A tented camp, check. Luxury, check. Incredible game viewing including fabulous year-round resident wildlife, check. Stunning location, private concession ensuring privacy and exclusivity, incredible food, check, check, check! What’s not to love? Nothing. This camp is simply spectacular!
Singita’s luxury tented camp, Explore, was featured in Tatler’s Travel Guide 2019 as one of the best hotels in Africa and the Middle East, and I’m not surprised. For me, the Explore camp in the Tanzania embodies everything that is truly great about an African safari!
It is erected in the Serengeti’s most wildlife-rich regions of their private 350 000 acre conservancy, the best area is selected depending upon the season and on the requirements of the guests.
The camp is booked on an exclusive use basis, and with a maximum of six tents, it means that a family or a multi-generational family can have the exclusivity and flexibility that only a private camp allows. (By the way, there is also a villa for those who would like greater permanence and luxury).
But what I love about Singita Explore is the beauty and elegance reminiscent of the old-style hunting camps of the 20’s and 30’s, complete with bucket showers. With gauze windows, one hears the night sounds so much more clearly; the roar of a lion in the distance, the whoop of a hyaena, the zebra with its inimitable bray.
The sounds of the wildlife completely surround you, yet here you lie snuggled up comfortably, safe and warm in your tent listening to the theatre of wildlife. It’s the most thrilling experience!
Then in the morning, just before your tea or coffee is brought to your tent so you can sip it on your verandah, the scent of the wild sage bush wafts through your gauze window. The sun begins to rise and one can see antelope grazing contentedly on the grassy plains in front of you. The scenery is spectacular.
Visit the Singita anti-poaching unit on a coffee break after your game drive. With over 120 dedicated scouts, learn all about the behind-the-scenes activities that are undertaken to make this the wildlife haven that it is on 350 000 acres. Learn all about Singita’s Grumeti Fund and its main area of focus.
There are guided safari walks (one learns so much more on foot, such as the medicinal properties of trees and plants), as well as getting so much closer to wildlife and having it become a more immersive experience.
For those that would like a more in-depth walking safari, it is also possible to arrange to walk between camps in the Grumeti region. The guides are truly excellent and as I touched upon earlier, Singita probably produces the very best food in all of Tanzania, so you will be well catered for!
For families, it is possible to organise arrange games of archery, or board games can be supplied in between game drives. One can also go mountain biking, learn to bake outdoors with the chefs and learn about the night sky in Africa.
There is even a mini ranger course which is simply fantastic for all those budding wildlife enthusiasts; children and teenagers alike will really enjoy learning from the rangers. They teach them how to track animals, and how to survive in the bush.
Children can compete against each other to see who can spot the most wildlife, trees or birds, and they can even try butterfly capture and release. Upon completion of the course, these proud achievers are awarded a certificate to recognise their new-found knowledge and accomplishments.
Singita takes sustainability seriously and in this regions supports the Grumeti Fund, which engages with 21 villages on an outreach programme. I highly recommend that you take the time to visit one of the local Maasai communities, where one can have genuine interactions with the local people. One can discover how they carefully balance preserving their culture whilst still adopting certain elements of westernisation.
The Fund recognises that the community have a vital role in conservation of wildlife and through upliftment of the community, they are able to become custodians of their wild areas. The programme helps children in the community to attend higher levels of education and teach children about conservation issues as well as life skills, learning English (secondary schools teach in English only), and girls’ empowerment.
There is also an enterprise development programme that assists local people to set up their own businesses, learn essential skills and generate income, leading communities away from generating their income through poaching or habitat destruction.
The Fund additionally undertakes extensive law enforcement, anti-poaching and conservation activities including elite groups of rangers who protect their critically endangered black rhino, and innovative technology to assist in the protection of the wildlife.
Their multi-faceted approach has led to some fantastic accomplishments:
For one of the finest wildlife safaris in Africa, this is the perfect place to be! If you would like more information, do please feel free to contact me.
Images kindly supplied courtesy of Singita. Images 1 & 2 copy right to Nicky Hoyle. Image 8 copy right to Mike Sutherland.