Leave a lighter safari footprint at Cherero Camp – one of Kantabile Afrika’s two eco-friendly dwellings. Each canvas tent rests on hardwood platforms made of locally sourced teak and has a private, northeast-facing veranda extending the length of it: together, the four suites resemble butterflies clustering on a rock, exposed to the expansive Serengeti. There are, in fact, no other camps in sight here – this being a remote spot on the way to the Western corridor – and yet this also happens to be one of the best places in Tanzania to see the big five (and more). You’re truly back-to-nature here: after a night under canvas, don’t set an alarm – instead, wake naturally to the chirp of African lovebirds: the colourful cherero.
Four eco-friendly, sunrise-facing tents with private verandas
Between 5–10am. Check-in is between 2–7pm. If you’ll be arriving or departing outside of these times then let the hotel know in advance – particularly as the park prohibits travel after dark.
Double rooms from £488.74 ($589), including tax at 18 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of 1% per booking prior to arrival.
Rates include lunch, dinner and a breakfast of hot dishes, fresh fruits, coffee, tea and juices in the Musabi restaurant. Bush breakfasts can be booked too, for an extra cost.
Cherero Camp is positioned in one of the main corridors of the annual great wildebeest migration. A majestic melée of two million grazing animals – most famously the white-bearded East African wildebeest, but also zebra and Thomson’s gazelle – embark on a journey through the Serengeti, following seasonal rains and the nourishing grasses that grow in their wake. May, June and July are the best months to see this formidable force thunder through the park, and often through the grasslands of Cherero Camp itself.
At the hotel
Musabi restaurant, Serengeti’s secret bar, private game drives, hot-air ballooning. Stays include three meals a day and drinks such as juices, local beers, house wines, coffee and tea. In rooms: WiFi (please note that given the location, this can be intermittent), safe, writing desk, charging points, hairdryer, towels, robes and slippers, drinking water, Arusha coffee, Kilimanjaro tea, Inaya Zanzibar toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
There are four tented suites at Cherero, constructed using canvas and locally sourced teak. Each suite has 50 sq m of hardwood-flooring – split into a bedroom, lounge area and bathroom wing – and a northeast-facing private veranda guaranteeing spectacular African sunrises. Natural lighting, Egyptian cotton bed sheets, handcrafted Maasai mirrors and locally-made furnishings (including oil-rubbed bronze accents) infuse the tents with the spirit of the region.
The camp provides yoga mats for use in the suites, so you can śavāsana before you savannah.
There are two options for your stay at Cherero. The first is a room and board basis, which needs to be arranged as part of a broader tour. The second is a game package – this includes your game drives and transfer from the airstrip, too.
Children over five are welcome, and will be fully immersed in the safari experience through bush tales told by safari guides. The family suites have a king-size bed in the main bedroom, and a queen-size bed in the adjoining lounge.
The owners of Cherero Camp’s eco-friendly tents are passionate about maintaining the health of the land they love, and the communities that live on it. Suites are made from locally sourced teak and canvas, furniture and furnishings are designed by local artisans and sourced from nearby settlements, and electricity and water are solar-powered. The all-Tanzanian team not only take pride in looking after guests, but also act as custodians of the land.
Acacia forests and cinnamon-coloured plains are the backdrop for any meal in Musabi, but when it comes to sundowners, we say head to the firepit.
Stripes, sepia-tones, safari-chic: anything goes when you’re grazing amid the grasslands.
Tuck into made-to-order meals at Musabi, the camp’s dining tent with exceptional savannah-side vistas. Chefs can cater to veggie, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free needs, and all dishes are prepared using fresh, local ingredients – your order will be taken on check-in. Try Kilimanjaro beer chicken: organic, free-range chicken marinated in Kilimanjaro beer and then grilled, served with a steaming plate of seasonal vegetables and a choice of grilled potatoes or rice. At breakfast, tuck into perfectly cooked free-range eggs, yogurt drizzled with organic honey from a nearby village, and a mug of Arusha single estate coffee. You can have a sit down lunch in Musabi too, but if you’re planning on a full-day game drive then the kitchen will sort you out with a luxe lunch box.
The Serengeti’s Secret bar serves light snacks (such as grilled banana or chapati with salsa) and drinks. Our pick for a safari sundowner would be the Serengeti Sunrise cocktail: fresh orange juice, hibiscus-infused syrup and sparkling wine, served in an elegant champagne flute. Bush sundowners away from the camp can also be arranged, for an additional cost.
Breakfast can be served anytime from 5.30am – there’s little time to waste with this much wildlife to behold. You’ll be able to arrange a preferred time for dinner on arrival, but evening meals are typically served between 8.30 and 10pm.
Room service isn’t available at Cherero (trust us, it's best not to leave traces of food in your tent, given your proximity to wild animals), but you can take your morning coffee, tea or a sundowner tipple on your veranda.
Cherero Camp is located in a remote part of Serengeti National Park, looking out over the Musabi Plains.
Seronera airstrip is a 90-minute drive from the camp. Coastal Aviation and Auric Air operate daily flights to the airstrip, a 70-minute journey from Arusha airport. If you’ve booked Cherero’s game package plan, then transfers by car from the airstrip to the camp are included.
Cherero Camp do not accept self-drive guests, so if you’ve booked a room and board package, you’ll need to ask your tour operator to contact the camp in advance and arrange necessary permits.
Worth getting out of bed for
All rise, all rise: it’s safari time. Sumptuous breakfast and Tanzanian coffee dispatched, get ready for plenty of wildlife sightings: prides of tawny lions, snap-ready Nile crocodiles, rare black rhino, lurking leopards and great herds of hippos roam the untouched riverine forests and open landscapes of the Serengeti. Take the day at your own pace, just like the animals do – you’re well positioned in these unspoiled plains. Game drives, birdwatching, bush lunches, hot-air balloon rides and star gazing are all on the agenda – each day there’s something new to see. And there’s more than just animal-spotting here: take a day trip to Olduvai gorge and the Ngorongoro crater, or stop by a Maasai village and pick up local wares.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from their eco-friendly tent in the Serengeti, unpacked their locally-crafted wares and Kilimanjaro beers, a full account of their wildlife-spotting break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Cherero Camp in Tanzania…
Days start with the sun radiating gold across the grasslands, creating a calmness that comes with being immersed, entirely, in the natural world. At breakfast, you might spot a splash of grey in a vista of soft greens: a lone elephant, perhaps, or the frontrunner in a pack of wildebeests. On the way to the Western corridor of the Serengeti, Cherero Camp welcomes the area’s lion, elephant, giraffe and travelling wildebeest, as well as being the favoured breeding ground of the topi antelope. Suites here reflect the spirit, energy and history of the place. The bed frame, dressing table and large standing mirror are made from teak wood, sourced from sustainable forests in Tanzania; the beadwork on the mirrors and lamps was crafted by local Maasai women; and the tempered glass vessel sinks and oil-rubbed bronze faucets were hand-picked by the camp owners. The harmonic, earthy design is set to a screensaver-worthy backdrop of soft-focus savannah views. After a day spent Land Cruiser-ing your way through the park, let the nocturnal plains serenade you to sleep, under a dazzling blanket of stars.