There’s nothing else quite like the Great Wildebeest Migration. Commonly referred to as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, this annual event on the vast plains of East Africa sees almost two million animals follow a massive circular pattern as they search for fresh grazing.
The gigantic herds follow the rains, so the route is never the same, but reliable regions to spot the spectacle are the Serengeti in Tanzania, and the Masai Mara in Kenya. In this article, we list 10 of the best lodges to watch the Great Wildebeest Migration from.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is an award-winning hotel near the Grumeti River in one of Tanzania’s most exquisite settings. This African-style lodge blends in seamlessly with an acacia-lined ridge and features an infinity pool boasting panoramic views of the Serengeti’s vast grasslands.
Lodge facilities include a traditionally-carved domed dining room, individual rondavel rooms with private balconies, a scenic safari bar with timbered terrace, a private bushcamp overlooking the migration, and a central barbeque area with water gardens.
The lodge offers several stunning experiences, including daily game drives, hot air balloon safaris, bush breakfasts, bush dinners, guided nature walks, and bird watching.
Overlooking Tanzania’s Ndutu Soda Lake, Ndutu Safari Lodge was built by a former hunter, then renovated in 1985. The lodge lies on the northern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area but nevertheless provides a true Serengeti experience.
The wildebeest migration passes through this area between December and April once the rain has left the plains lush and green. Ndutu has 34 lake-front en-suite cottages, ranging from double, twins, and triples, to a quad room, all built from local materials.
Each room features an en-suite bathroom with hot showers, a sink, and flushing toilet. All of the cottages have a private veranda overlooking the incredible unfenced landscape, so you’re never far from the wild.
Ndutu has become a firm favorite with professional wildlife photographers and filmmakers because it’s simply one of the best places to see wildlife. Game drives are available on request and the safari guides here are all highly trained. Spoil yourself with an early morning game drive with breakfast in the bush.
Serengeti Under Canvas moves five times a year in an attempt to anticipate the movements of the Great Migration and bring guests as close as possible to the wildebeest action. The private campsite features just 9 tents, so you’re never crowded and always comfortable.
These mobile camps are intimate and exclusive and offer the ultimate in luxury camping. Guests can enjoy a private butler service, silverware, crystal, en-suite flush WC, outdoor heated bucket style showers, and comfortable beds with fluffy duvets.
The guest areas include a dedicated sitting and dining tent with deep sofas and WiFi. Enjoy guided game drives in search of iconic safari moments, a guided Great Migration experience, al fresco dining, hot air balloon safaris, and spectacular stargazing.
Perched on a series of elevated platforms and walkways, this lodge sits next to an animal watering hole, and with wildebeest migration passing right in front of this luxury accommodation, you couldn’t hope to get closer to the action.
Disappear into the bush on an exhilarating game drive or soar up high for a bird’s eye view of the wildlife in a hot air balloon at sunrise.
The lodge offers a range of safari adventures such as a full day Ngorongoro Crater safari, a Moru Kopjes, Gong Rock, and Maasai Rock Painting safari, and a Maasai Village, Olduvai Gorge, and Shifting Sands safari, among others.
Relax at the spa after a day of exploring, work out in the fitness center, have a refreshing dip in the free form infinity pool, or simply take in the spectacular views of the Serengeti plains. Accommodation options include 4 guest rooms, 2 suites, and 3 villas and WiFi is complimentary.
The lodge features 3 restaurants and a bar, as well as 24 hour room service.
Mbalageti Serengeti is located in the Western corridor of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s largest and most famous park.
This location is on the path of the migration and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Serengeti plains, the Mbalageti River, and the Great Migration itself. Accommodation ranges from lodge rooms and tented chalets to suites, all with free wifi.
The pool is made of local natural rock and is situated on the edge of the Mwamveni hill. At the heart of the lodge is the bar, serving a wide variety of local and imported drinks.
Pamper yourself at the full service spa after a dusty day of game viewing, relax with a book or board game in the cozy corner, or enjoy sundowners from the poolside bar. Satisfy your appetite at the restaurant with the finest local and continental cuisine, featuring jaw dropping vistas of the Serengeti.
As the only safari lodge in the famous Mara Triangle, Mara Serena offers a setting like no other. Styled to mirror the circular motif of a traditional Maasai manyatta, the lodge blends international sophistication with raw African beauty. This is a world where dramatic sights and experiences are paired with gracious service and five-star amenities.
