I feel honored to be the first to rate the new Faru Faru Lodge in the Singita Grumeti Reserves. I will try to be as detailed as possible about my experience and hope this review will help other travelers planning a safari to East Africa. I first read about this new property in a travel magazine, and after reading the article and doing some research on the internet, it seemed like a perfect fit in my Tanzania itinerary. I had also read so much about Singita Lodges in South Africa and thought this would be the prefect way to try out one of their properties.
My trip began with a short pane trip to the Sasakwa airstrip located just outside of the Serengeti National Park. Singita has a welcome tent at the airstrip to meet guests arriving at one of their three properties located on their private reserve. We were greeted by our guide, Mishi, who took us on the 45 minute trip to the Lodge. I was amazed at the animals we saw including giraffe, Impala, zebra, and hyena. The animals behaved a little differently here compared to some of the other locations we had visited as they seemed a bit more skittish and not used to seeing jeeps and people in their domain. This "private" experience made me feel as if I was the only one staying here and gave us the opportunity to view wildlife in a very natural setting. Also having the ability to go "off road" and get very close to the wildlife adds to the magical experience.
When we arrived at the Lodge, we were greeted by the manager and the rest of the staff and were taken to the lounge area to get our overview of the Lodge and then were escorted to our rooms.
The rooms had been desribed as luxury tents but clearly they are much more than that (see attached photos). The only thing that reminded me of a tent was the canvas ceiling on the interior. There was a large private patio outside the room that overlooked a watering hole beyond. As we entered the room, we were given a brief overview of the amenities and services. There was a large, seemless picture window that stretched the length of the room and overlooked the watering hole. To make it even better, there is also a remote control that when activated, you'll see the window automatically slide open. Amazing! The room has a casual, contemporary feel with a king bed, desk area, and a large open bathroom with a tub that looks out of the same large window. A rock wall adds privacy to the outdoor shower. Air conditioning and a phone that allows for complimentary phone calls anywhere in the world were unexpected comforts in this most remote location.
My travel companion and I each had our own rooms as I had discovered that there was no additional chage for single or double occupancy. To add to the privacy, we discovered that we were the only guests staying at the Lodge on the first night. This meant we had a private game drive that first afternoon where Mishi had taken us to follow along the Grumeti river and out to the open plains of the reserve. We spotted giraffe, Impala, zebra, warthogs, hyenas, a jackel, ostrich, Topi, baboons and a large herd of buffalo which made for a good backdrop for our sundowner. It was here where we got out of the vehicle and enjoyed a cocktail and snacks while watching a beautiful sunset. Back at the Lodge, we were treated to an incredible dinner with some of the best food of the vacation. I was almost a bit embarrased that the chef had cooked such an elaborate feast for just two guests, but I still enjoyed every bite.
The next day we went on a morning and afternoon game drive but had a few hours in between to enjoy the resort. I just had to take a swim in the spectacular infinity pool. It was such a special experience to relax in the pool and watch the animals roam by. There is also a spa for those looking for a massage or other treatments. For the game drives, we were able to see even more wildlife including a close encounter with a lioness and her two cubs, a small herd of elephants just a few feet away, and a brief look at a leopard dashing into the brush. Unlike the rest of the Serengeti that relys on the Wildebeast migration for good game viewing, the Grumeti Reserves has good game viewing year round. While we didn't see the large herds that we saw later in the Masai Mara, there was a good variety of animals that could been seen around every bend.
Dinner the second night was just as perfect as the first night and we got to share it with a couple of other guests. The next morning, we were taken on another short game drive on the return to the airstrip. We got to see nature come to life as we spotted a zebra carcas being eaten by vultures and a hyena. It was like watching the Discovery Channel live!
I can't say enough about the Faru Faru Lodge. It's definitely not for those looking for a bargain, but for me it was worth the price for such a special experience. The staff was friendly, professional, attentive and provided very personalized service. I can't wait to return.
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- Also Known As:
- Singita Faru Faru Hotel Serengeti National Park