Serengeti Serena Lodge-Serengeti national park
The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge. The Serengeti Serena Lodge is set high on a tree-clad ridge, commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti.
You’ve been on game drive all day, and you are now ready for a warm shower, a hot meal and all the other creature comforts that accompany fine hotel-style accommodations. Enjoy a lofty perspective of the surrounding landscape as your land rover navigates the bumpy road that winds up the rocky hill, upon which is perched the Serena Serengeti. The entire road leading up to this lodge is a game drive in itself, and you will likely see elephants or giraffes drifting among the sprawling groves of Acacia trees.
Surrounded by the unspoiled wilderness of the Serengeti savanna, the Serengeti Serena Lodge is built to blend in to the rest of the landscape with authentic detail. You’ll be charmed by the thatched “rondavel” huts that make up each one of the comfortable guest rooms. The manicured grounds will be the only reminder that you are not in a traditional African village. Accommodations are simple but clean and tastefully decorated. Traveling from the lobby to the lodge and dining areas, you’ll pass through open corridors with lofty ceilings, trimmed in dark native woods and tawny bamboo panels, surrounded by traditional African carvings. A member of the staff will escort you through winding stone pathways to your room – or rather an “African hut” styled dwelling with all the comforts of a fine hotel room.
Relaxing on your private balcony, you can’t help but be captivated by the stunning views of the rolling Serengeti plains that the ideal hilltop location of this lodge allows. Be on the lookout for game in the distance, and watch the molten African sun simmer on the horizon as it sinks in the evening sky. You may continue viewing the scenery from the swimming pool that also overlooks the wooded savanna below. When hunger calls, rejoin the rest of civilization for an excellent dining experience. Buffet style dining is centered round a sizzling barbeque furnace, featuring cuisine from different countries all over the world. If you choose to have a traditional “Bush dinner”, you’ll dine in an area removed from the lodge under an exposed African sky filled with stars. Watch traditional African performers dance and sing by the primitive light of a blazing bon fire.
Return to your room and continue to enjoy the comfortable style of these accommodations as you sink into bed, with sheets already turned down by one of the staff. Awake bright and early to a delicious lodge style breakfast before your early morning game drive. In lieu of lodge dining you may choose to have the staff pack you a picnic breakfast to maximize the golden “morning hours” of your safari, as many animals are very active in the early dawn. Keep an eye open for elephants, shimmering bands of gazelles or even lions in the pale light of the undisturbed morning. You may also choose to take a balloon safari – another fabulous way to view the colors of sunrise and the teeming wildlife that resides in the Central Serengeti.
A night or two at the Serengeti Serena Lodge will fit nicely into every itinerary and will appeal to those people seeking comfortable lodge-based accommodations in the action packed area of the 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 only draw back with the Serengeti Serena Lodge, along with the other lodges in the Central Serengeti, is that it is a large tourist hotel (132 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 is a better choice.
The Serengeti Serena is certainly an excellent lodge but it does fall 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 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 makes a better choice then one of the large ‘hotel style’ safari lodges including the Serengeti Serena.
The Serengeti Serena Lodge is situated high on a tree-shrouded bluff (altitude of 4,893 feet) and is located in the Central Serengeti about 45 minutes or 9.5 miles northwest of the Seronera Airstrip. The Seronera Airstrip is roughly located in the center of the Seronera River Valley. The Serengeti Serena 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. In summary, to the north and west of the Serengeti Serena Lodge are the woodlands and to the south and southeast of lodge are the plains.
Longer game drives are also possible from the centrally located Serengeti Serena Lodge to more remote areas of the park including the famous Serengeti eastern plains and the GOL Kopjes. The GOL Kopjes are approximately 35 miles to the southeast or a 2-hour drive away. This drive is only recommended during the green season when the eastern plains are green and packed with game. Additionally, the western corridor of the Serengeti can be reached on an all day game drive (1.5 hours or 37 miles each way). This is of great benefit if you’re on safari between May and July as the prolific wildebeest herds may be located in the western region of the park during this time. However, during this period, we recommend a stay in the Western Serengeti in conjunction with one in the Central Serengeti.
