The Secret Serengeti
The name Serengeti comes from the Masai word for ‘endless plains’, and nowhere is this term more deeply felt than in the Southern Serengeti. With its rolling, endless landscapes, occasional kopje (rocky outcrop) and noticeable lack of trees, it’s the perfect setting for uninterrupted wildlife viewing year round.
During the Great Migration from about December to March, the region is full of wildebeest, zebra, and predators, and is well known for the excitement the annual calving season brings. But, inevitably, the migration moves on in its never-ending pursuit of the rains, taking the vehicles, mobile camps and safari-clad tourists along with it. It is now that the Southern Serengeti takes on a very different, somewhat secret, personality.
From June to November, Sanctuary Kusini is the only camp in the Southern Serengeti, meaning game drives are exclusive and sightings intimate. And while the bulk of the migration may be gone, the predators remain, tied to the territories they have fought for.
This is the time where the predators’ skill really comes into focus. No longer are they picking off young wildebeest. Now they have animals like buffalo to contend with. Watching these hunts is for the real safari enthusiasts as they are often filled with peril, as much for the predator as for the prey.
Due to the hot, dry weather, wildlife can often be seen in and around the camp as the lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo search for water. In fact, it is not unheard of for guests to experience the thrill of a kill right in front of their rooms.
The dry season also brings with it the big cat’s cubs, who play innocently as their parents search for prey. The resident Kusini lion pride often have ample young mouths to feed, meaning guests at Sanctuary Kusini are frequently treated to delightful interactions with the young cubs and exhilarating hunts.
Particularly plentiful are the cheetah families at this time of year. The southern plains are the cheetah’s last stronghold so every sighting is special. Sanctuary Kusini and their guests’ works closely with Serengeti Cheetah Project to monitor the region’s cheetah population, ensuring there is a future for these endangered creatures.
The Southern Serengeti’s pristine, iconic landscape during this period is perfect for those who wish to see the wild, untamed side of Africa. Photography enthusiasts will be particularly drawn in by the beautiful winter light, the stark scenery and the fragility of nature. In fact, this hidden gem is often described as a firm favourite and that if offers one of the most authentic safari experiences in Africa. The remote location of Sanctuary Kusini also produces some of the most astounding stargazing found anywhere in Africa, meaning sundowners are enjoyed under a blanket of stars.
Sanctuary Kusini at a glance:
- The only permanent camp in this unspoilt and remote part of the Southern Serengeti.
- The location was specially selected by our guides and local experts. The camp is nestled in a woodland area surrounded by kopjes, where game is a common sight all year round.
- It is one of the best places in the world to see large predators – lion and cheetah; with leopard often lying in the kopjes nearby camp.
- Sundowners served on a rocky outcrop (kopje) with incredible 360 degree view.
- Accommodation is offered in twelve double tents scattered around the main kopje.
- Each extremely spacious tent has ensuite facilities with an indoor shower, large private decking with comfortable furnishings and views of the surrounding bush below where zebra, buffalo and lion are a common sight year-round.
Include two nights stay at Sanctuary Kusini when you book our long stay offer, and get one night free. To find out more, please contact our reservations team.
Images taken is by Isbjorn Viot, Camp Manager and resident photographer at Sanctuary Kusini Camp.