Chem Chem, Tanzania
This new camp isn't for Big Five safari-goers- it's away from the crowds and designed for folk who prefer to take it easy in the bush. There are almost 10,000 private acres in which to walk with the Maasai, who'll teach you how to creep up on a giraffe before it thunders off, all slo-mo swaying neck and knobbly knees. A pool is hidden in the trees for dips in the afternoon heat; there's a library of amazing photograph books; and horses can be rounded up to gallop the lake shore. Sit at a postcard-writing desk carved from a fallen tree and revel in the flit of multicoloured birds, the rustle of palm leaves, the sigh t of whirling dust devils in the distance. In the mornings, a silver pot of tea is delivered (with biscuits), you can see game at the waterhole and baby monkeys press their noses up against your tent's windows - boo!
Book It: Africa Travel (020 7843 3580) offers three nights from £2355.00, including full board, flights, transfers and game activities.
Lamai Serengeti, Tanzania
Unlike the Mara, this place is blissfully devoid of tourists. Lamai is one of only three permanent camps here, its 12 scruffily thatched rooms hidden among massive boulders on a little kopje- each with astonishing views over hundreds of miles of wriggling, giggling, trumpeting, roaring creatures.
What unbelievably unbeatable dawn views from romantic netted beds! Once you've gawped at a pack of lionesses hunting or a leopard having a snooze, or felt the fear of being a migratory beast yourself on a morning walk, there's nothing else to do but hang out at camp. It's all contemporary and lovely, with pods of modern sofas scattered with tribal cushions, a bar with stools made from tractor seats and a pool with shaded nooks and raised decks for mooching. Suppers are served outside under the blindingly bright night sky; your escort afterwards is armed with a big knobbled stick to ward off the wild things en route. Unless, that is, you're in the private villa, where the chef comes to you, in which case you can eat on your own, swim under the moon, howl if you feel like it, and go to sleep listening to the sounds of cackling hyena telling each other what must be very dirty
Book It: Africa Travel (020 7843 3580) offers three nights from £2225.00, including full board, flights, light aircraft transfers and game activities.
Singita Explore, Tanzania
his might be the most relaxed of the fantabulous Singita Grumeti's Tanzanian properties, but basic it is not. A cool Calvin Klein of a camp, it was inspired by old-style safari Land Rovers, hence the rugged mix of khaki shades and shiny-hard accessories (storm lamps, tin mugs, chrome everywhere). Its real upper cut, though, is that it can be packed and moved. So, you want to see the migration? They'll stick the tents up right in the middle of a dust cloud of mooing, snorting creatures. Fancy spending a couple of days chilling by a river? There's a sandy spot already marked out. You have the whole rig to yourself, with a chef, guide and staff to deliver ice-cold G&Ts as you revel in the Milky Way or hand you steaming mugs of tea while you watch lions scoff a hunt. There are 340,000 acres of private wildlife reserve here, with only 80 guests allowed, so the sense of space is incredible. So too - amazingly, given it's in the middle of nowhere - is the food: knockout cold gazpacho served in lon g-stemmed glasses, exotic salads even steamed lemon pudding with crème anglais. Camping so delicious that even hardcore urbanites might consider it.
Book It: Africa Travel (020 7843 3580) offers three nights from £2915.00, including full board, flights, light aircraft transfers and game activities.
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