Thursday, September 29 to Monday, October 3, 2016
The Northern Serengeti
I did hours and days of research to ensure that we had the perfect “Out of Africa” safari experience. The Northern Serengeti and experiencing The Wildebeest Migration and a river crossing, the “holy grail” of the migration, were at the top of “Shelley’s Bucket List.” The Northern Serengeti is magnificent and breathtaking. It is serene and magical. The Wildebeest Migration, is one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World.” Alex Walker’s Serian looked perfect. Alex Walker’s was straight out of “Out of Africa.” In fact some of the movie was filmed not far from here, just over the border in the Masai Mara.
The camp, the people, the location exceeded my wildest expectations. Four perfect days and nights. A perfect ending to a perfect trip! This is why I chose Alex Walker’s. I could not say it any better than Alex Walker.
“Partly it has to do with silence. At night, you can feel a lion’s roar resonate in your chest cavity because the air is not clogged with distractive sound. Its clarity lets you see straight to the sparkling heavens. It is also to do with distance from the rest of the world – not just a physical distance, but a deliberate distance in the way we decide to live. It’s about choosing to disconnect, in favour of what these spaces have to offer you if you allow them. There is also an indescribable purity to being immersed in a wholly natural setting. Clean air, unspoilt and untamed, and animals that are truly wild: it’s an unconditional environment that we are lucky to touch, and yet is untainted by our fingerprints. If you immerse yourself in it, osmosis begins to take effect, and the quietude and the beauty quietly infuse your being. In the company of our guides, you are among people innate to the place, who can unveil this way of life to you. They are attuned to its essence and can translate it by showing you to see through their eyes.
The open plains of the Lamai Wedge are incredibly beautiful and abundant in game. The landscape is reminiscent of scenes from Out of Africa, and there is plenty of freedom to roam and explore. The camp is situated opposite Crossing Point 4, midway among all crossing points along the river – and is perfectly positioned to spectate the wildebeest river crossings. Away from the river, this area of rolling savannah, boulder-strewn hillsides and fig-tree groves, is littered with inconceivably enormous herds of wildebeest, topi and zebra – as well as all the predators that gorge on this movable feast. Needless to say, the game-viewing we have access to is world-class. Cheetah, lion and elephant especially make for fantastic sighting, but it’s not unheard of to see the Big Five in a day.”
We said our goodbyes to the amazing staff at Namiri Plains and were driven to Seronero Airstrip. It was another great game drive. We flew Seronero Airstrip to Lamai Airstrip. We were a little confused and got off at Kogatende first. The ground personal called our camp and we were told our guide was on the other side of the river at Lamai Airstrip. So we hopped back on for the 5-minute flight across the river. We were met by our guide and spotter, Michael and Jololo. We drove about 45 minutes to the camp.
This is the camp that Alex Walker calls home. And he made it feel like home to us during our four-night stay.
Food is sourced from local farms and is very good. Dinners, following Sundowners, are usually taken in the main tent which also has a small library and a number of sofas. It rained one night so we had cocktails in the library. One night it rained, so we had cocktails in the library. Another great meal with great company.
As with most camps, you are not allowed to leave your tent after dark without your own Maasai Warrior for protection. It is almost always dark when you head to dinner. Instead of walkie talkie, you wave your flashlight and your escort arrives. The Maasai stand guard all night.