Serian “The Original”
A camp that embodies all the tranquil qualities of its name: ‘peaceful, calm, serene’ in the local Masai language of Kenya. Located in the private and exclusive Mara North Conservancy, Alex Walker’s boutique flagship camp consists of five luxurious bedouin-style tents set on hardwood decking. All rooms feature unique interior furnishings and intimate views over the Mara River, not to mention private outdoor bathtub views of the surrounding Olooloo Escarpment. Dining is hosted en famille in the cosy dining room or wooden deck, where guests can enjoy views of grazing game drinking in the early evenings over a nightcap.
Game viewing in the Mara North Conservancy is a unique experience on the continent. Featuring front row seats to the awe-inspiring Great Migration, the central activity focus revolves around maximising this experience. All guests enjoy the exclusive use of a 4WD safari vehicle at their convenience, not to mention a dedicated guide and spotter, during their stay at Serian “The Original”. First class picnic breakfasts and lunches are available for the early-morning starts that catch the increased animal activity before sunrise. After a few hours of exploring to work up your appetite, your guide will pick a scenic spot under a tree and lay out a feast for you that will alter your concept of al fresco dining forever. An all-day drive can also be well worth a try: it unfolds the possibility of roaming further afield, and covering some of the diverse landscapes around and about – the choice is always yours.
Nomad’s Lamai Serengeti
A few years ago, a handful of responsible companies were chosen to build small permanent lodges in the remote far northern sector of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Nomad Tanzania was offered the prime site, building Lamai Serengeti between the rocks of the Kogakuria Kopje. Referring to a hill surrounded by a generally flat area, the ‘kopje’ placement of the camp allows for spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding Mara River Valley, Lamai Wedge and the wildebeest that cross the nearby Mara River. The camp consists of twelve open-fronted rooms split between the Main Lodge and smaller Private Lodge, all carefully designed to fit into the complex geometry of this incredible location whilst remaining invisible at a casual glance. Every room features first-class panoramic views over the valley landscape, all enjoyable from private verandas and en suite bathrooms. Each of the central lodges features a private bar and dining room, adjoining library/map room and natural rock swimming pool.
Activities at the Lamai Serengeti range from game drives, to guided walks, bush picnics and sundowners whilst game-viewing. For roughly a quarter of the year, between late July and October, this is where you’ll find the migration .Plains game in the form of zebra, topi, gazelles, impala, buffalo and giraffe also frequent the area throughout the year. Lion are rarely far away and leopard, ever present, but always elusive, stalk the rocky kopjes and river lines. 4WD safari vehicles effortless traverse the lush landscape, and expert guides lead short bush walks during low grass seasons.
Serian Serengeti South
Serian Serengeti is a mobile camp, set up from mid-December to May, on the southernmost extreme of the Serengeti’s short grass plains in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of Tanzania. Millions of gnus and zebra dominate the landscape, looking for the fresh green grass that follows the first rains – and to give birth to their young. Striking the fine balance between colonial camping styles and elegant accents of comfort, Serian Serengeti South consists of six spacious, lavish tents. Each is complemented by tasteful décor that lends a touch of sumptuousness to the interiors, not to mention en suite bathrooms. Dining is hosted en famille in an elegant candlelit dining tent.
Game viewing is an absolute must at this location, especially given Serengeti South’s range of options for off-road driving, night drives and guided bush walks. Given the sheer multitude of plains game and their brand new babies, the big cats and resident wild dog pack are never far behind for an easy meal. This is especially prime cheetah country, and there is ample opportunity to watch these impressive predators in action on the ancient trails that weave the migration past the camp. First class guides come in the form of Hadzabe and Ndorobo guides, who have centuries of bush craft at their fingertips. Being among these people and their ways is one of the best things about this spot: they can open your eyes to the secrets of this beautiful landscape. Guests additionally have the exclusive use of 4WD safari vehicles and a dedicated guide and spotter for use during game drives.
Serian Serengeti Mobile Kusini
Set in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Mobile Kusini is nestled on the edge of the short-grass plains in acacia woodland, perfectly positioned to access the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Ndutu Zone. Comprised of only six comfortable and intimate tents set in the shade of Tortilis trees, the peaceful intimacy lends itself to exclusive bookings, or groups accompanied by private guides. Each room is furnished with impressive iron-wrought beds, Moroccan rugs and en suite bathrooms. Dining is hosted en famille in a cosy mess tent.
Located in a fantastically game-rich area,the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Ndutu Zone feature high concentrations of cheetah, honey badger, golden-backed jackal and hyena, as well as a parade of predators following shortly thereafter. The cornerstone of a safari experience at any Serian camp is that each group has their own open-top safari vehicle, and their own dedicated guide and spotter. The freedom this grants you is key to getting the most out of your stay: go where the day takes you, be it a full day out with a picnic in the wilderness, or a lazy siesta back in camp before that ice-cold sundowner. Serian guides are renowned for their intimate familiarity with the landscape and extraordinary local wildlife.
Optional Add-On in South Africa:
Cape Royale Hotel
Enjoy the rare combination of home from home comfort and a venue exotic enough for you to want to leave the world behind. The Cape Royale Luxury Hotel and Residence brings together the familiarity and sophistication of Europe and the vibrant spirit of Africa. Against the iconic outline of Table Mountain, and with panoramic views over the city and Atlantic Ocean, Cape Royale provides an enclave of luxury and refinement in the heart of South Africa’s most beautiful metropolis.
With ample living and entertainment areas in all suites, a choice of three restaurants, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and boardrooms, a Spa and Wellness Centre and roof-deck pool and bar, the Cape Royale is set to become a landmark hotel in Cape Town. The Zenith Sky Bar and pool deck situated on the Hotel rooftop, offers wonderful food, refreshing drinks and panoramic views over the city and Atlantic Ocean. Guests will additionally have the opportunity to go on a colourful Citi tour and lunch with the local Cape Malay people. Additionally, we organise a full day of guided wine tasting in boutique wineries in the surrounding vineyards, including Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
Within the category of luxury Franschhoek hotels, La Residence is in a class of its own. Located in the beautiful Franschhoek valley at the heart of a private 30-acre estate, this is a haven of luxury on every level. Surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards, with a spectacular mountain backdrop, La Residence enjoys breath-taking views of the unspoilt rural surrounds and an atmosphere of complete tranquility. Suites are elaborate and unique, with individualised colour schemes, luxurious furnishing and en suite bathrooms.
For the foodies out there; although the list naturally varies year-to-year, up to eight of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants are based in Franschhoek! Explore boutique wineries or experience a private tasting with an expert, with or without food pairings. Franschhoek wine tasting equates to a huge variety of wine to be sampled and enjoyed – from pink bubbly to red dessert wine, pinotage to grappa. For those looking for a relaxing experience, the spa is a popular choice, not to mention cycling around the estate and cheese tasting opportunities. Golf, trout fishing, quad biking, hot air ballooning and horse-back riding are additional activities on offer.