The Singita Blog

Sharing the fun on Facebook

August 21, 2015 - Kruger National Park, Singita Mara River Tented Camp, Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Wildlife

Singita’s Facebook page is a treasure trove of gorgeous wildlife photography, shared stories from guests, snapshots from the lodges and real-time updates from our field guides. It’s a great way to see what happens out on game drive and behind the scenes at each of our 12 lodges and camps, and see stunning photos of your favourite African animals. In case you haven’t yet liked our page, here is a quick recap of the most recent posts:

Singita on Facebook

The Lilac-breasted Roller is one of the few species of birds that are adding colour to the dry bush veld during this season. These birds get their name from the aerial acrobatics they perform during courtship or territorial flights. Rollers are often spotted quite quickly in the bush as they often perch prominently whilst hunting, in search of insects on the ground.

Singita on Facebook

It is that time of year again, when guests at Singita Mara River Tented Camp are treated to one of the greatest shows on earth. Our Camp Manager, Robyn, just gave us the following update:
“The last few days we have seen the small oxbow of land in front of the camp embellished by a sea of black. Thousands of wildebeest have littered the plains in front of us each morning. As morning turns to afternoon, the cries of thousands crescendo as the wildebeest begin to plunge down the steep banks attempting to cross the Mara River. Our guests have been lucky enough to view crossings a mere 10 minutes drive from the lodge. We can hear and see them straight from the decks of the camp!”

Singita on Facebook

Agility perfected at a young age: A leopard dance of a different kind.

Singita on Facebook

The view from your veranda at Singita Sasakwa Lodge is simply breathtaking. With nothing but the vast expanse of the Serengeti before you, there is no better way to spend an afternoon!

Singita on Facebook

It’s almost that time of day in the bush – afternoon high tea. The pastry chefs are placing the last minute touches to some special items in honour of World Lion Day.

You can follow Singita on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Vimeo. All of these feeds can be seen together on the Social page of our website.

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A Flying Start to an Unforgettable Safari

August 14, 2015 - Experience, Sabi Sand, Singita Boulders Lodge, Singita Castleton, Singita Ebony Lodge

Arrival at Singita Sabi Sand

You’ll never forget the first time you touch down at Singita Sabi Sand‘s air strip. After a brief flight over the seemingly endless grasslands and bushveld of the Kruger National Park, a pale ribbon of tarmac comes into view, cutting through the lush green carpet below as the plane approaches the clearing. A small herd of zebra nibble casually on the grass, completely unperturbed by your imminent arrival.

Arrival at Singita Sabi Sand

Arrival at Singita Sabi Sand

Within seconds, the aircraft is deftly lowered to the runway and comes to a smooth standstill in front of a small, thatched “terminal”, and you wait for the propellers to stop and the doors to open. The steps to the airstrip are lowered from the plane and a warm breeze fills the cabin with the unmistakable smell of the African bush; a mixture of dry grass, fragrant buchu leaves and the promise of an afternoon thunderstorm.

Arrival at Singita Sabi Sand

Your bags are whisked away by an efficient porter as your field guide and tracker introduce themselves and offer you a cooling drink and a steaming towel. Together they will care for you for the duration of your trip, escorting you on twice-daily game drives, teaching you the laws of the bush, preparing your evening gin and tonic, and sharing with you the delights of Singita’s 45,000 acre concession in the Sabi Sand. Once you are feeling refreshed from your journey, it’s time to jump in the game viewing vehicle and head to the lodge, where the adventure really begins.

Arrival at Singita Sabi Sand

Singita Sabi Sand is home to three of our 12 properties, Singita Ebony Lodge, Singita Boulders Lodge and Singita Castleton. To visit these lodges, please get in touch with our Reservations team. You can also discover the region on our website and through our monthly Wildlife Reports.

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Honeymoon Safari: A Match Made in Heaven

August 12, 2015 - Accommodation, Experience, Kruger National Park, Lodges and Camps, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Sabi Sand, Safari, Singita Boulders Lodge, Singita Ebony Lodge, Singita Explore, Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Singita Grumeti, Singita Lebombo Lodge, Singita Mara River Tented Camp, Singita Pamushana Lodge, Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Singita Sweni Lodge

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Wedding preparations can be as stressful as they are enjoyable, and yet nothing can prepare you for the blissful whirlwind of that special day. A luxurious and extraordinary honeymoon is the perfect way to reflect, unwind and celebrate the beginning of a new life together. The romance and adventure of an African safari is difficult to beat, whether you want to experience the ultimate in relaxation or get your blood pumping in thrilling moments of discovery.

