Safarious contributor, Emma Jackson, recently visited Singita Faru Faru Lodge during the height of  Green Season and documented her experience of being enfolded by the relaxed luxury of this refined escape in the vast plains of the Serengeti. This is her story.

Welcome to Singita Faru Faru Lodge.

The only thing that I dislike about the Serengeti is that at some point, on every trip, I have to leave. This feeling has never been more foreboding than on my most recent trip because, well, Singita. I knew almost instantly, as I walked into my suite at Singita Faru Faru Lodge, that I was in trouble.

The Serengeti in March is more green than I’d experienced before, and I don’t think there could be a better time to visit. Short heavy rains made the banks of the Grumeti River abundantly green, and Faru Faru was even more camouflaged than usual. On the drive from Singita’s private Grumeti Air strip, I could barely make out anything from the road in, but once we had disembarked from our game vehicle and made our way down the entrance path, the architecturally-inspired wooden and steel canopy that has been designed to frame and shelter the main lodge revealed itself.

Natural flow.

This grand structure perfectly complements existing stone work and houses Faru Faru’s more spacious recreational areas, which include an open-plan restaurant, various lounge pockets, a café-style bar and terraced seating areas. It doesn’t take Faru Faru away from its place in nature – natural light and abundant green flows in, and there’s a natural flow to the fire pit, one of Faru Faru’s two swimming pools and the unfenced Serengeti beyond.

Spread out along with a gym, a spa and a substantial solar panel operation, nine suites come into view. Mine lay parallel to the Grumeti River, hidden in the lush vegetation on its banks. The entire front is made up of custom-designed, automated panoramic windows and when you open them, absolute tranquillity fills the room, along with the most ethereal light.

When it comes to Singita, guests are offered the most serene and subtle of hospitality experiences. Everything feels light and effortless, but there has to be an extraordinary operation behind the scenes. That operation, however, remains out of view. Not because there’s something to hide, but because it comes down to something quite philosophical, I believe… The notion of being something versus trying to be something.

Animals graze in the distance and while it’s a little more heated when the migration moves through, it’s more peaceful than a temple in March and whether you’re in the outdoor shower, sitting on the couch or lying in bed, the view is captivating. I can’t actually tell you the ratio of time I spent in my room versus the rest of the lodge – I lost track of time.

It was such a joy to wake up to this every morning.

Singita is in many ways a hospitality business, but hospitality as a means to an end. The real goals, and what that hospitality serves, are education, conservation and leaving a legacy. While these broad terms are buzz words, Singita has been working resolutely on this legacy for almost three decades. Despite having mastered the art of luxury and offering some of the most conscious and sophisticated hospitality in the world, it would be a mistake to assume they’re about anything but the protection and preservation of wilderness.

Everything feeds back to the greater goal that was first set out by founder and CEO, Luke Bailes. But: “it only works if our commitment to the local communities is so deep that they trust that what we’re doing, preserving this land is in their interest.” This excellent article from Conde Nast Traveler has more about “How Africa’s Most Luxurious Safari Camps Are Championing Conservation”.

There is no time at Faru Faru, it’s just one long sigh of relief.

What did I walk away with? A deeper understanding of a truly Conscious Safari experience. Of what the wilderness needs to thrive, how both staff and local communities are educated and supported, and how much goes into sustaining it all.

This story was first published on Safarious. See the original post in full here.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE SERENGETI
Singita Faru Faru Lodge is set within the 350,000-acre private Grumeti Reserve. The lodge embodies a fresh take on African bush appeal and ushers in a new era of luxury wilderness safaris. Rates for suites start at USD 1 475 per adult per night and include all meals and beverages (excluding French Champagne), twice daily game drives, return road transfers between the Sasakwa airstrip and the lodge, telephone calls and laundry service. Make an enquiry »

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