Rio’s African Adventure|Honeymoon Special – Part 2
Written by on August 15, 2014.
Tagged under: Africa Holiday, Africa Honeymoon, Camp Sayari, Dubai Weddings, Honeymoon Special, Honeymoon review, Planet Africa Safaris, Rio’s African Adventure, Serengeti, Tanzania
African Adventure|Honeymoon Special – Part 2
The Serengeti – Sayari Camp
(Warning: This is long, so grab a cuppa!) – The morning I was dreading arrived – I truly hate flying, so the thought of getting into a small bush plane scared me senseless. I was also feeling pretty rough, having caught what I thought was a tummy bug, but in fact turned out to be an allergic reaction to my malarone tablets…sigh!
The one-hour flight to the Serengeti National Park (Kogatende airstrip) wasn’t too bad, and I had the hand of a fellow passenger to hold, since hubby and I got separated on the aircraft. Anne was super sweet, allowing a total stranger to tightly grip her hand with fear, ha-ha! We bonded during the flight, and her and her daughter Kate were our safari buddies during our Serengeti trip.
We flew over the Ngorongoro Crater all the way to the most northern part of the Serengeti, close to the border with Kenya. As the plains stretched out before us, the vastness of the Serengeti became real. At the airstrip, we were collected by our driver, Emmanuel, and his trainee, Promise, and we wasted no time heading out in search of leopards, exciting!
After just a short while and seeing many amazing sights along the way, our guides (Emmanuel and Promise) with eagle eyes, managed to spot a leopard dozing on a large rock, shaded by billowing trees. We waited patiently, mostly in silence, totally awestruck at what lay a few metres away from us.
As the sun started to set, the solitary leopard awoke to hunt for food. He slowly got up, yawned, stretched and gracefully jumped down from his rock. Cautiously looking around, he stopped, walked, paused and looked directly at us. My heart was pounding, both through fear (we were in an open Jeep) and excitement.
Totally calm in our presence, the leopard walked right in front of the Jeep, almost as if he was leading the way; we followed for a short while and then watched as he laid down on his back, stretched and played with his tail. I was in heaven! We then left him alone as the sun was disappearing quickly and nighttime is not the safest of times to be in the bush among wild, hungry animals.
Back at the camp, and welcomed with refreshing drinks, we were still on a high. Set close to the banks of the Mara River and boasting dramatic views across the wide plains of the northern Serengeti, Sayari Camp offered us exclusive access to the greatest migration on the planet. Fifteen tasteful hillside tented suites are offered to guests, all built with an eco-conscious and beautifully decorated, offering a slice of luxury in the wild.
We had an en-suite bathroom, a spacious shower and an egg-shaped bath big enough for two, which looked directly outside offering impressive Serengeti views. Fine linens and safari-chic décor offset the wilderness just beyond the canvas walls. We were spoilt with a king-size bed and a private veranda, and were greeted with a large bottle of champagne and two glasses, a very sweet honeymoon touch.
At the main camp, a peaceful lounge and romantic dining room opens up onto a generous deck where natural rock frames the rim-flow pool overlooking game-rich plains and the distant Mara River. After a tour, a quick nap, a shower and change of clothes, all the guests congregated around a large open fire with the Serengeti surrounding us and shared our experiences, before feasting on the most delicious food and wine. I was extremely impressed – our first day at Sayari Camp was incredible and our guides were brilliant!
The following few days were not a letdown. Adam and I decided to take a rest bite from all the travelling and lazed by the pool overlooking the Serengeti, topping up our tans. We also enjoyed massages in the privacy of our tent. But after a day of relaxing, we started to crave the adventure of the driving safaris again.
We managed to see the BIG 5 during our stay in the Serengeti, including a solitary rhino, elephants, Lions (post mating) and water buffalo; but one experience I will never forget is the zebra migration. I’ve always respected the animal kingdom, but my respect for them grew tenfold when I witnessed the stress these animals endure daily just to feed and survive.
I was pretty much in tears as I watched hundreds of zebras battling rough waters, crocodile attacks and broken legs, trying to get from one side of the river to the other. Unfortunately, we witnessed a baby zebra being taken down by a crocodile, but such is life, the croc needed to eat too.
Our three-day Sayari Camp safari experience really was the highlight of our honeymoon trip and provided us with unforgettable memories – including the scary moment when we heard the loudest growling outside our tent at around 2am. I found out later it was a hippo.
On our last evening, a private dining area was set up for us under the stars (helped along by Sayari Camp’s wonderful relief manager Michelle); it was so romantic and we enjoyed delicious food while discussing our Serengeti adventures.
The next morning was Adam’s birthday and I’d been plotting with the camp to surprise him with breakfast in bed topped off with a champagne toast. The staff at Sayari left us the cutest departure message and handmade dragonfly key rings – a special touch for me personally as I collect butterflies and dragonflies. We ended our wonderful Serengeti trip with a final picture with some of the Sayari camp staff and our guides.
Our honeymoon was booked through Planet Africa Safaris: NEXT WEEK: Part 3 – Onwards to Zanzibar