Disconnect. Reflect. Connect.

By John Baumann | 13 March 2024


In a world where we seem to be “always on”, connected to our work life even when trying to relax with the family, or checking social media when spending “quality time” with our friends, it has become increasingly important to actively find ways to shut ourselves off from the digital world. Ironically, there are apps to assist, and screen time reports to be read. These may help, but we believe we have a better solution.

Enjoying the sunset together from the infinity pool at Jabali Ridge.

Taking time out to simply enjoy the moment at Jabali Ridge.

Whether you need a full 10-day break from the world, or just a couple of nights to really connect with nature, there is an Asilia solution that will provide you with the space and the opportunity to achieve the detox required. Ranging from a mild recalibration in an Asilia spa for those in pursuit of some physical pampering, to a private safari camp for you and your closest friends, where the raw expanse of nature will force you to put down your phone and pay attention to the experience.

An Asilia Spa is available at selected Asilia camps.

The Asilia Spa offers a variety of massage treatments to soothe weary muscles.

The Asilia Spa

Being on safari is hard work and the days are long. Late nights around the campfire swapping stories, listening to the sounds of the darkness, and marvelling at the expanse of stars overhead are followed by early morning wake-up calls with freshly brewed coffee being delivered to your room. Game drives aim to start as early as possible, capturing the soft morning light and the cooler temperatures when wildlife is typically more active. After a morning of exceptional game viewing, the return to camp promises a hot shower, a cold drink, and a delicious lunch under the shade of trees. Feeling refreshed, now is the perfect time to enjoy some pampering in an Asilia Spa. Available at only a selection of our properties, a variety of massages are on offer to provide your tired body with some assistance in dealing with the rigours of an East Africa safari. Available at Sayari, Namiri Plains, and Jabali Ridge, the skilled hands of our massage therapists will ensure your body and mind are relaxed, revitalised, and fully prepared to endure another hard day in Africa. However, if this gateway introduction has left you wanting more, perhaps it’s time to elevate the experience.

The Highlands offers excellent walking and hiking options.

Walking in the highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a spectacular and rewarding experience.

The Highlands

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is best known for the famous Ngorongoro Crater. A spectacular unbroken caldera, teeming with an assortment of wildlife, creating a game drive experience quite like none other. However, the confined space of the crater floor can be incredibly busy with safari vehicles, and it is unlikely to provide the connection to nature you may be seeking. While that connection might not be found in the crater, it can be found from The Highlands. Situated northeast of the Ngorongoro Crater, The Highlands rests on the forested slopes of the Olmoti Crater with expansive views over rolling grasslands towards the Gol Mountains and the Serengeti. There are no other safari camps in this vicinity, no vehicles rumbling by. In fact, the emphasis at The Highlands lies firmly on getting out of the vehicle, exploring on foot, and enjoying the isolation that the location offers. There is something about walking in nature that allows the mind to reboot. Paying attention to the placement of your next step, feeling the soft earth give way beneath your feet, the pull of the bushes catching your trousers, the smell of the disturbed vegetation. It’s a sensory experience that pushes you to absorb your surroundings and focus purely on the moment in front of you.

“I lost myself in nature and I found me”

Hiking down the well-worn cattle path, winding through changing vegetation as you descend into the Empakaai Crater is a remarkable experience. The crater floor welcomes you with an expanse of green grass running towards a flamingo lined lake. A perfect location to simply sit with a cup of fresh coffee and soak up the surroundings. In the distance you may hear the rhythmic ringing of a Maasai cowbell, producing a sound the Maasai refer to as “ngoro ngoro”, and the naming origin behind this ancient land. The return hike is best enjoyed at a slow pace, with time to enjoy the bird calls and the opportunity to marvel at the smallest of insects contributing to this ecosystem. After a calm morning of connecting with the wilderness and enjoying the sanctuary of the Ngorongoro highlands, the barrel sauna and spa at The Highlands provides the perfect retreat in which to cleanse, refresh and revitalise. The barrel sauna offers a cocoon of dry heat in amongst the often cool and damp conditions experienced at this altitude, providing your skin with the perfect preparation ahead of a regenerating massage. In just one day, your mind, body and soul have been energised.

The Asilia Spa at The Highlands features a barrel sauna.

The barrel sauna at The Highlands, a unique and private sauna experience.

Connect with nature

Massages and saunas are not everyone’s cup of proverbial green tea. If it’s the connection to nature you seek – perhaps in an exclusive environment with just your closest friends, surrounded by an expanse of wilderness – we have a few potential solutions to meet your needs. At the high end of the luxury spectrum, the Retreats at Sayari and Namiri Plains in the Serengeti, and Jabali Private House in the wilds of Ruaha, offer a level of privacy and exclusivity almost unheard of. Complete with a private guide and vehicle, and a dedicated chef, these spaces introduce flexibility into your safari experience by allowing you to dictate the rhythm of your day based on your preferences. The comfortable and well-appointed space is yours to enjoy, choosing to leave only when it suits you.

The Sayari Retreats offer a private space for families and friends in the northern Serengeti.

The Retreats at Sayari offer exclusivity and flexibility for families and friends.

Staying in Ruaha National Park, but with a different focus to Jabali Private House, the new Kokoko Camp offers an exclusive-use safari camp to just six friends or family members travelling together. Three simple but comfortable tents, constructed from an insect-proof netting with a retractable canvas roof, provide the setting for an adventurous expedition. This is a return to the roots of the authentic safari experience. Alone in the wild with just your chosen few, a senior guide and a couple of camp staff, prepping meals over the open fire, stargazing from the comfort of your bed, and exploring the wilderness on foot. This is a multiday experience that will completely remove you from the stresses of daily civilisation, providing a powerful nature-inspired cleanse that cannot be achieved in a day spa.  

Walking in the dry Mwagusi River bed

Exploring the wilderness on foot allows for a deeper connection to your surroundings.


If you’re looking for the escape but feel the multiday experience of Kokoko may be too much to start with, then you may find the offerings of Naboisho Camp more aligned with your needs. Providing you with a luxurious base from which to start at and return to, embark on an afternoon walking safari into the open, game-rich plains of the Naboisho Conservancy. A walking safari in the wild forces your mind to focus on the immediate surroundings, as an almost primal instinct engages your brain and sets your senses on high alert. Footsteps are carefully placed to avoid the snap of a dry twig, while your eyes scan the surroundings for any sign of movement. Our expert walking guides are amongst the best in the industry, ensuring your safety whilst providing an exhilarating experience. In a shaded spot with views across the conservancy awaits your fly-camp, and home for the night. Simple dome-shaped canvas tents, with mattresses and proper bedding, your walking guide and a few camp staff. Kick off your shoes and enjoy a cold drink whilst toasting the sunset, then relax by the fire while chef prepares dinner. A night in the wild provides the time and space to connect with your surroundings, be cognitive of the emotions it stirs, and reflect on what it is that truly makes your heart feel happy.

The Naboisho fly-camp offers a one night sleep out experience.

Deepen your connection to the Naboisho Conservancy with a night spent fly-camping.  

It should be so simple to find the space we need to clear our thoughts and connect with our friends and family, but as it becomes increasingly difficult to disconnect from technology, it’s easy to ignore the need to make that space. While there may not be a “one size fits all” solution to the problem, the beauty of the Asilia portfolio is that it provides a variety of options, from exclusive luxury to exclusive camping, offering your body and mind all the nourishment needed.

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