Sasakwa Lodge: Our full report
Set atop Sasakwa Hill, Sasakwa Lodge is a stunning lodge and the flagship property of Singita Grumeti Reserve.
Grumeti Reserve is a privately owned reserve, on which sit three sister properties – Sasakwa Lodge, Sabora Tented Camp and Faru Faru. This reserve covers 1,500 km² of wilderness to the west of the Serengeti National Park and is run by Grumeti Reserves, a non-profit organization. So the money made here is put straight back into conservation and education for the local people who live on the edge of the reserve. Grumeti Reserves have also set up a number of health initiatives for the local community.
All of the properties in Singita Grumeti Reserve are luxurious, but Sasakwa Lodge is by far and away the most opulent. It's the kind of place that is often booked out, as a whole lodge, for visiting multi-millionaires / billionaires, their families and their entourages.
Built in the style of an English manor house, Sasakwa resembles a classic East African house of the colonial era. The main single storey building is vast – with wide sweeping verandas, stone columns and slate roofs. At the front is a red stone cobbled square and fountain, which is almost reminiscent of an Italian villa. From here you walk through into Sasakwa's main house, which faces onto wide lawns, manicured gardens and the spectacular view of the Sabora Plains. The entire main building is fronted by a wide shady veranda, furnished with wicker furniture and comfortable chairs. On a clear day you can see for miles – and during the migration when the plains are full of animals, it is quite a sight. Swarovski binoculars and telescopes are dotted around the property and you are free to use them for wildlife viewing from the lodge.
Sasakwa's drawing room is an impressive lounge and bar – with high ceilings, comfortable sofas and antique furniture. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling and there are plenty of comfortable sofas and leather armchairs to relax in. Antique-style wooden chests act as coffee tables and a grand piano sits in the corner. Neutral colours, dark wooden furniture and African art give this room an old-world feel with a stylish edge.
Adjacent to the drawing room is Sasakwa Lodge's billiard room, quite traditionally furnished and styled – with wood-panelled walls, a marble fireplace and 19th-century landscape paintings. In the corner of the room there is also a bridge table and chairs.
The dining room at Sasakwa Lodge is a spacious room with high ceilings, dark wooden floors dotted with Persian rugs and gold Victorian wallpaper. Above the vast marble fire place hangs a fantastic oil panting of a hippo, then guilt Venetian mirrors hang on the other walls. The dining room closely resembles one you might find in an English manor house.
There is also a children's playroom with a DVD player and satellite TV, and a shop where you can find wonderful pieces of art, handmade glass and beautiful jewellery.
The bedrooms at Sasakwa Lodge are all set within seven large suites, which all occupy individual buildings and continue in the style of a colonial manor house. The suits vary in size; there are three one-bedroom suites, two with two bedrooms, one with three and one suite with four bedrooms. You will never have to share a suite with someone else – though you will usually be put in a suit with the number of bedrooms that you require.
All of the suites at Sasakwa Lodge are incredibly private; each has a private plunge pool, a veranda, a lounge area, and a huge bedroom with en-suite bathroom. (Click here for more on the suites at Sasakwa Lodge…)
The activities at Sasakwa Lodge consist of 4x4 game drives, safari walks and night drives. All of these are with the lodges guides, who are very good and certainly amongst the best we have met in Tanzania. There are also lodge-based activities such as tennis (there are two courts here), billiards, badminton and archery. A well-equipped gym has running machines, bikes, weights and gym balls, and a separate yoga room. There's also a spa where you can enjoy massages and a variety of beauty treatments.
The equestrian centre is situated a short golf-cart ride away from Sasakwa Lodge. There are 16 horses here, and you can choose between English- and Western-style saddles. There is a 2.7km walled riding track for less experienced horse-riders, while keen riders with a good level of skill and ample experience can ride out onto the plains of the reserve and enjoy a horseback safari.
Between about June and August this area is alive with the wildebeest migration. However the wildlife is good here year round and if you want to experience shear and unadulterated opulence in the Serengeti, then Sasakwa Lodge is a good choice. We last visited the area in September, after the migration had passed, and had a number of great cheetah sightings.
Sasakwa Lodge has impeccable service, incredible levels of luxury and fantastic guides – albeit with probably the highest price tag of any lodge in the region. For some it will feel completely over the top, for others it will be a divine treat.
- Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- Travellers usually spend around four nights exploring this vast reserve. You can combine Sasakwa Lodge with Sabora Tented Camp and Faru Faru for an even longer stay.