Breathtaking views can be enjoyed from the restaurant, bar, and rock-enclosed swimming pool. Take exhilarating excursions deep into the Masai Mara Game Reserve, witnessing all the drama of the Great Migration.
Superb chef-prepared cuisine awaits you in the restaurant, or opt for some bush dining, sundowner trips, or a romantic dinner under the stars. Maisha spa and gym offers a way to unwind or keep fit while you’re not spotting the Big Five in the bush, embarking on a hot air balloon safari at dawn, or partaking in a Maasai village visit.
Governors’ Camp nestles in the forest along the winding banks of the Mara River, in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. The camp is Africa’s first permanent luxury tented camp, remaining in its original site since 1972. The entire camp is under canvas and offers all the comforts of a luxury hotel.
All tents are classic safari style with an en-suite bathroom and a private veranda. There is a bar tent with a deck overlooking the Mara River, and a dining tent with spectacular views over the plains.
There is also a spa tent offering a range of treatments such as massage, facials, body scrubs, manicures, and pedicures. There are electric lights in the tents, 220 Volt UK plugs for charging cameras and phones, as well as WiFi.
Experiences at Governors’ Camp include night and day game drives, hot air balloon safaris, wildebeest migration encounters, birding, boat safaris on Lake Naivasha, canoeing on Mugie Dam, lion tracking, and Maasai cultural visits.
Situated on the western border of the game rich Masai Mara National Reserve, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is set on a private concession. In addition to the excellent year-round concentration of wildlife, access to the concession allows for bush walks, night drives, bush dining under a starry sky, and hot air ballooning at dawn.
In migration season, vast herds of wildebeest stretch as far as the eye can see, and you’ll get to enjoy up close guided encounters with these animals.
12 classic tents, 20 superior tents, and eight superior view tents, all with Maasai-inspired interiors, are laid out in immaculate grounds where leisurely groups of warthog feed right outside your door. Massive windows in the spacious guest areas invite the Mara inside and incorporate split-level spaces where guests can relax and unwind.
Facilities include WiFi, an interactive kitchen stocked with produce from the organic garden, a massage tent, a safari shop featuring the finest Kenyan handcrafts, and a sparkling rim-flow swimming pool with some of Africa’s most extraordinary views.
Standing central to the private wilderness of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, and enjoying panoramic views across the rolling savannah, Olare Mara Kempinski Safari Camp has been styled to offer the ultimate in luxury while staying true to the traditions of the classic safari.
Camouflaged so as to blend into its wilderness background, the camp features just twelve generously proportioned tents. Some of the tents overlook the hippo pools of the Ntiakitiak River, while others enjoy views over the savannah.
Each elegantly appointed tent has its own spacious bedroom, bathroom, dressing room, lounge, and viewing deck. The camp’s central lounge and dining room feature panoramic views and a log fire in the evening.
A timbered walkway leads down to a shaded forest glade where you’ll find the intimate safari bar and woodland clearing where the nightly campfire is lit.
Camp amenities include WiFi, mobile phone reception, a swimming pool and sundeck, in-tent massage facilities, an outdoor swimming pool, professional safari guides, day and night game drives, safari sundowners, bush breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, cultural visits, hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris, and ornithological tours.
This authentic safari tented camp in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve has nine comfortable decked out tents and lies just 150 m from one of the Talek River’s main wildlife crossings. This prime location means you won’t even have to leave the camp to spot one of the highlights of the Great Migration.
Rekero Camp’s muted khaki-hued tents with en-suite bathrooms, flushing toilets, and hot-water showers blend into the landscape perfectly, encouraging wildlife to venture into the surrounding area. Rekero has two communal decks, one featuring a canvassed lounge and dining area.
The other deck is slightly smaller and has stylish comfy couches where you can enjoy a quiet sundowner. Activities at Rekero include birdwatching, game drives, local Maasai village visits, picnics, full-day safaris with expert guides, hot-air ballooning, 4×4 drives, bush dining, stargazing, and sundowners.
Apart from the Great Migration, Rekero is famous for its big cat population and was the location of Disney’s ‘African Cats’ series. The camp offers power from a solar inverter system and safari vehicles have power points for charging devices on the move. General facilities include a laundry service, WiFi, a bar, curio and gift shop, and room service.