Tag Archives: Singita Grumeti

A Modern Conservation Model

August 12, 2011 - Singita Grumeti,Sustainable Conservation,Wildlife

From the desk of Luke Bailes, Singita’s Owner and Chief Executive Officer, about Singita’s modern conservation model.

In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund (Grumeti Fund) was granted the right to manage and conserve 350,000 acres of land in the western Serengeti, Tanzania (as a comparison, the entire world famous Masai Mara National Game Reserve in Kenya comprises only 370,000 acres).  The area Grumeti Fund chose to conserve is among the most vital natural habitats left on the planet.  Chief among its wonders is the world renowned wildebeest migration and the multitudes of flora and fauna this strategic buffer zone supports.  By undertaking this project, Grumeti Fund and its supporters hope to conserve one of the world’s true remaining spectacles and thereby embrace former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere’s vision to have “a world in which people and wildlife live together sustainably forever”.


Singita’s involvement with the Grumeti Reserves commenced in 2006 and through the work of Singita’s truly talented management team, the property was transformed and upgraded and now includes 3 expanded lodges and the most exclusive mobile tented camp in the world.   All situated on 350,000 acres of privately managed land.  It is our sincere belief that the only way to protect vast pristine wildlife areas is to practice a model of modern conservation where low impact tourism generates income to assist in funding conservation and community outreach programmes to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserves.

Without creating this type of virtuous partnership, wildlife will always lose out and the world’s natural wonders will slowly but surely disappear.  If we are successful however, there is no doubt pristine, well-protected wilderness areas like the Serengeti will become truly priceless.

Today, Singita Grumeti Reserves is an unqualified success story.  It has delivered on its most basic promises; to develop the most prolific wildlife populations in East Africa and become the best managed and protected reserve in the Serengeti.  In addition, Singita Grumeti Reserves has been a true leader in the areas of community development and scientific research.

Travel & Leisure, the world’s largest hospitality publication, recently announced the results of its “Top 100 Hotels poll” for 2011 and T+L readers selected Singita Grumeti Reserves as its No1 in the World.  This extraordinary achievement bears testimony to man’s desire to experience authenticity and realness, while we believe at the same time promoting sustainability and a true commitment to conservation.  These qualities together are what we believe makes Singita Grumeti Reserves and the entire Singita portfolio stand out (as an aside, I am also very pleased to let you know that Singita Sabi Sand took second place in this prestigious poll for 2011).

To read more about Singita and ten unique safari experiences in four regions in Africa, spend a few minutes on Singita’s website.

Read More


The Astonishing Trek

August 01, 2011 - Events,Sustainable Conservation,Wildlife

The annual wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most breathtaking spectacles but it also plays a vital ecological role.  Head Guide at Singita Grumeti Reserves shares some insights into the progression of the migration across the plains of Singita Grumeti Reserves this year.

The Wildebeest Migration was declared the 7th new Wonder of the Natural World in June 2006 and it is well justified.  This annual mass movement of over a million wildebeest has to be one of the most awe inspiring sights on earth.  It is very possible that these animals have been making this astonishing trek for millions of years and if that is so then man must have been marveling over this for millennia.

There have been literally rank after rank of wildebeest filing onto the plains on a daily basis.  From the 25th May we watched as the numbers swelled until it seemed there would be room for no more.  Yet they continued to arrive.  The herds of topi and zebra gave way before encroaching hordes; elephant left the low lying areas and headed for the hills.

They passed by Singita Sabora and spent a few days on the plains in and around the tented camp, consuming the new grass that had sprung up after the fire a few months ago.

From there they headed east, grazing and honking as they went.  Thousands of them staked out areas around the Sasakwa airstrip and we spent many hours on the strip keeping it clear for arriving and departing aircraft.

With them came the scavengers, hyena walked unperturbed between them, and the wildebeest hardly gave them a glance.

Vultures soared overhead or dropped down onto carcasses and the wildebeest didn’t seem to care; it seemed that everything benefitted from their arrival.

There was literally nowhere on the property you could go without driving through thousands of wildebeest.  It is an amazing experience that is impossible to describe:  the constant movement of all the animals, the noise of their continual honking, the clash of horns as the bulls charged into one another, and calves and mothers that have become separated call to one another in an attempt to reunite.

The migration faces all challenges head on.  Sometimes there is a bit of trepidation or hesitation by each animal when faced with a tricky river crossing or a wooded area but in order to survive they have to keep moving.  Food and water are the main motivation and as much as wildebeest are responsible for consuming vast quantities of grass on a daily basis they are also a key component in the regeneration of the same grasses, and other grasses they don’t eat.

(Outstanding view of the wildebeest right in front of Singita Faru Faru Lodge.)

Herbivores can and do play a large role in grass successions.  When the rains come through after the migration has moved on there will be a marked regeneration.  The millions of hooves crush and trample the moribund material into the earth and their dung helps to fertilize it.

