Before Namiri Plains’ graceful tented roofs, sybaritic outdoor tubs, and deep-blue pool perched on the boundless edge of the Serengeti’s scenescape, these vast Tanzanian grasslands were closed to guests to allow restoration of sensitive cheetah population. (These fascinating creatures are in good company: other big cats rub alongside healthy communities of elephant, zebra, giraffe and all our other mighty faves.) Over two decades later, this massive plain is home not only to an important and successful conservation initiative, but also to a remote camp that forms a much loved, rather nifty base for sublime safari pursuits. Alongside the Ngare Nanyuki River, there’s a lot of feline-inspired lounging to be done: sultry afternoons spent round the pool, over indulgences at the spa, or with a good book in the library (stocked with much fascinating cat-oriented material and conservation artifacts). We highly recommend a stretch of cocktail-infused sky study conducted from your private deck, watching ebullient cloud formations only Serengeti skies achieve with such airy aplomb. Completely refurbished in 2019, Namiri Plains operates by 100% solar power even though, after each breath-holding African sunset, the stars over the Serengeti will light your life.
Ten spacious, stylish tented luxury suites (including one family tent) overlook the Serengeti plains and, since 2019’s refurb, are even larger with room-length sliding doors onto a private viewing deck. Walls of calcrete, a sedimentary rock created from the ash of Ngorongoro volcanoes, help to regulate temperature. Each en-suite bathroom has a view over the plains and there’s a standalone tub on the patio, perfect for an al fresco bubble bath with a chilled glass of fizz. Meals are served in the elegant tented dining area (or in the bush or your own tent, of course) and a lovely pool is perfect for lounging and dipping.
Namiri Plains welcomes families with children over the age of five. Children under 12 are required to share a tent with an adult, and a spacious family tent sleeps four in great comfort and high-safari luxury style.
Heady days on the Serengeti are gloriously bookended by bountiful game drives: your knowledgeable and savvy Micato Safari Director delights in – and is exceptionally good at – playing spot-the-big-cat—lions, cheetahs and, with luck, an elusive leopard or two. With permanent underground water sources, plentiful game including elephant, zebra and reedbuck come to the area to quench their thirst. On foot, all things small-and-ecosystem-precious – from butterflies, ants, termites to dung beetles and birds – are visible on walking safaris. Visit a fossil site, then rise above in a hot air balloon for an awe-making macro view of the Serengeti. Meet a researcher from The Serengeti Cheetah Project for the inside expert perspective. Keen and budding photographers appreciate the lodge’s specially modified, open photographic vehicles equipped with all the gear to ensure award-winning shots — from beanbags and camera rests to 360-degree swivel seats. There’s also a private spa and pool with scenic deck.