One Stop Wonders – Tanzania
One of the archetypal safari destinations, Tanzania has long loomed large in the imaginations of those searching for the best that Africa has to offer. However, thanks to the array of activities now on offer at many of the camps, there’s more than enough to justify staying in one place for a full week rather than moving around to different locations. After all, to maximise leisure time, it makes sense to minimise travel time – especially if you’re on a family safari and travelling with children.
In this instalment of our One Stop Wonders Africa blog series we land in the heart of East Africa. But with 21 national parks to its name, the question – when planning a luxury safari holiday to Tanzania – is which camp to choose? Here are three of the best one stop destinations.
A quintessential homestay retreat, the colonial farmhouse occupies an enviable hillside position on the forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater with a veranda overlooking the Great Rift Valley escarpment. It is on here, or in the homestead’s main dining room, that you can enjoy homegrown meals with a view and tune in to the restorative rhythms of the farm.
There are 17 farm cottages set in formal grounds at Gibbs Farm with the addition of a pool and spa. Each has its own private farm garden and private terrace which allows you can soak up the seclusion, perhaps with a cup of freshly brewed coffee – grown, processed and roasted on the estate. If you’re travelling as a family, there are also two houses accommodating up to six people.
A destination in its own right, this manicured sanctuary can also be used as a base from which to enjoy with surrounding wilderness on foot, by mountain bike, or by horse. Guests can walk through the neighbouring forest reserve or the 30 acres of farmland and visit the local village, Tloma.
The beauty of making this historical property home for the week is that you can also choose to travel slightly further afield. For those happier to delve a little deeper into the surrounding area, a day trip to the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater opens up one of the world’s great wonders. Here you can discover towering waterfalls and a variety of wildlife on a hike to the Elephant Caves. This environmental curiosity, sitting within the crater’s conservation area, has been created by elephants using their tusks to dig through dense rock. Whilst full day game drives can be arranged, there’s also the chance to explore Lake Eyasi on foot, a spectacular expanse of salt-rich water and a migrational stop for flamingo.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge
Bearing all the hallmarks of their eclectic interiors signature, Singita’s property in Tanzania’s ‘northern circuit’ is an Edwardian manor house in the Serengeti. Wildlife drives here offer an unparalleled seat from which to see the abundant wildlife in the 350,000 acre private Grumeti Reserve – especially during the great migration.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge certainly has lots more to commend it to those looking to stay and rest awhile. Ten individual stone cottages, in a range of sizes, each have their own plunge pool from which to take in the panoramic savannah views. The main house meanwhile is home to a number of public spaces including a dining room, bar, library and billiards room. With its mix of African art, European antiques, soft linen slip covers and leather arm chairs it feels more like a private home you can kick back and relax in, albeit a supremely good looking one lit by silver candelabras.
As well as being recognised for their eye for art, galleried walls are not the only thing that’s carefully curated by the Singita team. Known as one of Africa’s most influential wine collectors, a personalised wine tasting here – with vintages selected from their 222-strong cellar – is a highlight.
Once you’ve had your fill of the glorious hilltop setting and are ready for action there is plenty to entertain. There are few other places in which to enjoy a spot of tennis or croquet on the plains of the Serengeti or even a guided jog through the reserve. Thanks to their Mini Rangers Course, children will be kept busy too learning everything from survival skills to star gazing.
A private retreat for families or small groups of friends, this small, exclusive use camp sleeps up to eight. Occupying an enviable position on the Rufiji River that snakes through the Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve), Kiba Point is a secluded hideaway nestled in one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries.
A cluster of four thatched open-fronted rooms – crafted from stone, thatch and linen – the camp is anchored by a central communal area that houses a dining room, bar and plunge pool. If you’re looking for a true taste of barefoot luxury, fly camping – so called after the simple ‘fly sheet’ early hunters would use to protect themselves from the elements – is an unforgettable experience. Here you can turn your back on the camp for a night going further into the wild, tuning into the call of nature and sleeping under the stars.
The beauty of a stay here is that it can be tailored to meet your needs. You are invited to set your own schedules; heading out into the bush either in an open-sided vehicle, on foot or by boat when you like. Thanks to the uninhabited, unspoiled nature of the park, you can look forward to intimate and uninterrupted interactions with large herds of buffalo, antelope and elephants as well as sightings of the endangered packs of wild dogs that also call it home.
But it’s not just the abundant wildlife that helps make this huge expanse of protected land a UNESCO World Heritage site. The diverse and unspoilt habitats within the park boundaries set it apart. Here you can enjoy days off the dusty track languishing in the hot volcanic springs or catching dinner in the Rufiji.
We would be delighted to help you plan a safari encompassing any of the destinations mentioned here. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.