To read the full report of the annual wildebeest migration through Singita Grumeti Reserves this year, take a look at June Guides’ Diary on the Singita website.  For daily and weekly updates of the location of the migration, follow Singita on Facebook.

Read More


What’s on the Menu at Singita Explore

June 08, 2011 - Cuisine,Experience

Catherine Garden, Sous Chef at Singita Grumeti Reserves, talks about the menu that she has created for Singita Explore, and about how much fun they are having cooking over an open campfire.


Singita Explore like all Singita locations has its own unique bush signature with elements that echo the feel and structure of the camp.  The simple yet comfortable is replicated within the cuisine.  Food is slightly more interactive as chefs cook eggs to order in front of guests, meals are prepared on the coals, and wood scented fires are very much a part of the camp ethos.  The kitchen creates the backdrop to camp life.  There are camping staples like potjies, barbecues, pot breads and the full cooked breakfast with the focus on unprocessed, wholesome food.

For lunch we love to spread out a tantalising smorgasbord of cold meats, cheeses served with pickled red onion and cucumber, raw beetroot relish, sesame bread sticks, rustic olive loaf, and a fresh, green salad.  A special hot item would be traditional pilau with kachumbari (local salad made of sliced tomato, onion, lemon juice and chilli) and Greek yoghurt.  We opt for delicious and light for our dessert selections – one of our favourites is roasted pineapple and strawberries with Almond praline cream.

For high tea at the camp we are creating simple but mouthwatering delights, such as a banana walnut loaf served with raspberry jam and butter.

After evening game drives, guests love to position themselves around the roaring campfire.  Nothing is more comforting as the evening settles in, than Stok brood (bread cooked over the fire by the guests themselves) dipped into chilli dipping sauce and savoured under the stars.

Then follows a full dinner feast of pork chops, lamb mishkaki (skewers), potato bake (creamy garlic potato), butternut chakalaka, and a garden salad.  There is always a little room leftover  for warmed apple crumble with vanilla custard.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Some of the menu items that are gaining the greatest rave reviews – oxtail potjie, chicken apricot sosaties and our famous chocolate Malva pudding.  We will have to share some recipes in the next blog articles, so keep watching this space.

For more information about our introductory offer at Singita Explore follow this link to read more.

Read More


The Wild Side of Singita Explore

May 25, 2011 - Safari,Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

Singita Explore (mobile tented camp set up on the plains of the Singita Grumeti Reserves), through the eyes of James Suter and Marlon du Toit (Safari Brothers), professional guides at Singita Kruger National Park.  A life-changing adventure!

(Photography by James and Marlon)

Game drives in the Grumeti concession differ from those in South Africa, and Marlon and I took some time before we realised this. Every time we head out onto the plains and our guide stops, we immediately grab our binoculars and start scanning the landscape. As we start spotting animals, which one always does every time one looks around, we start calling out the names of the different species.

This is really exciting as not only are a lot of these species new to us but the abundance of life is astounding. We managed to tick off many new species of birds, Aardwolf, and saw lions climbing trees, which we are told is a very common habit of the Butamtam pride.

Once again the wealth of game including massive herds of eland, topi, zebra, giraffe and elephants blew us away. One of the most enjoyable moments for me was getting out of the vehicle and watching the sun set over the Serengeti amongst hundreds of animals.

Keep up with stunning photography on the Singita Facebook page…more to come.

To book Singita Explore, please take a look at our introductory offer available through 15 December 2011.

Read More


Mornings at Singita Explore

May 24, 2011 - Accommodation,Africa,Experience,Lodges and Camps,Singita Grumeti

Safari Brothers experiencing the adventure of Singita Explore….James Suter shares his morning moments, waking up to the smell of fireside-brewed coffee and glorious sunrises…

We awake in the morning at our Singita Explore tented camp filled with excitement, listening to both sounds of the Serengeti plains as well as the early morning sounds of the Swahili staff preparing coffee on the fire. Typical mornings include a 06h00 wake up call, hot shower and then as we step outside the tent we are greeted by the most magnificent Tanzanian sunrises.

Quite remarkable and eco-friendly, each sleeper tent is equipped with a 20 litre bucket that is used for the shower, and this provides 10 luxurious minutes of shower time – or more if needed.  Hot water is made via a volcano pressure boiler, and is fuelled by recycled “green” energy.

After thrilling morning game drives, heading back to camp to enjoy a sumptuous cooked breakfast is all that is on our minds.  A table is set up for us out in the open in front of the camp, with shade provided by a large acacia.  Right by our table, staff prepare generous portions of eggs and meats to satisfy our ravenous appetites.  We could stay here forever!

Nothing like the smell of filtered coffee brewed over the coals and a crisp morning chill in the air – James Suter.

Take a look at more amazing sights that we are capturing on camera….follow the account on Singita’s Facebook page all week.

Read More


Safari Brothers Explore the Unexplored

May 23, 2011 - Accommodation,Experience,Safari,Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

Tanzania is one incredible place! The vast spaces and dramatic settings absolutely blew our minds.  The excitement levels grew as we flew over the Serengeti; we looked out of the small aeroplane and we could see the herds starting to make their way slowly NW towards the Singita Grumeti concession.

