This trip was never about the lodging. It was about proximity to animals. We requested smaller camps with more personal service that blended into the landscape such that the land was the star of the show. Where we laid our heads to sleep at night, rightfully played second fiddle to the surroundings. For two out of the three lodgings, this was exactly what we received. And we loved both of these camps (see Houses with Soft Walls)! Then we arrived at the Mkombe House and discovered the best of both worlds. Perched on a hill amongst some boulders overlooking the seemingly endless northern Serengeti, we found perfection.
What a thrill to enter our own private 4 bedroom home thoughtfully integrated into the landscape. All ours to enjoy for 3 nights and 3 days. We scrambled around the home dazzled by our good fortune. We wondered briefly if we could just skip the game drives and park it on one of the many front porches. Maybe the animals will just walk by?? Obviously we scrapped that idea – so many corners of the Serengeti to explore! But we were certainly tempted.
The house is difficult to describe and it is nearly impossible to do it justice in photos. But of the many homes I have had the pleasure of staying in over my years of travel, this was the best. It is thoughtfully laid out to accommodate two families in separate wings of the house. One wing overlooked the pools and the view beyond. The other wing jutted into the Serengeti as a mini peninsula into nature.
We felt so grateful to come home for lunch and dinner every day. It was one of those homes where you don’t want to take your eyes off the view. One could keep perfectly busy moving from perch to perch to perch enjoying the plethora of sitting areas with varying views of our expansive and ridiculously wild and beautiful front yard. Elephants walked by. Monkeys came to visit. As I type there is a mongoose in our front hall staring at me, he says, “Hello”.
To make the experience that much more amazing and that much harder to leave, the home came with a full and delightful staff. The main man in charge was Babbu. I got the impression he did not sleep, but his demeanor was no worse for wear. He had an easy smile when offering me coffee in the morning, greeting me with a lavender scented cold towel when returning from a game drive, and then handing me a gin and tonic (the cocktail of choice when on safari).
Nomad Tanzania built this home two years ago to accommodate groups whilst on safari. If you can patch together a group that you’d love to stay here with, I strongly encourage you to do so. Recommend you book a year in advance and use it as a capstone to your safari adventure. It is an experience of a lifetime. I anticipate day dreaming about the Mkombe home and it’s adjacent natural wilderness often. Someday, I’d like to return. Today, I’d really rather not leave.
Visit the Final Thoughts on Africa… post for consolidated information about our African Safari.