Category Archives: Singita Grumeti

Highlights from our Guides’ Diaries

December 04, 2012 - Experience,Kruger National Park,Safari,Singita Grumeti,Singita Pamushana Lodge,Wildlife

The monthly wildlife journals penned by our field guides are always such a special treat! At this time of year, with summer approaching, the fauna and flora surrounding the lodges is especially abundant and breathtaking. We hope you enjoy these beautiful photos taken from October’s Guides’ Diaries.

Ammocharis coranica

With the phenomenal rainfall over the last few weeks, the grey and brown colours of winter have been replaced by the new flush of green that has sprouted up everywhere. The concession is in full bloom and it looks incredible. The bush transforms into new life and revitalises itself from seemingly dead plant material to flourishing green life. The light rainfall has also spurred the bloom of several wild flowers. This ground lily (Ammocharis coranica) grows in open grasslands and flowers from October to February.

by Ross Couper (Singita Kruger National Park). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Shishangaan lion cubs

We got our first look at the newest members of the Shishangaan lion pride! While watching several other pride members feasting on a buffalo carcass, we spotted a restless lioness rolling from one side to the other on her back. On closer inspection, we saw three small fur balls that had been nursing from her peering back at us from between the blades of grass.

Upon returning later in the afternoon, we saw that the buffalo carcass was completely devoured with only a few morsels remaining. The mother of the three cubs was seen feeding on the last of the meat, and the cubs seemed fascinated with the carcass. Even at this young age you could see their instinct kicking in as they fought amongst themselves for the small soft scraps that were left.

by Ross Couper (Singita Kruger National Park). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Scrub hare

We flushed this scrub hare from its daytime resting place in a patch of grass on the side of the road where it flattened and froze in defence. It didn’t so much as twitch a whisker while relying on its superb camouflage to keep it hidden in the surrounding scrub. Scrub hares live in savanna woodland and mixed grass habitat.

By Jenny Hishin (Singita Pamushana Lodge). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Cheetah cub

We’ve been following the progress of two female cheetah cubs since they were born 14 months ago and I’m thrilled to report that they are still doing well. It’s been so interesting to watch their characters develop. One is a real tomboy – inquisitive, daring and a bit of a bully – while the other female is more timid, cautious and shy. If all goes well, these two cheetah cubs should reach independence in the next few months. Let’s hope they choose to stay on our abundant wildlife reserve.

By Jenny Hishin (Singita Pamushana Lodge). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Wildebeest invasion

In the latter part of September we saw large groups of wildebeest filing into Ikorongo. This was just a preview of what was to be experienced throughout the month. Tens of thousands of the incessantly restless animals spent the entire month moving onto the property, invading the plains of the western corridor once more.

By Ryan Schmitt (Singita Grumeti). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Lion

With the well-stocked wildlife buffet located on the Sasakwa plains, it wasn’t surprising that the Nyasirori lions found it unnecessary to move at all from the vicinity of Sasakwa Dam and its surrounds. It hasn’t been difficult to find lions lurking on the plains. While sipping coffee or tea from Sasakwa’s sprawling patios, all you need do is glance around the area with a pair of binoculars and you are bound to find the pale belly of a lion basking back at you.

By Ryan Schmitt (Singita Grumeti). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

Elephants

The elephant herds that frequented Sasakwa hill in September moved back down onto the plains and surrounding woodlands once again. On more than a few occasions groups of over 100 elephants were seen, and Sasakwa Dam still seemed to delight them on their visits. After a quick drink in the afternoon to top up their reserves, it seemed the best thing to do was for every mammoth to take the weight off its feet by getting into the water and have a jolly good time cavorting, splashing and spraying!

By Ryan Schmitt (Singita Grumeti). Read the full Guides’ Diary.

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Let them eat cake!

November 26, 2012 - Accommodation,Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti

Spoiling our guests with delicious food has always been a key element of the Singita experience. From gourmet feasts and grassland picnics, to delectable bakes and alfresco breakfasts, we aim to make every meal something to remember. We asked chef Donna Patterson at Singita Grumeti to tell us about one of her favourite tea-time treats to serve at Singita’s lodges, and she kindly shared the simple steps for putting together her world famous Apple Caramel Cake.

