Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Sabora Tented Camp

Africa, Hotel Reviews

Oct
01
2009

GRUMETTI RESERVE, SERENGETI, TANZANIA

October 1, 2009

If time travel were possible, this would be the closest thing to making you feel transported back to colonial (with some modern decadence, of course) Africa. I was starstruck from first glance. And while the cool towel and yummy lemon/lime drink attempted to root me to the moment, the sheer magnitude of this uber-luxe tented camp in the middle of nowhere, Bush-land, was simply surreal.

The view from the main terrace. Bliss. The tree in the background gets festooned with lanterns at night and the fire pit is right before it
The view from the main terrace. Swoon

We toured the rooms, er tents, and my jaw just kept dropping further and further down my neck – attractive, I know. My fingers were itching to touch every single piece of antique furnishings (some are repros but fabulous, nonetheless), fabrics and and colonial curio.

The Parlour room tent. A brass chandelier, but of course

The Parlour room tent. A brass chandelier, but of course

The bar fashioned from a hot air balloon wicker basket. Genius

The bar fashioned from a hot air balloon wicker basket. Genius

We were treated to a yummy lunch outside under the shade of umbrellas and an acacia tree overlooking the massive plains. The wildebeast migration was just off in the distance providing the hee-haw soundtrack.

They left beaded necklaces in the room so naturally I wore mine to lunch

They left beaded necklaces in the room so naturally I wore mine to lunch

Our fierce crew lunching at Sabora. Chardonnay anyone?

Our fierce crew lunching at Sabora. Chardonnay anyone?

After lunch I retired to my room where I swear I checked under the bed for Bogart. It was that romantic. Please Lord, take me back here someday!

My bedroom suite (tent) with the bed in the corner

My bedroom suite (tent) with the bed in the corner

The view from my bed at sunrise. The room was bathed in pink and me too. It was heartbreaking to witness alone but breathtaking nonetheless

The view from my bed at sunrise. The room was bathed in pink and me too. It was heartbreaking to witness alone but breathtaking nonetheless

Posted in: Africa, Hotel Reviews

Published by Meg, Thursday, October 1, 2009 No Comments

Singita’s Sasakwa Lodge

Africa, Food + Wine, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Sep
29
2009

Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania

September 28th, 2009

Our first overnight in Tanzania was by far the most formal and least intimate with nature’s nighttime creatures (bugs, reptiles, monkeys, etc.) of the entire trip. Oh the things I would have better appreciated had I known what was coming. However, despite Sasakwa’s formality, California-desert style exterior, and hilltop location, it’s still in the bush and so yes, we did indeed encounter buffalo en route to our cottage after dinner.  There we were being ferried on a golf cart, our bellies filled with red wine, when the driver slowed down just before the path to our room to show us three enormous buffalos happily munching on the brush on the other side of the path.

The hilltop Sasakwa Lodge

Sasakwa Lodge's prominent position

There's nothing quite like African morning light

The view in the pink morning light

At Sasakwa the decor is traditional with colonial influences and various showpieces displayed throughout the wraparound porch, spacious living room and lodge-like dining room. The setting is very comfortable though somewhat removed. With its hilltop position, the lodge offers commanding views though keeps the wildlife at a bit of a distance allowing the guest to easily acclimate to their environment without any real fear or trepidation. Plus the decor is quite soothing with its familiar style (if it weren’t for the few African themed wall pieces and animal skins, it could be Switzerland).

The decadent living room

The opulent and stylish living room

ostrich feather lamps (okay so this room was far less Swiss)

Guinea feather lampshades add a nice colloquial touch

The traditional Lodge dining room

The traditional Lodge dining room

Dinnertime is served in this room with candelight and tables set according to the guest breakdown – honeymooners in the corner. Meals were quite impressive though breakfast, with its elegant buffet, fresh vanilla yoghurt and outdoor seating overlooking the view was my favorite. I also somehow work up quite an appetite post early morning game drives.

A particular demonstration of the fantastic service at Sasakwa (overall it was exceptional) came when I asked the chef before our early morning game drive if he had any RUSK, a South African breakfast bite (a zwieback to Brits) that I had come to appreciate in Madikwe. Without a second hesitation, he promptly brought it out for me and even posed for a picture. And as if there were no end to his generosity, he even typed out the recipe for me (clearly having no idea how inept I am in the kitchen).

Darling South African chef with his homemade Rusks

Darling South African chef with his homemade Rusks

I promise to re-type the recipe once I figure out which suitcase its in. From what I remember it was basically flour, sugar, raisins and of course, some secret African spice! Moreover, the sweetness of the chef was what will stay with me far longer than the recipe! (er, clearly)

I would recommend Sasakwa to those on Safari for the first time, those a bit squeamish of ‘communing with nature and all its lovely creatures’ and yet also  those looking for quiet relaxation with some safari on the side and of course, horse people.  The lodge has an impressive equestrian center with horses from South Africa and offers the first mobile safaris on horseback – check their website for more updated info.

Evidently the pool was enough for me!

Evidently the personal plunge pool in the rooms with its expansive view was enough for me!

Check out my channel of videos to see how morning coffee pre-early game drive is served at Sasakwa and some of the incredible wildlife we saw aftewards: Click here

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Posted in: Africa, Food + Wine, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Tuesday, September 29, 2009 No Comments

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About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.