A short plane hop on a cesna caravan, by short I mean it was literally a 10-minute flight to my next destination! We took off and no sooner had we gained a decent amount of height, we then began our decent. Landing on a dirt airstrip, kicking up the red earth, I was met by one of the guides from Singita Mara River who would be taking me on a short game drive to the camp.
It was a beautiful day, warm sunshine beaming down on the drying earth, we passed general game such as impala, zebra, giraffe in the distance. This camp is relatively new, with its neat, small tents perched just above the Mara river, prime location for witnessing the great migration from end of June to September. I was met off the vehicle by the general managers offering me a warm towel to refresh myself from my drive and flight. I was led down the main decking towards the main area. Very open plan and quite boho in design, it has a real homey feel. You could quite happily relax and not have to worry that there are other people around, although busy with other guests, you feel like you have taken this place solely to yourself, very small and very boho boutique.
Before I headed to my room, I met up with a few other people for lunch which was divine, a light vegetable tarte for starters followed by a refreshing salad and, of course, delicious rosé. All this we had by a small pool they have within camp, looking down into the ebbing and flowing river. A lone male elephant had begun meandering slowly across the river which was wonderful to watch.
I was shown to my room, or luxury tent which was very beautiful – literally a large canvas tent perched upon wooden decking, an inside and outside shower, with a bath outside as well. The bed was stunning, proper white company-esque white linen sheets, beneath swathes of a mosquito net. The tents are not overly large but have everything you could possibly wish for when glamping properly!
I met my safari guide at tea and we were joined by two other guests, one of which I had recently spent the previous two weeks with onsite visits and looking at different lodges and camps that Tanzania has to offer. No sooner had we left camp, we came across three lions lying on in the bushes on the banks of the river trying to escape the midday heat, but they seemed to be being plagued by flies. Although we felt sorry for them, it was quite entertaining to watch them playfully biting their tails, nibbling at their skin and generally just showing how annoyed they were about being palloidered by flies. It is bloody annoying!
We then journeyed out onto the open plains and spotted a stunning tower of giraffe, slowly making their way across the river bed, grazing on the passing shrubs and trees, their long blue tongues grazing the leaves off of the plants. Their coats were wonderful warm hue in the dying embers of light making their way across the landscape. We spied quite a few hyena lying in old warthog dens snoozing and we then eventually pulled up and stopped for a sundowner. In the distance an electrical storm was beginning to stir, and a clan of hyena were beginning to wake up in a nearby den.
On returning to camp we went back to our tents for a quick shower and then met up again around the fire pit, gin and tonic in hand. The electrical storm was beginning to get closer and closer and the wind was beginning to pick up, it was so exciting! We sat down for supper and throughout talking and eating, we were counting how close the storm was beginning to get. Then suddenly a bolt of lightning hit the tree about 10 metres away from where we were sitting followed by the loudest clap of thunder. Sure enough, we all hit the deck, even the staff did! The storm had arrived right over our heads! Unbelievable noise and the electricity in the air was fantastic! This was one of the biggest storms they had experience for a while and sure enough it had in actual fact triggered the electricity to stop working. Singita were amazing, it was all quite exciting, they made sure I had everything possible in the circumstances. It’s things like this that often make the trip that extra bit memorable.
The next morning came and luckily the storm hadn’t damaged anything structurally, but the electricity and internet had been hit hard! My safari guide and I went in search of Hyena. The sun rise was stunning, there were ‘Simpson’ like clouds dotting the sky and causing pink, purple and blue shadows on one another, producing dappled patterns through the reams of sun light encroaching over the horizon.
We found a clan of hyena, lots of them, being pretty active around their den. They had either killed something during the night or scavenged a kill from someone else as one of the hyena was parading around with a leg from an antelope! There were two tiny sets of pups playing around the den, for an animal which is not the most attractive, their puppies are absolutely adorable. We stayed and watched them for a good hour, totally mesmerised.
We then stopped above a river to have a bite for breakfast. On returning to camp, I booked in for a massage which was absolutely brilliant – definitely recommend taking full advantage of having a masseuse on site, who is fantastic. It’s tough on your body rocking around in a vehicle for most of the day, so of course you need to give your body a break…! Said in jest, but really, it was wonderful.
The wildlife sightings were beautiful and incredible and the camp itself is stunning. The accommodation is very private at Singita Mara River, but close enough to one another so as not to feel like you are truly out in the sticks. Every night you are escorted to and from your room and main area by lovely guards who will ensure your safety. The tents are not too big and not too small, just the right size. This place will be amazing during the migration, but will of course become very booked up quickly, so it’s best to plan well in advance or perhaps go just out of season.