Singita’s portfolio of properties, across three countries in Africa, is a wonderful starting point for an idyllic honeymoon. Anton de Wit, our Travel Service Manager, has some fantastic ideas for a memorable newlywed visit to our stunning lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe or Tanzania:

Hot air balloon in the Serengeti | Singita

Singita Grumeti, Tanzania

See the Serengeti
Visitors to Singita Grumeti in Tanzania have the unique opportunity of chartering a hot air balloon for an unforgettable ride over the treetops of the Serengeti. This once-in-a-lifetime experience takes game viewing to new heights and gives photography buffs an amazing new perspective on the world below. You’ll skim above the grasslands and acacia forests, and at other times ascend to 1 000 feet to see the enormity of the reserve. The Singita Balloon Safari is a romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wilderness as you gracefully and silently glide over the plains, observing the wide variety of wildlife below.

Horseback safari in the Serengeti at Singita Grumeti

Horseback safari at Singita Grumeti

High adventure
Our more adventurous guests will also enjoy the variety of outdoor activities available, which can be customised for honeymooners looking for a little solitude. These include stargazing, mountain biking, guided bush walks, wine and whiskey tastings, visits to ancient rock art sites, archery, tennis, fishing and horseback safaris. The latter, also available at Singita Grumeti, affords guests the thrill of discovering the vast plains of the Serengeti on horseback; the surreal romance and excitement of exploring the exquisite wilderness of this unique area at eye level with the wildlife. Singita’s day rides and longer equestrian safaris allow guests to journey across the open plains with a herd of zebra or giraffe, bringing them truly in touch with the pulse of Africa.

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Pamushana Lodge, Zimbabwe

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Lebombo Lodge, South Africa

Rest & relaxation
Those looking for a less adrenaline-filled day will love the tranquility of our renowned Bush Spa, which offers a holistic and healing approach to treatments. The spa menu has been created to complement the beauty and serenity of the wilderness, and all treatments incorporate that peace and vibrant energy to revitalize and nourish guests. Body treatments such as massage, polishing scrubs and nourishing masks can be enjoyed in the comfort of your suite, out on a private deck or at the spa, and all treatments can be tailored for couples.

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Tanzania

Total seclusion
Each of Singita’s properties has been designed to offer guests total seclusion, from the small number of self-contained suites set at a generous distance from one another, to the option of a private vehicle for twice-daily game drives. Meals can also be enjoyed privately, whether by candlelight in your suite, under the stars on the deck or out in the bush, surrounded by hurricane lamps with your own private chef and “banakeli” (butler). It would be difficult to find a more romantic setting for enjoying a delicious dinner together than in a dining room created especially for you in the soft sand of a dry river bed, with the Milky Way twinkling overhead.

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania

Something for everyone
Singita’s twelve lodges and camps offer something different to every traveller. From the wide plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania, to the lush bushveld of the Kruger National Park and the majestic baobabs and sandstone outcrops of Zimbabwe, guests at Singita enjoy exclusive access to over half a million acres of pristine wilderness across five diverse ecosystems in Africa. Deciding which of these beautiful regions to visit is the only effort you’ll have to make; our dedicated Travel Services team will handle the rest.

Honeymoon safari at Singita

Singita Mara River Tented Camp, Tanzania

Our specialised Travel Service team are always available to help plan an unforgettable romantic getaway just for you. You can get in touch with them here or email enquiries@singita.com.

