First constructed in 1968, the large Lobo Wildlife Lodge was until recently run by the government, and its old-fashioned, stone structure still remains largely unchanged despite new management. One of just a few lodges in the Serengeti National Park to have really excellent views, this Wildlife Lodge is built in and around the distinctive Lobo Kopje, a large hill of rounded granite boulders that rises from undulating plains of the northern Serengeti.
It’s a very photogenic corner of the Serengeti – some of the granite boulders in these kopjies are the size of a tennis ball, others the size of a small tower block.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge’s 74 rooms are fairly monotonously placed in a number of square, box-like adjoining blocks. All of the rooms are directly next to one another down long, white-painted corridors, which are often open on one side.
Each room is decorated in the same, no-nonsense 1960’s style: white, stone walls, highly polished wooden floors, twin beds with uninspiring fabrics, and stainless-steel light fittings. The décor largely lacks imagination, but we do enjoy the big glass windows as some have great views. Electronic safes, kettles and hairdryers have also been added to the rooms.
All of the bedrooms at Lobo have en-suite bathrooms, which, like the bedrooms, are functional but dated. Each has a white tiled bath with a shower attachment, a flush toilet and a white basin set into a polished wooden surround, below a large mirror. There are clean towels and complimentary toiletries provided.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge has a dining room, a Moroccan-themed bar and a swimming pool with a stunning location overlooking the plains from quite a height. There’s also a very small shop. In these communal areas the designers have often tried hard to incorporate some of the kopje’s huge rocks. Integral to the dining room is the trunk of a tree, encased in glass, which reaches up and opens to the roof. We’re told that until recently, a leopard used to come down here, in full view of the diners! Meals are usually buffets, and whilst perfectly edible – they won’t win any awards for their cuisine. The décor is surprisingly good though with a strong influence from North Africa and Arabia.
The real stars of the show are the scenery and the wildlife. The area has excellent resident game. On a previous stay in the vicinity, over just two nights in September, we saw two separate prides of lion, as well as a fleeting leopard (we’re told there are five resident leopards in the area of this large kopje) – plus a large herd of buffalo, a family group of elephants, and plenty of plains game. The best of these sightings were in the very early morning, so get going early here if you can.
The great migration passes through the Lobo area on its way south, down the eastern side of the Serengeti National Park and Loliondo Game Controlled Area, between about October and November. You may also see elements of the migration heading north around there, during August and September. So whilst Lobo works as a game destination all year round, it’s particularly worth going to between about August and November. Note that because it’s so far to the north of the park, the game-drive roads around here can be marvellously quiet – we had a whole-day’s drive north from here, in September, on which we only saw about two other vehicles.