This cake recipe is a favourite among all our guests, far and wide. It is baked time and again at all the Singita lodges throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and is by far the most requested recipe by guests! It’s absolutely delicious and easy to make, as you’ll see:

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 Tblsp melted butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 apple

Instructions:

For the cake:
Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric beater until it doubles in size. Add the cream and melted butter and continue to mix.

Sift the flour and baking powder onto the surface of the egg mixture and fold through lightly with a metal spoon.

Thinly slice your apple and arrange in a spiral around the top of the cake mixture in your prepared baking tin.

Bake at 160°C until golden brown.

For the glaze:
In a pot boil together, 100g brown sugar, 100g butter and 100ml cream.

Pour this sauce over the top of the cake when it comes out of the oven. Allow to cool in the tin before serving.

Enjoy!

Apple caramel cake | Singita Grumeti

Here’s a handy online volume converter you can use to adjust the metric measurements if necessary.

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Making Memories

November 02, 2012 - Accommodation,Experience,Safari,Singita Grumeti

Spending time with family and treasured friends, and making memories for a lifetime, is what Singita Serengeti House is all about.  Comfortable furnishings and details, seamless inside-outside lounging, a tennis court dedicated to the house, a swimming pool that invites an afternoon dip for everyone, and a personal team of staff, all help to make this exclusive-use retreat a place for total relaxation.  But more than that, looking out over an expanse of the Serengeti wilderness and sharing those moments with people you care about, is priceless.

Eating at Serengeti House is designed to do the same thing – untangle the normal daily stresses of our city lives.  How wonderful to wake up to home-baked, gluten-free muffins – or enjoy a picnic on the veranda overlooking the elephants at the watering hole in front of the house – even stop for tea while the chef whips up a milk tart made right there in the kitchen.  And if you haven’t tried milk tart yet, then you’re in for a special surprise.  This is a South African tradition but steeped in Dutch influences, and until you plan your next trip to Tanzania, here’s a little something to help you think about us.

Donna Patterson, Singita Chef, Grumeti Reserves – sharing my favourite recipe for Milk Tart.

Ingredients – what you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch salt

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The pie crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 cup sugar.

Add 1 egg and beat until mixture is smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture just until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Press mixture into bottom and sides of two 9-inch pie pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Putting it all together:

In a large saucepan, combine milk, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from burner.

In a separate bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar.  Add beaten eggs to sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk mixture into milk. Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 5 minutes.

Pour half of mixture into each pastry shell.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Chill before serving – easy as that.

Hope you’ll leave a comment and tell me how your baking goes.

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Opening Singita Serengeti House

September 10, 2012 - Accommodation,Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti

Donna Patterson, Chef at Singita Serengeti House, reflects on the first days with guests at Singita’s newly opened homestead on the plains of Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.

The recent opening of Singita Serengeti House was an exciting time for all involved.  Carefully guided by Boyd Ferguson, master creator at Cecile & Boyd’s, who has thoughtfully directed design strategy for Singita for almost two decades, Singita’s latest project was no less a marvel.

As everything came together in the last few minutes before opening, in a bloom of dust the magic helpers disappeared and a vehicle full of delighted guests pulled up.  We were open!

Serengeti House oozes the opulence of a locally-styled East African home.  Guests walk in and immediately become part of the family.  There is a wonderful feeling of ‘arriving at your own private homestead’, derived from the serenity and beauty of the location and the stature of the house on the plains of Grumeti Reserves.

Guests are treated to one of Serengeti House’s top attributes of it being entirely private and secluded from anyone or anything else on 350,000 acres of private reserve. The home hosts its own tennis court and pavilion, 25 metre infinity pool, four plush bedrooms and endless living areas for relaxation at any stage of the day. There is also a waterhole just in front of the house, which has become a favourite drinking spot for general game as well as a breeding herd of elephant.