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A Winter Weekend at Singita Sweni Lodge Part 3

August 07, 2015 - Experience, Kruger National Park, Lodges and Camps, Safari, Singita Sweni Lodge

Singita Kruger National Park

One of the highlights of any trip to Singita’s lodges and camps are the game drives that allow guests the opportunity to get up close to Africa’s incredible wildlife. These hours-long adventures into the bush in state-of-the-art Land Rovers, traverse scrubland, grassy savannahs and dry riverbeds, and in the case of Singita Sweni Lodge, 33,000 acres of private concession in the famed Kruger National Park. Each vehicle is assigned a dedicated guide and tracker; a professional team who share their knowledge of the local flora and fauna with Singita’s guests for the duration of their stay.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

The climate in South Africa is such that winter mornings and evenings are usually crisp and clear; a combination that provides perfect game viewing conditions! The colder temperatures tend to make wildlife more active and therefore easier to spot, while cloudless skies make for good visibility and wonderful photo opportunities. Days tend to be bright and sunny; perfect for unwinding on the outside deck, enjoying one of the many outdoor activities available, or simply reading a book on your bed.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park
Guests are encouraged to pack warm layers for game drives in case of a cold spell, and are further protected from the chill with a warm drink at the snack stop along the way. Early risers are treated to fresh homemade pastries and hot coffee during morning drives, with an optional splash of Amarula liqueur for extra warmth! Game spotting during spot-lit nighttime drives is made cosy with the help of piles of soft blankets, allowing you to absorb the elusive magic of nocturnal Africa in absolute comfort. What better way to spend a winter weekend?

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

Singita Sweni Lodge is the ultimate safari escape, offering guests the thrill and tranquility of the wild, a relaxing and pampering spa experience and some of the best wine and food that South Africa has to offer. It is also the perfect family destination, with exhilarating activities for the entire family to enjoy, memories made together that will last a lifetime. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2 in this series, “A Winter Weekend at Singita Sweni Lodge”, to find out more about the lodge.

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Highlights from our Wildlife Reports

August 04, 2015 - Experience, Kruger National Park, Lamai, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Sabi Sand, Safari, Singita Grumeti, Wildlife

If your morning routine doesn’t involve a sunrise game drive and a steaming cup of coffee overlooking the waterhole, then a close substitute would be catching up on our latest Wildlife Reports; first-hand field guide reports straight from the wilderness. These bush journals chronicle the evolving landscape throughout the year as well as noteworthy wildlife sightings and game statistics. Some of the most recent reports include some stunning sunsets, a pair of cheetah on a kill, an amorous leopard and a rare pack of endangered wild dogs in the Serengeti:

SINGITA SABI SAND, SOUTH AFRICA

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports - Singita

We are fortunate in Africa to be blessed with some beautiful skies, whether it be the rosy dawns, the unpolluted blues of autumn days, or the sparkling splendour of our starry night skies. Most famous of all, however, are our sunsets, and after more than five and a half decades on this continent, I still appreciate each and every sunset that I am fortunate enough to see. There’s something about sunsets that inspire you to take time to think back on the day’s events, and just to marvel at the majesty of it all.

Report by Leon van Wyk, Coleman Mnisi, Nic Moxham and Ross Couper. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Sabi Sand Wildlife Report April 2015

SINGITA LAMAI, TANZANIA

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports - Singita

The month of June in the Lamai was unusually wet with the first half of the month yielding rainstorms of colossal proportions. The rain patterns of the Serengeti have been rather mercurial this year, seeing the second quarter producing more storm clouds which inevitably dictate the ebb and flow of the Mara River and, so too, the movement of the wildlife. On some mornings the level of the river rose over 60cm in a matter of hours.

Report by Paul Nell with photos by Stuart Levine, Adas Anthony and Ryan Schmitt. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Lamai Wildlife Report June 2015

SINGITA PAMUSHANA, ZIMBABWE

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports - Singita

Imagine the thrill of coming across two male cheetah on a kill. It’s such a privilege to see, especially as they have disappeared from an estimated 76% of their historic range in Africa. Their population has declined by at least 30% over the past 18 years, and is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as killing and capture of cheetahs for trade and to prevent livestock loss.

Report by Jenny Hishin with photos by Mark Saunders and Simon Capon. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Pamushana Wildlife Report April 2015

SINGITA KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports - Singita

The Xhikelengane female, who is truly regarded as the grandmother of the leopards at Singita Kruger National Park, and definitely a favourite among the guides, has been doing her best to get the attention of the males in her region… Over the past few weeks we have noticed her moving further and further north out of her usual territory, and scent marking like her life depended on it! This behaviour is to attract potential suitors in her direction. Finally, after weeks of advertising, an unknown large male found her and we were lucky enough to see them mating twice over the course of four days. This intense and usually very secretive affair is one of the ultimate sightings on safari.

