The last of the entries in the ‘Safari Brothers at Explore’ series. Now James and Marlon are back at their postings at Singita’s private concession within South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park.
Ending the day under the stars at Singita Explore and tucking up under canvas was memorable in so many respects. Written by James Suter.
Each evening at around 07h30 pm Ed, our guide, started heading back to the Explore camp. As we drew closer we could see tiny lights in the middle of the endless darkness. We were welcomed with a refreshing towel and cocktail and headed toward the campfire to share all the stories of the day. The warmth and attention of the staff each night made us feel as if we were amongst friends sharing adventures and laughing at some of the days’ events.
Watching the moon rise in the vast expanse of sky above us was a sight to behold. Nights out on the Serengeti plains in Tanzania were alive with fascinating sounds and the smell of the camp barbeque tempted our appetites.
Singita Explore (mobile tented camp set up on the plains of the Singita Grumeti Reserves), through the eyes of James Suter and Marlon du Toit (Safari Brothers), professional guides at Singita Kruger National Park. A life-changing adventure!
(Photography by James and Marlon)
Game drives in the Grumeti concession differ from those in South Africa, and Marlon and I took some time before we realised this. Every time we head out onto the plains and our guide stops, we immediately grab our binoculars and start scanning the landscape. As we start spotting animals, which one always does every time one looks around, we start calling out the names of the different species.
This is really exciting as not only are a lot of these species new to us but the abundance of life is astounding. We managed to tick off many new species of birds, Aardwolf, and saw lions climbing trees, which we are told is a very common habit of the Butamtam pride.
Once again the wealth of game including massive herds of eland, topi, zebra, giraffe and elephants blew us away. One of the most enjoyable moments for me was getting out of the vehicle and watching the sun set over the Serengeti amongst hundreds of animals.
Keep up with stunning photography on the Singita Facebook page…more to come.
To book Singita Explore, please take a look at our introductory offer available through 15 December 2011.
Safari Brothers experiencing the adventure of Singita Explore….James Suter shares his morning moments, waking up to the smell of fireside-brewed coffee and glorious sunrises…
We awake in the morning at our Singita Explore tented camp filled with excitement, listening to both sounds of the Serengeti plains as well as the early morning sounds of the Swahili staff preparing coffee on the fire. Typical mornings include a 06h00 wake up call, hot shower and then as we step outside the tent we are greeted by the most magnificent Tanzanian sunrises.
Quite remarkable and eco-friendly, each sleeper tent is equipped with a 20 litre bucket that is used for the shower, and this provides 10 luxurious minutes of shower time – or more if needed. Hot water is made via a volcano pressure boiler, and is fuelled by recycled “green” energy.
After thrilling morning game drives, heading back to camp to enjoy a sumptuous cooked breakfast is all that is on our minds. A table is set up for us out in the open in front of the camp, with shade provided by a large acacia. Right by our table, staff prepare generous portions of eggs and meats to satisfy our ravenous appetites. We could stay here forever!
Nothing like the smell of filtered coffee brewed over the coals and a crisp morning chill in the air – James Suter.
Take a look at more amazing sights that we are capturing on camera….follow the account on Singita’s Facebook page all week.
Tanzania is one incredible place! The vast spaces and dramatic settings absolutely blew our minds. The excitement levels grew as we flew over the Serengeti; we looked out of the small aeroplane and we could see the herds starting to make their way slowly NW towards the Singita Grumeti concession.
Our Singita Explore tented camp was set up in one of the more remote parts of the concession, giving one a feeling of freedom and genesis. On our arrival we were greeted by the notoriously friendly Swahili staff and greeting “Jambo!”. We tried to get our heads around the fact that we were in the middle of the Serengeti, with endless grasslands dotted with the familiar acacia species. Not only were we in this surreal place but also our accommodation was a tent fit for a king.
Although back-to-basics and in true camping-style, the tents are equipped with anything and everything one’s heart could desire; luxurious camp cots, hot showers and comfortable lounging wear and furniture. All is prepared within seconds upon request. The experience is hard to put into words; embraced by absolute luxury, yet at the same time feeling what it might have felt like to be the first people to set foot in Africa – exploring the unexplored.
I will never forget this experience – to feel so close to nature amongst herds of zebra, impala and giraffe; going to sleep with them and waking up with them. This is an experience that is truly life-changing – not just an opportunity to explore this amazing part of Africa but an opportunity to explore one’s self.
Written by James Suter, Guide from Singita Kruger National Park
James Suter and Marlon du Toit (AKA the Safari Brothers) are both professional guides and work in the heart of the Kruger National Park at Singita’s Lebombo and Sweni Lodges. This week they went up to experience Singita Explore in Tanzania and are now documenting the adventure through their eyes; the eyes of the Safari Brothers. Follow the entire adventure on Singita’s Facebook page.
You’ll be in awe of their astounding photography.
For the past years Singita has been observing how travellers have evolved. We are recognizing the ever-increasing demand from discerning travellers for private travel, the utmost exclusivity of a destination, and the ability to access nature in a close and meaningful manner.
