Tarangire National Park
Sanctuary Swala is located in a secluded area of Tarangire National Park, one of the most exciting and least visited parks in the country. In the heart of Maasai country and a remote corner of the Tarangire, in total seclusion amongst giant acacia trees and looking out beyond the flat savannah, Sanctuary Swala offers a very exclusive safari experience. The picturesque landscape is filled with ancient baobab trees, ambling elephants and birds in flight. Built to the highest eco-friendly standards, this camp has a particularly low-carbon footprint.
Lodge HighlightsWhen to go
All Year Round Price
From $230 pp All Inclusive Highlights
Impressive Tarangire Wildlife and Birdlife Ideal Stay
Minimum 5 Nights
Swala Camp Booking Seasons
Stay at Swala Camp
Sanctuary Swala is located in a secluded part of Tarangire National Park and has twelve luxurious canvas pavilions, all shaded by acacia trees and all with views over the waterhole and plains in front of camp. The main dining area, deck and library are lifted on stilts around an ancient baobab tree.
Sanctuary Swala’s welcoming communal spaces blend chic style with relaxed open-air living. Traditional peaked thatch roofs harmonise beautifully with the surroundings bush and keep these areas cool in the hot months. Set on stilts around ancient towering baobab trees, the elevated dining area, lounge and library, are sound-tracked by the sing-song of the hundreds of species of birds that have their home in the mature acacia trees’ canopy - ornithologists say that 23 are exclusively endemic to this corner of the world. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main area and in guests' tents.
Swala has nine private tents featuring en suite bathrooms with showers, and unique fittings crafted from local materials. Each tent, attended by a personal butler, has an elevated terrace offering views over the waterhole that attracts wildlife year-round.
Swala's friendly hosts, personal tent attendants, safari guides and Masai askaris that accompany you to your tent at night, enhance your stay with personalised service and local knowledge.
Accommodation at Swala Camp
Twelve spacious canvas pavilions ensure unrivalled tranquillity, overlooking a popular watering hole. The wood-floored open-plan rooms have been staged with elegant neutral-toned interiors, matching safari-chic furnishings with rich African textiles, blending seamlessly with the raw and natural beauty of Tanzania’s cinematic savannah. King-size beds swathed in neutral linens mingle fresh design with a new take on safari living. Indoor and outdoor bush-view showers ensure more magical moments because connecting with wildlife is key: the floor-to-ceiling 180° views, and the pavilions’ private decks, mean you won’t miss a sight. Intriguing art has been thoughtfully placed, and each furnishing considered based on its eco-friendly design; from repurposed artefacts to bespoke creations. Sanctuary Swala treads with the lightest of footprints, without compromising on luxury.
All meals served at Sanctuary Swala are enjoyed on the main dining deck which is lifted on stilts around an enormous and ancient baobab tree. A full English and continental breakfast is served before your morning game viewing activity. Lunch can be enjoyed back in camp where the menu might include your favourite pizza made in our special pizza oven; or alternatively a picnic basket can be arranged should you wish to stay longer in the park. We have many favourite spots to go to for a quiet lunch in the bush or for special sundowners - toasting to the end of yet another beautiful day in Africa.
As evening sets in, enjoy drinks and canapés around the camp fire; followed by a three course plated dinner as you discuss the great game viewing and events of the day. The camp's signature dish - and a definite favourite amongst guests - is our mouth-watering dessert called "Chocolate Kilimanjaro." It resembles the white snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and simply melts in your mouth - but don't take our word for it, try it for yourself when you visit this very special camp. If you are celebrating a special occasion we could arrange a private dinner under the stars on your tent deck.
Experience Swala Camp
Nestled in a remote pocket of Tarangire National Park, Swala Camp is situated under a canopy of large acacia trees at the edge of the Gurusi wetlands and overlooking the rolling savannah beyond. As an exceptionally private safari hideaway, with no other camps located nearby, Swala offers you private game viewing, wilderness luxury, and a truly wild slice of Africa. In fact, elephants are almost always present in and around the lodge: Swala seems to be a 'hangout' for a bachelor herd of males and females sometimes pass through and give birth nearby. The record for elephant bulls at Swala is an astonishing 92 animals!
