In the southeasternmost reaches of South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park sits a lodge that speaks to the soul and will continue to do so for many years to come. Singita Lebombo embraces luxury, authenticity, conservation, and the most sublime stay imaginable.
Singita has always been on my bucket list, and when the opportunity presented itself to visit Singita Lebombo with expert arrangements by Imagine PR, I started the countdown to set foot in one of the most pristine lodges that looks like it just stepped out of an architectural magazine.
Dubbed ‘Place of Miracles’, it is easy to see why. With architecture by GAPP Architects and interiors by Cécile & Boyd, this is not your traditional safari lodge in terms of color palette. Instead, there is an uprising in the mitigation of contrasts, albeit the effective use of ochres, greys, and the fortification of neutrals immersed against an unparalleled backdrop of glass and steel.
The sense of being perched on a hillside and suspended above the bush rings true when walking out onto your private deck, all this while enjoying a view of the N’Wanetsi River. Airy and bright, the suites offer a modern diversion with simple but striking furnishings. A soft grey mosquito net engulfs the bed, and the choice of whether to have them dropped or not is yours.
The bathroom offers a variety of cleansing options, with a gorgeous deep soaking tub and my favorite – the nature shower complemented with the Singita signature scent products. Open the sliding doors and really let nature in.
Fancy a night under the stars in true style and comfort? Then opt for the sleepout on your deck, cocooned in the safety of your bed with the ambient sounds of lions roaring or a hyena calling in the distance lulling you into a deep slumber.
Dining at Singita is an extraordinary experience and meals are created with passion and flair. The team of chefs goes out of their way to ensure that your specific food choices are catered for and your banakeli (butler) is always at hand to fill your glass or serve your beautifully plated cuisine, as Bongi did during the duration of our stay. The communal areas are dreamy, with comfortable seating, vistas as far as the eye can see and an invigorating 25-meter lap pool that is ideal for cooling off on balmy days.
Game drives are always a highlight, especially in a sizeable conservation area spanning in excess of 13,000 hectares. Bordering Mozambique, Singita Lebombo really puts the wild back into wildlife when it comes to sightings. Guiding and tracking duo Walter and Howard certainly know how to navigate not only the terrain but have fine-tuned the process of creating lasting memories with the most incredible animal sightings.
Our drives are interspersed with big cat spottings, commencing with two leopard cubs resting on a rocky outcrop waiting for mom to return. When mom makes her appearance, they bound over to her but remain vigilant of the hyena in the area that is using his kill as a pillow.
We spend time with two different prides of lions, view giraffe feeding, buffalo grazing, doe-eyed impalas scurrying away, waterbuck making a dash for it, a variety of birds against a stark silhouette, and a lone elephant bull making his way through the dry riverbed. Driving through the reserve, one is awestruck by the appearance of euphorbia trees dotted amongst the dramatic Lebombo mountain range.
With their exquisite portfolio of lodges and camps across Africa, Singita echoes an environmentally sensitive ethos in their drive to preserve and protect the most vulnerable ecosystems for generations to come. The protection against habitat loss is a cornerstone, with initiatives pertaining to wildlife conservation, solar-based energy, and carbon offsetting, as well as community partnership projects, which include early childhood development, digital learning, and three world-class culinary schools at Singita Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Singita Serengeti in Tanzania and Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The unmistakable call of an African fish eagle is heard from our suite. It is our last morning at Singita Lebombo and after an ultimate game drive with lions occupying the road, followed by a hearty breakfast, my daughter and I sit outside on the deck, drinking in the final moments before it’s time to say goodbye. Leaving is never easy, especially in a place such as this that has crept deep into your soul but feeling renewed in nature is a privilege not to be taken for granted.
*** Views expressed are the author’s own.
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