Report by Nick du Plessis, Barry Peiser and Deirdre Opie. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Kruger National Park Wildlife Report April 2015

SINGITA GRUMETI, TANZANIA

Highlights from our Wildlife Reports - Singita

The call came in on the radio around 8:30am. Guide Ray Wankyo reported that he had spotted a pack of 13 wild dogs south of the Singita Grumeti boundary with the Serengeti National Park. Words cannot explain the excitement that proceeded after hearing that call. The entire guiding team piled into game viewers to go and witness this incredible sighting. In the 13 years since Singita Grumeti’s inception, wild dogs have only been seen on one other occasion on the concession, and that was back in 2007.

Report by Lizzie Hamrick with photos by Ryan Schmitt, Brad Murray. Download the full wildlife report here: Singita Grumeti Wildlife Report April 2015

You can subscribe to our blog via RSS or email to stay up to date with our Wildlife Reports and plenty of other goings on at our 12 lodges and camps in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

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Satellites & Safaris: Rural education gets a boost

July 29, 2015 - Community Development, Did You Know?, Sabi Sand

Satellites and safaris don’t appear to be a traditional pairing, but they are in fact the ideal complement in Singita’s latest community development initiative. “Teaching & Technology”, which launched last month, is a partnership programme between the Mpumalanga Department of Education, Singita Community Development Trust and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Teaching and Technology | Singita

The project, which demonstrates how satellite communications can assist educators in rural areas, will roll out in 12 primary schools in the communities neighbouring the Sabi Sand Reserve. Web-based solutions will be used to upskill and train local teachers, who will ultimately share this benefit with learners and their entire communities.

Teaching and Technology | Singita

The ESA, together with partners Openet (Italy) and SES (Luxembourg), has outfitted each of the participating schools with satellite terminals, along with equipment including laptops, tablets, projectors and loudspeakers. Singita’s role is to manage the programme and to work alongside the Education Department to train and mentor the 200 teachers from these schools. The company will also be providing technical support to the schools in order to ensure the sustainability of such technology-based programmes in remote locations.

Teaching and Technology | Singita

“Singita’s goal is to create a model (to enhance teacher quality in rural areas), which can be replicated throughout Africa,” says Pam Richardson, Community Development Director at Singita. “The lack of resources and qualified educators are problems faced by rural communities across the continent.”

Teaching and Technology | Singita

The prosperity of the local community is a critical component in Singita’s success. The company’s eco-tourism philosophy is hinged not only on the hospitality provided by the lodges, but equally on sustainable conservation and the empowerment of local communities. Singita runs a number of thriving community development projects, making a tangible difference in the lives of the people living and working in and around its lodges.

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A Wildlife Showcase

July 24, 2015 - Sustainable Conservation, Wildlife

There was a time when the earth was lush with unspoilt wilderness teeming with game; today, places like this are the exception rather than the rule. As trusted guardian of over half a million acres of untouched African bush, Singita is proud to play a role in the conservation, preservation and protection of such vulnerable land.

Our concessions, reserves, and properties represent some of the most pristine wilderness areas on the continent and we are dedicated to maintaining these incredible pieces of earth for future generations. In this short film, we celebrate Africa’s abundance and diversity of wildlife, and the fragile ecosystems of which they are a part.

Singita

Read more about Singita’s rich history, as well as what the future holds for this devoted pioneer of ecotourism. You can also follow the Conservation category on our blog for the latest news from our hands-on environmental sustainability teams.

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Mandela Day at Singita Sabi Sand

July 21, 2015 - Community Development, Events, Sabi Sand

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” – Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day 2015 at Singita Sabi Sand

Supporting the people who live in and around Singita’s reserves is an important part of maintaining the balance between sustainable tourism, community upliftment and environmental conservation. As part of this hands-on approach to community development, the staff at Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa celebrated Mandela Day this past Saturday with a feeding initiative for the children at two local care centres. Guests were invited to join in the making of sandwiches which were then packaged and delivered to the care centres in the neighbouring village of Justicia.

The voluntary involvement of the guests was especially touching, as was the visit by some of them to assist with the distribution of the sandwiches to 350 hungry children. It was a joyful and heart-rending tribute to Mr Mandela’s legacy and especially his commitment to stopping child hunger. It is a desire that Singita shares as part of its community development objectives; a dedication to saving the world, one sandwich at a time.

