Reindeer might have the monopoly on sleigh-pulling in traditional, snowy Christmas scenes, but here in the Serengeti, it’s the prolific plains game that are Santa’s preferred mode of transportation! Luckily, he has plenty of animals to choose from; the current Green Season sees thousands of antelope and wildebeest enjoying the lush grasses, and game drives are filled with sightings of healthy herds of impala, eland, kudu, topi and waterbuck.

Christmas cookies at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

To celebrate the returning rains and some of the local wildlife that benefit so much from them, the kitchen team at Singita Sabora Tented Camp decided to hang the Christmas tree with edible decorations inspired by these horned ungulates. These easy-to-make spiced cookies are iced with simple animal designs that put an African spin on the usual mascots of the Christmas season but you can make it your own with any pattern or shape. Try piping your cookies with angels, Christmas trees or candy canes, and why not rope in the kids for an afternoon of festive fun!

Christmas cookies at Singita Sabora Tented Camp


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on a fairly high speed until smooth
3. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts and the egg
4. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder with flour and, little by little, add the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer, turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
5. Do not chill the dough
6. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to ¼ inch rather than ⅛ inch).
7. Make a small hole at the top of your cookie before baking it (not too small as the hole will shrink as it bakes)
8. Before baking, chill the cut shapes in the fridge for a few minutes (5 – 10 min)
9. Bake for 6-8 minutes then allow to cool slightly on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack
10. Pipe with royal icing on top in your desired shape or pattern

Christmas cookies at Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Our Festive Fairy Light Cupcake recipe is another great one to do with the kids at this time of year or you could try your hand at this decadent Gingerbread & Orange Peel Layer Cake, complete with salted Amarula caramel! If you have energy after all of that, you could even whip up this Wild Hibiscus Spritzer to kick off the Christmas party.

Singita Sabora Tented Camp is located in Singita Grumeti in northern Tanzania, and forms part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. Ten years of dedicated conservation work, in partnership with the Grumeti Fund (GF), has transformed the western corridor of the Serengeti from a near-barren landscape to verdant plains teeming with game. Singita’s low-impact tourism model generates the funds necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve, working with the GF to preserve 350,000 acres of now-thriving wilderness.

Similar blog Posts

The Bond of Shared Experience: Singita Sabora’s Culinary Journey

Culturally symbolic, a form of social capital and often linked to memory and emotion, food has always been a part of how we find connection. It is something we all share, regardless of our background or circumstances – a need for nourishment for the body as well as the soul. The newly redesigned Singita Sabora…

Read More

Love Made Visible: The Meaning of Food at Singita

Singita’s unique food journey is an intrinsic part of how our guests experience Africa, with fresh ingredients gathered from our on-site gardens and innovative menus that complement our wellness philosophy. While these mouthwatering moments are a memorable part of any stay at Singita, our food offering is also inextricably linked to our core conservation purpose…

Read More

Lodges and Camps



Videos from Singita

Latest Video

Singita Malilangwe House

Set on a picturesque sandstone ridge in Zimbabwe’s remote Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and offering unfiltered space and time for deepened connections with nature, family and friends, Singita Malilangwe House is an exclusive-use villa with five expansive bedrooms – each with its own private deck. Here, guests have the relaxed freedom to enjoy tailormade stays catering to their every need and simply be present in each moment. Providing the stillness they seek, it’s the ultimate sanctuary in which to awaken the senses and restore the soul; and with private access to restorative experiences in 130,000 acres of untouched wilderness, it welcomes a profound sense of wellbeing, leaving them renewed, restored and inspired.

Community & Conservation
A Wildlife Showcase
All Videos