With this in mind, Singita is launching a transformational new travel concept – Singita Explore, a return to the very essence of safari. This exclusive mobile camp is designed for minimal environmental impact, treading lightly on 340,000 acres of private reserve, offering en-suite canvas hideaways that restore true adventure to days in the wilderness.
The camp will be sold on an exclusive use basis only, available year round, and this back-to-basics mobile camp only operates within Singita Grumeti Reserves. Comprising 6 tents and 2 mess tents the camp will be placed in remote parts of the reserve, guaranteeing closeness to wildlife and untouched landscapes, and is hosted by a private guide, camp host, chef and camp staff.
Singita launches Singita Explore 1 June 2011. For information about the introductory promotional offer, contact our Reservations department at email@example.com.
Something easy and special from the Singita Grumeti Kitchen.
Roast Chicken Caesar Salad
Everyone’s favourite classic Caesar with delicious roast chicken turns it into the perfect main course.
1 Lemon and herb roast chicken
4 boiled eggs (8 minutes), peeled and cut into quarters
3 slices white bread, crusts cut off and cubed
Lettuce greens (classic uses Cos lettuce but mix it up according to preference)
Drizzle bread with olive oil and bake in a moderate oven until golden. Cool and then put into a mixing bowl with chicken, lettuce, tablespoon finely grated parmesan, a little dressing and drizzle of olive oil; lightly toss. Place on a platter or in individual bowls followed by the boiled egg with extra dollops of dressing. Using a peeler make Parmesan shavings and place on top. Serve.
½ cup Homemade mayonnaise
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Capers, chopped fine
40 ml Parmesan, finely grated
Juice of one lemon
3 Anchovy fillets
Combine all ingredients – for smoother consistency, blend. Refrigerate until needed. Should last up to a week.
Do you ever wonder what takes place in a day in the life of a chef? And for that matter, a chef who lives on the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania running the Singita Sasakwa kitchen, delivering world-class cuisine, and managing staff and an interesting national and international supply chain?
Take a peek into the world of Frank Louw – Sasakwa Chef, Singita Grumeti Reserves.
Working in the Serengeti is one of those dream jobs that you always think “other” people have. Then you wake up and can’t believe that the surreal “other” reality actually involves you. It must however be said that as with most romantic adventures in life there is always a lesser known side of the story.
Reality? It is an adventure…a chance of a life time…but there are hidden difficulties and challenges that do make every day unique. Sourcing the best available produce can fray even nerves of steel; flexibility is key as dishes change and new ones are created as, and when, orders arrive. Planning, planning and planning become your new best friends. The highs and lows of sharing skills and mentoring others, always aiming for higher standards, coming up with new ideas, keeping it fresh, and having fun all at the same time, are all part of a day in the life of a chef in the wild! Not to mention the odd monkey running off with a loaf of bread.
Boring? Not for a second. Surrounded by people who believe they can improve, become better and never give up, and all striving for common goals that creep closer every day. Laughing and working together, creating bonds that will last forever; you know these moments are the ones you will look back on and smile.
Written by Frank Louw, from his kitchen desk at Singita Sasakwa Lodge – and photos courtesy of Frank.
Bjorn Annegarn – Singita Faru Faru Lodge Manager – talks about the experience of creating Christmas on the plains of the Serengeti.
As you can imagine sourcing all the traditional readymade decorations or even materials to make your own Christmas decorations out in the Serengeti can be a challenge. Singita believes in touching the earth lightly and holds this as a core value. We at Faru Faru wanted to remain true to this philosophy and create an environmentally friendly Christmas tree.
We tried to work with some readily available materials that we have within the camp and also use items that have been recycled. After much deliberation and some serious brainstorming sessions we decided on the best ideas and got to work in creating our 2010 recycled Christmas tree.
Beautifully recycled ornaments, created with care.
A Christmas cake snow man, a Christmas tree ginger biscuit, chocolate truffles and biscuit candy canes – our surprises this week for our guests… Father Christmas will just have to share.
Read more about our lodges at Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.
The Great Migration, which makes its way through the Singita Grumeti Reserves, has to be one of the top 10 awe-inspiring natural phenomenons. The fact that two million wildebeest and zebra make this same journey on an annual basis is mind-blowing. It is definitely something that should be experienced at least once in a person’s lifetime.
This year from the 1st of September until the 30th of November, guests at Singita will be able to fly into the northern Serengeti, where the migration is at its densest during these months, and be guaranteed exceptional viewings. Accompanied by one of our knowledgeable Singita Grumeti Reserve Guides and a delectable Singita lunch, the day-excursion is conducted in true Singita style.
For more information please visit our website.
Nothing can beat sunset in the bush surrounded by the sounds at dusk on high volume.
Something that we often do to surprise our guests at Singita is to whisk them away to a heart-stopping location, pull out all the stops and present a bush dinner under the stars. Our most recent affair boasted a spectacular location on a mountain top with arguably the best Serengeti view in Tanzania. Transporting everything from the food and the equipment is all part of the occasion and even the smallest detail is considered and planned.
We love the “wow” moments that guests experience in this kind of setting….perched above a vista of the Serengeti, sipping on aperitifs while the sun dips down behind the horizon.