Tag Archives: Tanzania

Riding with the Migration

June 25, 2012 - Safari,Singita Grumeti

Martin Dodwell, Equestrian Guide at Singita Grumeti, has just completed the riding safari of a lifetime with Singita guests.  The migration has just arrived at Singita Grumeti and for their last three days of riding, the small group rode with huge herds of wildebeest (literally thousands) and galloped alongside buffalo, giraffe, topi, zebra and more.

A truly exhilerating experience.

For more information about Singita’s Horseback Safaris, read further on our website.

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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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Pulling Out All the Stops

October 31, 2011 - Cuisine,Experience,Singita Grumeti

At Singita Grumeti Reserves we delight in creating feasts and occasions that will live with our guests forever.  Nothing is more thrilling than a surprise venue and menu for dinner.  Imagine dining under a lamp-lit acacia or beneath the boughs of a large ‘Sausage’ tree (Kigelia africana) or around the campfire with star-lit skies.

Tonight at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, we’re pulling out all the stops.  Grilling lobster from Dar es Salaam, chilling champagne, and setting up a dance spectacle that is certain to enthrall – all as the sun sets.  It doesn’t get better than this – we’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Inside Frank’s Kitchen

September 24, 2010 - Cuisine,Experience,Singita

Recipe Creation by our very own Frank Louw, Sasakwa Chef ~

Something that we always have in abundance in Tanzania is a supply of delicious tropical fruit. Here is one of my all-time favourite dessert recipes: Mango Cobbler
Cobbler Ingredients

1 cup cashews nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup flour
½  cup butter or margarine
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Blend these ingredients in a food processor until they resemble bread crumbs. Spray a non stick pie dish and lightly push your crumble mix into the dish, ensuring that it covers the base and the sides. Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Slice enough mangos to fill the pie case. Top off the pie case with the remaining dough mix. Bake for a further 15 minutes

This Mango Cobbler is destined to tantalise your taste buds and the warm sweet juices will leave you dreaming about holidays spent relaxing under the African sun

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An Out of Africa Moment

July 27, 2010 - Experience,Singita Grumeti

Nothing can beat sunset in the bush surrounded by the sounds at dusk on high volume.

Nothing can beat this.

Something that we often do to surprise our guests at Singita is to whisk them away to a heart-stopping location, pull out all the stops and present a bush dinner under the stars.  Our most recent affair boasted a spectacular location on a mountain top with arguably the best Serengeti view in Tanzania.  Transporting everything from the food and the equipment is all part of the occasion and even the smallest detail is considered and planned.

Preparing for the bush dinner.

We love the “wow” moments that guests experience in this kind of setting….perched above a vista of the Serengeti, sipping on aperitifs while the sun dips down behind the horizon.

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Impala and Baboons – Catering and Security

June 07, 2010 - Singita Grumeti,Wildlife

The impala and baboons enjoy an interesting symbiotic relationship. When you visit Singita Grumeti Reserves you’ll seldom find one without the other.

Impala and Baboons.

Image courtesy of zrim (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3104/2761905984_fa0e144804.jpg)

The baboons are, by their very nature hyper vigilant and therefore if they think anything is amiss they alert the impala. The impala are not as vigilant but while they graze they stir up all the insects and bugs. This makes it significantly easier for the baboons to catch their meals.

The impala are responsible for catering while the baboons handle the security detail.

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Environmental Centre – Inspiring Past Students

June 02, 2010 - Singita Grumeti,The Grumeti Fund

Keeping past students inspired, and therefore actively involved in improving their surroundings, has been key to the success of the Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre and the course it offers.

Students who attend the course already belong to an ecology club in each school that participates in the course.

The best ecology clubs – in terms of projects, involvement etc – are rewarded and the best individuals, within these clubs, are rewarded further. This creates healthy competition both between the different clubs and within the clubs where the ultimate benefactor is the environment.

So far, a total of 132 students and 22 teachers have taken part in the course. The Singita Grumeti Fund Environmental Centre is still in contact with each and every one of these students and teachers. In fact, the 22 teachers recently took it upon themselves to organise a meeting where they discussed: who was doing what, what was working and why it was working.

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