- You can fly directly into the Singita Grumeti Reserve – there is an airstrip about 10km from Sasakwa Lodge. (It's a good airstrip, suitable for most private jets!) You can also drive through the Serengeti to reach the Sasakwa Lodge – this would take around five hours from the park's southern gate without stopping; even longer if you were viewing game en route.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- The food at Sasakwa Lodge is simply fantastic – what you would expect from a first class restaurant in Europe. The variety of the menu and quality of food is easily the best we have come across in Tanzania. Though some might also call it slightly over the top.
Breakfast was a huge buffet of cereals, fruits, yogurts, fresh bread and pancakes. There were also cheese platters and cold meat platters with ham, beef, salami and duck breast.
There was also an extensive cooked breakfast menu (which reads like a novel, it's extraordinary!) – including everything from smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, to traditional Tanzania food such as ugali, mandazi (like a doughnut) and masala tea.
Lunch at Sasakwa Lodge is usually served between 12:30 – 2:30 pm and usually an a la carte menu with three or four choices for each course.
Before the afternoon game drive at 4pm, guests are invited for afternoon tea on the veranda. There is a wide selection of herbal teas, as well as traditional tea and coffee. A selection of cakes and savory snacks such as quiches, tarts and sandwiches are also on offer.
Dinner at Sasakwa is served from 8pm – where guests can enjoy a formal meal of three courses. There are a number of choices for each course, each of which was very tasty. We particularity liked asparagus and truffle oil soup we had when we were last there.
Dinner is accompanied by a wide selection of wines – your waiter will recommend which one best compliments your meal choice.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Sasakwa Lodge offer room service; they're exceedingly flexible.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are included except for champagne and premium imported wines and spirits.
- Sasakwa Lodge is a top-end property with superb food, a beautiful location and spectacular service. The bedrooms are set within very private suites that have their own lounge area and swimming pool. Staying here is perfect for an exceptionally lavish Tanzania honeymoon.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Riding holidays
- The excellent equestrian centre at Sasakwa owns 18 horses for riding, ranging from 15.1 to 16.3 hands in height. Riding gear is provided, groups don’t exceed six people, and they have knowledgeable guides. You can do day rides or stay out for several days on a riding safari.
- See ideas for Riding holidays
- Leather-backed chairs and chandeliers, a billiards room and private infinity pools –guests at Sasakwa Lodge are ensconced in ultimate luxury: it offers one of Africa’s most opulent and exclusive safari experience.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages are welcome at Sasakwa Lodge
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions.
- Generally recommended for children
- Sasakwa Lodge is a very smart lodge so is best suited to older and more mature children. That said, there is lots for children to do around the lodge, including tennis, archery, swimming and there is also a children play room with satellite TV.
- Sasakwa Lodge has complimentary internet in the library and there is broadband wireless in the suites, though you need your own laptop for this. The bedrooms also have internet phones which you can call internationally on free of charge.
- TV & radio
- There is DSTV in the children's playroom, and all of the suites have CD players.
Fighting to reintroduce wildlife in Grumeti Reserv
Conservation of the Grumeti Reserves is the primary focus of the Sasakwa Lodge and the wider Singeta group. This is done through the Singeta Gurmeti Fund, which carries out all the conservation and community work on behalf of the group. Taking over the management of the Grumeti Reserves has been hugely successful, especially when it comes to restoring the environment to increase wildlife population.
Using the support of locals and tourists, Sasakwa managed to transform a piece of land previously dominated by illegal hunting, rampant wildfires and invasive vegetation into a 350,000 acres unique ecosystem. One way to achieve that was to offer locals a market for produce that is created or generated locally. This initiative has determined previous poachers to go into farming, and has therefore determined the local community to see the lodge as a positive partner rather than someone who is borrowing access to the resources they use.
Guests too are involved in the conservation project. One of the activities promoted by Sasakwa is visiting one of the 12 anti-poaching observation posts. The goal is to educate tourists on the scale and importance of the group’s anti-poaching work. Visitors get a chance to see how the Singita Grumeti Fund game scouts live and work, and are also presented with an infographic board showing the main areas of focus for the Singita Grumeti Fund, as well as specific facts and figures associated with the success of protecting this area.
Impressive numbers confirm the success of the lodge’s wildlife reintroduction initiative. Wildlife population has on average quadrupled, and the buffalo numbers have gone from under 600 to 6000. Most notably, the elephant population has increased by 422% since the change in management, and the lodge is now looking to introduce wild dogs to the area.
See more great sustainability projects in Tanzania
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Sasakwa Lodge has a doctor on site, and links to the flying doctors in
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Sasakwa Lodge has guards to escort guests around at night. There is a safe in the rooms for valuables.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in the rooms and main areas and the staff are trained to use them.
