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Lamai Serengeti

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 09:17 by BillGiven

Photo of Lamai Serengeti
Artist rendition of Lamai Serengeti guest tent. Courtesy of Nomad Tanzania.

Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti is a new permanent camp under construction and will open June 27, 2011. Without a doubt Nomad is one of the premier safari operations in Tanzania and they have built their reputation on authentic seasonal and mobile camps in the Serengeti as well as stunning permanent camps with Greystoke Mahale and Sand Rivers Selous. Lamai Serengeti further enhances Nomad's repuation as a top operator.

Lamai Serengeti View of Lamai Wedge
Lamai Wedge is a special place that can fill with wildebeest and other animals to the horizon.
©Bill Given

Lamai Serengeti Camp Location

Lamai Serengeti camp will be located in the remote northern Serengeti, built to blend within the Kogakuria kopje with big views out over the Mara River Valley and Lamai Wedge. This is my favorite part of the Serengeti and the game viewing available from Lamai Serengeti is bound to be tremendous with the granite outcrops (kopjes) and scattered woodlands. These topgraphical features are excellent for lions and leopard. The wide open plains of the Lamai Wedge in easy range of Lamai Serengeti support the full range of grazing species.

Lamai Serengeti Wildlife

Accessible from Lamai Serengeti is the the permanent water of the Mara River, home to large numbers of hippos and crocodiles and the key to excellent year round populations of wildlife. The Mara River is also the setting for one of nature’s greatest dramas as huge herds of wildebeest and zebra make perilous crossings of the river. Unlike the Masai Mara where it is common to jockey with 50+ vehicles, Lamai Serengeti offers access to river crossings that will rarely have more than a small handful of vehicles staking out the drama. As you move away from the Mara, Lamai Serengeti will provide sightings that you'll pretty much have all to yourself. In addition to Lamai Serengeti, there are still just a small number of intimate camps in this region and off road driving is allowed.

Wildlife Viewing Considerations for Lamai Serengeti

When planning a stay at Lamai Serengeti, there are two key things to understand about the wildlife rhythms of the Northern Serengeti.

1) The Migration Does Not All Leave Tanzania

Many sources say from August through October the migration is in Kenya and thus that’s where tourists flock. It’s true that large numbers of the migration are often in Kenya during that time but recent research has suggested that a large portion of the wildebeest herds, as much as 50%, never leaves the Serengeti.

When I was there in late August of 2010 there were drought conditions in the Masai Mara and virtually the entire migration was in the northern Serengeti. This year has been prime conditions in the Masai Mara and the migration even started moving into the Mara in June, yet many clients of The Wild Source have been in the Northern Serengeti and all have seen big herds and river crossings. Lamai Serengeti is well positioned to see the spectacle of the migration from mid-July through October in a typical year.

2) Resident Wildlife is Great Throughout the Year

The second thing to know with regards to wildlife when planning a visit to Lamai Serengeti, is when the migration does move to the south and leaves the area (generally around November) there are still fantastic resident game populations in the northern Serengeti. These popluations are drawn to the permanent water and the outstanding variety of habitats, making Lamai Serengeti and the Northern Serengeti a great place to visit throughout the year. Making it even more attractive, is by the end of November all of the seasonal camps pack up and head to the Southern Serengeti/Ndutu. This leaves the Northern Serengeti to the very few guests of the permanent camps, creating a defacto private concession like experience.

Photo of Mara River Crossing
River crossings as they should be, without vehicles impeding the movements.
© Bill Given

Lamai Serengeti - One of the Three Permanent Camps

Lamai Serengeti will be added to the list of just two permanent camps within the region. Until 2009 all the camps migrated with the great herds but in June 2009 Sayari Camp opened as the first permanent camp in the Serengeti Mara area. This year Serengeti Bushtops has followed suit and in 2011 Lamai Serengeti will become just the 3rd permanent camp in this region.

The government encouraged this development of permanent camps recognizing that the beauty of the area and game quantities were worthy of year round tourism and it combines perfectly with a safari to see the migration in the other parts of the Serengeti and as its low season for the North when the migration leaves it allows for a great value as you pay lower rates for a more private and luxurious experience. Only during the long rains of April and May do these camps close.

Photo of a Lion on a kopje in Wogakuria
The rock kopjes of Wogakuria are popular with lions and we found lions on every game drive during a 4 night stay in the area.
©Copyright Bill Given

Lamai Serengeti Accommodations

Lamai Serengeti will have 12 tents. To maintain intimacy the tents are split into two separate camps: the Main Camp of 8 tents, and the smaller Private Camp of 4 tents. Each of Lamai Serengeti's two sub-camps will function as their own entity and both will have its own private bar and dining area, with adjoining library, map room and natural rock swimming pool. All guest tents will have their own private & spacious verandas spread within the rocks and all have been sited with spectacular views. Each tent at Lamai Serengeti will have 24hr power and en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, flush toilets, inside bath and outdoor shower.

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