Singita is a YZ favourite due to the company’s commitment to wildlife conservation and community empowerment. And its portfolio of properties is seriously impressive, encompassing a range of deluxe camps and lodges in some of Safari Africa’s most pristine locations! Mara River Tented Camp is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, twice-daily open Land Rover safaris, transfers between camp and Lamai Airstrip, Wi-Fi, and a light laundry service. It’s closed in March and April.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp has a spectacular setting, overlooking the River Mara within the Lamai Wedge area of the Serengeti National Park. It’s accessed via 45 minutes’ road transfer from Lamai Airstrip. Singita staff members are happy to arrange scheduled flights or private charters for you.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of six tents, including two tents for family use. All are raised approximately a metre above ground level, to maximise views of the Mara river! Each is sheltered by an outer layer of canvas, which extends over the inner layer to create a private veranda. There’s an additional deck area too, and both outside spaces have chairs and a small table. Inside every standard tent, there’s a double bed or twin beds, elegant lighting, a writing desk and chair, a wardrobe, and snug rugs on the polished wooden floor. Additional amenities include a fan, a telephone for contacting Singita staff, an electronic safe, a well-stocked cool box, and even a set of weights, yoga mats, and Vortex binoculars! The washing facilities are positioned at the back of the tent, and comprise separate flush toilet, washbasin within vanity unit, and rain shower. Just outside, in a nicely secluded enclosure, there’s a bathtub with river views! Both family tents are effectively two standard tents with a lounge area in the middle. All tent interiors are by Cécile & Boyd.
The communal areas at Mara River Tented Camp are just as well presented as the guest tents. They too are elevated on wooden decking, with a flight of steps leading up to the lounge and dining areas. Also designed by Cécile & Boyd, the lounge features stylish and comfortable seating around little groups of occasional tables, other tables inspired by the aesthetic of the explorer’s chest, and a palette incorporating Maasai plaid and beadwork as well as earth-and-neutral patterns. The overall effect is very chic! The dining area with bar is similarly styled, and it extends onto al fresco areas, so guests have plenty of choice about where they tuck in to delicious meals. Highlights include breakfast pastries, fresh salads for lunch, and three-course dinners. Heading back down the steps, there’s a plunge pool set within its own shady deck, and finally at ground level you’ll find the camp’s fire-pit – this is the best spot for getting to know your fellow travellers and enjoying some pre-dinner drinking!
The main activity here is game drives. These take place every morning and afternoon, providing thrilling opportunities to see a wealth of wildlife! Viewing is at its most exhilarating while the Great Migration is in the area, from July to early November. Huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles can be seen dashing over the Mara river, sometimes visible from camp! Pursued by all the big cats, and with the threat of crocodiles lurking in the waters, the herds face a particularly terrifying time in the northern Serengeti. However, even outside the migration months, the camp is well worth visiting. Just a few highlights of vehicle safaris include four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – as well as cheetah, hyenas, jackals, bat-eared fox, Maasai giraffe, eland, topi, and ample birdlife. If adults need a little time to themselves, there’s an excellent babysitting and childminding service. Alternatively, children can enjoy a great range of activities provided by camp, not least Singita’s Mini Rangers’ course, which features animal tracking, bush survival techniques, nature quizzes, and frogging!