You arrive by small plane not knowing what to expect. He’s looking out the window as you land, and he gasps. “Look,” he says. Sure enough, right next to the dirt landing strip, which seems to be in the middle of nowhere, a lion stands — as if he were the official greeter. You gape and he disappears back into the bush, but you wonder how will you ever be able to get out of the plane. The pilots don’t seem worried. In fact, they’re delighted. “Did you see that?” They say, turning to look back at you as the plane drives down its roadway toward waiting Jeeps and khaki-clad safari guides. “Welcome to Grumeti,” says the pilot. “Your honeymoon safari has begun. It’s very good luck to start with a lion.” When the plane stops near the Jeeps, you are escorted off and quickly tucked into a seat inside the car. Someone hands you a glass of bubbly and a snack, and you wait while they load your bags into the back. “So, the lion?” your husband asks tentatively. “That was real,” says the guide, laughing. “You may see him again — not to mention a whole lot more.”
He’s right. As you bump along a rutted road through the bush, you have to pinch yourself. You’re actually here — in the Serengeti. All around you a sea of flaxen landscape unfurls into the hinterlands. Here and there, a tree marks the horizon. But, you see other things, too, in the not too far distance. Whole bunches of them “Are those elephants?” You ask rhetorically, because it is obvious that those giant, gorgeous creatures nearly touching distance away are pachyderms — your favorite animal. There’s even a baby walking with them. On the other side, you see a dazzle of zebra, a tower of giraffes and several kind of antelopes. He’s been quizzing you on all the types of antelopes, but now that you’re here, you aren’t sure which is which — except for that one, which looks very different, and so ugly he’s cute, kind of like the monster in “Where the Wild Things Are.” “That’s a Wildebeest!” You say. He puts his arm around you.
In East Africa at Tanzania’s Grumeti Reserve, a 350,000-acre, unsullied expanse of wildlife-teeming nature, you arrive to your safari lodge, the storied Singita Sasakwa Lodge,. It appears suddenly amid the wilderness like an opulent mirage that somehow manages to meld with the terrain. In the mood of a turn-of-the-century manor house, Singita Sasakwa is one of the world’s most famous safari lodges. That’s why you chose it for this honeymoon. With outlying cottages, it has pools and tennis courts, and a vast gardens cape that overlooks the endless golden carpet of the legendary Serengeti savannah. He’s looking forward to meeting the horses in the expansive stable. Experienced riders, you have both dreamed of clip-clopping through the bush on horseback, and at Grumeti Reserve, led by an able guide, that’s one thing you’ll do. You’ll also take a walking safari, have al fresco lunches, a bush breakfast and do numerous game drives, not to mention relax among the parlors and libraries of the main house, beside the pool, at the spa and inside your luxurious cottage’s soaking tub.
When, it’s time to leave Sasakwa, you start to cry. It’s been a dream to delve into what Karen Blixen called “the rhythm of Africa.” The jeep chugs down a road, then stops suddenly. “A cheetah,” says the guide. “It isn’t over yet,” says your husband. It turns out he’s right because your destination now is Singita Sabora Tented Camp, another marvel, but with a different mood. Here, you’ll be staying in a tent — albeit a glamorous one with soaking tub, comfortable furniture, African crafts and design touches. Stunningly, there’s also a personal deck (ready for yoga?) — ideal for viewing game 24/7 at the surrounding watering holes. A unique “Guest Deli” has wicker baskets and fridges full of gastronomic snacks to grab anytime for impromptu romantic picnics, but you also love the two intimate dining areas and pool. But, the best part? All those wild thing wildebeest romping around you. Sabora lies on the Great Wildebeest Migration route, and your eyes pop at the enchanted realization of how many encircle you — herds as far as the eyes can see.
Then, as if he knew, your husband grins and pulls a book out of his suitcase. It’s Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” He turns to a page, looks you right in the eye, then back down at the book. “There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen,” he reads. You laugh. “It’s here. At Singita on the Grumeti Reserve.
He smiles. “Let the wild rumpus begin.”
- Honeymoon turndowns
- Romantic Bush Dinners
- Picnic baskets at Sabora – fill your own picnic baskets and dine in privacy anywhere, or in your tent, where you have a pantry and juicer and can stay in the suite
- Stargazing evening with private dinner
- Private guided bush walk with drinks stop
- Private wine tasting or food & wine pairing in the wine cellar
- Couples massage treatment or wellness treatment