Have you ever wanted to see big cats living in the wild? If so, the Namiri Plains is your Serengeti oasis. Located east of the popular destination of Seronera Airstrip, the Namiri Plains were closed for nearly 20 years to allow cheetahs and other animals the chance to reclaim their land. In a remote part of the Serengeti, Namiri is nearly an hour’s drive from the next closest camp. Not only does this allow you the opportunity to enjoy the Serengeti to yourself, but when you do see wildlife, it is that much more spectacular. It’s your own private show!
The newly refurbish camp finished its restorations in 2020. Although the majority of the newly permanent opened to visitors in 2019, due to some delays the final touches were put in place in 2020 and the stunningly all new camp is now ready to welcome guests back!
Namiri Camp Accommodations
Living off the grid has new meaning in the Namiri Plains. A fully sufficient small village with a bustling staff village and approximately 12 tents for guests. Operating on nothing but solar Namiri is a sustainable sanctuary. The beautiful stone, wood, and canvas common area overlooks the plains where it’s common to see lions roaming and cheetah’s playing. Upon arrival to our accommodation a herd of elephants and giraffes greeted us. Playing in the waterhole just off our room. Welcome to Namiri, a delightful welcome!
The room at Namiri camp are very similar to Sayari with a few differences. The room has a solid and beautiful stone wall which faces the main camp. The outer wall facing the savanna is a mixture of metal mesh and glass. Providing optimal air flow on the warm savanna nights and an opportunity to lay in bed and search for animals in the distance with your torch.
Like other Asilia permanent camps, no corner is cut on design. The rooms once again offer all the features and more of a 5-star resort! A minibar is available in each room, included in the cost. A work station, wi-fi, a coffee and tea station and more. Although why there’s a coffee station still baffles me, as every Asilia property offers a morning wake-up call with hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate! There’s really never need the need to make your own coffee.
Off the oversize bedroom is once again one of the most beautiful bathrooms I’ve seen. This camp’s bathroom are slightly smaller, but the indoor shower features a beautiful glass door which looks out towards to savanna. Open the glass door and find a soaking tub that comfortable fits two! Bathe outside with a spectacular views.
Why Pick Namiri
Every camp has their own personality and Namiri is the happy go lucky more party camp. The staff here want to ensure that you have an unforgettable trip. I found the staff to have a younger more hip vibe. Although extremely responsive to needs, they did it with more character. Professionalism at its best, but fun and not uptight.
Namari camp starts every morning with a camp fire and breakfast porridge. Namiri’s breakfast porridge is also available with an extra kick, if you get what I mean. Spice it up with a little Kahlúa or Armarula and warm up with a liquid blanket on those cold mornings. And if you want to keep the party going, the bar tender will gladly make you a drink to go.
Speaking of the party culture and warm hospitality. Namiri likes to have fun. For example, on our last night at the camp, they surprised us with surprise birthday party. Upon returning from our game drive, our driver told us another vehicle was in need of our help. We pulled up and upon the rock was a table set up with beverages and snacks. Eli, the camp manager was there to greet us. As we walked towards her, at least 10 other staff members came out of their hiding places singing and dancing. A birthday cake in hand, it was a joyous celebration. We sang, danced, drank and ate as the sun set over the savanna. This party is one for the history books!
Staff Make a Place
Beyond the party, everything at Namiri was just more exciting. The staff are happy to host guests by the fire both before and after dinner and it seemed as though our drinks were never empty. Staff at Namari enjoy their job and it is obvious. Hasan, our waiter was always so excited to see us, smiling ear to ear. Always professional, but also interactive. He joked and laughed with us and felt more like a friend than an employee. It was exactly what we wanted while on vacation. Yet, when needed he was extremely helpful and professional. Hasan took amazing care of us, leaving us very merry from sun up to sun down.
The same could be say about our driver too. Stanley had true talent and happened to know where to go at the right time every day! Although we didn’t get to see any animals hunting, we did find animals enjoying their meals. Not only did he find us a mother cheetah and her 4 clubs, be he found us a RHINO! Rhinos are extremely rare in the Namiri plains, and luck would have it, on an evening drive we spotted a rhino! We couldn’t get too close, as he was very spooked by us. Yet, the find was epic! Stanley was full of knowledge and either had amazing luck, or knew exactly where to look at the right time. He also was just an all round funny guy. He was easy to conversate with, telling us stories and jokes as we sought after animals. Like everyone at Namiri, Stanley and staff were great at matching our personalities to ensure we were having a good time.
Finally, one of the main reasons to go to the Serengeti is to see the amazing wildlife. No trip to the Serengeti would be complete without seeing all the big cats! Namari offers an opportunity to see many, if not all the big 5 in one place. From cheetash to lions, to even a RHINO, Namiri has it all. Although, the rhino is truly extremely rare, the big cats are not. Listen to the lions rawr at night, watch cheetahs hunt during the day, and even enjoy the great migration of the wildebeest throughout November through June.
There’s tons to see at Namari and the longer you stay the more you’ll see. From bad ass honey badgers to prehistoric Pangolins or servals and hyenas; the longer you stay the more you’ll get to experience. And if you’re lucky you’ll even see a Rhino – I am still excited reliving that memory?!
Our Namiri Itinerary
Flight from Kogatende airstrip, as we were coming from Sayari Camp, to Seronera
90 minute transfer & game drive to camp.
Lunch at camp.
Afternoon game drive.
Dinner at Camp.
Morning porridge and morning game drive
Breakfast on the savanna, Game drive continues
Lunch at camp
Afternoon game drive, surprise birthday party around sundown
Dinner at camp.
Breakfast at camp.
Game drive and transfer to Seronera. Then, flight back to Zanzibar.
Asilia Final Thoughts & Bookings
After a week in the Serengeti, I was sad to leave. My partner and I was able to visit three of Asilia’s brilliant properties and the trip felt way to short. From two nights in The remote highlands, to experiencing the great migration and watching the wildebeest cross the river Mara at Sayari camp, then ending at Namari. This trip was magical. My trip was not sponsored by anyone, but instead I paid out of pocket and took advantage of the Healthcare Heros discount. I’m sharing these experience as I had a wonderful trip and I hope others consider returning to the Serengeti. If and when I return, I’ll try to do at least 3 nights at each location instead of just two.
There are several ways to book if you’re heading to the Serengeti. I booked my own flight, with Qatar Airways Qsuites from LAX. For within Tanzania, one can book directly with Asilia Africa and they will help you plan your trip and even domestic airfare. Be sure to check out these deals which includes discounts up to 75% off! After all, now is the perfect time to visit Tanzania! Asilia’s staff is responsive, but due to time zone differences it can be sometimes hard to connect. Most of their staff work out of South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Do not worry, they will call you to finalized details etc.
Another option is booking with Africa Odyssey out of the UK. I worked with Sam who was a gem. Both will provide you with legendary customer service. Just let them know that Rocky sent you. They will be delighted to find you the best deal!