Singita Sabora Tented Camp has all the ingredients of an authentic safari, in which the old-world elegance meets contemporary luxury. The place wows with the level of service, the luxury and opulence of its tents, and the exclusivity of its own private reserve.
This was going to be our first stay at a Singita property and we were very curious to see if the company’s reputation as one of the top safari brands in Africa is well deserved. Would the Sabora camp turn out as exceptional as we had hoped?
As soon as we landed at Sasakwa, the private airstrip of the Grumeti Reserve, we were embraced in the Singita experience. The staff’s welcoming attitude put us in the holiday mood right away. Relaxed and pampered, we settled in for a few minutes in the sumptuous lounge tent, while our luggage was being taken care of… but before we knew it we were on our way to the camp. Forty minutes later, after arriving at Sabora, we could finally take in fully its unique vintage concept.
Singita Sabora is like a trip back in time, to the era when African savanna was accessible only to a few adventurous explorers. The camp has the character of an early 20th Century safari expedition and its design feels both authentic and opulent without veering into clichés — even if the concept draws directly from the “Out of Africa” mythos.
The interior decor is of course largely responsible for this impression. Carefully reproduced portable safari furniture, lavish antiques, as well as Zanzibari chests, Persian rugs, cut-glass decanters, silverware, brass artefacts, Maasai blankets and traditional beadwork make the tents look like a well-designed film set.
But all this is in the service of comfort. The guest bedroom features a four-poster bed, while the bathroom has a lion claw-feet bathtub and an outdoor shower. There is also a day bed outside, set out on the grass, which is great for afternoon naps and a comfortable spot for game-viewing.
Its own private Serengeti
One of the things we liked the most about the camp is how closely it is linked with the wilderness of the African plains. The tents are set up right in the “centre of the action”, surrounded by the archetypal landscape of savanna peppered by acacia trees and traversed by herds of animals.
Wild zebras graze around Sabora during the day and wander between the tents at night. One morning hyenas woke us up with a frantic cackle. They were trying to shoo off some lions who were after their kill.
No surprise then that guests are strictly forbidden to venture outside after dark without the assistance of an armed guardian. But knowing that only a thin canvas separated us from the wild outdoors was simply thrilling. It made us feel immersed in the pulse of wilderness and it enhanced the sense of nostalgia for a classic safari adventure — around which the Sabora is designed.
The camp is situated in the Western part of Serengeti, known as Grumeti, and it is a huge swathe of land: 350,000 acres. That’s almost as vast a territory as the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. All of it is managed by Singita, which has only five small camps and lodges in the area — but what’s remarkable is that only their guests have exclusive access to the Reserve.
The private character of Grumeti works well with the 1920s expedition concept, and so does the service. But if the design is vintage, the service is very much of today’s level. The staff is discreetly attentive and maintains a sophisticated atmosphere of contemporary luxury, to which the old-world opulence is only a backdrop.
All these qualities of Sabora combine and balance each other to create a truly remarkable place. Our stay was defined by the exceptional service, the intimate character of the camp, the excellent safari drives — and the beautiful setting in the archetypal landscape of African savanna.
So has the Singita Sabora lived up to our expectations? We are pretty sure you already know the answer.