We were spoilt with wildlife viewing and bespoke luxury safari tent experiences in Masai Mara, so when we made our way to Serengeti, we were a tad bit concerned if Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is going to be worth the long hike. We had to take a small 13 seat aircraft, a drive to cross the border between Kenya and Tanzania and another small aircraft from an open-air airport with an unpaved runway at Tarime airstrip to get to the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti. As soon as we were handed the champagne flutes at the Seronera Airport, we knew we were in for a treat. After a welcome drink and some refreshments, we headed into the heart of the world’s most celebrated wildlife reserves – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
Rooms and Views at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
After an hour and a half drive through the magnificent plains of Serengeti National Park and numerous giraffe and zebra sighting, we made our way to the Lodge. It seemed like the structures of the lodge appeared out of nowhere right in the middle of the Savannah.
Perched on a series of elevated platforms and walkways, the Four Seasons Lodge sits next to an animal watering hole where elephants and zebras stop by for a drink. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti features an impressive 77 guest rooms, suites and villas, each with intimate views and close connections to the Serengeti’s expansive landscapes. We had a Terrace Suite with a plunge pool looking onto the watering hole. We stayed for 4 nights and woke up every morning looking to see if can see the elephants or zebras stopping at the water hole.
I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy. – Ernest Hemingway
Loved the welcome amenity that was waiting for us when we checked-in
We had some wonderful amenity waiting for us when we checked in – including chilled champagne, fruits, chocolates and Masai bead bracelets. Our room was decorated in contemporary design with lots of African elements and colors. We had a king bed and sofa bed that was converted into beds for the kids. We had two full bathrooms, an outdoor shower and a nice plunge pool. The outside sitting area had the best views of the waterhole. There were Maasai warriors in the lodge for guarding the guests and the wildlife. If you don’t like roughing it or if this is your first Safari experience then Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is a perfect choice. We saw quite a few families on while we were there, children must be 2 or older to stay at the Lodge though.
Nearly 75 percent of the overall suppliers for the Lodge are from Tanzania and within the Lodge’s Boutique, 90 percent of items are from Africa, with 60 percent being specifically from Tanzania. Throughout the Lodge, Four Seasons showcases products from Shanga Shangaa – a socially conscious for-profit enterprise that employs local people with disabilities to create unique art pieces from recycled glass and other recycled materials.
Expansive game drives and explorations
While the Four Seasons Safari Lodge is ultra luxurious and difficult to leave, you still have to plan for a few game drives and wildlife exploration after all that is why you are here! We saw zebras crisscrossed looking out for predators, giraffes grazing lazily, an old cheetah, a pride of lions and hippos galumph in muddy pools, we saw a few wildebeest that decided not to follow the migratory paths. Our covered safari vehicles have a/c, WiFi and even a little cooler stocked will cold drinks. Unlike Kenya, the safari vehicles can’t go off-road here, but the seasoned trackers and guides were able to get us to the best animal sightings possible. Tse Tse flies is an issue so make sure to bring insect repellent and dress in neutral colors, blues tend to attract these pesky creatures. ( See here for our Safari packing list). The Land Rover vehicles have popup tops that you can look out from if you chose to leave the windows open, and the flies sneak in, you can use a swatter made of wildebeest tail to get them out.
There is not just one way to see the stunning Serengeti landscape, you can go on half-day or full-day game drives, Immerse yourself in the splendors of the Serengeti on an intimate 90-minute guided walking Safari or go on an expert driver-guide full-day adventure to the world’s largest inactive, volcanic caldera at Ngorongoro crater and visit a Maasai Village – the options are varied just like the seasons in Serengeti Plains. One of our favorites was an early morning Hot air Balloon Safari.
