More than ever these days, luxury travel is measured not in how many art galleries you can visit in a week in Europe, but in how completely you can immerse yourself in nature (along with everything you’d need in terms of comfort, service and exclusivity of course!) Guaranteed to entrance and enthrall you as much as Chagall and Degas, a Chem Chem safari into Tanzania’s wilderness HAS to be included on your African Safari itinerary.
The Franco-Swiss owners of Chem Chem are two of the most passionate-about-Tanzania people that I have come across. Apart from several awesome local conservation initiatives, they pioneered the concept of the slow safari. In a nutshell a slow safari encourages guests to experience Africa at a different pace, first-hand, without the confines of a vehicle, and with the focus on the unexpected.
In this Tanzanian dream destination it’s all about getting in touch with nature, going on exhilarating walking safaris through Chem Chem’s 4000 ha of private wildlife concession, having an African wilderness picnic, identifying wildlife tracks, visiting a Masai village or simply just taking time out with your loved one, sipping on a beautiful glass of wine and letting your thoughts loose over the sweeping Tanzanian landscape.
We think that Chem Chem is the perfect way to end off an East Africa safari circuit in luxury and style. Especially as you would have seen all the big game on drives in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti, the Chem Chem experience is more about walking, contemplating and culture. Its great for honeymooners, for unwinding before going home and is a good substitute for flying to one of the Tanzanian beach destinations. Conveniently, Chem Chem is not too far off the main roads and therefore easily accessible.
There are two choices of accommodation:
Chem Chem Lodge consists of eight elegant and beautifully decorated tent-styled suites, as well as a gorgeous main lodge area. No luxury has been spared and each private five-star suite has been exquisitely designed using a combination of materials such as canvas, lava stones and wood to ensure that the interior blends in perfectly with the natural surroundings. Each suite also includes its own dressing room, a secluded patio with a luxurious day-bed and breathtaking lake views.
For those who want to take it even slower there is a library, various fireplaces, a viewing deck with incredible views over Lake Manyara, an outside pool to cool off in the heat of the day and the Amani Spa if you want to take relaxation to another level.
The lodge is also ideal for families as the lodge offers many kid-friendly activities such as walking with the Masai, learning to jump and use a spear like the Masai, as well as how to make a fire.
Known as the sunrise camp, Little Chem Chem lies nestled on the edge of an acacia forest overlooking the freshwater lake, Lake Burunge.
The camp is much more mobile in style, still elegant but more intimate, reminiscent of a bygone era with an ‘Out of Africa’ charm. It doesn’t get much more private than this, with only ten guests at any one time being able to stay at Little Chem Chem. Guests can still go on game drives, but it is the ideal setting for travelers wishing to explore Tanzania on foot. There’s also plenty to keep the kids occupied. When we were there, a soccer game was organized in front of the lodge and then they went swimming in the lake.
See elephant herds stroll by to get their fill at Lake Burunge, hear lions roar and marvel at the speed of cheetahs as they hunt on the plains across from the lake. The birdlife is prolific here too, and with a little luck you are even able to spot leopard, eland or kudu.
Why not combine a stay at both camps to experience the best that Tanzania has to offer? We suggest minimum three night stay to fully experience this slice of heaven – truly an unmissable authentic safari destination for honeymooners and families alike.