Each set of sleeping quarters at the Serena Lodge is enclosed by a thickly thatched “rondavel” hut, with walls built of stone and a special primitive charm. There are a total of 22 of these charming “huts” on the property, and each one includes 2 levels with 3 rooms total. There is one room on the top floor and two rooms on the bottom. All three rooms are identical in terms of size and floor plan but the top rooms have the very best views.
The top rooms can be requested but because of limited availability they cannot be guaranteed. Never the less, we always automatically request the top room in each rondavel for every booking. Out of the 66 total rooms, there are 20 triples, 23 doubles (1 king size bed), 20 twins (2 twin beds), 2 handicap rooms and 1 suite. Each room is accessed via a charming short wooden staircase or stone laden bridge. Simple but clean, each of these rooms features a private wooden balcony, leopard-print drapes and tasteful furniture which includes a comfortable bed, nightstands and writing desk. Each ensuite bathroom is encased in natural stone, and includes a shower with tub, washbasin and hairdryer. For matters of convenience, there are outlets (with 24 hour generator power supply) and a telephone (to arrange wake up calls for those early morning game drives!) in each room. The overall effect is a unique blend of cultural authenticity, simple elegance and comfortable convenience.
The main lodge facilities are at the top and center of the hill while the rondavels are positioned around the perimeter of the hill. The main guest areas are very impressive and offer great views. The massive dinning room is 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. Vibrant entertainment is available each evening. There is a very good gift shop on the premises for you shoppers and a large swimming pool to enjoy as well. Internet access and laundry services are also available at an additional cost.
Food and Drink
Expect excellent food and a variety of choices at the Serengeti Serena Lodge. Open air dining areas are linked by shady walkways, and the soaring hallway of the two-tier dining room is supported by massive pillars that are adorned with intricate African carvings. Meals are served buffet style around the fiery furnace of the barbeque arena, where chefs dressed in mess uniform cook up fresh foods to order. Breakfast is served in the main dining hall between 6.30am and 9.30am, lunch between 12.30pm and 2.30pm and dinner between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Breakfast and lunch boxes are available “to go,” or you can choose to dine in the main dinning hall.
Wake up calls can be arranged from your in room telephone for early morning game drives. Freshly brewed coffee is served in the lounge area at 6.00am where you can meet your driver and grab a breakfast box to take with you on an early morning game drive. Alternatively, a full breakfast buffet is served in the main dining hall beginning at 6.30am. Breakfast is very good and consists of a large assortment of fruits, cereals, breads, eggs and bacon. There is an omelet and pancake station where each will be prepared to your requirements. Although lunch is always offered at the lodge, the very best option for lunch is to arrange a picnic in the bush while you are out on safari. Relax, stretch your safari legs and enjoy a delicious sandwich while surrounded by the pristine landscape of the Serengeti… the atmosphere of any lodge cannot compete with this! Dinner features an internationally themed menu and is again served buffet style. There are a good variety of soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails available at an additional charge.
Private BBQ “Bush” dinners can be arranged for a special night. There is a minimum of 6 people required at an extra cost per person, which include the private BBQ dinner and vibrant entertainment by the light of campfire.
- Private game drives.
- Full day game drive to the GOL Kopjes
- Visit the Maasai Rock paintings and hike up ‘Gong’ rock in the Moru.
- Picnic lunches.
- Bush dinners.
- Swimming pool.
- A vibrant selection of nightly entertainment including traditional music, culture and dance.
- Massage, hair styling and beauty treatments.
- Well stocked safari boutique and gift shop.
- Internet access.
- A full library of books on Africa and a wide range of board games.
- Full housekeeping services (laundry, valet, babysitting on request, children’s menus, shoeshine.)
- Hairdryers and telephones in all rooms.
- 24 hour electricity.
- Full medical back-up and emergency evacuation facilities.
- Express check in/out.
- Balloon safaris.