Category Archives: Singita Sasakwa Lodge

An Update from the Singita Equestrian Centre

October 30, 2013 - Experience,Safari,Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

A horseback ride over the vast plains of the Serengeti is an exhilarating experience transporting you to the charm and nostalgia of days gone by. Singita Grumeti offers Africa’s most exclusive horseback safari experience, where guests can roam over 350 000 acres of exclusive-use concession in Tanzania’s magnificent Serengeti. Equestrian safaris are ideally suited to more experienced riders and take guests on a journey of exploration to some of the Reserve’s most remote and romantic sites.

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

Martin Dodwell, a member of our dedicated team who run the Singita Equestrian Centre at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, has sent us an update on the recent migration activity in the Serengeti and the game they have spotted on their regular outrides with guests:

“The month of July provided us with perfect riding conditions as the wildebeest arrived, grazing across the plains and clipping the grass, allowing for faster-paced riding. Our first guest ride to Singita Faru Faru Lodge was particularly spectacular, as we rode across Sasakwa Plain with herds of antelope and giraffe, before crossing the Grumeti River and viewing elephant, buffalo and lion all in one ride!

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

In early September, we took a four-night safari to Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp in the Maji region, where the grass is fresh and short, offering excellent ground conditions for riding. Our group comprised four guests from Ireland who have ridden in Kenya and Botswana, and were happy to report that our horseback safari is the best they had ever experienced.

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

Later in the month, we took some guests to explore the Ikorongo Game Reserve while based at another Singita Explore camp near Lion Rocks. We rode across the main road near to Muchuli Hills and out onto open plains with short, green grass. We traveled more than 10km into the Reserve and were lucky enough to ride alongside huge herds of zebra and buffalo. The guests were so impressed with the riding terrain that they have booked a return safari with friends for next year.”

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

Horseback Safaris in the Serengeti | Singita

The Singita Equestrian Centre is located at the top of Sasakwa hill, very close to Singita Sasakwa Lodge overlooking the endless plains of the Serengeti. The stables are home to 18 magnificent horses, ranging from 15.1 to 16.3 hands in height. The stables are superbly well maintained and the horses all in excellent condition. All the horses have been carefully selected for temperament and pace and include South African Boerperd, an indigenous African breed, Thoroughbreds, and a variety of cross breeds.

To find out more, please visit our website or email enquiries@singita.com to get further details from our Equestrian Manager.

Read More


The People of Singita: Michael Matera

August 01, 2013 - Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Michael Matera, sous chef at Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Michael Matera, sous chef at Singita Sasakwa Lodge

You would be correct in assuming that some of the most memorable experiences for guests visiting Singita involve exhilarating wildlife sightings on early morning game drives, the spectacular local cuisine put together by our talented kitchen teams and the breathtaking landscapes in which our lodges and camps are situated. While this is certainly true, what guests remark on most often is the warm and attentive manner of our friendly staff members. The people of Singita are its most valuable asset, as they quietly go about ensuring that each of our visitors experience the most sophisticated luxury safari experience on earth.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing the stories of some of Singita’s most interesting characters, from field guides and trackers to lodge managers and chefs, many of whom have overcome enormous personal challenges along the way. First up is Michael Matera, who is now a chef at Singita Grumeti:

Michael Matera and Frank Louw

Michael Matera and Frank Louw

How did you get started at Singita?
As the oldest son, it was always very important to have a career in order to support the rest of the family. I was working at VIP Safari Club when I applied for work at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, where I was accepted as a grounds attendant. Every day I would clean the pool, look after the camp grounds, fill kerosene lanterns and fulfil any other small duties the manager would give me.

The chef there at the time was called Andy Clay, he noticed my hard work and determination and soon I started helping in the kitchen. Initially I was responsible for cooking the staff meals, as I could not speak English and had limited cooking skills. Andy noticed that I would always work in the kitchen after hours and was very keen to learn, so he very kindly sent me to English classes in Arusha. I gave the short two-week course my all, and on my return was told that I could start working in the main guest kitchen. I was so happy and that is how my cheffing career began.

Michael Matera tending the kitchen garden

Michael Matera tending the kitchen garden

What inspired you to be a chef?
I was intrigued with all the interesting produce that use to come into the kitchen. I had never seen things like lobster, prawns and other exotic seafood before and I found their shapes, smells and flavours fascinating. That is what inspired me to learn more.

What would be the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely being awarded the title of Tanzanian Chef of the Year last year. Nothing can replace that feeling!

Michael Matera tending the kitchen garden

Who is your favourite chef and why?
Gordon Ramsay. He is a very strict chef so when you see him on the TV you know you should always be careful in the kitchen.

What country would you love to travel to for cooking inspiration?
Italy! I love pasta and pizza and all the other Italian food.

