Top 10 Great Migration Lodges

Top 10 Great Migration Lodges

wildebeest great migration
Stay in one of the top great migration lodges and be a spectator of the greatest annual show on earth – riveting, unforgiving, hopeful – as millions of animals make the journey between the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya.

The great migration is nature’s greatest annual wildlife show. It is a true drama with thousands upon thousands of wildebeest and zebra on the stage of the circle of life, battling it out on the migration route between the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures while lions and crocodiles lurk around patiently for their next meal. And while all of this is happening you are in the audience of Africa’s greatest auditorium; a spectator on the edge of your safari vehicle’s seat, listening to the thundering rumble of hooves approaching, as your heart beats ‘encore Africa, encore’ in your chest.

There are many once-in-a-lifetime experiences but witnessing the great migration and being in the middle of it all while emotions – humbling and overwhelming – well up, gives meaning to words of Brian Jackman, “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same.”

A great number of great migration lodges and luxury tented camps are situated along (or in close proximity to) the migration route where it all takes place between June and September. Beaming with oodles of African hospitality, activities for young and old, enchanting dining experiences and each with its own luxurious romantic charm, the prime location of the great migration lodges has the vantage point of unbeatable wildlife sightings throughout the year.

Top 10 Great Migration Lodges

Stay in one of these top 10 great migration lodges and feel the change, connect with Africa and discover the greatest show on earth.

1. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

luxury tents at Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Tucked away between the plains and riverine forest, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp sets the tone for ultimate luxury and an unforgettable time in the Masai Mara.

Step into a world of nostalgia and romance in one of Kenya’s top great migration lodges, where the riverine forest meets the sweeping Masai Mara plains, where timeless design meets luxury, where you meet a true force of nature: the great migration. Boasting abundant wildlife and total seclusion, the luxury tents of Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is situated along the Sabaringo River, on the Oloololo Escarpment in a private concession. Put on your explorer’s hat on daily open vehicle game drives, plunge into the pool situated on the edge of the Mara, go bird watching and soak in nature as you find yourself in one of the world’s largest concentration of animals.

Don’t miss: Feel the rhythm of Africa deep within your soul as Maasai warriors burst out into song and traditional dance.

2. Rekero Camp

Rekero Camp Luxury Tents
The luxury safari tents at Rekero Camp are positioned excellently for optimum wildlife viewing.

The beautifully African-inspired and eco-friendly Rekero Camp is the nearest camp on the Talek and Mara Rivers, deep within the Masa Mara Game Reserve. This prime location, known for its river crossing points forming part of the wildebeest and zebras’ journey and high density of wildlife throughout the year – with a resident lion pride and frequent visits by herds of elephants – gives visitors unimpeded views to nature’s greatest spectacle. Here, numerous film crews have set up camp, and the area has set the scene to world-renowned documentaries such as the BBC’s Big Cat Diaries and Disney’s African Cats. Take in the view of the river, or the riverine forest, from your safari tent’s veranda and listen the grunt of hippos, go on game drives with regional Maasai experts, explore the surrounding plains on horseback and reflect on your experience in the Messi Tent over a meal and sundowner, a mere 150 meters from the Talek River.

Don’t miss: Browse Rekero’s safari shop where you can find unique items made by local artisans.

3. Porini Lion Camp

Children on safari
It is an experience for the whole family when you stay at Porini Lion Camp.

Escape from the tourist trail and go on a safari to witness the annual journey of wildlife, from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara, without being surrounded by hordes of other vehicles when staying at Porini Lion Camp. The camp, with its tastefully furnished spacious solar-powered tents is located within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. And here, on the banks of the Ntiakatiak River, you can enjoy unsurpassed game viewing, including the Mara’s big cats, in the exclusive and pristine wilderness – where a completely different migration also takes place in January – and go on a hot air balloon safari.

Don’t miss: Go on a guided walk with Maasai Warriors.

4. Sala’s Camp

Breakfast on the river at Sala's Camp
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Sala’s Camp before setting out on a game drive to see the great migration up, close and personal.

An authentic slice of Africa is up for grabs at Sala’s Camp in the southern region of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, just a short 45-minute flight from Nairobi Wilson Airport. Being close to the confluence of the Sand and Keerook Rivers, the location of Sala’s Camp is known for its teeming wildlife and prolific bird life. Step out from your luxury tent in the morning and hop on a game drive with knowledgeable and experienced guides and have a relaxing sway in a hammock upon your return before an evening of fine dining under the African sky.

