Tag Archives: Singita Grumeti

Singita Serengeti House: Cécile & Boyd’s Interiors

March 27, 2013 - Accommodation,Experience,Lodges and Camps,Singita Grumeti,Singita Serengeti House

Singita Serengeti House lounge

Singita Serengeti House, in the vast Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania, was opened earlier this year as an exclusive-use retreat, and in response to a growing demand from discerning travellers for privacy and flexibility. Its unique position in the heart of the Serengeti, offers breathtaking vistas from the slopes of Sasakwa Hill across the endless, open plains of this untouched wilderness. Top South Africa design team, Cécile & Boyd’s, crafted the exquisite interiors and have been involved in the conceptualisation of every one of our lodges and camps since Singita Ebony Lodge opened in 1993.

Singita Serengeti House details

Singita Serengeti House bedroom

While what lies outside is rather spectacular, the interiors of Singita Serengeti House are also something to behold. Throughout the house, ample indoor and outdoor lounging and dining areas, all with uninterrupted views, provide relaxing spaces for guests to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape while enjoying each other’s company. A cool neutral palette of subtle, sun-bleached colours mimics the Serengeti grass plains, bringing the outside in.

Singita Serengeti House details

Singita Serengeti House interiors

Mirror is used throughout the house to maximise light and space. Humble materials in natural fibres, rattan, grass matting, polished cement floors, bleached, raw timbers and local stones bring an honest, earthy feel to the understatedly glamorous, boldly proportioned, light-saturated rooms curated with a modern African art collection by Kurt Pio and Sarah Pratt, artefacts and objects, and anthropologically relevant tribal sculpture. All the decorative pieces were designed and commissioned or sourced by Cécile & Boyd’s, including witty eye-catching papier-mâché hunting trophies and leather thong chandeliers inspired by Masai skirts.

Singita Serengeti House interiors

Singita Serengeti House dining room

All the suites have spacious bathrooms designed as luxurious extensions to the bedroom and living areas, with outdoor showers and private terraces. The private kitchen and resident chef caters exclusively to the needs of the party staying in the house, taking into consideration everything from individual food allergies to favourite cooking styles and flavours. Delicious food and an excellent wine cellar always forms an integral part of the Singita experience, and meals are carefully planned and orchestrated from candle-lit gourmet dinners to informal picnics in the bush.

You can see more photographs of this incredible property in this blog post, or read the online brochure for more. Please contact enquiries@singita.com for further details on booking the house for a group of family and friends.

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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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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!

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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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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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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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Changing Threat into Opportunity

January 13, 2012 - Community Development,Cuisine,Singita Faru Faru Lodge

The next time you bite into a  decadently chocolate-filled brownie at Singita Faru Faru Lodge, you may be surprised to know that the Pastry Chef in the kitchen who makes these creations, has a very interesting past.

(Peter is standing with the bow.)

Peter Andrew was born in 1979 in Fort Ikoma village on the outskirts of Singita Grumeti Reserves. Peter’s mother died when he was 16 years old; his Dad remarried and thus Peter was forced to leave his home and village to fend for himself.  At the time he had no options for employment but poaching. He learnt hunting and tracking skills from a man much older than him, named Matere Muita, a father figure who taught him everything he needed to know about the skills of the hunt. They hunted together on foot day and night to harvest bush meat, tusks from elephants and skins from Colobus monkeys.  Peter remembers that they took pride in never being caught – “You were not a skilled poacher if a Wildlife Officer caught you”.

However everything turned a corner in 2003 when Peter learnt that a good-hearted man named Mr. Harris, was offering jobs to poachers in neighbouring villages.  This was Peter’s chance to change his life and earn an honest wage without fear of being locked in jail or eaten by lion. So Peter started work at Singita Sasakwa Lodge as a temporary employee helping with construction. He was interested in cooking and in 2004 took the opportunity to become the staff cook at Singita Sabora Tented Camp. He excelled in this position and developed quickly, so much so that in 2005 Peter became a Commis Chef at Singita Sabora and then further moved to Singita Faru Faru in 2011 as a full-time Pastry Chef where he currently works.

Stories like that of Peter Andrew continue to provide encouragement for the investment made by Singita in valuable conservation efforts.

With  over 500 000 acres of land under management, Singita offers luxury safari, tourism opportunities whilst pursuing a  core vision: the protection of vast wilderness areas that are home to magnificent wildlife populations and sensitive landscapes, for future generations.

Controlling poaching in the area has been a key priority facing Singita Grumeti Reserves since 2002.  This illegal industry threatened the dynamics and  balance of the eco-system and undermined the potential of the commercial tourism venture, required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the area.  With the establishment of an effective anti-poaching unit consisting of 120 game scouts and thanks to the support of the Tanzanian Wildlife Division, Singita Grumeti Reserves has to date been able to achieve an increase of game populations by up to 600% in some species.  Now Singita Grumeti employs close to 600 members of staff (a large proportion from local villages) in its effort to conserve the enormous tract of land in its care, and to support special Singita-style service to the guests that visit Singita Grumeti Reserves.

To read more about Singita’s community development and conservation projects in four regions around Africa, please take a look at Singita’s website.

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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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Globally Recognized

October 24, 2011 - Awards

From the desk of Luke Bailes, Singita’s Owner and Chief Executive Officer

The other day I was alerted to just how many awards Singita has won this year. Singita has never flaunted the awards it has received – in fact one of our guiding principles is humility. However it did occur to me that it is entirely due to our supporters and guests that we are being recognized for the incredible job our staff does, and for this reason I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in our success.

We have become globally recognized for the conservation work we are doing across the African continent. This has reached a point where, today, we are invited to participate in many conservation/tourism projects throughout the world.

Our warmest thanks for your support of and contribution to these prestigious accolades this year – some of them to note:

Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2011 – No. 1 in Conservation, Singita Pamushana

Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2011 – No. 1 World’s Best Hotel, Singita Grumeti Reserves and No. 2 World’s Best Hotel, Singita Ebony and Boulders Lodges

Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2011 – No.3 Best Hotel in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean, Singita Grumeti Reserves

World Luxury Hotel Awards 2011 – Best Luxury Lodge, Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Andrew Harper – No.5 Top International Hideaways , Singita Boulders Lodge

Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2011 – Singita Ebony and Boulders Lodges

Singita’s primary objective is to secure and protect large and threatened tracts of wilderness thereby ensuring sustainability and long term survival.

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Stripes Galore

October 06, 2011 - Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

The dam on the plains in front of Singita Sasakwa Lodge was a hive of activity before the rains started in earnest.  Animals trek for miles to reach the waterhole, which is one of the few that offers a good field of view. In particular there have been huge herds of zebra coming in to drink, often wading deep into the water. From around 09h00 through to 17h00 it is always busy.  Sometimes there are smaller herds of impala joining the zebra and often the Butamtam lion pride is found positioned close to the waterhole in the hopes of making a kill.

This striking black and white photography was taken by Lee Bennett, Head Guide at Singita Grumeti Reserves.  To follow wildlife updates from Grumeti Reserves, refer to the monthly Guides’ Diaries posted on Singita’s website.

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