Lodges

Sanctuary Swala Camp

A spot of glamping in the remote south of Tarangire

Sanctuary Swala Camp

In the far southwest corner of Tarangire National Park, under a canopy of umbrella-shaped acacia trees strewn along the edge of the Gursi Swamp, is Sanctuary’s Swala Camp. And what a camp it is. The 12 beautifully furnished tents are really rather glamorous and the setting is idyllically peaceful, but it’s the nearby waterhole that really bowls you over. Here, families of plodding elephant stop to drink whilst lion keep a lazy eye on the clusters of skittering antelope. And with all the action so close-by, we wouldn’t blame you for perhaps missing a game drive or two…

At the lodge

The hotel

On either side of an enormous baobab tree in the centre of camp are 2 equally as enormous thatched-roof structures. One is the very sleek dining tent where meals are served on a raised deck overlooking the grasslands, and the other houses the chic lounge and library, complete with squishy sofas, perfectly positioned safari chairs and an excellent selection of reading material. There’s also an infinity pool and a campfire for drinks in the evening—both a stones throw from the waterhole.

The rooms

With their contemporary blend of colonial and Afro-chic design and very modern finesse, the rooms at Swala are definitely worth writing home about. Scrubbed white floors and crisp cream linens add a fresh, soothing feel to the tented havens and the large decked verandas are perfectly private and calling out for a G&T accompanied by the sounds of the waterhole below. Bathrooms are just as stylish with twin sinks, polished accessories and indoor and outdoor showers.

On safari

Experiences

Game drives and walking safaris are both offered at Swala, either with your own guide or one of the great camp-based guides. Not to be missed are the all-day picnic drives; as well as maximising game-viewing time, the guides have an endless list of quiet, shady spots in which to picnic in. Swala is also very involved in local community projects and a visit to the school or bee-keeping initiative is a very rewarding way to spend a morning.

When to go

Tarangire by month

January

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are high with plenty of sun, rainfall usually takes the form of sporadic afternoon showers.
  • Wildlife has spread out over a large area, making game a little more difficult to spot.
  • The park is green and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding colours.
  • The park is green and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding colours.
  • Insect numbers increase at this time of year, so have your repellent close to hand.

February

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are high with plenty of sun, rainfall usually takes the form of sporadic afternoon showers.
  • Wildlife has spread out over a large area, making game a little more difficult to spot.
  • An interesting time for photography, the park is at its most spectacular visually, with plenty of sunshine hours in between the rainfall.
  • The park is green and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding colours.
  • Insect numbers increase at this time of year, so have your repellent close to hand.

March

Season: Wet
  • An interesting time for photography, the park is at its most spectacular visually, with plenty of sunshine hours in between the rainfall.
  • Known as the 'Emerald season', the park is beautiful and green with migratory birds present.
  • Insect numbers increase at this time of year, so have your repellent close to hand.
  • Hot temperatures with plenty of sunshine, rain can fall for prolonged periods making safari a gamble during this period.
  • Wildlife has spread out over a large area, making game a little more difficult to spot.

April

Season: Wet
  • Hot temperatures with plenty of sunshine, rain can fall for prolonged periods making safari a gamble during this period.
  • Wildlife has spread out over a large area, making game a little more difficult to spot.
  • An interesting time for photography, the park is at its most spectacular visually, with plenty of sunshine hours in between the rainfall.
  • Known as the 'Emerald season', the park is beautiful and green with migratory birds present.
  • Insect numbers increase at this time of year, so have your repellent close to hand.

May

Season: Wet
  • The end of the wet and the start of the dry season, with a handful of afternoon showers, humidity is low and temperatures are hot.
  • wildlife viewing can be difficult with animals spread over vast tracts of land.
  • Migratory birds fly North over the course of the month, lowering birding from exceptional to excellent.
  • A good time to visit Tarangire with visitor traffic lower than conditions dictate.

June

Season: Dry
  • The start of the dry season, temperatures are hot, humidity is low and rainfall is unlikely.
  • Wildlife begins to make migrate back into the Tarangire area, improving game densities.
  • The ideal time of year for a walking safari and fly-camping, if you are feeling a little more adventurous.
  • A good time to visit, with visitor traffic lower than conditions dictate.

July

Season: Dry
  • The dry season is now in full swing, with cooler but still warm temperatures, rain has dried up.
  • Game viewing should be exceptional, with the Tarangire River drawing in wildlife from the surrounding areas.
  • The lack of clouds produce incredible night skies, showcasing the Milky Way in all its glory.
  • Photography conditions are good, the air is relatively thin and still, with sunrises and sunsets being particularly good.
  • The ideal time of year for walking safari and fly camping, if you are feeling a little more adventurous.
  • Visitor traffic can pick up at this time of year, leading to shared sightings and a less intimate bush experience at many of the camps.

August

Season: Dry
  • The dry season is in full swing, with cooler but still warm temperatures, rain has dried up.
  • Game viewing should be exceptional, with the Tarangire River drawing in wildlife from the surrounding areas.
  • The lack of clouds produce incredible night skies, showcasing the Milky Way in all its glory.
  • Photography conditions are good, the air is relatively thin and still, with sunrises and sunsets being particularly good.
  • The ideal time of year for walking safari and fly camping, if you are feeling a little more adventurous.
  • Visitor traffic can pick up at this time of year, leading to shared sightings and a less intimate bush experience at many of the camps.

September

Season: Dry
  • The dry season is in full swing, with cooler but still warm temperatures, rain has dried up.
  • Game viewing should be exceptional, with the Tarangire River drawing in wildlife from the surrounding areas.
  • The lack of clouds produce incredible night skies, showcasing the Milky Way in all its glory.
  • Photography conditions are good, the air is relatively thin and still, with sunrises and sunsets being particularly good.
  • The ideal time of year for walking safari and fly camping, if you are feeling a little more adventurous.
  • Visitor traffic can pick up at this time of year, leading to shared sightings and a less intimate bush experience at many of the camps.

October

Season: Dry
  • The dry season is coming to an end, temperatures and humidity rise before the first afternoon showers fall.
  • Game viewing should be exceptional, with the Tarangire River drawing in wildlife from the surrounding areas.
  • A difficult month to predict changes on the ground with uncertain rainfall transforming the dry dusty landscape.
  • If you don't mind the heat, a great time to visit with tourist numbers dropping drastically in the park.

November

Season: Wet
  • The wet season has arrived bring with it higher temperatures and usually short afternoon rainfall.
  • Game viewing is still good with animals slowly spreading out as food and water becomes readily available.
  • The migratory birds begin to return as the park transforms, with new greenery ushering in a time of plenty.
  • If you don't mind the weather, a great time to visit with tourist numbers dropping drastically in the park.

December

Season: Wet
  • The wet season has arrived bring with it higher temperatures and usually short afternoon rainfall.
  • Game viewing is still good with animals slowly spreading out as food and water becomes readily available.
  • The park is green and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding colours.
  • If you don't mind the weather, a great time to visit with tourist numbers dropping drastically in the park.

Wildlife


Animals are plentiful in the Tarangire National Park, a landscape of famous upside down trees (baobabs), acacia woodlands, riverine forest and swamps. If you want to see elephants, this is the best place to go. Large herds roam the plains, among zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, tree climbing lions and the occasional leopard. A real treat is the birding, with more than 500 species recorded across the park. This is a true wildlife wonderland.

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