars during the evening.


Food and Drink

The food at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge is fair. All meals are served buffet style in the cavernous dinning room. Breakfast consists of an assortment of fruits, cereals, breads, eggs and bacon. The best option for lunch is to have a picnic while out on safari. A good choice (if your guide allows) is to set up quick picnic in the Simba (Swahili for lion) Kopjes, which are located about 30 minutes to the east of the lodge. Alternatively, you may have lunch at the lodge and relax by the pool. Dinner features an international themed menu. There is a variety of beer, wine and cocktails available at an additional charge.


Game Viewing

The Sopa Lodge is located in the central area of the Serengeti ecosystem and accordingly, it is this area that will be the topic of discussion below. See the Serengeti National Park guide for a complete analysis on the entire Serengeti ecosystem, including the famed migration and all the game viewing highlights.

The Central Serengeti consists of the plains woodland border and transition zone. In this area the great Serengeti plains gradually diffuse into gentle rolling hills and woodland habitat, which dominates the western and northern regions of the park. The lions share of the lodges are located in this region as well as the park headquarters and the various research facilities. All these facilities are located here for good reason as not only is this area centrally located but it also supports an amazing abundance of resident wildlife.

The central Serengeti is home to the beautiful Seronera River Valley. Several perennial rivers run through this valley enabling many resident animals to thrive year round. The combination of location and resident prey attracts the largest populations of predators in Africa. It is this amazing abundance and diversity of easily seen large predators that attracts thousands of visitors and hundreds of researches to the Seronera River Valley each year. There is simply no better place in Africa to observe these large carnivores and since many are resident, excellent encounters are available year round regardless of the season or where the great migratory herds are located. It is not unusual to see all four large predators (lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah) during the course of a day in the central Serengeti.

The only draw back with game viewing in the central Serengeti is the fact that the majority of the lodging is located in this area. The immediate game circuits around the Seronera Valley are well traveled and, depending on the month, you will likely encounter several other vehicles. The months of July, August, late December and early January see the most visitors in the central Serengeti and careful planning is important if you plan on traveling during these months.

The Mbalageti River runs roughly southeast to northwest in front of the Sopa Lodge. The enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra follow this river as they migrate off the plains and into the woodlands at the end of the wet season. This means that for several weeks from about late April to early June, the immediate area around the Sopa Lodge will be flooded with animals.


Activities

  • Private game drives
  • Walk next to the hippos at Retina Hippo Pool
  • Balloon safaris
  • Picnic lunches
  • Full day game drives to the GOL Kopjes
  • Visit the Maasai Rock paintings and hike up ‘Gong’ rock in the Moru Kopjes
  • Swimming
  • Nightly entertainment including traditional dance and music