The cuisine at Singita Sasakwa Lodge

The cuisine at Singita Sasakwa Lodge

What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?
Coriander, you either love it or hate it. I LOVE it.

What do you love about Singita?
I love Singita for so many different reasons but I think I love it the most because it made me the person I am today. The training, teaching, opportunities, development and love for the staff is hard to find in any other company.

Michael currently works as Senior Sous Chef at Singita Sasakwa Lodge under Executive Chef, Frank Louw. Frank says: “It’s amazing how you can learn so much from someone you are supposed to be mentor to. Michael has the wonderful talent of making every task seem effortless while still achieving extraordinary results. His calm demeanor and ability to listen has taught me a side of humanity that every person should embrace and carry with them. He has proven to not only be a phenomenal chef, student, teacher and friend but an inspiration to so many other young Tanzanians wanting to make a change in their lives.”

Catch up on all food-related posts by reading through the Cuisine category on the blog, including some delicious locally-inspired recipes!

Read More


Unique Safaris: See the Serengeti on Horseback

July 16, 2013 - Africa,Experience,Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sasakwa Lodge,Wildlife

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

For equestrian enthusiasts, there must be no more thrilling adventure than experiencing the great wildebeest migration on horseback. With this year’s event now in full swing, the stables at Singita Sasakwa Lodge have been extremely busy preparing our horses for daily outrides with guests to witness the influx of animals. These rides are completely tailored to guests’ needs and skill level, usually lasting several hours. In addition to the herds of plains game, it is not uncommon to spot giraffe, eland, buffalo, zebra and elephant on these rides.

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

For the more experienced riders, our tailored Equestrian Safaris combine long rides exploring remote areas of Grumeti Reserves with wonderfully relaxing afternoons. The exclusivity of the concession means that your experience is sure to be unique and private; just you, your magnificent horse, expert guide and the enchanting Serengeti all around you.

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

Moving on horseback allows you to penetrate herds of zebra and giraffe, travelling among them as if part of the group. Combine Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp with a stay at one of our permanent lodges, Sasakwa or Faru Faru, to gain the ultimate Serengeti horseback experience. Singita Explore is the perfect base for days of remote exploration and a truly immersive bush adventure, while the luxury of Sasakwa and Faru Faru offer the heights of style and relaxation.

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

The pace is moderate with the opportunity for faster paced canters in places, and a choice of English, Western or South African trail saddles. The magnificent herd, mainly comprising Thoroughbreds and Boerperds from South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, have been carefully selected for their temperament and range between 15.1 and 16.3 hands in height.

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

The equestrian manager and guide will be happy to discuss any further horse riding related details; please e-mail enquires@singita.com or visit our website for more.

Read More


The Great Migration Diaries 2013: Part Two

July 01, 2013 - Africa,Conservation,Environment,Experience,Safari,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Mara River Tented Camp,Singita Sasakwa Lodge,Wildlife

As you will have read in Part One of this year’s Migration Diaries, the epic journey of over a million animals began in earnest a few weeks ago. The nomadic wildebeest began arriving right on time at the beginning of June and soon covered the savannah surrounding Singita’s lodges and camps in Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

They were expected to move on relatively quickly (not surprising, considering they have 1200 miles to cover!) and landed up spending only a week on the plains, in full view of our lucky guests staying at Singita Faru Faru Lodge in the east, and all the way to Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the west.

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

After seven days, having had their fill of the lush grasslands, they began to move and the view from Singita Sasakwa Lodge changed overnight. Where, just the previous day there had been thousands of wildebeest scattered across the plains, we awoke to the sight of long, organised lines of animals marching due east. This lasted four days and by the 20th of June, only a few small groups of stragglers were left. The bulk of the herds had successfully traveled to the the Ikorongo region and were making their way back into the Serengeti National Park, towards Singita Mara River Tented Camp in the remote Lamai triangle.

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

If they follow their projected route, the wildebeest could arrive at the camp in the next few weeks, readying themselves anxiously for the crossing of the crocodile-filled Mara River. The unique location of Singita’s newest camp provides spectacular opportunities to view these crossings and we look forward to reporting again for you from this next leg of the wildebeests’ annual journey.

The Great Migration at Singita Grumeti

The Great Migration is an annual event in the Serengeti in which 1.5 million wildebeest (and 200 000 zebra) travel from the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania up to Kenya’s Maasai Mara game reserve and beyond, following the rains in search of better grazing. This natural phenomenon passes right through Singita Grumeti and Singita Lamai, making our lodges the ideal vantage point from which to observe this epic journey.

