Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge is located in the great Serengeti’s delightfully remote Western Corridor, offering seclusion, luxury and the million-year quiet which is one of the Serengeti’s many charms. “There is no feeling,” Elspeth Huxley wrote in The Flame Trees of Thika, “like being absolutely alone with creation…with nothing spoiled or sullied or abused….A whole world revolves in balance with itself more perfectly than the finest symphony.”
Morning sounds of birds and the patter of colobus monkeys across our tent tops are a symphonic prelude to a day of game viewing on the great, golden plain of the Serengeti, and at night hippos in the small lake on whose shores the camp sits galumph and snort, and as we drift off we remember that “there is no sleep so perfect that it is stirred but not broken by the thrilling vibrance of a lion’s roar,” as Ms. Huxley said. In all, Grumeti Serengeti offers a luxurious, but traditionally respectful safari experience, perhaps most dramatically during the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest and zebras cross the Grumeti River, eagerly awaited by Nile crocodiles and other hungry predators.
All of Grumeti Serengeti’s 10 tented luxury suites (with one large family suite), tucked away in a riverine forest, look out at the hippo-haven oxbow lake. All are beautifully decorated in soft African pastels, with en suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, Wi-Fi, and a commodious veranda. Meals are taken on the camp’s large deck looking out at the ever-active Grumeti River and after dinner, traditional fires, called jikos are lit, and, like Ernest Hemingway, we “feel the cool wind of the night and smelling the good smell of Africa, I was altogether happy.”
As we often—but accurately and importantly—say, the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem, in which Grumeti Serengeti is ideally situated, is the earthly capital of free-ranging, fabulously plentiful wildlife. And so our game drives in the river forests, and out on the oceanic plain, dotted with bonsai-like kopjes, rock outcrops, each with their personal ecologies and animal societies, are very eventful here, and many of us have much the same experience as Herman Melville did, out in the Pacific, when he felt “the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swing open.” Lions, hyenas, elephants, giraffes, and another 55 or so large mammals roam, 500 bird species soar and sing, and when the Great Migration hits full stride, it seems as if the whole world is on the move.