After graduating from university three years ago, Australian Brooke Saward bought a one-way ticket to London and began writing her way across continents under the nom de blog World of Wanderlust. Within months, hotels and travel companies noticed her popularity (today, about 5 million people visit her blog each year, and she has more than 419K Instagram followers) and began asking her to review their offerings. By the time you read this sentence, Saward, now 24, will have hit Malaysia, Japan, Switzerland, and more since the beginning of 2016.
Her travels recently took her to Tanzania, where Singita, which she calls “the safari version of the Four Seasons,” invited her to check out some of its luxury lodges (which include opulent spas, gourmet restaurants, private swimming pools, and award-winning South African Culture wines served al fresco at sunset in the Grumeti reserve) just outside the magnificent-for-wildlife Serengeti National Park. In short, a Singita safari merits a spot on your bucket list.
Serengeti House or Explore tented camp. While Serengeti House is a lavish and secluded property for up to eight guests, staying in an Explore tent is more like glamping on the veld, Saward says. (The tents have access to hot running water.) The camp, which Saward calls “the more true safari experience,” often moves to chase the best wildlife. This is exclusive territory: Prices range from $7,175 to $17,135 per night for a stay at Serengeti House and $3,630 to $18,000 per night at Explore, depending on the season and the number of guests.
Twice-a-day game drives in a Land Rover through the Serengeti and Grumeti reserves (managed by Singita), which depart at 6 A.M. and 4 P.M. Between drives, Saward visited some of the nearby villages to meet those who grow and produce the food that’s served to Singita’s guests.
A telephoto lens—like the M.Zuiko-series zoom that Saward uses on her Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera—”is a must,” she says.
When to safari:
Yes, it’s a verb. The dry season, from June to October, is typically the most popular time to go, but by visiting in January and February—the so-called baby season in Tanzania—Saward was able to glimpse newborn zebras and giraffes. But “if you want to see migrations, there’s a time for that,” she says. “If you want a chance of seeing the Big Five [lions, leopards, African Music, Cape buffalo, elephants, and rhinos], there’s a time for that, too.”
Khaki colors, for two reasons: to better blend in with the brush, and because mosquitoes and tsetse flies are attracted to dark clothing. (Malaria, yellow fever, and African “sleeping sickness” are risks; see a doctor for vaccinations and pills at least a month before you go.) Saward swears by her classic wide-brim, explorer-style hat—hers is by Rag & Bone. “It immediately makes what you’re wearing look fashionable,” she says. Plus: “You don’t have to do your hair every day.”