October 9

Top 15 Accommodations for a Front-Row View of the Great Migration

October 9, 2023

There are many things in Africa that will take your breath away, but one of the greatest is witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration. And, because it’s a journey rather than a single event, it’s vital to know where to stay to get VIP access to this epic wildlife display, listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.

Chaos during a wildebeest river crossing

Chaos during a wildebeest river crossing, Image Credit: Sean Brookes

Front Row Seats to the Greatest Show on Earth

This grand spectacle takes place annually when over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle charge collectively from Kenya to Tanzania and back again, flooding the savannah plains – with plenty of predators close on their heels!  

It can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time, simply because their activity can’t be predicted to a tee. However, with our first-hand expertise, you needn't worry, as we know when and where all the action is taking place and have hand-picked the best possible Great Migration accommodations.

Bird’s-eye-view of Great Migration

Bird’s-eye-view of Great Migration

15 Best Great Migration Accommodations

There are two regions in Africa where wildebeest dominate in their millions while making their annual migration; Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. And we have the inside scoop of the most attractive lodges and camps when it comes to these superstar safari destinations. 

The Great Migration in East Africa crossing the Mara River

Experience a dream trip to the Great Migration in East Africa

Where to Stay in Maasai Mara National Reserve

The ideal time to stay here: August – December

1. Sand River Masai Mara

You’d be fooled into thinking that you’ve travelled back in time in Sand River Masai Mara's vintage East African tents. Step outside and you are right on the banks of the Sand River where the Great Migration passes through. It’s also located in a quiet part of this popular reserve, offering a more exclusive safari experience.

Perfect for: Family or friends travelling together

A bedroom in a luxury tent - ideal for experiencing the Great Wildebeest Migration in Africa

Luxury tent at Sand River Masai Mara, Image Credit: Sand River Masai Mara

2. Rekero Camp

With a limited number of luxury tents (including family tents) overlooking the Talek River, Rekero Camp gives you an exclusive view of the Great Migration crossings from the comfort of the deck. Relax on your very own private veranda, listening to distant echoes of hippos grunting and keep an eye out for wildebeest congregating along the riverbanks.

Perfect for: Families or couples

Couple enjoying the river views from an elevated wooden deck

Overlooking the Talek River migration crossing point, Image Credit: Rekero Camp

3. &Beyond Bateleur Camp

Your very own ‘Out of Africa’ experience awaits you at &Beyond Bateleur Camp. Step into a world of elegant hardwood floors, gleaming silver accents, and luxurious copper bathtubs set amidst the enchanting backdrop of the expansive Mara plains, teeming with wildlife. Plus, a WILDchild Programme ensures kids are delightfully engaged!

Perfect for: Groups and families (children of all ages welcome)

View from Bateleur Camp's deck

Safari ambience and glamour of Kenyan explorers of old, Image Credit: &Beyond Bateleur Camp

4. &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Set on the Saparingo River on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is in an ideal choice when it comes to Great Migration accommodations. From family to superior view tents, there’s a space for every preference. And, parents, if you need a break, the WILDchild programme is will keep your little ones entertained.

Perfect for: Groups or multigenerational families (children of all ages welcome)

Massage on the outside deck

Unwind with holistic spa treatments, Image Credit: &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

5. Angama Mara

Seemingly suspended in mid-air, overlooking the Great Migration in the plains below, can you think of a more spectacular setting? The tented suites at Angama Mara each boast incredible sweeping views and 11-metre wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts so that you can gaze out at the uninterrupted view.

Perfect for: Couples, groups or families (children must be five years or older)

Angama Mara

Located high above the floor of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Image Credit: Angama Mara

6. Governors Il Moran Camp

Shaded by the ancient trees and dotting the Mara River, Governors Il Moran Camp is adorned with African artefacts and tribal portraits. It’s provides a wonderful setting for those looking for an intimate getaway with that added attention to detail. There’s even a spa to enhance the experience for an indulgent safari.

Perfect for: Honeymoon or romantic getaway

Main area with oversized blue couches and a central, colourfully beaded chandelier,

This is the camp for those who want that extra bit of "oomph", Image Credit: Governors' Il Moran Camp

7. Cottar's 1920s Camp

With a 100-year history, the award-winning Cottar’s 1920s Camp offers the true authentic East African safari experience. With a small number of opulent tents available, including a special honeymoon tent and family suites, it caters for all kinds of travellers. The tents are also located far from one another offering you the utmost privacy.

