Singita | Boulders and Ebony
Singita means miracle in Shangaan and it lives up to its name
It is difficult to describe the beauty, luxury and excitement of Singita. It is the type of place that must be experienced to be understood. Luxurious accommodations, sumptuous food with included wines and spirits, even complimentary 24-hour laundry and the thrill and quality of the game drives and guides make this a place that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. It is an expensive property but after visiting many different properties and comparing the facilities and the cost I feel Singita it is worth every penny spent.
Suite is an inappropriate name for the thatched roof cottages with a large sitting room, complete with a log burning fireplace, large bedroom with king size beds draped in netting like a wedding veil, luxurious bathrooms with a trendy four-footed large bathtub, indoor and out door showers, huge deck with a private plunge pool. This entire cottage is luxuriously appointed in modern zebra, dark wood floors and the full glass windows make the bush part of every room. In fact this is among the most luxurious accommodations I have ever experienced. Each cottage has complete privacy with the windows facing into the bush. You cannot see the cottage next to you once you are indoors. The cottages are arranged on each side of the main lodge so even the most remote cottage is in comfortable walking distance.
Two lodges, Boulders and Ebony are about 3 minutes apart by land rover both with 9 cottages, a spa, full service lodge and restaurants. Boulders is more contemporary and Ebony is more colonial. Visiting both I would say you cannot go wrong staying at either property and they both offer the same layout and quality of accommodations.
The topography around the private reserve of Singita is so diverse and makes every game drive a delightful experience. Game viewing here is special. It doesn't creep into your soul it hits you head on. Animals are everywhere. Since the fence came down in 1991 between Kruger National park and the Sabi Sands reserve, 800 elephants have moved into Sabi Sands Reserve.
As Singita land is open to the vast Kruger National Park the animals are free to roam in and out of the reserve. You are seeing nature at its finest here not penned in a small area for the tourists to see. Couple this with the peaceful atmosphere of the bush with a low density of visitors to a vast expanse of private land with just six guests, the guide and tracker in each land rover and you have a remarkable combination for the perfect African experience
Each game drive you experience will be a truly remarkable few hours that will be burned into your memory forever. Each game drive holds new adventures. On one game, drive a herd of Elephants crossed around our jeep. The elephants were in front and back of us almost too close to photograph. You will get so close to lions that at first it is disconcerting. Then you realize they don't even care that you are there and go about their normal behavior totally ignoring us for intruding on their day.
Singita is animal rich with rhino, hippos, giraffes, leopards, and numerous types of antelope, monkeys and baboons. The game viewing will not disappoint of this I am 100 certain. The pictures below are personal pictures from our last game drive in Singita. I have selected these to show you how close you really are to the animals. It is not all done with telephoto lenses. You are very close.
Singita has incredible guides, they are among the best I have found and actually spend more time with you than in a normal game park. They stop at sundown and cook little appetizers and mix you your favorite drink in the bush. You enjoy this while watching a herd of elephants cross or the monkeys at play. After your game drive, they act as your personal bartender, and fix your pre-dinner drink. They get to know you, your likes and dislikes. They will join you at dinner when you wish and share tales of the bush and the lifestyles of the South African people. They are well educated, speak excellent English and have a true love of the African bush and the animals.
Dining and Wines
Dinner is a great event at Singita. After a exhilarating game drive, a quick freshen up you are ready for your pre-dinner drink and a satisfying dinner. Your guide will mix you drinks at the bar outside of the restaurant and when you are ready you head in for dinner. There are multiple choices on the menu and the staff are happy to accommodate your every whim. Want the steak with Béarnaise, no problem. Want the pasta without the tomatoes, no problem. Want both the steak and the pasta, no problem. So any preferences for a particular way of eating or particular foods can be accommodated. They have exotic items such as game meats but also offer standard fare that all American guests are used to eating. Wines and spirits are included complimentary with the only additional charges being for selected premium wines for purchase. The Boma dinners at Singita are truly something very special.
Local Village Tour
Singita offers a visit to a local village at around $45.00 per person. You will visit a local Shangann village, Justicia. Visit a family home and the pre-school children will entertain you with singing What makes this visit special is that all the money paid for this excursion goes to assist the 16 local villages bordering the game reserve. This money is donated in a way so as to not make the villages reliant on this assistance. Described to me by a Singita employee "We don't give the villagers fish we give them a fishing rod to catch the fish". All assistance is based on making each village more self reliant and independent.
Normal day at Singita
Morning - At 5:30am you will get the wake up call to get ready for your morning drive. Yes it is early but the anticipation of seeing the animals makes this easier than you would anticipate. After breakfast, you head out on your morning game drive. The game drives can last for about two to three hours depending on the passengers in the vehicle, what you see and how long you wish to stay out.
Lunch and the afternoon - These are lazy times after lunch with normally a little nap in the afternoon, or a splash in your private splash pool or a visit to the spa.
Afternoon tea at 4:00 pm - Meet in the lodge and enjoy an English Tea complete with the necessary snacks before heading out with your guide and jeep companions for the afternoon drive.
Dinner - After freshening up you call and a guide comes to escort you from your cottage to the lodge for dinner. Although it is safe to walk around during the day the animals are more active at night and they will not allow you walk around after dark without a guide. A dinner in the restaurant, or under the stars in the BOMA you will be treated to a delectable relaxed dinner before retiring to look forward to the next days adventures.
I predict that your time at Singita will be one of the greatest travel memories.
Website: Singita Game Reserves