Guided walking safari
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included at Sasakwa Lodge, it is machine washed and tumble dried.
- Sasakwa Lodge can exchange pounds sterling, Euros, dollars and Tanzanian shillings
- Accepted payment on location
- You can pay for any extras in pounds sterling, Euros, dollars and Tanzania shillings cash. You can also pay in dollars travellers' cheques and with Mastercard, Visa, and Amex. There is no surcharge for this.
Room types at Sasakwa Lodge
There are seven individual suites at Sasakwa Lodge, each of which is entirely separate from the rest. The smallest has one bedroom, whilst the largest has four bedrooms. You will always have the suite to yourself, however you will usually find that the size of your suite reflects the size of your group.
Apart from their size (number of bedrooms), the suites at Sasakwa Lodge are fundamentally the same, and all are decorated in the same style. As with the main lodge, the style is reminiscent of English colonial architecture. Red stone columns and small porch are at the front of the houses and an open veranda is at the back.
Once inside, the slightly quaint feel of Sasakwa's suites gives way to shear opulence. The large lounge area has a large white sofa scattered with cushions and a couple of leather armchairs. There is a huge fireplace which will be lit for you on request, a beautifully-crafted antique writing desk and a complimentary mini-bar and coffee station. Africa sculptures and artwork are dotted around.
These suites have wireless broadband internet access, although you need your own laptop to access this; each also has an internet phone, which you can use to call internationally (calls are free).
Large French windows lead onto your private veranda which is furnished with tables and chairs, as well as sun loungers. There is also a Swarovski spotting scope. All of the suites are placed along the edge of Sasakwa Hill, looking out across the Sabora Plains. Right on the edge is your own private infinity plunge-pool which is heated.
The bedrooms at Sasakwa Lodge are adjacent to the lounge area – they are spacious rooms and grandly furnished with antique furniture. When you enter the room, the first thing you notice is the vast four poster bed draped in white mosquito netting. A comfortable armchair sits in front of the fire place which can be lit on request. Whilst in the opposite corner is a writing desk.
Behind the bedroom is a dressing room area where there is plenty of space for storing cloths. Here you will also find a hairdryer and a safe for storing valuables.
The suites at Sasakwa Lodge are very opulent and almost over-the-top in their finery. But the amount of space and privacy that you have is fantastic.
The en-suite bathrooms at Sasakwa Lodge are split into three sections. The central section is where you find 'his-and-hers' sinks. Through a door you find the bathroom, and a separate door leads to the toilet.
In keeping with the theme of the lodge, the bathrooms also have a Victorian feel to them – with marble floors, lots of dark-wood and a claw-foot bath. There is also a wonderfully powerful hot-and-cold shower in the bathroom.
Stunning pencil sketchings hang on the walls and large windows let in plenty of light. When we were last at Sasakwa Lodge, we loved the brightness of the bathrooms.
Complementary toiletries are provided.
Other lodges in Serengeti Migration Area
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Comfortable, friendly and relaxed, Olakira Camp moves between the Mara River and the southern Ndutu area, in line with the wildebeest migration.
In the northern Serengeti, near the Mara River, luxurious Sayari Camp offers excellent wildife all year – boosted further by the wildebeest migration.
Nomad Serengeti Camp
Serengeti Safari Camp is a well-appointed tented camp that moves several times a year to follow the predicted path of the migration.
Dunia Camp is well located for the migration from December to March, and has excellent game viewing for the rest of the year.
Namiri Plains Camp
Namiri Plains is one of the best camps in the Serengeti and its remoteness ensures a fantastic wildlife experience away from the crowds.
Set high in the kopjes with fantastic views, Lamai Serengeti offers top service and guiding and good migration sightings from Jul-Oct.
Ubuntu Camp has several locations in the Serengeti, following the wildebeest migration, so it is often in a great location to see the herds.
Kati Kati Camp
Kati Kati is a small, very simple bushcamp, which is well-positioned to explore the wildlife-rich Seronera area.
Ndutu Safari Lodge
Large and economical, but not luxurious, Ndutu Safari Lodge is well located in the southern Serengeti, so book early to get space.
Serian Serengeti is a mobile tented operation run by Alex Walker which moves between two locations following the wildebeest migration.
Kimondo Camp is based in the remote Lamai Wedge in the northern Serengeti from Jul–Oct, and on the southern Kusini plains from Nov–Mar.
Klein's Camp, in a private area of the northern Serengeti, sets high standards. Activities include walks, nights drives and Maasai village visits.
