Just back from Singita Explore, Mark Witney, Chief Operating Officer at Singita, shares his musings about a night under canvas and the vast African sky.

If you have never spent a night in the African bush with nothing between you and the vast African night sky but a canvas tent, you have to put it on your ‘bucket list’!

Anthropologists are pretty certain that man originated in Africa and I have to believe that this accounts for the spiritual experience often described by first-time visitors to this continent. Africa is etched deeply in the DNA of all of mankind. The best way to experience this is to immerse yourself in the sights, smells, sounds and feel of the night, and what better way to do this than to lie in a comfy bed in a beautiful tent with a gentle breeze blowing.

An evening at Singita Explore starts with a gathering around the fire. Cocktails and campfire talk as you watch the fire throw sparks up into the dark sky, and above you a view of the Milky Way as you have never seen it before. Because there is no surrounding light pollution, each star in this huge galaxy is clearly visible. Satellites drift across the evening sky, distant reminders of the technological world that seems so irrelevant when you contemplate the universe. Nearly 14 billion years old and expanding at hundreds of kilometres per second, around a billion galaxies in the universe and approximately a billion stars per galaxy – the numbers are beyond comprehension. Our sun is just one of those billion x billion stars and our earth is just a tiny speck revolving around that tiny sun. How irrelevant we are and how full we are of our own self-importance!

Nearby a fiery necked nightjar calls its plaintive prayer ‘good Lord – deliver us’.  Far away a hyena whoops to announce that her night patrol has begun.

“Dinner’s ready” shakes you out of your reverie and to the table set just beyond the campfire. Hurricane lamps create a warm glow as you sit down to a simple but beautifully prepared meal. Potato and leek soup with bread freshly baked on the fire, grilled game meat with locally grown, organic vegetables and a good old fashioned malva pudding with cream for dessert.

Coffee is served around the fire and as the embers fade so too does the conversation.

Back to your tent and, in the silence of the camp as you snuggle between the sheets, you become aware of the fact that many of the nocturnal creatures are just beginning their ‘day’.  A spotted eagle owl hoots while the nightjars continue their repetitive call to the Lord. A lone hyena, closer now, whoops gently and sadly and in the distance you can just make out the roar of a territorial male lion announcing his dominance.

As you drift off to sleep you briefly contemplate how strangely familiar it all feels and yet how far away you are from the life you lead. You are hooked – and you’ll be back!

Take a minute to dream about a tented experience at Singita – watch our new video…. Singita Explore…Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.


Similar blog Posts

Tented Luxury That Gets You Closer to Nature

The Lamai Triangle is a remote expanse of rolling grasslands and rounded hills that is sandwiched between the Mara River and Tanzania’s border with Kenya. It is best known for its location on the northward route of the Great Migration, which sees millions of wildebeest and zebra traversing its lush savanna from July to November….

Read More
Singita Explore - Grumeti, Tanzania

Discover Singita Explore

The Serengeti stretches out west of Africa’s Great Rift Valley in a series of vast plains, forming a landscape traversed by millions of zebra and wildebeest, as well as huge herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and antelope. The spectacle of the annual migration is a popular reason to visit this iconic safari destination but high…

Read More

Lodges and Camps

Wildlife

Food

Latest Wildlife Report

Singita Pamushana

We often have guests visit us repeatedly, and it was an honour this month to welcome one of our guests back after she’d last visited 18 years ago! It’s really been a fantastic month of sightings, and intense multiple sightings have been had at our underground photographic hide, at the edge of a waterhole. One...

Read More
View all Wildlife Reports

Videos from Singita

Latest Video

Experience Green Season in the Serengeti

For many, the idea of the Serengeti landscape conjures visions of endless golden grasslands and the stark outline of dry, thorny scrub. This is indeed one face of this vast ecosystem, but it can also be a shimmering, emerald sea of dense vegetation and flowering plants; the summer “green season”.

Community & Conservation
A Wildlife Showcase
All Videos