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Lodge Overview

Watch in awe from your private veranda as a gilded sunrise casts an ethereal glow over the hazy woodlands below. Listen to the echo of a million wildebeest hooves thundering through the famous Mbalageti River Valley. Inhale the earthy aroma of Serengeti underneath a brilliant Tanzanite sky. An indulgence for the senses and fulfillment for the soul - these experiences are the essence of Mbalageti Tented Lodge!

Mbalageti is located in a prime area for exceptional year round wildlife viewing and a multitude of game drive options. Due to its central location, Mbalageti can be used as a base to explore the West Serengeti, Central Serengeti or East Serengeti. With its pristine location, unparalleled service, and timeless luxury, Mbalageti is one of the most special properties in all of Tanzania. We are sure that your stay here will make priceless memories that you will cherish for years to come.

Mbalageti Tented Lodge, also referred to as Mbalageti Serengeti, offers exceptional luxury accommodations in a secluded location half way down the western corridor of the Serengeti. Expect to be impressed, pampered, and inspired by this Lodge's natural beauty, sophisticated luxury, and pristine surroundings. First opening its doors on November 21, 2004, Mbalageti has now cemented itself as a shining star of the Serengeti. Four years of construction and a "spare no expensive" attitude, combined with a top safari-lodge design team, has created a truly remarkable property.

Mbalageti is perched on the crest of Mwamnevi Hill and offers panoramic views of the Mbalageti River Valley and Dutwa Plains below. This remote slice of the Serengeti is incredibly isolated, stunningly beautiful, and allows for a unique 'off the beaten path' safari experience. T he Lodge is named for the seasonal Mbalageti River that winds through a fold of plains and hills that stretches from the Southern Serengeti plains, past the Lodge, and eventually into Lake Victoria. This river forms a natural corridor that the wildebeest and zebra migration follow each year, putting Mbalageti Tented Lodge right in the middle of their thundering path!

The organic furnishings of the Lodge are purposefully and soulfully designed to blend in inconspicuously with the surrounding environment. In these efforts to fuse with nature, luxury is not compromised but rather enhanced. A blend of natural stone and gnarled timber turn common living areas into a delightful extension of the natural world. Thatched canopies offer sunshade over open-air ambience. Splashes of vivid color, eccentric décor, and warm smiles from the staff ensure that nothing about this Lodge is pretentious, but rather aimed for comfort and delight.

What might look anomalous anywhere else becomes art here -antelope bones adorn the dining room and ornate chandeliers of empty Heineken bottles light the inner bar. African masks and furnishings add an exotic flavor throughout the living spaces. Almost everything has been custom made on site, and many of the local artisans who helped build the Lodge still work there, offering a steady stream of creative energy. The reception lounge, gift shop, bar, swimming pool, and dining areas are linked by lingering stone walkways, and guest chalets are generously spaced throughout the property with distance and care to create the ultimate sense of solitude and privacy.

In spite of the delightful common areas, your private sleeping quarters might well be the highlight of your stay at Mbalageti (especially if your package includes one of the exclusive presidential suites!). Each luxurious tented chalet or presidential suite is comprised of khaki canvas and indigenous river stone, and each is well appointed with plush bedding, an opulent en suite bathroom, oversized chair and couch, a writing desk, and a private balcony which affords stunning views of either a Serengeti sunrise or a sunset. Four poster beds are draped in gauze while knotted driftwood furnishings and exotic African prints further enhance the ambience.

If you are staying in one of the property's exclusive presidential suites, you will further enjoy a lavish private dining room, private butler service, a family living room and entertainment center, a complimentary bar, an outdoor master bathtub, a second bedroom with a second en suite bathroom, and best of all an expansive open-air game viewing deck. Whether you stay in one of the presidential chalets or one of the tented chalets, you will surely find the private accommodations at Mbalageti are simply heaven on earth!

Mbalageti Tented Lodge is recommended throughout the year due to its central location and close proximity to an abundance of resident wildlife. During the dry season the lodge is in a great position to explore both the West and Central Serengeti. During the green season, Mbalageti can be a great choice when combined with a lodge or camp in the South Serengeti.   It is only a 1.5-hour drive from Mbalageti to the Seronera Valley so one can use Mbalageti as a base to game drive the Central Serengeti year round.

