It’s always a special time of year for our staff and guests at Singita Grumeti in Tanzania, when the dull rumble of hooves echoes across the savannah as the Great Wildebeest Migration begins. Over the next few weeks, more than one million animals will travel through the area and up through Singita Lamai, home of Singita Mara River Tented Camp. This year’s event is now in full swing, as the bearded creatures began arriving en masse from the southeast on the 1st of June, passing first alongside Singita Faru Faru Lodge.
A few days later, thousands of wildebeest flooded the Nyati plains, with the herds extending southwards into the Serengeti National Park, as far as the eye could see. By Wednesday the 5th, the herds that remained on Nyati plains were growing slowly more and more dense, spreading west and north towards Singita Sabora Tented Camp and the Sasakwa Plains. By Friday evening there was an incessant hum on Sasakwa Hill that originated from the thousands of animals murring on the plains below; a sound similar to that of flowing water.
On the morning of Monday, June 10th, the herds extended throughout Singita Grumeti, surrounding the lodges entirely. As it is also currently rutting season, it has been fascinating to watch the bulls running back and forth to protect their cows and calves from other bulls, while simultaneously having to continue the migration.
Although these herds are completely unpredictable, we expect that they will stay with us at least another two weeks, probably longer! We look forward to watching their antics and sharing more amazing photographs of them with you.
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 1200-mile-long journey.
Singita Serengeti House, an exclusive-use retreat designed for families and friends, has opened in the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserves in the heart of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. Located on the slopes of Sasakwa Hill with breathtaking vistas of the endless, open plains of the Serengeti, the house is Singita’s response to a growing demand from discerning travellers for privacy and flexibility. Itineraries, activities and meals are tailor made and tweaked as guests dictate the day-to-day pace and rhythm of their vacation according to their interests and needs.
Early morning and late-afternoon game drives may be interspersed with vigorous swims or lazing around the pool with a good book, a game of tennis, a cooking lesson in the private kitchen from the resident chef, spa treatments or mountain biking. Making it up as one goes along is part of the magic of taking up residence at Singita Serengeti House. There is a waterhole right in front of the house, which is a favourite drinking spot for general plains game as well as a breeding herd of elephant.
The house accommodates eight people in two suites in the main house and two further guest suites on either side of the main house, connected by pathways from a central pool deck with a 25-metre rim-flow lap pool. There is also a private tennis court, mountain biking and archery.
Refined yet comfortable interiors by Cécile & Boyd’s are complemented by a relaxed, unpretentious ambience and warm-hearted service, adding up to a luxurious home environment in the bush. It is a place that encourages a wealth of shared experiences – thrilling game viewing, memorable outdoor feasts, storytelling and impromptu celebrations – from which to shape priceless memories.
The house may only be booked on an exclusive-use basis and includes all staff, a private vehicle and a safari guide. Besides guided game drives in an open-sided 4×4 vehicle, guests can also do guided walks and horseback safaris. At Singita Sasakwa Lodge, situated an easy 1.5km drive away, there is also a fully equipped gym, yoga room, spa and Boutique & Gallery.
We’ll soon be posting some more photographs of Cécile & Boyd’s stunning interiors at Singita Serengeti House so be sure to subscribe to the blog to avoid missing out! You can also read the online brochure to see more.
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.
Singita Grumeti Reserves offer guests a series of unique African safari experiences. Singita Sasakwa Lodge overlooks the expansive Serengeti and provides guests with an intoxicating view of the plains. While Singita Faru Faru Lodge sits low on the Grumeti River immersing guests in the surrounding wildlife; and Singita Sabora Tented Camp gives guests the opportunity to experience the romance-infused Africa of a bygone era.
Guests can now enjoy these three very different lodges in five easy steps:
- Fly directly into Kilimanjaro (daily KLM flights)
- Transfer to Arusha and overnight at Legendary Coffee Lodge
- Fly to Sasakwa Airstrip
- Spend three nights at Singita Sabora Tented Camp or Singita Faru Faru Lodge
- Fly to Kilimanjaro for direct flight out.
Experiencing Singita Grumeti Reserves has never been simpler!
All three Singita Grumeti Reserves lodges come complete with their own gyms. This allows guests to ensure that their fitness regime continues in the Serengeti.
Just under 10 years ago Singita Grumeti Reserves was a gorgeous landscape but it was completely devoid of game. Illegal poaching and uncontrolled legal hunting had resulted in the collapse of the wildlife population.
The goal with establishing the Singita Grumeti Fund was to generate profit for use in two areas: wildlife conservation and community development.
From the onset of this initiative everyone involved understood that any wildlife conversation efforts would not succeed without the support of the surrounding communities. To be in a position to be able to provide this support the community required education and development; in other words Singita Grumeti Reserves needed to give the community an understanding of conservation and help the community to create a sustainable alternative to the hunting/poaching of game.
From the day the Singita Grumeti Fund was established and into the foreseeable future all profits, including profit generated through tourism, have been and will be used solely to support the Fund. This means that every guest who stays at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Singita Faru Faru Lodge or Singita Sabora Tented Camp supports the Fund initiatives.
In just under a decade the Fund team, Singita Grumeti Reserve guests and others have – through their hard work, dedication and donations – helped restore the vast majority of Singita Grumeti Reserves resident wildlife population. Through additional and extensive education efforts and the creation of alternative employment opportunities – for those residing around the Serengeti ecosystem – the groundwork for sustainable conservation, in Singita Grumeti Reserves (and beyond), has been laid.
If you’ve stayed as a guest at Singita Grumeti Reserves, you can be proud of what your stay has helped us achieve.
For more information about the various Singita Grumeti Fund initiatives please email firstname.lastname@example.org