Each cottage gets a personal butler. My butler was a young woman named Faith. She gave me a walkie-talkie and said whenever I needed anything, just call. While I was at dinner, she filled my outdoor bath tub with bubble bath. Each afternoon, when I returned from a game run, there would be a happy message spelled out in flower petals on my bed. She’d write, “Have a long life” or “This will be a lovely day.” And each morning, I’d rearrange the flower petals to say something like “Tell the hippos to shut up.”
During dinner, when Faith brought my pea soup, she spelled “Ken” in yogurt. At home, when I hit a drive-though, nobody’s spelling my name in french fries.
We hopped a prop plane and flew into Tanzania. The “airport” at Singita Grumeti Reserves is about the size of a phone booth. Kennedy said we were landing “at Terminal A.” Kennedy had some good lines. The dirt roads are full of rocks and holes. Car passengers shake like dice in a Yahtzee cup. He called the bumpy ride an “African massage.”
PEEPING TOM MONKEYS
I stayed one night at Singita Faru Faru Lodge. Again, more elegant and gourmet than I’ve ever experienced anywhere. My lodge had an outdoor shower built into a cliff, facing a river. Across the river, I could see monkeys playing in the trees. I’m not comfortable taking a shower outside, and I definitely didn’t like those monkeys staring at me.
I had dinner on a ledge above the Serengeti plains. During migration, a million animals will move across the landscape.
My favorite, and most challenging night, was spent at Singita Explore, a tented camp in Serengeti National Park. The camp relocates every few days to be near the migrating animals. They have a lot of room to relocate. The park covers 5,700 square miles, bigger than Connecticut.
This camp is for people who want to be partners with nature. Because I knew I was leaving the next morning, I was good with nature for one night. Dinner was memorable. We were given sticks with fresh dough stuck on the end, like marshmallows or a weenie roast. We “baked” bread over the campfire.
We had lamb chops and peas and parsley potatoes. The sky was blacker than I’ve ever seen it. There was no smog or neon or car lights, so when a shooting star crossed the full moon, it looked like Star Wars.