Mbalageti Tented Lodge is highly recommended during the northward wildebeest migration from early May to early July. During this period, the migration is moving northwest along the Mbalageti River Valley, which flows from the plains, through the woodlands and into Lake Victoria. The Mbalageti River Valley links the plains to the woodlands and forms a natural corridor that the great wildebeest and zebra migration follows each year. In a typical year the migratory herds will pass by the Lodge throughout June. However, the exact timing of the migration through the Mbalageti area is completely dependent on rainfall. During drought years the migration may thunder through on the early side in May and sometimes even in July during abnormally long green seasons. November is also an optimal time to be at Mbalageti for the southward migration as some of the migratory wildebeest and zebra accumulate here before making their final southward leap to the Southern Serengeti Plains.

Short walking safaris are available from Mbalageti Tented Lodge. The walks are about 2 hours long. The walks begin at the Lodge and route down Mwamnevi Hill, across a small plain, and to the Mbalageti River. A swing bridge is used to cross the river followed by a short break. The walk then leads down the riverbed under the thick forest canopy and back up to the Lodge. An armed park ranged and two Maasai warriors accompany each walking safari. Game viewing is hit or miss but impala, topi, Thomson's gazelle and giraffe may sometimes be seen plus there is always phenomenal birding along the Mbalageti River.  


Location

Mbalageti Tented Lodge (elevation of 4,379 feet) is located roughly in the middle of the western corridor of the Serengeti. Mbalageti is roughly halfway between Seronera in the Central Serengeti and Grumeti in the West Serengeti. The Lodge is situated at the top of Mwamnevi Hill in the greater Mbalageti River Valley and Dutwa Plains. Mbalageti Tented Lodge is roughly a 1-hour drive away or 20 miles southeast of the Kirawira and Grumeti lodges and game circuits. The Lodge is 35 miles northwest of the Seronera Airstrip or a 1.5-hour drive away from the Seronera Valley game circuits.


Accommodations

Well off the beaten path and inconspicuously nestled in acacia bush, other then a discrete road marker over a half an hour away, there are no signs of civilization to reveal Mbalageti's presence until you literally stumble upon the entrance. You will be immediately greeted with friendly smiles and escorted by Maasai warriors to the welcome center. After being led to the open foyer and comfortable lounge, you will be treated to a cool towel, refreshing drinks, and a warm orientation by one of the assistant managers. It is here where you can find a delightful coffee and tea bar, along with a small computer desk offering complimentary internet services.

The main Lodge area, situated at the northern tip of the hill, is simply spectacular. This area consists of the indoor restaurant, outside dining terrace, bar, lounge loft, and an immaculate swimming pool. You shoppers will delight in the exotic offerings of the charming gift shop, an inconspicuous nook that has a floor made of sand. Feel free to indulge in one of the luxurious spa services offered at Mbalageti Tented Lodge, including massage, and may your soul find peace in the stillness and space that is Serengeti.

Guest accommodations at Mbalageti Tented Lodge consist of 2 presidential suites, 24 tented chalets and 14 standard rooms. The standard rooms, built in motel style blocks at the very back of the Lodge, are not usually recommended. The layout of the Lodge runs north to south along the top of Mwamnevi Hill, with half of the chalets on the west (sunset) side and the other half on the east (sunrise) side of the hill.


Presidential Suites - These ultra-luxurious suites offer the finest safari accommodations in all of Tanzania. Each of the two presidential suites is completely self contained and comes equipped with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, open air bathtub, private dining room, stocked bar, sitting room, open sided game viewing veranda, and exclusive butler service.

The presidential suite takes the shape of a 'T'. The living area forms the center of the suite, and is basically one long room. This area consists of (from rear to front) the sitting room with couches, library, satellite TV, DVD player, stereo and stocked mini-bar, the dinning table in the very center and, lastly, an open sided veranda. This open-air veranda offers superb views of the Mbalageti Valley and comes equipped with a leather couch and game viewing benches that are intricately carved into the handrails - it just doesn't get any better than this.

To the left of the living area is the master bedroom with a queen size bed and master bathroom. Just outside the master bathroom is a private deck with an outdoor bathtub. To the right of the living area is the 2nd bedroom with two twin beds and a 2nd full bathroom with a beautiful indoor bathtub.

