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Olakira Migration Camp

Olakira Migration Camp is a seasonal tented camp that moves between the southern and northern Serengeti depending on the time of year.

Olakira is a seasonal tented camp in the Serengeti and although the camp is still obviously a seasonal camp, it strives to offer a superior level of comfort and service that is more suitable for some clientele. Owned by Asilia Africa, who have a number of different camps across Tanzania, there is an element of corporate structure to the running of the camp, but this has the positive impact of helping to guarantee certain standards. The food and service is very good for a tented camp, the open vehicles are extremely comfortable and the guiding is good. However, the only downside to all this is that Olakira is nowadays priced as a premium product. The location of the camp in the north is excellent, close to the Mara River, whilst in the south it is located in the very busy Ndutu region which is superb for game viewing but a little busy.


Olakira caters for around 20 guests in large, spacious en suite tents which are built off the ground, each having proper beds, simple furniture and private verandahs. Each verandah is enclosed in a mesh tent, offering an outdoor experience whilst remaining indoors. The beds can be rolled into the meshed area for star gazing and sleeping under the stars. To the rear of the tent is an indoor en suite bathroom, which includes a flush toilet and plumbed shower. There is 24 hour lighting and plug points in the tent. One of the tents has a further twin bedded bedroom zipped on to the side of the tent, making it ideal for families.

Central Areas

There is a central dining tent and lounge area, whilst many meals can be taken out under the stars or around the camp fire.


Wi-Fi – Yes
Power for Charging – Yes
Swimming Pool – No

Habitat & Wildlife

With an area of some 14,000 sq. km, Serengeti is probably the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world. The ecosystem includes the National Park itself, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, together forming one of the most complex and least disturbed ecosystems on earth. The landscape was originally formed by volcanic activity in the Ngorongoro highlands and it varies from the open short grass plains in the south, to savannah and scattered acacia woodlands in the centre, to extensive woodland and black clay plains in the west, to hilly wooded grassland in the north. Most of the permanent water is found towards the northern and western areas, the lack of permanent water and food in the south being the main reason for the annual migration.

The park is home to approaching 2,000,000 wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelle and 250,000 zebra: the largest concentration of plains game in Africa. More than 30 species of herbivores are found here, as well as all the major predators and nearly 500 species of birds.

The southern reaches of the park consist of endless ‘short-grass’ open plains. In the heart of these plains on the border of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an area known as Ndutu, where a series of partial soda lakes and marsh areas are surrounded by woodland. Many of the camps and camp sites in the southern Serengeti are located in this area. To the west the open plains are bordered by the woodlands of the Maswa Game Reserve, and a secondary hub of camps can be found along the edge of woodland, known as the Kusini area. To the east the plains are endless, stretching south-east through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and north-east towards the Loliondo Game Controlled Area which borders the eastern Serengeti.

The hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebra congregate on these southern short grass plains from December to April, usually calving around the end of January when the nutritious grass is at its best. During this time the ‘migration’ is restricted to local movements according to rainfall and grazing, though even within the southern Serengeti region the distances are vast. This southern region is exceptional for lion, cheetah and spotted hyaena sightings, all of which thrive on the open plains, whilst leopard, serval, African wild cat, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, eland, topi, jackal, ostrich and impala can also be seen. Wild dogs are making a comeback in the region and are occasionally encountered to the south of Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Depending on grazing conditions and water supply, the start of the Serengeti annual migration begins at the end of this period, and the herds begin to march north/westwards, ‘lowing’ incessantly so that the air hums like a dynamo (zebra first, then the wildebeest and gazelles). Lion, cheetah, hyaena and wild dog follow, ensuring that only the fittest survive, while jackals trail behind and vultures circle overhead.

The northern part of Serengeti is a huge area of open plains, rolling hills and acacia woodland, intersected by numerous small streams which flow into the Mara River. The Mara River is a natural focal point, and most camps are located in the Kogatende region to the south of the river. To the north of the river is a section of the park known as Lamai, whilst to the south of Kogatende are the Wogakuria Hills where the rolling hills are interspersed with rocky granite outcrops. The plains stretch east and west to the boundaries of the park, and in the east continue into the Loliondo Game Controlled Area.

The northern Serengeti is exceptional for lion, cheetah and leopard sightings, whilst hyaena, serval, African wild cat, elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, eland, topi, jackal, ostrich and impala can also be seen. Wild dogs are making a comeback in the region and are very occasionally encountered, whilst black rhino can sometimes be seen in the north-eastern region around the Sand River.

Although this region offers a wonderful all year round safari experience, it is busiest from July to October when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebra congregate on these northern plains. The herds usually arrive in late June or early July, travelling up from the southern and western Serengeti on their annual migration. Many of the herbivores will cross into Kenya’s Masai Mara, but large numbers remain in the northern reaches of the Serengeti, where the Mara River provides permanent water. This movement of so many animals can be dramatic, especially when they cross the Mara River, which can happen at any time between July and early November. ‘River Crossings’ are a favoured highlight for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, as hundreds of wildebeest stampede into the river whilst crocodiles lie in wait. Around October/November, as the rain clouds gather, the herds head south once more to calve on those nutritious short grass plains before starting the cycle again.


Game viewing in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area is almost entirely vehicle based, between the hours of sunrise and sunset. Driving off road is only permitted in certain zones, predominantly in the far south of the park. Activities at Olakira focus around day time game drives in shared open vehicles for fly-in guests or in closed vehicles for guests that drive in with their own private vehicle and guide. Seasonal hot air ballooning is also possible in the north at an additional charge.


Olakira operates in the northern Serengeti from mid-June to mid-November, whilst from December to March the camp is located in the Ndutu region in the southern Serengeti which is technically inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Olakira accepts children from 5 years old and is very suitable for families looking for a tented bush adventure. The family tent is great, with the sleeping areas internally linked.

Staying at any of Asilia properties, owners of Olakira, sees guests automatically contributing to community and conservation projects through their guest conservation charge. By staying at Olakira guests are also supporting their in-house training schemes and responsible tourism efforts.

Asilia’s vision in East Africa is for both the local people and nature to benefit from crucial wilderness areas thriving. They work with local communities and offer primary, secondary and tertiary educational scholarships. Twende Porini, meaning ‘let’s go to the bush’, is a project which takes a group of children from their villages close to the areas in which Asilia operates, to one of their camps for several days. Whilst at the camp the children are mentored by Asilia guides and staff as well as local school teachers and engage in a range of activities from lectures to game drives in order to assist their understanding for the need for conservation in the wild areas close to their communities.

Sustainability efforts in Asilia’s camps include banning the use of cling film in their kitchens, using biodegradable lunch packs and providing guests with reusable bottles to reduce plastic water bottle waste.

AsiliaGiving is an online donation platform for their UK and US charities with total annual donations increasing significantly. The projects which AsiliaGiving support are both human and wildlife focussed.