Serengeti under Canvas
Two of the three Serengeti under Canvas camps move through the Serengeti National Park every few months to follow the wildebeest migration.
Grumeti River Camp
Grumeti River Camp offers a laid-back atmosphere combined with top service, first-rate food, expert guiding and an excellent location.
Lemala Mara-Ndutu is a semi-permanent camp that moves between the north and south of the Serengeti to witness the wildebeest migration.
Lemala Nanyukie is a comfortable and stylish tented camp that opened in 2018 in the central Serengeti.
Lemala Kuria Hills
Lemala Kuria Hills is a luxury permanent camp that is ideally located for wildlife all year around, but especially during the wildebeest migration.
Lemala Ewanjan is a comfortable and stylish tented camp in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti National Park.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge
The large Lobo Wildlife Lodge has simple, functional rooms in a stunning location. It's a good base for exploring the north-eastern Serengeti.
Kubu Kubu is a contemporary, tented lodge, well located in the central Seronera area of the Serengeti National Park.
Kusini Camp is permanent, luxury camp located on a beautiful kopje in a quiet, wildlife-rich corner of the south-west Serengeti.
Mbalageti is a well-run lodge in a quiet part of the Serengeti's western corridor – an ideal location during the Apr-Jun migration.
The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is a large, hotel-style lodge and a good family-friendly base from which to explore the central Serengeti.
Singita Mara River
Singita Mara River Tented Camp is a luxurious camp in the isolated and rewarding Lamai wedge region of the northern Serengeti.
Serengeti Walking Mobile
This fairly simple camp offers only walking activities, but it's very well done and combines well with more conventional camps or lodges.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Serengeti Sopa Lodge is an international-style hotel offering good-value accommodation in the central Serengeti, with lovely views of the plains.
Serengeti Green Camp
Serengeti Green Camp is a comfortable camping experience, in your own private safari camp and at the heart of a great wildlife area.
Serengeti Migration Camp is a smart tented camp, good for the wildebeest migration from Jul–Aug, or to explore the Lobo Kopjes any time.
Faru Faru Lodge
On the north bank of the Grumeti River, Faru Faru is a small, chic hideaway in this exclusive corner of the Serengeti.
Sabora Tented Camp
Sabora Tented Camp is a smart tented camp – one of the most luxurious, professional and stylish properties to be found in Tanzania.
Kirurumu Migration Camp
Kirurumu is a rustic tented camp which moves around the Serengeti twice a year to follow the wildebeest migration.
Mkombe's House Lamai
Mkombe's House Lamai is a fully staffed private house in the Wogakuria Kopjes district of Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti Bushtops is a permanent luxury camp in the northern Serengeti, with spacious and private tents with their own hot tubs.
Ndutu Kati Kati
Ndutu Kati Kati is a seasonal tented camp, based in the southern Serenget from Dec-Mar, ideal for the migration as it passes through.
Olduvai Camp lies between Ngorongoro and the southern Serengeti plains. It's a good base for the southern plains during the rainy season.
Mwiba Lodge is a luxurious property located on a private concession on the edge of the southern Serengeti.
Four Seasons Serengeti
The Four Seasons Safari Lodge is the only hotel in the Serengeti offering international facilities such as a gym, spa and children’s club.
Lake Masek Tented Camp
Ideally located for the wildebeest migration from Dec–Apr, Lake Masek Tented Camp is a good, mid-market safari camp.
Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Seronera Wildlife Lodge is large hotel-style safari lodge in the heart of the Serengeti, offering good value and a great location.
Mara Kati Kati
Mara Kati Kati is a simple bush camp in the northern Serengeti, based from Jul-Oct near the Mara River for the wildebeest migration.
Set high on a hill, in the Serengeti's western corridor, Kirawira is a relatively large tented camp in the Serena group.
Nimali Mara is a luxurious safari lodge in a quiet region of the northern Serengeti with good access to the wildebeest migration.
Mara Mara is a smart tented camp in the northern Serengeti, situated on a small hill close to the Mara River.
Mbuze Mawe is a comfortable tented camp in a convenient, central-north location when driving through the Serengeti.
Serengeti Pioneer Camp
Serengeti Pioneer Camp is a luxurious tented camp in the central Serengeti, styled on African explorers' camps of the early 20th century.
Taasa Lodge is a slightly quirky option offering guided walks and night game drives, which are not permitted in Serengeti National Park.
Opened in July 2017, Nimali Serengeti is a smart, permanent tented camp located in the Seronera area of the central Serengeti.