Our Singita Explore tented camp was set up in one of the more remote parts of the concession, giving one a feeling of freedom and genesis. On our arrival we were greeted by the notoriously friendly Swahili staff and greeting “Jambo!”. We tried to get our heads around the fact that we were in the middle of the Serengeti, with endless grasslands dotted with the familiar acacia species. Not only were we in this surreal place but also our accommodation was a tent fit for a king.

Although back-to-basics and in true camping-style, the tents are equipped with anything and everything one’s heart could desire; luxurious camp cots, hot showers and comfortable lounging wear and furniture. All is prepared within seconds upon request. The experience is hard to put into words; embraced by absolute luxury, yet at the same time feeling what it might have felt like to be the first people to set foot in Africa – exploring the unexplored.

I will never forget this experience – to feel so close to nature amongst herds of zebra, impala and giraffe; going to sleep with them and waking up with them.  This is an experience that is truly life-changing – not just an opportunity to explore this amazing part of Africa but an opportunity to explore one’s self.

Written by James Suter, Guide from Singita Kruger National Park

James Suter and Marlon du Toit (AKA the Safari Brothers) are both professional guides and work in the heart of the Kruger National Park at Singita’s Lebombo and Sweni Lodges.   This week they went up to experience Singita Explore in Tanzania and are now documenting the adventure through their eyes; the eyes of the Safari Brothers.  Follow the entire adventure on Singita’s Facebook page.

You’ll be in awe of their astounding photography.


Read More


A True Safari – Singita Launches Singita Explore

May 04, 2011 - Events,Experience,Lodges and Camps,Promotion,Safari,Singita Grumeti

For the past years Singita has been observing how travellers have evolved.  We are recognizing the ever-increasing demand from discerning travellers for private travel, the utmost exclusivity of a destination, and the ability to access nature in a close and meaningful manner.

With this in mind, Singita is launching a transformational new travel concept – Singita Explore, a return to the very essence of safari.  This exclusive mobile camp is designed for minimal environmental impact,  treading lightly on 340,000 acres of private reserve, offering en-suite canvas hideaways that restore true adventure to days in the wilderness.

The camp will be sold on an exclusive use basis only, available year round, and this back-to-basics mobile camp only operates within Singita Grumeti Reserves.  Comprising 6 tents and 2 mess tents the camp will be placed in remote parts of the reserve, guaranteeing closeness to wildlife and untouched landscapes, and is hosted by a private guide, camp host, chef and camp staff.

Singita launches Singita Explore 1 June 2011.  For information about the introductory promotional offer, contact our Reservations department at enquiries@singita.com.

Read More


Chef in the Wild

March 16, 2011 - Cuisine,Singita Grumeti

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.

Read More


Ravishing Relish

January 25, 2011 - Cuisine

Singita Grumeti Kitchen Tales – by Frank Louw, Sasakwa Chef

Summer is still in the air and with all the seasonal produce surrounding us it is only natural to go “fruity”.  Mango is one of my favourite fruits and is so versatile.  Instead of using it only in desserts or cocktails, try using it in salads or as a salsa with seafood.  This is one of my all-time outstanding recipes and I use it often. Great with grilled lobster, slow braised pork belly or roasted chicken.

Mango and Spring Onion Salsa

2   Ripe medium mangos

1   Small bunch of spring onions

1   punnet (200g) cherry tomatoes

Half bunch mint

Bunch coriander

Half small chilli

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 2 limes

1 cm ginger stem

50ml sesame oil

50ml olive oil

(For help with measurement conversions, take a look at http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/conversions.aspx)

Cut the mango and tomato into cubes, roughly the same size.  If you prefer to deseed the tomato do so at this stage.  Slice the spring onion as thinly as possible.  Chop the mint, coriander, ginger and chilli very finely and add to the mango mixture.  Add the lemon juice, sesame oil and olive oil into a small bowl, whisk well and add to the mango salsa.  Place in the fridge for an hour and serve with your grilled lobster…

For more information about our Singita Grumeti Lodges, you may want to read more on our website.

Read More


Heralding the New Year – Singita Awards

December 30, 2010 - Awards,Singita

At Singita we are always honoured when our lodges are included in the best of the best awards worldwide – and immensely grateful for the support and applause from our trusted travel trade, media and guests.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for singing our praises in your spheres of influence this past year – as a result we are listed in some of the top international hot lists and we are thrilled.

~ Conde Nast TravellerThe Gold List 2011 – Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

~ Conde Nast TravelerReaders’ Choice Awards 2010, Top 100 – Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

~ Tatler Travel Guide 2011 – 101 Best Hotels in the World – Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe

It is our endeavour to continue to provide the most excellent guest experiences in some of the world’s most pristine locations for many years to come.

Hope you will plan your journey for 2011, so we may welcome you.

Read More


Sign up to receive the Singita newsletter

×