Don’t miss: Get down with nature and join in on an animal spoor tracking activity.

5. Sand River Masai Mara

Verandah of luxury tents of Sand River Masai Mara
A front row seat to the great migration right on your doorstep.

You don’t need to go very far to observe the mass movement of the great migration when staying at the timeless Sand River Masai Mara; simply step out onto the veranda of your luxury tent and watch in awe as wildebeest and zebra cross the Sand River within the Masai Mara National Reserve. Experience true Kenyan hospitality, guided walks, game drives and revel in the fact that the reserve is also known for its large concentration of big cats.

Don’t miss: Get a bird’s eye view of the great migration from a hot air balloon.

6. Naboisho Camp

Naboisho Tented Camp
Step into the lap of eco-luxury at Naboisho Camp, one of the best great migration lodges, within the heart of Africa.

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, Naboisho Camp will make your search come to an end. With its private safaris, where you can be close to the action in complete solitude and away from the crowds, it is easy to understand why this eco-friendly camp with its tented suites in the heart of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is regarded as one of the top great migration lodges. On top of its offer of exclusivity, the camp is also family-friendly with a dedicated children’s program, you can go on off-road game drives and, the crème de la crème is that the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is also home to the lesser known Loita Migration.

Don’t miss: If you are an avid photographer, go on Naboisho Camp’s photographic safari on their special modified photographic vehicle.

7. Singita Faru Faru Lodge

Campfire Singita Faru Faru Lodge
A day in Africa is not complete without a night in Africa, sharing stories around a campfire.

Overlooking a natural waterhole, the unfenced Singita Faru Faru Lodge is set in the 350 000 acre Singita Grumeti Reserve and plays a pivotal role in protecting the migration path and persevering the ecosystem. This true African safari camp with its top-notch facilities, services and suites (complete with babysitting services) gives guests the opportunity to tap into the remote wilderness and witness the world’s largest migration, and a slew of other wildlife, through game drives and walking safaris.

Don’t miss: Guests can get a glimpse into the anti-poaching efforts of the Singita Grumeti Fund and visit one of the observation posts where scouts patrol the area for poachers, unauthorized vehicles, livestock entering the area or animals in distress.

8. Governor’s Camp

Hot air balloon safari
Get a bird’s eye view of nature’s greatest natural spectacle on a hot air balloon safari.

The great migration is a truly spectacular natural phenomenon and as the first permanent tented camp in the Masai Mara, Governor’s Camp is set in a prime location on the Mara River. The camp has the leading wildlife viewing location in the area, with some tents overlooking the water where you can see the likes of hippos and crocodiles, while other tents will turn your eyes to the expansive horizon of the Masai Mara plains.

Don’t miss: After a day of game drives, get treated to an African spa experience in the bush.

9. Serengeti Under Canvas

Sundowners in the bush on safari
Reminisce about your day of incredible wildlife sightings over a sundowner.

Serengeti Under Canvas is without a doubt one of the top great migration lodges offering you a front row seat to all the action as this mobile luxury camp – complete with a private butler and specialist guide – moves from area to area with the migration. View the passing wildlife from your tent’s veranda and reminiscence about your day around the campfire at night, under the stars, while the night sounds sing you an African lullaby. Serengeti Under Canvas also makes provision for children with family tents and a bag of kid-friendly pleasures to keep them busy during your stay.

Don’t miss: Make a day trip to Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands which is piles of magnetized volcanic ash that moves about 50 feet per year across the desert (seasonal).

10. Sanctuary Olonana

Outdoor dinner at Sanctuary Olonana great migration lodges
A private romantic dinner, under starlit African sky, is but one of the exclusive experiences on offer at Sanctuary Olonana

The eco-friendly Sanctuary Olonana is situated on a private stretch of the banks of the dramatic Mara River, and being right on the border of the Masai Mara the wildebeest migration happens less than 40 minutes from your suite’s floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The area is rich in wildlife, especially with the big five, and makes for one unforgettable safari experience. And with an extra bedroom in some suites it is also the ideal luxury safari for families.

Don’t miss: Sanctuary Olonana offers visitors the opportunity to visit a local school, as well as an immersive cultural visit to a Maasai Village where you can get a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Maasai.