Perfect for: Honeymoon, romantic getaway or groups/families travelling together

Luxury tent spacious interior boasting opulent décor and furnishings

Providing the romance of safari under cream canvas tents, Image Credit: Cottar's 1920s Camp

8. Mara Plains

With a single acacia tree dotting the horizon and set in one of the world’s richest ecosystems, Mara Plains elevate your Great Migration accommodations to another level. It’s one of Kenya’s only three Relais & Chateaux properties and accommodates a limited number of guests, meaning that you’ll have more exclusive game viewing experiences.

Perfect for: Romantic getaway, group getaway or families (with children aged eight and older)

Main area with opulent furnishings

One-of-a-kind luxury Kenya safari camp, Image Credit: Mara Plains Camp

9. Encounter Mara Safari Camp

Encounter Mara Safari Camp is set in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The area is known for its prolific wildlife, concentrated lion populations and award-winning sustainability model. Here, game viewing takes centre stage, with an onsite hide, bush walks, photographic and family safaris. Cultural and community visits are also very popular.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers, photographers, and families with children (5 years and older)

One of the guides playing a traditional African game with one of the child guests

Many of the camp's guides are also parents and love hosting families, Image Credit: Encounter Mara

Where to Stay in the Serengeti National Park

The ideal time to stay here: December – July 

10. Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Serengeti Pioneer Camp beautifully embraces the spirit of the 1930s mobile safari era. Nestled within the heart of the Serengeti, this exceptional camp provides a gateway to extraordinary seasonal Great Migration spectacles, all while providing a selection of cosy tented accommodations, including a spacious two-bedroom family tent.

Perfect for: Couples, groups or families with older children (12 years and older)

Tented accommodation

A nostalgic throwback to a time when an African safari was truly an adventure, Image Credit: Serengeti Pioneer Camp

11. Serengeti Migration Camp

Located along the banks of the famed Grumeti River and positioned at the threshold of the Great Migration, Serengeti Migration Camp promises a safari that's both thrilling and eco-conscious. Featuring generously appointed rooms, each elevated tent provides an enchanting 360-degree panorama of the surrounding landscape.

Perfect for: Romantic getaway or a group travelling together

Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp

A tranquil spot hidden among an rocky outcrop, Image Credit: Serengeti Migration Camp

12. Mwiba Lodge

Ideal for a romantic escape, Mwiba Lodge emerges as an enchanting haven set within the serenity of the southern Serengeti. Set high on towering stone boulders and embraced by the company of ancient coral trees and acacias, this Mwiba offers panoramic views that unfurl before you. A superb option for your Great Migration accommodations.

Perfect for: Honeymoon/romantic getaway

expansive pool is set on a rocky outcrop overlooking natural springs

Stay in a luxury lodge while appreciating impressive wildlife and landscapes, Image Credit: Mwiba Lodge

13. &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

Found on the banks of the Grumeti River, Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge couldn’t be in a better location. After a day of game drives and activities, wind down and enjoy a sundowner on the spacious deck overlooking the activity in the river below. Children are welcome with fun educational activities to keep them utterly captivated.

Perfect for: Romantic getaways and families/groups travelling together

Main viewing deck

Perhaps one of the Serengeti’s best-kept secrets, Image Credit: &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

14. &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas

Serengeti Under Canvas relocates five times a year to keep pace with the Great Migration. With a limited number of tents and added services like a private butler, it strikes the perfect balance between luxury and rustic adventure. Experience tranquil seclusion and exceptional comfort, with just the canvas walls separating you from the Serengeti.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and families (only one family tent per camp)

under a tent are tables and breakfast outside, behind them the savannah

Bringing you within a comfortable distance of the Migration, Image Credit: &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas

15. Singita Sabora Tented Camp 

Set right on the Great Migration route in the Serengeti, Singita Sabora Tented Camp showcases a contemporary take on the timeless elements of a romantic tented safari. Enhanced by a simplified reimagining of classic safari elegance, it establishes the ambiance of canvas living that exudes a sense of lightness, modernity, and sophistication.

Perfect for: Families and group getaways (children must be 10 years and older)

Safari heaven at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Safari heaven at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Image Credit: Singita

Let’s Make Your Migration Safari a Reality

With our expert knowledge, our clients get to experience a side of Africa that few others ever get to see. If you want Rhino Africa to make this trip of a lifetime a reality, reach out to one of our Travel Experts for a curated Great Migration itinerary.

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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