The food at Serengeti House is personalised to guests’ requests and we tend not to use a menu.  As the chef, I interact directly with the guests throughout their stay and discuss their meals with them. The food is locally sourced, healthy and styled around simple but robust recipes.  All of the guests enjoy the ‘family-style’ dining which entails the kitchen team preparing platters of food and serving it in the centre of the table. Be it delicious cakes for afternoon tea, banana bread and coffee before the sun rises or a fresh lobster braai (BBQ) to end off the day, the food is designed and catered to whatever whim is the preference of the group. The kitchen is also part of the home and guests are more than welcome to pop in at any time and get their hands messy with the chefs.

I know that wonderful memories will be created here and return visits have already been mentioned among departing travellers.

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Riding with the Migration

June 25, 2012 - Safari,Singita Grumeti

Martin Dodwell, Equestrian Guide at Singita Grumeti, has just completed the riding safari of a lifetime with Singita guests.  The migration has just arrived at Singita Grumeti and for their last three days of riding, the small group rode with huge herds of wildebeest (literally thousands) and galloped alongside buffalo, giraffe, topi, zebra and more.

A truly exhilerating experience.

For more information about Singita’s Horseback Safaris, read further on our website.

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The Robb Report 100 Resorts

May 09, 2012 - Awards,Kruger National Park,Singita Grumeti

What we appreciate about the Robb Report 100 Resorts is that it is not a list of the most popular beach resorts and trendy retreats.  Actually popularity is not taken into consideration for the Robb Report 100.  Instead when the team at Robb Report is compiling their annual list they consult with trusted friends and associates in the luxury travel community and ask them to select their most favourite properties out of what they consider to be the most exceptional hotels and getaways in the world.  Unique villas in Italy and tucked away hideaways in the Maldives are a few of the gems that are included in this special portfolio.

This year we are honoured to be included in the Robb Report 100 Resorts – both of Singita’s properties in the Kruger National Park feature on the list and all of the lodges and camps at Singita Grumeti Reserves.  Scroll through the photos below and celebrate with us.

The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Africa & The Middle East

Singita Lebombo Lodge – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Singita Sweni Lodge – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Singita Sasakwa Lodge – Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

Singita Sabora Tented Camp – Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

Singita Faru Faru Lodge – Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp – Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

(This blog article features Singita’s new photography which we are launching this week – watch this space.)

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Crunch This!

March 29, 2012 - Cuisine,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sasakwa Lodge

If you have ever started the day at Singita Sasakwa Lodge with their famed breakfast spread then you will remember the delectable homemade pastries…including Sasakwa’s breakfast seed bars.  That’s Justina Munuo in our photo above displaying mouthwatering morning fare.

This is a recipe that you will want to tuck into your most-loved recipe file and pass from generation to generation.

224g flour (1 cup)

256g sugar (1 cup + 2 Tablespoons)

128g coconut (1/2 cup)

128g oats (1/2 cup)

56g Rice Crispies (4 Tablespoons)

120g honey (1/2 cup)

200g butter (7 oz or almost a cup)

8g bicarbonate of soda (1/2 Tablespoon or 1 1/2 tsp)

50g condensed milk (1/4 cup)

20g sesame seeds (1 1/2 Tablespoons or 4 tsp)

20g poppy seeds (1 1/2 Tablespoons or 4 tsp)

20g chopped almonds (1 1/2 Tablespoons or 4 tsp)

20g sunflower seeds (1 1/2 Tablespoons or 4 tsp)

20g pumpkin seeds (1 1/2 Tablespoons or 4 tsp)

Not for the faint of heart – so close your eyes and fold in the condensed milk and butter – then enjoy these purely delicious squares!

Instructions – melt the honey and butter.  Mix all the other ingredients together and then add the melted butter and honey mix.  Mix well and place into a baking tray, pack down well, and bake for 30 minutes at 170 degrees Celcius.  Cut into squares while still warm.

http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm

The above link is a helpful baking resource for calculating conversions from grams to cups.

