Mwiba Lodge is located on Mwiba Wildlife Reserve which was privatized in 2009 for the benefit of the wildlife and sustainable tourism. It is arguably the most luxurious lodge in the greater southern Serengeti migration area. The reserve’s private status means that the rigid rules of the national park do not apply here. From January – March it is possible for guests to drive over to the Ndutu area and view the migration herds and slowly, but surely, the wildlife is becoming less skittish.
Just north of the Lake Eyasi Escarpment, Mwiba Wildlife Reserve encompasses 240 km² of protected land. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area lies to the east and Maswa Game Reserve to the west. The location makes Mwiba Lodge wonderfully remote; this is the place to come if you really want to escape.
The pace at Mwiba is unhurried and guests are encouraged to set their own schedules, and spend time just relaxing at the lodge as well as out on activities. Lodge staff are very discreet in their attentive service, and while nothing is ever too much trouble, and someone is always on hand, we did not find the personal butler service to be at all intrusive when we stayed here in 2018.
Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
Directions;Fly into Mwiba Airstrip (50 minutes from Arusha Airport) followed by a 15-minute drive to Mwiba Lodge. Ndutu Airstrip is a 2-hour game drive to Mwiba Lodge, and the Ngorongoro Crater is a 3-hour drive to the lodge.
The breakfast buffet is typically served from 6.00am until 9.00am and consists of plenty of fruit, fresh bread, cereals, cold meats and hot items cooked to order.
Lunch is typically served at the lodge, but you can also choose to have it out in the bush if you’d rather be out all day. During our stay we ate peri peri prawns, pork spare ribs, vegetable parcels and risotto arancini, served with a selection of mixed salads and freshly baked bread. Dessert was a choice of raspberry panna cotta with cream anglaise or delicious homemade mint ice cream
Dinner is three courses and a la carte, with two or three options for each course. During our stay in 2018 we started with a celeriac and fennel salad, followed by minute steak and fresh vegetables, with an opera cake to finish. On another evening we had zucchini soup to start, followed by tandoori chicken and a rich chocolate mousse.
Mwiba lodge consists of 10 tented suites laid out in a semi-circular formation and connected by wooden walkways. There are five tented suites either side of the main area. Suites 1 to 5 overlook a network of waterholes, and suites 6 to 10 overlook the rocky valley below. The suite interiors are all identical in size and style, and the wooden walkways between two pairs of tents can be connected to create two interconnected family units.
The décor in the suites is impressive. Traditional African artifacts, such as local beadwork work, wooden carvings and animal hides, contrast with natural materials and stylish, modern furniture, such as copper light shades and mirrored tables.
In each tent, the large, very comfortable super king-bed is draped in mosquito netting, with crisp white sheets, multiple cushions and tan suede. The bed can be split to make a twin room. An Evening Breeze cooling system, which is operated by remote control – so you needn’t even leave the bed – helps keep you cool in the hotter months. In addition, there is an efficient air conditioning system in the room, as well as a free-standing fan, so it’s perfectly designed if you struggle in the heat.
Numerous plug socket and USB points are dotted around the room and other useful guest amenities are provided, including plug adaptors, umbrellas, insect repellent and ear plugs. There is a telephone system for contacting the managers’ office or other guest tents.
The thoughtful design continues through to the en-suite bathroom. You’ll find a flush toilet behind a separate door, twin wash basins, a large dressing table and mirror, and antique style free-standing bath tub, as well as a powerful shower and another open-air one outside the tent. Fluffy towels, bath robes and slippers are provided, along with high quality Africology toiletries.
At the other end of the room is a seating area, with a couple of armchairs and a sofa, which can be made up as an additional bed for young children. Antique anatomical charts of local fauna adorn the wall, and coffee table books are laid artfully on the chunky wooden table. There is also a mini bar, tea and coffee station and various bottles of wine, sherry and port.
A large, private, shaded deck area runs along the outside of the suite. Here you’ll find a table and directors’ chairs – you can order dinner on your deck – and two cream leather recliners.
The contemporary African décor extends throughout the lodge’s central area with cream seating, wooden and bronze tables, tan suede stools, basket work and stone carvings. An impressively large stone fireplace is the focal point of the room, with a well stocked bar to one side.
A striking feature of the main area is the beautiful swimming pool area, surrounded by stepped wooden decking, large bean bags and stylish recliners, with the infinity pool seemingly spilling down on to the rocky landscape below. Tucked behind a boulder is a secluded, heated plunge pool, overlooking stunning vistas. If you’re lucky you may see elephants drinking from the Arugusinyai River below.
Near the pool area is the lodge’s wine cellar, carved into the ground, with the stock kept nicely cool by the natural rock. A little further along is the cosy library, which also has a fireplace for cooler evenings, and a good selection of coffee table books, novels and field guides.
Next to the main lodge building is the spa and fitness gym which is open from 7am-7pm. The gym is located in a light and airy elevated room, with multiple long mirrors on one side, and floor-to-ceiling windows on the other, looking out over the surrounding bush. There’s a multistation here, including a treadmill and bike, alongside a wide range of free weights, swiss balls and yoga mats. You can connect your device to the sound system and there’s fridge stocked with complementary energy drinks.
Next to the fitness studio is the lodge’s tranquil spa, the perfect way to unwind after a bumpy game drive.