The park is named after the Tarangire River that, in the dry season, becomes the area's main lifeline, attracting varied wildlife, including kudu and oryx. Enjoy excellent game viewing from the camp, or set out in an open 4x4 vehicle or on foot with your trained and knowledgeable guide. The camp has also initiated various community development and conservation projects, which you are welcome to learn about and become involved in as part of your stay.
Things to do at Swala Camp
- Game Drives: Sanctuary Swala is at the heart of Tarangire National Park, where Northern Tanzania’s largest population of elephant makes its home, as does a rare white giraffe. Abandoned termite mounds become the sanctuary of dwarf mongoose. Drives out from Sanctuary Swala reward you with Big Five encounters, while herds of elephant, a crash of hippos and prides of lions all roam within sight and earshot of the camp. The low volume of visitors to the park offers a truly unique and private experience and our customised open safari vehicles offer unobstructed viewing and great photography opportunities.
- Bush Breakfasts, Picnics & Dinners: You may have decided with your guide to take a picnic breakfast or lunch with you but equally lovely in the evening is to enjoy a bush dinner. A secluded clearing is prepared for a traditional East African meal in the middle of the Tarangire bush. With a sundowner in hand watch as the sun swiftly sinks and your setting becomes illuminated by a magnificent log fire. Once you have settled into your surroundings let our chef introduce you to traditional Swahili fare and experience a memorable evening under the African night sky.
- Bee Keeping Project: Sanctuary Swala has developed a beekeeping project located in the village of Mwika on the border of Tarangire National Park. Through beekeeping we are able to preserve the natural environment while providing a valuable source of income to the community. Sanctuary Swala not only provided the village with the materials to make the hives, but with the knowledge and the equipment to keep bees which produce organic acacia honey. The honey that is harvested is sold through Sanctuary Swala with all proceeds going back to the project. With the success of the first harvest of honey in August 2010 the project has plans to develop and grow to over 100 hives, providing more families with income from a traditional foodstuff. While at Sanctuary Swala you have the opportunity to meet with the beekeepers on a visit to Mwika village and learn firsthand how the project operates.
- Night Game Drives: Experience the wonders of a safari at night in Tarangire. As dusk falls, relax in the comfort of Sanctuary Swala's customised safari vehicle as you venture into the park transformed by night. Search for nocturnal animals rarely seen as this is one of the few places in northern Tanzania where you can enjoy a safari by moonlight. At night, you may encounter an African wild cat, the elusive leopard or feel the round eyes of a bushbaby peering down at you as the moon rises into the sky. With specialised lighting you will be able to look for lion and hyena, as well as smaller creatures such as spotted genet, serval, bat eared foxes, owls and nightjars. (Maximum 5 people, additional cost)
Select Tour Ideas
A selection of tour itineraries to showcase what you can do. We encourage you to pick destinations of interest and we custom-make your safari to give you a more personalized experience.
7 Days Big Game Experience
Sasaab Lodge, Samburu | Lewa Wilderness Lodge, Laikipia | Rekero Camp, Maasai Mara
7 Days Intrepid Tanzania
Nomad Chada Katavi Camp, Chada Katavi National Park | Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park
7 Days Ultimate Family Experience
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi | Campi ya Kanzi, Chyulu Hills | Olare Mara Kempinski, Maasai Mara
8 Days Migration Experience
Rekero Camp, Masai Mara Game Reserve | Lamai Camp, Serengeti National Park
8 Days Ultimate Bush and Beach
Mara Bush Tops, Masai Mara Game Reserve | Matemwe Beach House, Zanzibar
East Africa Top Luxury Destinations
Kenya epitomizes the safari destination with its big game, big skies, close-up bush encounters with the Big Five and ringside tickets to one of the wonders of the natural world, the annual wildebeest migration.
A bountiful land teeming with African wildlife, flourishing ecosystems and remarkable mountain ranges, Tanzania will forever be imprinted on your heart.