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The Joy of Riding

February 23, 2012 - Singita Grumeti

If anyone knows the adventure of riding in the true wilderness of Africa, it is Alison Mundy the Equestrian Manager at Singita Grumeti Reserves, who has spent her life riding horses across the landscapes of Kenya, South Africa, Botswana and now Tanzania.

We asked Alison to share some of the equestrian highlights of the year that has just passed.

We kicked off the safari season last year in June with our first mobile safaris where we used the newly launched, mobile camp, Singita Explore and then rode on to Faru Faru Lodge. These riding safaris have been a huge success with large numbers of game across the concession and perfect ground conditions lending to faster paced riding.  There is nothing like the thrill of cantering with herds of wildebeest, zebra, topi, thomsons gazelle, eland, giraffe, kongoni and even interacting with elephant, buffalo and lion.

Some of the other incredible sights from horseback were serval, bat eared fox, roan, python, mamba, jackal, hyena, and the list just goes on.

The riding safaris made use of Sasakwa Lodge, Faru Faru Lodge and the new Explore mobile camp.   The different sites of Singita Explore enable us to use unique locations in conjunction with Singita Faru Faru Lodge allowing for up to an eight night safari; riding in different areas each day.

The joy is that we are flexible to be able to create a riding-safari itinerary that suits individual needs not forgetting that we can also cater to non-riders and riders who only wish to ride part of each day.

Guests are falling in love with the new Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp because it offers a new level of camping luxury while out on the grass plains of East Africa.  Believe it or not, but the horses also enjoy the adventure of sleeping under the stars while at the camp.  Guides and grooms are vigilant through the night to ensure that the horses are not disturbed by passing predators.

The last ride of our final safaris last year was truly memorable as we were watching giraffe walking from the bushes into an open area. They kept appearing and soon grew to a journey of 50 strong. They then let us approach and canter alongside them for a long distance over short grass and between trees. Cantering close to these elegant creatures is one of the most memorable things that can be done and is always a possibility here at Singita Grumeti Reserves.

For further information about horseriding safaris offered at Singita Grumeti Reserves, read more on our website- or contact Singita Reservations or your trusted Travel Agent or Tour Operator.

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Up and Away

November 11, 2011 - Experience,Singita Grumeti

For something utterly special and completely unique, plan a beautiful balloon flight – the ultimate safari experience.

At 5:30 in the morning you’re collected from your lodge or camp and transfered to the launch site at Singita Grumeti Reserves.  Here you meet your pilot, receive a briefing and watch in eager anticipation as the balloon is inflated.  At dawn, the balloon takes off, rising as the sun is coming up and floating in whichever direction the winds of the morning are moving.

The pilot can precisely control the altitude of the balloon – sometimes at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below.  At other times the pilot will ascend to 1000 feet or more in order to view the enormity and wonderful panorama of Singita Grumeti Reserves.  From time to time he may put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners.  In between these burns there is absolute silence…apart from the natural sounds of the Serengeti landscape.

Plan for the flight lasting about an hour, depending on the conditions of the day.  You’re back at camp by 8:30, famished and ready for a lavish breakfast spread…and the start of the day’s activities.  (That might include a nice, long morning nap.)

(Photos by Frank Louw, chef at Singita Sasakwa Lodge.)

Minimum of 4 passengers; the on-site balloon can carry a maximum of 8 passengers.  Balloons carrying 12 and 16 passengers are available with prior notice.

For more information about balloon safaris at Singita Grumeti Reserves, please contact our Reservations department at reservations@singita.com

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Pulling Out All the Stops

October 31, 2011 - Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti

At Singita Grumeti Reserves we delight in creating feasts and occasions that will live with our guests forever.  Nothing is more thrilling than a surprise venue and menu for dinner.  Imagine dining under a lamp-lit acacia or beneath the boughs of a large ‘Sausage’ tree (Kigelia africana) or around the campfire with star-lit skies.

Tonight at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, we’re pulling out all the stops.  Grilling lobster from Dar es Salaam, chilling champagne, and setting up a dance spectacle that is certain to enthrall – all as the sun sets.  It doesn’t get better than this – we’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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