Synonymous with some of the most iconic, renowned lodges in the world, the name Singita invokes an almost unparalleled sense of luxury. This is the gem of South Africa. With two regions on offer – Kruger National Park or Sabi Sands – and five Singita lodges among them to choose from, we opted for the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and spent our time split between Ebony Lodge and Boulders Lodge. Their third lodge in Sabi Sands, Castleton, is worth a visit, and best booked and enjoyed by families or a group of friends seeking to enjoy the privacy and feel of having their own private (absolutely immaculately decorated) lodge.
Choosing between Boulders Lodge and Ebony Lodge is no easy decision. Both rank among the best in the country (often best in the world), both offer the same exquisite amenities and top-quality service, and both are home to incredible guides who will show you the best of South Africa – really, the reason you traveled this far to begin with.
The difference, then, comes down to which South African lodge experience intrigues you the most. At Boulders, you will enjoy chic, organic, modern, African minimalism. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in and often make for quality animal sightings from wherever you are comfortably perched in your lodge. At Ebony, you can immerse yourself in classic safari style, in what feels like the home of the most well-traveled old-world explorers. Views of the river under the hot African sun mean you’ll always have animal guests within eyesight looking to cool down with a drink or fresh bath.
The lodges are minutes away from each other, though you’d have no idea you had any neighbours at all due to the vast landscape and serenely intimate feel of each lodge. The benefit of not choosing, as we discovered, is the ability to experience both lenses of one same game reserve. Different ambiance entirely, different views, different culinary specialties and menus, and even different special entertainment.
Once settled in your lodge, the itinerary is yours to craft. Immerse yourself in game drives, iconic African sundowners and even a bush-walk. Take an invigorating dip in your pool or treat yourself to a relaxing spa experience for one (or two!). If you’re feeling more social, the time spent in the stunning communal areas will not be regretted. The ambiance, the breathtaking views and the people – both eager guests and friendly staff – make it an experience in and of itself.
The community impact element of staying at a Singita lodge is powerful and moving. Guests can request to visit a local community to learn about the culture or, if of interest – and we highly recommend it – you can request time on a game drive with a member of the anti-poaching squad to learn more about the why’s and how’s of the situation in South Africa. It is an eye-opening experience that adds another layer to the African safari experience. Their anti-poaching efforts have seen real success, where the numbers speak for themselves, and the day-to-day of these efforts is truly remarkable, and gives you an appreciation for the fact that Singita is much more than meets the eye.
Whichever lodge in the Sabi Sands you pick, and however you decide to spend your days, Singita offers a promise of a unique South African perspective, and luxury safari experience you’ll never forget.