Olduvai Camp is situated between the twin attractions of the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, yet has a real off the beaten track feel. The 17 tents and main buildings are set at the foot of a kopje, a granite hill, and look out over the surrounding plains. The camp is run by local Maasai and one of the main benefits of a stay here is the chance to spend time with the Maasai people.
Accommodation is in large, walk-in canvas tents, with comfy beds, a small dressing area and en-suite bathroom with a hand basin, shower and flush toilet. Solar power provides hot water and limited electricity. Each tent has a shaded deck to the front and safari chairs where you can sit and contemplate the views.
The central area comprises the dining room and lounge-bar. These are large high-ceilinged, open-sided rooms, ideal for socialising. While eating keep an eye out for the endearing genet which often makes an appearance around dinner time, looking for tasty morsels. There's a separate viewing deck, built high into the rocks, offering superb panoramic views and after dark this is a good place to watch the starry skies with the naked eye and using the thoughfully-placed telescope.
The main activity here is walking with Maasai guides. They are happy to share their local knowledge with you and will gladly answer any questions you have. If you wish you'can visit a Maasai village for greater insights into daily life. The walk to a nearby kopje viewing point to watch the sunset is particularly popular. While staying here it is also possible to go on game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater, and to visit the museum at Olduvai Gorge and see the famous Shifting Sands, massive dunes formed from volcanic ash.
Open: Olduvai Camp is open all year.
Location: Olduvai Camp is in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, about half way between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. The camp is built at the base of a kopje, a huge rocky outcrop and is 8kms from Olduvai Museum, 28kms from Ngorongoro crater rim and 35kms from the Naabi entrance gate to the Serengeti.
Rooms: There are 17 guest tents, built against the kopje. They are sturdy canvas tents with gauze windows and contain a bedroom, dressing area and en-suite bathroom with basin, shower, flush toilet and solar-heated water available round the clock. All tents have private decks.
Activities: From the camp you can take walks along the gorges led by local Maasai guides as you learn about their lives and culture, and spotting wildlife and fossils. Walks range from leisurely strolls to longer hikes. Other activities include 4x4 safaris in the Ngorongoro Crater, a visit to the Shifting Sands and museum at Olduvai Gorge, and to a local village. The Gol Mountains and Olkarien Gorge, a good sight for observing birds of prey, can also be visited while at Olduvai Camp. On your first evening in camp it is customary to accompany Maasai guides to a nearby kopje in time to watch the sunset over the wide savannah.
Facilities: The restaurant is a large thatched, open-sided structure built into the rocks. The lounge-cum-bar is similar in style, and set on an upper level. Outside the firepit is the favoured venue for pre and post dinner drinks. There’s also a boma used for private outdoor dining. The viewing platform is equipped with a telescope and is a great place for star gazing. The camp has a small shop selling crafts and jewellery made by Maasai women. Charging facilities and Wi-Fi are available in the bar.
Dining: Meals are served at individual tables in the restaurant, and private dinners can be arranged in the boma.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Child-centred activities include fossil hunting, learning to thow a spear and watching the genets forage for food.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in the lounge-bar.
"Loved staying here. What an experience as we were in the middle of nowhere with just miles of sand and savannah and huge boulders. Two wild jennet came to watch us having dinner. Food very good too."