Kleins Camp offers fine luxury accommodations in a remote private concession of the Northern Serengeti. With just 10 cottages, Kleins Camp does provide for a very intimate and more secluded safari experience. However, with the newly refurbished and luxurious Migration Camp now open just 16.2 miles to the west, it’s difficult to recommend Kleins Camp as the luxury choice for accommodations in the Northern Serengeti. To some, Migration Camp (re-opened September 2004) offers superior accommodations and is located in a little better position for wildlife viewing. Kleins Camp was certainly the luxury choice during the last 15 or so years but with recent upgrades to Migration Camp, it seems to be a better alternative. Kleins Camp is still more expensive than Migration Camp, but it is difficult to call it more luxurious. However, for some individuals Kleins Camp may still be the best choice for luxury accommodations in the Northern Serengeti. Two important points are noted below as to why you might want to consider Kleins Camp over Migration Camp:
1. One downside with Migration Camp is that it is a long walk from your tent to the dining and reception area including a steep set of stairs (around 45 steps up the stairs). Accordingly, for those seeking more ‘accessible’ accommodations while still aiming for luxury, we recommend Kleins Camp as a luxury alternative to Migration Camp.
2. Kleins Camp is one of the few lodges in Northern Tanzania where night game drives are allowed. This is due to the fact that Kleins Camp resides just outside of the Serengeti in a private game sanctuary/concession. Within the Serengeti National Park, you may only game drive from 6AM to 7PM. While the night drives are not entirely nocturnal (taking place between roughly 4PM and 8PM), some people really enjoy them as leopards are frequently spotted just after sunset.
Since Kleins Camp resides in a private concession, only Kleins vehicles may be used for game drives while staying at the lodge. While staying at Kleins Camp, your game drives will take place in one of the Camp’s open sided vehicles with one of the Camp’s guides. These game drives are on a shared basis with other people in the vehicle as opposed to all other game drives at other lodges, which are strictly private. Two game drives are scheduled each day with one in the morning and one in the evening. This format can pose a problem for some individuals as little flexibility is offered, possible trouble with group dynamics and full day adventure game drives with your Africa Dream Safaris private guide and vehicle are not allowed. This is another factor to consider when choosing between Migration Camp and Kleins Camp. Game drives from Migration Camp, along with most every other lodge in Tanzania, are done on a completely private basis with your Africa Dream Safaris expert guide and private vehicle.
Kleins Camp is only recommended during a portion of the dry season from early July through mid November when game viewing is good to excellent in the immediate area. July (northward migration) and October (southward migration) are the absolute best times to visit. During these months, the migration should be in full swing and hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra should be passing through the immediate area as they make their way to or from the Serengeti plains.
Kleins Camp sits on the edge of the Kuka Hills in the northern Serengeti just outside the official eastern boundary of the park. The lodge resides in a private sanctuary overlooking wooded hillsides and rolling grasslands. Being located just outside the Serengeti, walking safaris and night drives are permitted. Game driving can be done in the private sanctuary or in the nearby Serengeti.
Approximately 10 miles to the north of Kleins Lodge is Kenya and the Masai Mara game reserve. However, the border has been closed to vehicles since 1977 and you are not allowed to drive into the Masai Mara from the Serengeti. The Central Serengeti, specifically Seronera, is located about 45 miles to the southwest of Kleins Camp.
Kleins Camp is usually incorporated into our fly-in and drive-back itineraries at the beginning of your safari. You will most likely be arriving at the nearby Kleins Airstrip (15-minute drive) on your regional flight departing from the Arusha Air Strip. A night or two at the beginning of your safari at Kleins Camp is a superb way to kick off your adventure before traveling to other areas of the Serengeti and onwards to the Crater and the other great parks of Northern Tanzania. Flying into the wild Northern Serengeti on your first safari day is a superb introduction to Tanzania. From Kleins Camp, it is about a 2.5-hour drive south to the Seronera area of the Central Serengeti. It is a fairly long drive to the Central Serengeti but this is more than made up for by the stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Keep a look out for lions and cheetah off from the main road as they are regularly sighted.
Kleins Camp can also be incorporated into your itinerary at the end of your adventure in the Serengeti. The lodge does make an excellent spot to unwind, relax and enjoy your last night or two on safari.
Accommodations at Kleins Camp consist of just 10 intimate and well-appointed cottages. Most of the cottages are spaced around 50 feet from each other and are built along a ridge leading away from the reception area. All 10 cottages are furnished with 1 double bed, which can be converted to 2 twin beds upon request. Unfortunately, no triples are available. The beds are draped in beautiful soft white curtains. Room furnishings include a sitting area with a cozy love seat and a decanter of port. There is also a small easel with paper, brushes, watercolor paint and canyons beckoning you to recreate the beautiful valley just outside your front door. The rooms are a bit worn considering the high price tag and could possibly use some refurbishing. There are power outlets in each room and 24-hour electricity is provided so you may charge whatever batteries needed. Each cottage has en suite bathrooms built out of local stone with twin hand basins and a nice interesting open shower. There are hairdryers in every room, as well.