Mandela Day is held on 18 July every year to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday and in recognition of the life’s work of this great man. Please visit mandeladay.com to find out how you can become a Madiba changemaker and make every day Mandela Day.

You can find out more about Singita’s community projects here.

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A Winter Weekend at Singita Sweni Lodge Part 2

July 17, 2015 - Experience, Lodges and Camps, Singita Sweni Lodge

An important part of the magic of going on safari is the experience of intimacy with nature. Nothing can prepare you for the innate sense of peace that arises after only a few hours spent in the wild, in the company of some of the most beautiful and exotic creatures on earth, and in a spectacular, untamed landscape. This feeling of closeness with the natural world is never more apparent than during an evening spent under the stars, listening to the wind rustling in the trees and the distant call of a cackling hyena.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

Each one of Singita Sweni Lodge‘s six private suites features a large wooden deck suspended over the river below, and surrounded by knobthorn and marula woodland. Nestled in the corner of each deck is a luxurious outdoor bed, draped in a delicate layer of mosquito netting and a cosy goose-down duvet. At this time of year, which is cooler in South Africa, soft blankets and hot water bottles are slipped between the sheets for extra comfort. It is a wonderful spot to spend a quiet afternoon with a good book, and also provides an opportunity for guests to enjoy an entire night outside. The beds receive a special turndown after dark and are equipped with a handy kit of overnight essentials, including a flashlight and insect repellant.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

Sleeping on the deck in the cool night air is an almost indescribable sensation; there is an element of vulnerability certainly, but more than that, it brings a humbling awareness of one’s place in the world and harmony with the Earth. The smells and sounds of the bush soon become a rhythmic lullaby that sends guests into a long and restful slumber.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

The twittering of birds is usually the first thing one hears upon waking – rollers, drongos, kingfishers and even the haunting cry of the fish eagle echoing across the stillness. Come morning, it’s easy to catch a flash of feathers as they dart along the river bank looking for breakfast. The chill of dawn is thawed by a steaming cup of freshly-brewed coffee, best enjoyed from the comfort and warmth of the bed. A grunting hippo in the rockpool nearby is the only other sound one is likely to hear as the sun rises on another glorious winter’s day in the African bush.

Singita Sweni Lodge, Kruger National Park

Read part one of this blog mini-series from Singita Sweni Lodge which is a real hit with the foodies – a recipe for homemade pasta puttanesca, the perfect winter lunch! You can also find out more about the lodge in this short film on our Vimeo channel

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In the Kitchen at the Reimagined Singita Ebony Lodge

July 15, 2015 - Cuisine, Experience, Singita Ebony Lodge

The recent reimagining of Singita Ebony Lodge has created a contemporary safari experience unlike any other, combining the romance of a tented camp with the style of a classic bush lodge. This more modern interpretation of an African wilderness adventure is reflected throughout the lodge, including in the approach taken by the talented kitchen team.

Singita Sabi Sand, South Africa

Many of the global food trends charted by the industry’s sharpest minds have trickled down to our little piece of Africa, where creative and delicious creations are prepared throughout the day. And while the inspiration for the preparation and plating of these meals might be traditional (classic French cooking methods, beautiful but simple presentation), the ingredients can be much more innovative and nutritious.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

Tried-and-tested flavour combinations are paired with mouthwatering “superfoods”, making more healthy options than ever available at meal times. For example, breakfast features a raw, sugar- and fat-free granola as well as a decadent honey-roasted seed and nut option to have with seasonal fruit. Freshly-pressed vegetable juice, wheatgrass and kombucha are served alongside a selection of premium coffees and teas to suit every palate.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

This season, our chefs are inspired by juicy heirloom tomatoes, organic maple syrup, local goats cheese, candy-stripe beetroot and all manner of homemade jams, marmalades and chutneys. One of the most popular dishes on the constantly evolving menu is a pan-fried quail, served with wild mushrooms, sage and polenta – a real winter warmer! As ever, the dietary needs of our guests are always considered, and speciality menus are designed regularly by our chefs to take any and all preferences into account.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

The new Singita Ebony Lodge comprises 12 suites, each with its own private plunge pool. Guests are immersed in nature with huge open spaces and interiors inspired by a combination of local tribal culture and the animal kingdom. Read more »

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