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Singita Sabora Tented Camp
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Reviewed August 20, 2012

Sabora Tented Camp is the over-the-top pinacle of a tented safari. This is one of three Singita brand properties on the Grumeti Reserve, and it is by far the most fanciful. They have brought to life a Hollywood-vision of what a safari once was (In fact, they themselves compare it to the movie Out of Africa). As you approach the camp from your jeep, the openness of the plains makes the overall camp seem like a large collection of green army tents bunched together (there are about 30 tents including staff and service). However, once you get inside the tents, the set design magic begins. Throughout the property and individual tents, there are props that evoke a romantic safari from the days of the European colonists, including vintage hairbrushes, old typewriters and trunks, campaign style furniture (including several genuine antiques). This is not what we thought we booked (see below), but we appreciate how well they really pulled it off.

The service was truly superb: super attentive and friendly. There is a very high staff-to-guest ratio which is wonderful, but the amazing thing was the degree to which the team knew our names and provided personalized attention.

The food was likewise amazing, perhaps the best of our entire 2-week trip. The setting is the vast open Sabora plains on the western part of the Grumeti Reserve, providing dramatic vistas of open plains dotted with acacia, stretching for miles. In terms of game viewing, it did not seem as good as nearby Faru Faru (or certainly not the incomparably Mara).

The tents are large and comfortable, beautifully appointed, with running water, electricity, and air-conditioning (!). The air conditioning was unsettling from an environmental point of view, as the tents have screened sides. With the very opulent energy consumption used to provide this and other luxuries, the Singita properties are fabulous, but definitely not eco-camps.

I only had a couple of problems with Sabora, neither of which relate to the excellent team at the camp.

The first is that from the website, we thought we booked a different tented camp. We had seen the youtube video of Singita's amazing mobile tented camp in Tanzania, which is the one we wanted and thought we had booked. That camp is a contemporary tented camp vs. the faux Victorian fantasy of the Sabora tented camp. However, the only "tented" camp available for booking on the Singita website is Sabora tented camp. The mobile tented camp irequires a special booking. I might have realized that there was a problem, but the gallery of the Singita properties did not function with the popular Chrome web browser, so I did not detect the mismatch between the images in the video with the reality of Sabora.

The second issue was a very loud, large family staying at the camp on one of the two days we were there. Singita has a policy of allowing only children aged 10 and older at Sabora, but in this case they made an unfortunate exception, as at least one of the kids was around 6-7. (actually, that little guy was not really the issue, it was his slightly older siblings who lead their entire table in a loud and prolonged conversation on Justin Bieber and Blake Lively, among many other pop culture subjects). The family could be heard all during dinner throughout the common areas...it was really loud, and the staff was apologetic. Unfortunately, it was one of our only two evenings there.

On balance, it was a good stay, and I would recommend Sabora to anyone seeking a romantic fantasy safari from a top-notch safari company. Amazing service, food, and ambiance!

Room Tip: As the setting is very open, I would definitely inquire about getting one of the two tents on the ends of the camp, or at least towards the ends.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JPSprings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

I was cautious leading up to my stay here because I had such high expectations seeing Singita Grumeti Reserve as #1 ranked hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure. Somehow this place lived up the hype.

Tents were stunning. For our family of four we had 2 separate bed-room tents with huge bedrooms and bathrooms, and then a separate living room tent to lounge in with couches, games, and drinks. The decor of the tents was incredibly beautiful with an African antiquey theme that made us feel like we were living in some sort of royal palace. There was also a patio with comfortable chairs and telescopes for viewing. And the best part, about 50 feet outside the tent is a great little day bed to rest on in between game drives, where Giraffes, Zebras, and Impalas would wander all around and come within 100 feet away. Beautiful views of the plains surrounded by wild animals.

Food was phenomenal, from breakfast to mid-day snacks, to delicious dinners. Breakfast and lunch out on the plains under a tree with animals all around was a nice touch.

Service was impeccable as expected. Our butler Moses was awesome, took care of us every step of the way and made our stay nothing short of perfect.

Even though the accommodations were unbelievably impressive, the best part had to be our guide Adas. He had to be as knowledgeable, passionate, and enthusiastic as any guide in Africa. Truly made our experience memorable with his insights, facts, observations, and fun high-speed rides back to the camp after our adventures took us past sunset. We had seen every animal possible already in Tanzania when we arrived at Sabora Tented camp except for 2: leopard and rhino. In 2 days with Adas, we saw 3 leopards, and 1 or 2 rhinos on the reserve, as well as cheetahs, lions, and all of the others again. We owe it all to Adas for making it happen.