There is a small patio outside of each cottage that looks down to the valley below. The views from each patio are certainly spectacular and you can usually spot giraffe, impala, topi and baboons with a good pair of binoculars and a little patience.
The main guest area at Kleins Camp is comfortable and luxurious, and the highlight is the open sided lounge constructed around an open fire pit. There are several comfortable couches and chairs that look out over the valley below. This combined with the ornate decorations and full bar offer a superb venue for a drink before dinner or a peaceful afternoon reading. All arrival briefings are conducted in this lounge and it serves as a warm and cozy introduction to Kleins Camp. There is a very nice swimming pool built on a raised stone slab deck. The pool is pleasantly secluded as it is set behind the camp and above the cottages. There is also a quaint gift shop near the Camp's lounge.
Food and Drink
We have received mixed reviews of the food at Kleins Camp with some customers enjoying it and others who were not very happy. T here has been a turnover in management recently (October 2004) and this is likely to blame. It is likely that things will return to normal shortly. Breakfast is served mixed buffet style in the main dinning room. It consists of a large assortment of fruits, cereals and breads. Orders are separately taken for eggs, bacon, ham, etc. Dinners are a fairly formal affair as with all the CC Africa properties. Three gourmet courses are served and a typical dinner consists of fresh bread and soup, a main dish consisting of fish, beef or chicken, two vegetables, potatoes or rice and dessert. Vegetarian options are available upon request. As with their other properties and generally speaking, the meals at Kleins Camp are very rich in taste and will not appeal to everyone’s individual’s palettes.
There is a good variety of soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails available at Kleins Camp and most are included in your safari package.
Kleins Camp is located in northern area of the Serengeti ecosystem and accordingly, it is this area that will be the topic of discussion below. See the Serengeti National Park guide for a complete analysis on the entire Serengeti ecosystem, including the famed migration and all the game viewing highlights.
The northern region of the Serengeti is a vast pristine area of wooded rolling hills interspersed with open grassy patches and large granite outcrops. This region extends north about 55 miles from Seronera in the Central Serengeti to the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. Most visitors to the Serengeti never see the northern region. It is only rarely visited and remains an unexplored and untouched wilderness packed with stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife.
It is ironic that the most popular game viewing regions in East Africa are the Central Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. Thousands of visitors a year flock to these two great areas, which belong to same ecosystem. Lying right in between these two areas is the Northern Serengeti, which receives very few visitors. Wildlife concentrations are lower in the Northern Serengeti and the thick woodlands do make game harder to see but this is more than compensated by the beautiful landscapes and the fact you will have the majority of your wildlife sightings all to yourself.
The Northern Serengeti supports a good number of resident herbivores including giraffe, eland, topi, impala and Thomson’s gazelle. This area is home to the largest remaining concentrations of elephants in the Serengeti. These graceful giants were poached heavily in the 1980s and less than a hundred remained by 1987 in the northern Serengeti. With the world ban on the ivory trade imposed in 1989, poaching came to an abrupt halt. Since the ivory ban was enacted, elephant numbers have been slowing rising in the Northern Serengeti through immigration from the Mara, natural recruitment and from expansion of agricultural communities outside the park forcing those animals inside the Serengeti. The great buffalo herds of the north faced a similar fate but they too are returning and a few large herds are usually sighted around Lobo in the northern Serengeti.
Predators are also abundant in the Northern Serengeti, though not to the extent seen in the Central Serengeti. The thick bush and woodlands of the Northern Serengeti do make it more difficult to spot predators. However, lions and hyenas are regularly seen. Cheetahs are distributed fairly thinly in the northern woodlands but they are commonly seen since they are active during the day. Leopards are spread fairly constant throughout the woodlands but they are more elusive here in the Northern Serengeti.
The northern woodlands of the Serengeti ecosystem are home to the enormous migratory herds of wildebeest and zebra during the dry season. However, the great herds usually reside in the extreme north of the park spilling over into the Masai Mara during the height of the dry season. The smaller wildebeest herds can usually be accessed with game drives to the extreme north. The zebra herds are more dispersed and are more easily seen. Game viewing is at its best it the Northern Serengeti when the great herds are migrating through the area to and from the Masai Mara and the extreme northern Serengeti. The northern migration usually makes its way through the northern Serengeti in July, appearing on the Mara watershed in Kenya in early August. The southern migration through the northern region usually takes place in mid to late October. However, these events and the exact timing fluctuate from year to year and is entirely dependent on current rainfall patterns.
- Shared twice daily game drives
- Bush walks
- Picnic lunches
- Game viewing from the lodge
- Night game drives