Liz, Patrick and I have just been driving around northern and central Serengeti for 3 days, inspecting properties. We managed to visit 15 properties with some great driving from our guide Alex from Migration Camp, two broken U-bolts and slipping and sliding in the mud……. we all need new backs and plenty of massages.
We tested the flight from Wilson via Migori, across the Isibania border to Tarime and then to Kogatende. Apart from the slow bureaucratic process of going through the (new, smart) Kenya and Tanzania border posts the flights were good and would recommend Air Kenya / Regional as it departs earlier from Nairobi, so clients can be in their Serengeti camp in time for lunch.
We are now briefing our Cheli & Peacock Safaris sales team on:
- what we feel should be recommended,
- what should not be recommended and
- what we take no responsibility for booking if you insist on booking it for your clients!
We were all very disappointed with the “Seasonal Camps”. As you all know 32 years ago Cheli & Peacock started with the mobile safari concept and the progression was from adventure mobile camps to more luxurious mobile camps, to seasonal camps and finally with our permanent boutique lodge circuit, now owned by the Elewana Collection.
We learned from our own experience that seasonal mobile camps are very difficult to make work well, the Italian expression of neither “fish or meat” fits very well.
We love the true mobile camp experience where the camp moves every 3 days and the clients get to know all the staff and you travel with a professional guide and still today this would be our preferred choice of a safari.
The “Seasonal Mobile Camp” now prolific in the Serengeti becomes manky, mouldy, untidy and generally unpleasant very quickly. Seasonal camps need very strong management if they are to keep up good standards, and we did not find that in any we visited.
So the next best thing after the true mobile camp is the small max 20 tents / rooms boutique permanent camps / lodges. We loved – Kuria Hills by Lemala, Migration Camp by Elewana, and Sayare by Asilia.
We are going back in July to see Tarangire, Karatu and Manyara.
You are all welcome to contact us for more detail, happy to chat on Skype ..
Stefano with Liz and Patrick