The dream that is Africa: after watching the romance of exploration and adventure of the safari expeditions of a bygone era on the big screen, it’s time to create memorable voyages of your own. Ehlane Plains Camp has been established in the far eastern plains of the Serengeti, a remote and wildlife-filled pocket of the savannah. This is where the magic begins, this is where your dream of wild Africa comes alive. ‘Ehlane’ is a Zulu word which translates to ‘wilderness’. It is a clear description of the extraordinary and newly accessible location which presents forth an unsurpassed display of predators and predator activity. It is here in the Soit le Motonyi region, far from the Serengeti transit areas, that you are able to find something wild and spectacular amongst this rough country. The area is unique; unspoilt, silent, remote and truly exciting.
The area teems with pride of lions, cheetahs roaming, large packs of hyena and leopards confidently striding through their ranges. What brings them here? This exclusive expanse of the Serengeti is where the acacia woodlands border the great savannah, attracting herbivore masses of elephant, giraffe, zebra, warthog and more. When carnivore meets herbivore on the open plain; it’s time to rumble.
With the arrival at Seronera airstrip, the road transfer can take 1.5 hours – heading into the ‘empty’ landscape ahead, leading to a feeling of almost being able to reach out and touch where the sky meets the horizon. A stunning path lays ahead, snaking through this safari-setting with a backdrop of giant, granite marble-like rocks known as kopjes
We are home at Ehlane. The camp offers eight tents designed to merge with the eco-system, all under canvas and all with clear vistas of the wilderness ahead. Each tented suite contains a lounge cove with comfortable couches and coffee table, dressing area with handcrafted cupboards, net-draped king size bed with bedside tables and lamps, mninga writing desk with chair, full-length wall mirror and soft carpets to wander along. The suite flows into ensuite; a natural theme of the shower, double hand basins and flushing toilet. The camp is open, no borders or rails, the wildlife comes and goes. Stay alert, eyes open; the thrill of the safari from the silver screen is here.
With its isolated location, the camp takes full advantage of the African night skies. Two tents have been designed as ‘star domes’; an Arabian idea of an open rooftop to recline on large cushions and fall asleep beneath a natural planetarium. The evenings are beautiful with the borderless flow of clarity from the glowing moon to glittering stars, flickering planets and a swish of the milky way: the vast, seemingly emptiness beyond stretched out for infinity; glorious and mesmerizing. The viewing of the heavens looks simple enough, yet it clearly holds every thought, dream and secret. The early dawn rays smile and whisper softly, wishing the glittering stars away to their curious hiding spots. The camps wake for another day for discovery.
Two tents welcome families of up to five, inter-connected suites with private lounge to kick back, read, chat, write or play games – a cushioned covered floor makes it easy to drift and dream.
The dining and lounge area are located in the centre of the camp, the meeting point for exciting stories and meals by the campfire. Share your experiences with friends and family with the satellite WiFi connection. The camp itself is permanently positioned throughout the year, closing only for the long rainy season of April & May. Freshwater is collected from wells within the national park and solar panels provide the electricity for lighting and camp operations. Careful attention focusses on the environmentally-friendly process for water drainage and habitat impact. Each tented suite is spaced for privacy, but prepared for safety – this ‘ehlane’ needs no further introduction.