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.
Sasakwa Lodge's prominent position
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 opulent and stylish living room
Guinea feather lampshades add a nice colloquial touch
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
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 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