The furnishings are posh yet practical and comfortable. Each en suite bathrooms comes with oversized bath towels and robes. Each bathroom also comes fully stocked with a wide range of toiletries for your pleasure and comfort. Beds are draped in luxurious mozzie nets and especially plush bedding to ensure sound safari dreaming. All meals can be served in your private dining room by your personal butler.


Tented Chalets - There are a total of 24 tented chalets with half on the sunrise side of the hill and the other half on the sunset side. The sunrise chalets have great views of the Mbalageti River Valley while the sunset chalets have equally good views of the Dutwa Plains.   Each chalet offers fine luxury accommodations.

The chalets are actually just semi-tented as each has a back wall made of local rock while the fronts and sides are under traditional canvas. The chalets are under thatched roofs with beautiful hardwood floors and each has a private shaded veranda with safari deck chairs from where you can admire the views. The chalets are spaced far apart along each side of the hill assuring compete privacy and tranquility.

Inside each spacious chalet there is a bedroom with a separate sitting area with a love seat, couch and writing desk. The bathrooms are well appointed with beautiful driftwood furnishings and a glorious bear claw bathtub. You may choose form either double chalets (1 queen bed) or twin chalets (2 twin beds). Triples are also available for 2 adults and 1 child via a convertible or fold out sofa bed. Two of the chalets are honeymoon suites and have an outdoor bath instead of the indoor bathtub and a larger veranda. Each en suite bathrooms comes with oversized bath towels and robes. Each bathroom also comes fully stocked with a wide range of toiletries for your pleasure and comfort.

Beds are draped in luxurious mozzie nets and especially plush bedding to ensure sound safari dreaming. Turndown service is conducted in the evenings and a coffee/tea and cookie tray is delivered to your chalet each morning at your prearranged wake up call time.

Mbalageti Tented Lodge is owned by the Sandhu family, a Tanzanian family from Mwanza, which is on the southeastern shore of Lake Victoria. This is their one and only safari lodge and they have been developing the Mbalageti concept for many years.


Food and Drink

Meals at Mbalageti are delicious. You have a choice of eating inside the main restaurant or al fresco on the outdoor dining terrace, while you gaze over a breathtaking view of the valley below.

Breakfast consists of a variety of items including eggs (cooked to order), pancakes, potatoes, bacon, yogurt, and an assortment of fresh fruits as well as your choice of coffee or tea. Breakfast boxes 'to go' are also available for you die hard morning safari enthusiasts.

Lunch is usually served buffet style on the dinning terrace, and consists of a variety of freshly prepared items to suit any palate. Picnic boxes 'to go' are also available for those individuals wishing to enjoy more time game viewing. Lunch boxes consist of your choice of tuna, chicken or veggie sandwiches, juice box, fruit, muffins and a chocolate bar, and are ordered from a proper menu the night before.

Dinner is always delicious at Mbalageti Tented Lodge! This main meal is themed on a 3-day rotation including African night with traditional foods, Thai night with live cooking on teppan tables, and carnivore night with a selection of several different BBQ skewers and accompanying pasta, vegetables and soups. There is also an ample variety of beer, wine and sprits available.

If you are staying in one of the exclusive presidential suites, meals can be served via butler service in your private dining room. Beverages (beer, house wine, spirits, soft drinks) are included in the presidential suite safari package.


Special Features

  • Private game drives inside the Serengeti's western corridor and the famous central Serengeti
  • Full day game drives to the remote Gol Kopjes
  • Picnic lunches
  • Bush dinners at an additional fee
  • Sundowners at an additional fee
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa treatments including massage at an additional fee
  • Bush walks at an additional fee
  • Well stocked safari boutique and gift shop
  • Internet access (complimentary)
  • Safari loft stocked with books and games
  • Full housekeeping services
  • Laundry services at an additional fee
  • Balloon safaris, soaring high above the pristine Serengeti plains that ends with a champagne breakfast cooked in the bush at an additional fee
  • Private butler service with meals served in private dining room (included with presidential suite package only)
  • Fully stocked bar with a wide range of beer, house wine, spirits, and soft drinks (included at no cost in presidential suite package only)