Tarangire National Park camps - Swala Camp
Swala is one of those places where, in the dry season, you really don't need to leave your verandah to see superb game. On our last visit we almost literally bumped into several elephant, 3 lion and a leopard (who sauntered up, as casually as an old labrador, to drink the water from the birdbath while we were having dinner). Truly exceptional viewing by any standards.
This is an immaculately run luxury camp tucked away in the south western end of Tarangire National Park. It's a fair distance to the Tarangire River from here, which is where most of the game is heading during the dry season, but given that the camp has a waterhole (hence the elephant, lion and leopard) this is less of an issue and adds the considerable bonus of taking you away from the main circuit.
In the dry season this is a camp that will deliver remarkable game, but, depending on how you get here, you may not actually get the best experience of the park itself. Also, as soon as the rains come the game clears out, so unless you're interested in the spectacular birdlife that persists here in the rains, there are better choices between December and June. This could be said for pretty much all of Tarangire though.
Swala offers immaculate service and excellent food so if you are after some serious luxury this is definitely the place to go. It's a permanent tented camp that spares no expense for the sake of comfort. Having just been through a major renovation it should be at the top of its game right now. It doesn't quite have the spontaneity of some of the other small camps and feels quite a bit more formal, but service is absolutely without fault and the food is superb.
The camp itself also looks a bit bare when you first arrive; large acacia trees with little or no vegetation below the canopy, but this is probably partly because there's no shortage of game in the area in the dry season. I suspect that this may also be to encourage the leopard to go home in between raids on the birdbath, thereby reducing the chance of you treading on his tail on your way to breakfast.
One slight catch to be aware of at Swala is that as it belongs to a subsidiary of A&K, there could be times when you find yourself in a crowd where you'll feel left out if you're the only one not wearing a hat with "Jambo" splashed across it. NOT incidentally, a reason to rush out and buy one!
price includes accommodation, food, drinks, laundry, activities and transfers.
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