We also spent a day at Sasakwa, which was beyond amazing as well. Highly recommend visiting there as well if you can, but Sabora was as good as it gets.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Alex W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Signita Sabora Tented Camp was absolutely perfect! My husband and I, not only stayed here but also got married while we were here!

The wedding was absolutely amazing and beautiful, we literally could not have asked for anything more! Wilson and Colleen had us send over the appropriate paperwork and took care of everything else for us. We arrived that morning and Wilson let us know that they would serve us lunch at 12:30 then we would have a few hours to get ready and arrive for the ceremony! Simply amazing! Every detail was taken care of to absolute perfection!

The lodge itself is absolutely gorgeous. The tented accommodations are the most luxurious place we have ever stayed. Gorgeous spacious rooms, large deck, beautiful bathroom, very private outdoor shower, where you can watch the baboons play and the zebra and wildebeest graze while showering!

All the meals were great, easily as good as many high-rated NYC restaurants. Excellent wine parings! Nightly campfires were a great place to unwind before a meal. The game drives were a lot of fun and Martin was a pleasure to spend time with. Our butler Samwuel took care of our every need and the entire staff at Sabora was fantastic! I could go on all day...

Truly Heaven on Earth! Thank you Singita Sabora Tented Camp for the most incredible stay and perfect wedding! We look forward to returning and celebrating our anniversaries in the future!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank meredith422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilson O, Manager at Singita Sabora Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

It was such an honor to host you at Singita Sabora especially at such an important time of your life. We indeed count ourselves lucky and wish you all the best in your new found happiness. You will forever remain part of the large Sabora family. Thank you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

see my other review at Faru for service levels and overall experience - sabora was an amazing experience as you are right in the bush - we had zebra come right up outside of our tent during the day. the tent isn't as comfortable as the faru lodge (it gets pretty hot during the day) but if you want the experience of being in the bush without giving up any luxuriousness or comforts then this is the right place for you. overall a fantastic property and Singita overall has the finest lodges in the world

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mpaulberkley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

My friend, my daughter and I visited Sabora Tented Camp on June 30th for three nights. Having stayed previously in a Singita lodge in South Africa, I had high expectations of their Tanzania camp. We stayed in the family tent which consists of two lavish, separate one bedroom tents which are connected by a third tent which is a living room of sorts. This tent setup was the most luxurious tented accommodation that I can imagine. The furnishings were antique classic safari style. The beds were extremely comfortable and the mosquito netting enclosing the beds could have been very romantic had I been with my husband instead of my daughter. Nonetheless, it was superb! Our butler Moses was kind, amazingly capable and present just the right amount of time. Our guide Francis was kind, worked hard to show us amazing wildlife and everything we asked of him. We visited the Sasakwa Lodge, also managed by Singita and located in the same area near the Grumetti River and while it was beautiful and very luxurious, I would not trade my tent out on the plains for the lodge experience. The tented camp was truly unique. We listened to Wildebeests making their honking noise just outside our tents all night long and we all loved that. The Zebras were right at our decks and camping out on the tennis courts. The food and drinks were fantastic and if it wasn't on the menu, they made it for us anyway. We stayed at two other luxury safari lodges, one in Kenya in the Masai Mara and another in the northern Serengeti which I will review separately. I will say that I wouldn't hesitate to visit both countries over a 12 day trip. But this camp was our last stop and it was surely the highlight. Our flights between camps were very pleasant and easy. The game drives from Sabora were terrific. We saw everything we hoped to see including many baby elephants, lion cubs, nursing zebras, and cheetah cubs which are my favorite. We saw some grisly scenes as well which involved the expected feasting on wildebeests and gazelles by lions, cheetahs, hyena and many vultures. Since this is a private concession, so the guides communicate well with one another and convey where the action is taking place. This was truly the most beautiful place I have ever been.

Room Tip: If you have three or more people traveling together and you stay in separate tents, you cannot walk unaccompanied between tents after dark. The Family tent connects two one bedroom tents and the one living room tent all on an above ground walkway that you can use without being accompanied by a security person at night.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank nancijoporten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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