A vast reserve of game-filled savannah, home to the Big Five and the famous Great Wildebeest Migration.
Recommended place to stay:
Singita Sasakwa Lodge
Grumeti Private Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania|singita.com|
Official star rating:
The private, 140,000-hectare Singita Grumeti reserve borders the world famous Serengeti, with breathtaking views over hundreds of miles of plains. Sasakwa is one of only five lodges in the reserve – meaning you have much of the wildlife and scenery to yourself.
This is an elegant, contemporary lodge, situated on a hill with spectacular views from ten lavish, spacious private cottages – all stylishly decorated with antiques (four-posters, old trunks, silver, chandeliers), contemporary furnishings, and African art. They all come with huge bathrooms, private plunge pools and living areas and all mod cons, from wellness areas and helipad to wi-fi.
If you have trouble sitting still for 5 minutes, the camp also offers a Boutique & Gallery, lawn croquet, stargazing safaris, nature walks, and tennis as well a wine cellar and experienced sommeliers. They also have a wellness area, fitness centre and yoga to indulge the body after a safari.
Hillside Suite is a spectacularly private, romantic retreat, designed as a villa for two, offering guests solitude in an atmosphere of modern, barefoot luxury. With private entrance pool, chef and vehicle.
Game & game viewing
The Serengeti – and therefore Singita Grumeti too – teems with game, thanks to incredible anti-poaching and conservation efforts of The Grumeti Fund and incredible sightings are almost guaranteed. The Great Migration herds usually passes through here from July to August, although the route varies year on year. The rate includes twice-daily game drives with top-notch guides.
On request and for a fee, staff can organize a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti plain with a local company – an unforgettable experience. Guests can also meet with the anti-poaching scouts or canine unit, and go on community tours.
If you have trouble sitting still, the camp also offers archery, lawn croquet, stargazing safaris, mountain biking and tennis. There’s a spa, yoga sessions and gym facilities for wellbeing fans, too.
On request and for a fee, staff can organize a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti plain with a local company – an unforgettable experience. The lodge also has its own stables, home to 18 horses – so riders (subject to age and reasonable experience) can go on a day-long horseback safaris onto the Serengeti plains.
Local conservation & community
The Grumeti Fund has helped to train local growers, helping them to start and sustain businesses, buying their vegetable produce to serve to guests. Guests can visit the Research and Innovation for the Serengeti Ecosystem (RISE) centre to learn more about the way researchers and scientists are finding solutions to complex issues facing the Serengeti ecosystem.
The fund contributes to environmental education, teacher training, the cost of textbooks, and offers scholarships and bursary schemes especially girls empowerment and extensive wildlife conservation and regeneration programmes. Some of these schemes, such as the Singita Community Culinary School, can be a step towards future employment by Singita.
Taking the kids
Children are welcome, and can join their parents on game drives and bush walks at the discretion of the guide. The excellent ‘Mini Rangers’ course teaches children about the bush. Families of four or more, with children 10 and under, are guaranteed a private Land Rover at no extra cost.
Sasakwa is as easy to reach as anywhere else in the Serengeti: you fly in by small plane from Dar es Salaam or Arusha (driving would take a whole day).
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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.