Spa at the Four Seasons Lodge
After those bumpy safari rides it is always nice and relaxing to get some spa time. We had a Kifaa massage, which is similar to a hot-stone massage but done using a wooden tool called Rungu. We got a couples massage while the kids had a signature treatment at the luxury Spa. The Spa uses locally-inspired treatments that source local ingredients and the treatment beds, face an expansive panoramic window with extraordinary views of the Serengeti.
Dining Options at the Lodge
As you would expect at any Four Seasons Hotel, the property’s dining options are exceptional. We dined at Kula’s Restaurant, Boma Grill, and Maji Bar & Terrace. Most morning began with breakfast at Kula’s Restaurant, located on the second floor and its incredible views of the Elephant Watering Hole and Infiniti-Edge Pool. We had lunch or snacks at the Maji Bar and had a Boma dinner one night at the Boma Grill while enjoying a traditional Maasai dance.
This was our favorite night with the open-air fire pit and traditional music and locally inspired cuisine. Maji Bar served light African tapas, fresh salads, nice cocktails and pizzas. The property can also arrange a variety of Special Dining Experiences for guests in different areas of the resort – poolside, in the bush, or the Wine Cellar. We learned from the staff that all the ingredients come from Arusha via trucks – from the choices of fresh fruits and juices to breads, vegetables, everything was what we have come to appreciate when staying at Four Seasons. The kids, of course, were happy to see endless choices for deserts and I was happy that there were always vegetarian and vegan choices at every meal.
Discovery Center and Community Involvement
Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge has a discovery center where kids and adults can learn about the wildlife in that area and the Great Migration. The Great Migration is the largest mass movement of land mammals on Earth, when more than a million wildebeest, along with thousands of zebra, topi and gazelle, stalked by predators like big cats, vultures and hyenas circle through the Serengeti plains in Tanzania and Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. Following instinct and the scent of moisture, looking for fresher greener land, the herds move clockwise from their calving grounds in the lush plains of the southern Serengeti, moving to the northern Serengeti and eventually cross the Mara river to Masai Mara.
You can arrange for a Professional Wildlife Photographer to accompany your safari and offer advice and photo tips and once back at the Discovery Centre, the pro can critique your work and offer editing and post-production tips, as well as one-on-one workshops and, if desired, a private slide show.
I can’t mention enough about the good work that goes on behind the scenes at Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge. Through contributions from every Four Seasons game drive, walking safari, select boutique items and guest donations, the Lodge is able to support a number of community and wildlife projects in and around the Serengeti. You can learn more about it here.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti Review, Final thoughts
Visiting Africa, especially Serengeti was incredibly special for us. We have been dreaming of a visit to Africa forever and glad that it came together so well. Thanks to the staff at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti for handling all our arrangements and flight and transportation. You can see here for details on how to get to the lodge. This trip was such a precious gift and we made so many everlasting memories while we were here – from game drives to the Hot air balloon safari over the Savannah to the sunset on the Kopje.
This was the highlight of the trip, when a heard of elephants came to drink at the watering hole, right outside our suite
During a conversation with the manager Martin at the property, we mentioned how we haven’t yet seen one of those epic African sunsets since it had been so cloudy in the evenings. He arranged for a special sunset viewing for us on top of a Kopje, a rocky outcrop near the property. Accompanied by our guide Ahmed we climbed up to the little hill to be surprised by a little sun-downer set up with wine, beer and snacks, and the friendly staff.
Ahmed manages the Discovery Centre and leads the walking safaris from the Lodge and was full of knowledge about flora and fauna of the surrounding Savannah. While the sunset was still a little cloudy, it was a magical finish to our trip. They always go above and beyond to make your stay special and memorable, that is the reason we seek out Four Seasons Properties during our travels!
Like Hemingway said, “If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa!”
And just like that our time in the Savannah was over and it was time to go, with heavy hearts and hopes of a return visit we boarded our flight to Zanzibar our next destination for a few days.
If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again. – Karen Blixen author of Out of Africa
See here for more details about how to plan your trip and rates for Four Season Safari Lodge Serengeti
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