A safari outfit whose fees can exceed $2,000 per person per night better be able to make a compelling value-for-money case to its guests. At Singita Grumeti (singita.com; from $2,750), whose five lodges and camps are scattered across the 350,000-acre reserve in Tanzania owned by Paul Tudor Jones since 2003, there are conservationists who can do so in seconds, with a few extremely impactful statistics: a 422 per cent increase in elephants; a 954 per cent increase in buffalo; a whopping 1,625 per cent increase in lions, over 15 years. Armed with state-of-the-art technology, Grumeti’s anti-poaching team – people who put their community standing, and occasionally their lives, at risk protecting the reserve’s charismatic megafauna – number over 100.
A stay at any one of the five Singita accommodations underwrites those efforts. They’re all exceptionally luxurious and tasteful (Singita’s lead designers are Cécile & Boyd), but for me the most memorable was also the newest – and the simplest: Singita Explore (from $4,125 per night for up to three people; $1,375 for each additional adult per night), the private-use, roving seasonal camp where the coffee is boiled over the fire, porters sluice hot water into your bucket shower before dawn, and at night the rhythmic mutterings of lions vibrate through the canvas walls.