A vast reserve of game-filled savannah, home to the Big Five and the famous Great Wildebeest Migration.
Recommended place to stay:
Singita Sabora Tented Camp
Grumeti Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania|singita.com|
Official star rating:
Sabora is the most over-the-top, opulent safari camp anywhere. There’s nothing else like it: a sophisticated, modern interpretation of luxury tented safaris in the middle of nowhere.
It’s set in the private, 350,000-hectare Singita Grumeti reserve, bordering the world-famous Serengeti National Park; surrounded by grasslands, it’s pretty but not as spectacular a setting as at other camps.
The game, however, is prolific, including the Big Seven, and the Great Migration passes by in July and August. Sabora is one of only five lodges in the reserve – meaning all the game without the crowds.
The nine capacious, en-suite canvas tents are reasonably private, although set quite close together. They’re all romantically decorated with large four-posters swathed in fine linens, with meditation decks and secluded outdoor salas for lazy afternoons. With nothing separating them from rolling grasslands, every sight, sound and smell is amplified for a deeply restorative experience.
The attention to detail in the interiors is something special, with subtle décor and design elements reflecting Africa’s creative energy. Hand-stitched leather finishes, durable canvas and campaign furniture echo the spirit of classic East African adventures. Food is fresh, delicious and wholesome, with an excellent wine list to choose from; expect Farm-to-table dishes, mainly vegetables, fresh juice and blenders and a guest pantry in-suite for healthy smoothies. They also have a spa, yoga and gym facilities.
It’s the most glamorous, contemporary tented safari camp in Tanzania, great for simple sophistication and tented romance – only kids over 10 are welcome.
Game & game viewing
The camp overlooks grasslands that teem with zebras and wildebeest during the Great Migration. It usually passes through here from July to August (though this cannot be guaranteed, as it moves around) – but wildlife sightings, in general, are excellent.
The camp’s rate includes twice-daily game drives with top-notch guides – and since Sabora is one of only five lodges in the reserve, you largely have this sweeping scenery and these majestic creatures to yourself.
On request, staff can organise a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti plains with a local company (additional charge). You’ll never forget it.
Local conservation & community
The Grumeti Fund, Singita’s NGO partner, has helped local community to start and sustain businesses, buying their vegetable produce to serve to guests.
The fund contributes to teacher training, the cost of textbooks, and offers scholarships and bursary schemes, especially for women, as well as the protection of wildlife under its care. Some of these programmes, such as the environmental lessons, or Singita Community Culinary School, can be a step towards future employment by Singita.
Taking the kids
Children over 10 are welcome. Their Mini Game Rangers’ Course teaches youngsters outdoor survival tips, animal tracking skills, tree and bird identification and even some astronomy.
As with anywhere in the Serengeti, you fly in by small plane from Dar es Salaam or Arusha – driving would take a whole day. It’s then a 20- to 30-minute drive from the airstrip to the camp.
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Renowned safari journalist and expert Lisa Grainger recommends her favourite African camps, from savannahs teeming with Big Five, to star-lit desert wildernesses.