One of the wonderful benefits of being in the path of the annual migration through the Serengeti is getting to observe this natural phenomenon at close range. This was especially true for our guests at Singita Sabora Tented Camp in Singita Grumeti a few weeks ago, when the herds of zebra and wildebeest joined them for lunch! These unexpected visitors were photographed by lodge manager, Wilson Owino, grazing quietly on the doorstep of the intimate, 1920s-style explorer’s camp. These beautiful shots illustrate the truly immersive safari experience at Singita, with the added thrill of knowing there isn’t much separating the comfort inside from the elements and wildlife outside.
We’ve been covering this year’s migration in a series of blog posts (read part one, part two and part three) and also tracking the animals’ movements in our monthly Wildlife Reports.
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.
Singita Faru Faru is located along the banks of the Grumeti River. In true Singita style the lodge is hardly visible from the road. It is so well disguised that you have no idea what to expect.
The surrounds at Singita Faru Faru Lodge are lush, far more tropical and overgrown than the surrounds at Singita Sasakwa Lodge or Singita Sabora Tented Camp.
Singita Faru Faru Lodge is the most modern of three Singita Grumeti Reserves lodges. Suites are spacious and they seem to breath by themselves, no doubt aided by the large electronic windows that open at the touch of a button (technology in the African bush is so much more impressive than technology in the city).
Singita Faru Faru Lodge décor is fresh and modern and it perfectly suits and amplifies the setting.
The food is sublime, the lodge is tranquil in that close-to-water kind of way, the spa is unbelievable – not because of its size but because of its location and its view – and then there is the feeling, the essence of the experience that is Singita Faru Faru Lodge. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what this essence is but it is the reason that Singita Faru Faru Lodge makes a guest feel like a child being introduced to the magic that is the African bush, for the very first time.
Singita Grumeti Reserves consists of two exceptional lodges and one unforgettable camp all situated on a 350 000 acre concession. The area covered by Singita Grumeti Reserves is as large as the Masai Mara but, even so, the number of beds has been limited to 76.
The focus here, as with all Singita properties, is to create the best private bush experience for guests. One way that this is achieved is through the coupling of low-density tourism with high-density game.
The two Grumeti Reserves Singita lodges and Singita camp are located along the famous Serengeti and Masai Mara annual migratory passage. To ensure a unique experience each lodge and camp has been thoughtfully positioned in completely different (and therefore unique) terrain.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge is elevated above the plains, Singita Sabora Tented Camp is located on the plains – in the heart of the Singita Grumeti Reserves – and Singita Faru Faru Lodge snakes unobtrusively along the Grumeti River.