Read More


Guest Photos From 2012: Mary Robbins

May 09, 2013 - Experience,Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp,Singita Faru Faru Lodge,Singita Grumeti,Singita Sasakwa Lodge,Wildlife

The memories of a trip to Africa and an unforgettable visit to Singita are some of the most precious that a traveller can experience. And while it can be very difficult to recreate that feeling when a guest is back home, they often have spectacular photos to remind them of the unique landscape and wildlife of our continent. We are always thrilled when these photos are shared with us, along with the wonderful stories behind them.

Great Guest Photos from 2012: Mary Robbins visits Singita Grumeti

Great Guest Photos from 2012: Mary Robbins visits Singita Grumeti

One such visitor to Singita in September 2012 was Mary Robbins, from Lynn, Massachusetts. She travelled to Tanzania and stayed at Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp, Singita Sasakwa Lodge and Singita Sabora Tented Camp. Although an enthusiastic safari-lover, this was her first trip with us and she was especially keen to see a leopard and was rewarded with an amazing sighting during her time at the lodges, as well as spotting plenty of other big cats.

Great Guest Photos from 2012: Mary Robbins visits Singita Grumeti

mary_robbins_1

Looking back, she writes: “What a fabulous time Frances, my driver, and I had! We drove around the Serengeti and saw wonderful things.  We watched the animals for hours on end and that is the only way to really come to an understanding of the way the animals are – by watching the way they move and interact with one another and with other species and with their environment. This was a true safari – a journey into another world – rather than a quick drive across the plain to fill up the time and make a tourist happy.  Of course we saw all manner of animal and my personal favorites were:

  • The time we came upon a pride of lions lounging on a river bank – then one by one we watched them get up, go to the top of a rock, and splash down into the water and walk/swim across the river to the other side.
  • Watching three 3-month old cheetah cubs jumble and play around their mama.
  • Admiring a fine, big, male leopard in a tree.
  • Watching a pride of lions lounge around a tree and then jump up into it. Watching lion prides and little cubs is always wonderful.

Great Guest Photos from 2012: Mary Robbins visits Singita Grumeti

Great Guest Photos from 2012: Mary Robbins visits Singita Grumeti

Thank you for visiting us Mary, we hope to see you again soon.

You can see other guest photos on our blog from Stephen Saugestad (Canada) and Jeff Thompson (USA). Don’t forget to catch up on our monthly Wildlife Reports too.

Read More


A Special Cooking Class

November 09, 2012 - Accommodation,Cuisine,Experience,Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Mtori is a traditional Swahili dish prepared from the unusual combination of green bananas and stewing beef. Guests at Singita Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania were recently treated to an expert cooking demonstration of this local speciality by chef Donna Patterson.

Chef Donna Patterson at Sasakwa Lodge

The tennis pavilion became a stage for what could have turned into a Masterchef class. While the children challenged each other to a game on the court, I carefully shared the recipe with the adults, that had been taught to me by one of the local chefs in our kitchen.

Traditionally the soup is served to Swahili mothers when they are pregnant and breastfeeding as it is a rich source of nutrients for the diet. It has evolved into a dish for the whole family, with the recipe being handed down from generation to generation.

Chef Donna Patterson at Sasakwa LodgeIngredients (serves 4):

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbls vegetable oil
6 green bananas, peeled and chopped
300g stewing beef, cubed (off the bone)
water
salt and pepper

Method:

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes over a medium heat in a heavy based pot.

Add the cubed beef and stir to brown all sides of the meat.

Add the peeled and chopped green bananas and stir for a further 3 minutes.

Cover the mixture with water, reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the bananas become soft.

Traditionally the soup is mashed together with a wooden spoon and served as is. I tend to remove the meat, shred it and keep it aside and then blend the banana part of the soup in an electric blender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the meat back to the soup. Enjoy the tastes of Tanzania!

Read More


Resourcefulness in the Wild

June 21, 2012 - Cuisine,Singita Sasakwa Lodge

You can imagine how difficult it might be to source fresh and interesting greens and speciality vegetables in the far-reaches of the Serengeti.  This was the challenge that Frank Louw faced when he took over the helm of the Singita Sasakwa Lodge kitchen a few years ago.  In an effort to add some pizzazz to menu items and maintain the high standards set by Singita excellence, Frank set about to establish a kitchen greenhouse that would produce some delicate garden products not normally sourced in the surrounding wilderness areas.

We thought our blog followers would like to hear how the Greenhouse is doing at Singita Grumeti.

The green house is doing well. We are using it to the full extent and gathering herbs and lettuce from it every day.  Just yesterday I picked some Zebra tomatoes…they are scrumptious and pretty.  We are also growing spinach and our very own purple basil.  So nice for our salads. (Frank Louw – Sasakwa Chef)

Frank Louw, Singita Sasakwa Executive Chef and Michael Matera, Senior Chef de Partie – caretakers of the kitchen greenhouse, now in its second growing year.

Read More


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.

Read More


Sign up to receive the Singita newsletter

×