Category Archives: Sabi Sand

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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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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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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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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The Radical Reinvention of Singita Ebony Lodge

July 13, 2015 - Accommodation,Lodges and Camps,Singita Ebony Lodge

As part of a new vision for its offering in the Sabi Sand, Singita recently unveiled a complete re-design of its original lodge, Singita Ebony, in South Africa. This property is where the story began 22 years ago and completes Singita’s reinvention of its private 45,000 acre game reserve within the Sabi Sand, following the 2014 renovation of Singita Boulders Lodge and Singita Castleton.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

Situated on the banks of the Sand River, Singita Ebony Lodge was already considered one of Africa’s most iconic locations and was revolutionary in its pioneering approach to the modern luxury safari experience. The new Ebony will takes safari style to a new level altogether, following its transformation by design team Cécile & Boyd, working alongside architect Sally Tsiliyiannis from GAPP Architects. Their unique vision has created a fresh and contemporary interpretation of the classic safari lodge, combining tented camp and bush lodge style. Guests are immersed in nature with huge open spaces and interiors inspired by a combination of local tribal culture and the animal kingdom.

The new Singita Ebony Lodge comprises 12 suites, each with its own private plunge pool. Dramatic changes include internal and external walls being replaced by canvas and glass to create new safari tent-style suites to maximise views and space. The entire front wall of each suite between the bedroom and the veranda has been removed, allowing light to flood in. Outdoor pavilion decks – ideal for dining and relaxing – are suspended above the river banks as if hanging from the trees.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

The updated interiors feature curated still-life collections of antiques and artefacts, as well as vintage campaign furniture from the Bailes family collection. Materials like wood, iron, steel and aged bonze hark back to the 19th century, along with oversized sepia photography, glamorous leopard and zebra print upholstery that complements bold graphic tribal patterned murals. Replacing animal skins, Singita Ebony Lodge now features printed animal patterns on textured fabric to help attune guests to their surroundings within the context of Singita’s pivotal conservation philosophy.

Ebony’s central sociable hub will be the very heart of the lodge – a place to meet, relax, socialise and take in the view. The sitting room has been moved to the very front of the lodge, closer to nature, to create a contemplative space. The style is reflective of what Singita calls the ‘New Nomad’, the traveller who wants to return to nature but stay connected. A beautiful marble and cast iron table is the furniture centrepiece for this concept – it is a traveller’s desk with smart tools, a private dining room table for entertaining or a bar to enjoy an evening gin & tonic in one.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

Singita’s evolution from a single-lodge company to one that is now responsible for a million acres of land, operating 12 lodges and camps in five wilderness regions across three African countries, has always been characterised by a pioneering spirit and a sincere desire to preserve wilderness areas for future generations. Its low-impact, high-value tourism model – fewer guests paying a premium for the privilege of experiencing vast open spaces – exists to sustain these wilderness areas and their resident wildlife, while providing an exclusive safari experience.

To discover Singita Ebony Lodge for yourself, please contact our Reservations team who will design an unforgettable safari getaway just for you.

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Design by Nature: Singita Boulders Lodge

July 02, 2015 - Experience,Lodges and Camps,Sabi Sand,Singita Boulders Lodge

Nature has always been an inspiration for the aesthetic at Singita’s lodges, and no less so at Singita Boulders Lodge in South Africa. This new short film takes the viewer on an evocative journey through the design process with interior designer Boyd Ferguson and Singita CEO, Luke Bailes, to reveal a space rich with colour and texture. Inspired by the essential elements of fire, earth, wind and water, every detail combines to create a harmonious palette that integrates seamlessly with the raw beauty of the landscape beyond.

Singita Boulders Lodge

Rustic, handmade furnishings made from fossilised tree stumps, slabs of solid stone, wrought iron and leather are balanced with the soft, sensual feeling of a sheep-skin rug, natural flax bed linen and cloud-like cotton towels. These subtle layers of luxury blend soulful, sensual Africa with high design to instil a sense of tranquillity and ease guests into the rhythm of safari life.

Singita Boulders Lodge

Singita Boulders Lodge is set along the banks of the Sand River in Singita’s privately owned concession within the Sabi Sand Reserve. Follow us on Vimeo to see more short films about the lodge, the landscape in which it sits and the stunning wildlife at Singita Sabi Sand.

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Design Details: Singita Castleton

June 01, 2015 - Accommodation,Experience,Lodges and Camps,Sabi Sand,Singita Castleton

Singita Castleton, South Africa

Set in park-like indigenous grasslands fronting onto bushveld vistas, Singita Castleton is an private-use lodge unlike any other. Imbued with a history acquired over generations, this private getaway offers guests a never-to-be-forgotten bush experience in the heart of the Sabi Sand. Designed to create an intimate experience for family and friends, Singita Castleton offers the seclusion of a private home, where every need is attended to in a surrounding that is infinitely peaceful and secluded.

Singita Castleton, South Africa

A palette of warm, earthy tones, cloudy greys and dried parchment grass colours complement a series of South African botanical art etchings commissioned exclusively for the house, each one reflecting an example of local indigenous flora. The botanical imagery is repeated in the signature wallpaper while elsewhere in the house collected installations with historical references add an element of nostalgia to the décor.

Singita Castleton, South Africa

Honest, humble textures of worn leather, linen and ticking stripe fabrics pair with bagged washed walls, pewter chandeliers and hand-woven grass lampshades, evoking the classic simplicity of a bygone era. Honest meals made in the welcoming farmhouse kitchen are served on a time-worn heritage dining room table. Hand-picked antiques, horn and tribal artefacts are layered with modern counterparts to create an eclectic boutique destination. The study is a quiet corner of solitude, decorated with accents of bone and prints. This pared-down aesthetic allows the house to breathe, harmonising English furniture with Asian accessories introduced by the sea traders who sailed down the East coast of the continent, and African influences.

Singita Castleton, South Africa

The tended lawns embrace secluded garden bungalow suites, each offering additional privacy and retreat. The bedrooms harmoniously layer antique furnishings with industrial elements, linens and hand-loomed cotton in painterly floral prints, cosy throws and comfortable down pillows. There is a delicate balance of masculine and feminine sensibilities in muted tones with touches of sepia. The romantic bathrooms balance delicate details with metal doors and anglepoise lamps. Basins set into oversized workbenches reference vintage industrial design, but in a modern conversation, fresh and interested.

Singita Castleton, South Africa

Singita Castleton, South Africa

And, in true African lodge style, deep verandahs frame vast views to create additional living space designed to be lounged in during the still heat of the afternoon and retreated to while absorbing the subdued evening sounds of the surrounding bush. The garden lends itself to traditional lawn games – the sack race, egg and spoon, perhaps a game of croquet. The spa offers a heavenly simplicity with references to vintage industrial elements. An outdoor boma for fireside dinners under the stars completes the authentic African bush experience.

DISCOVER SINGITA CASTLETON:

Formerly the family home of Singita founder Luke Bailes’ grandfather, Singita Castleton is set within 45,000 acres of private reserve. The lodge consists of a main house with communal living spaces, and accommodation located in six individual cottages within the grounds, catering for up to 12 people. Please contact our Reservations team to find out more about this exclusive-use property.

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Singita Ebony Lodge Comes Full Circle

May 08, 2015 - Accommodation,Experience,Sabi Sand,Singita Ebony Lodge

Singita was originally founded in 1993 with the opening of Ebony Lodge on family owned land that became part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. When Luke Bailes, owner of Singita, bought and consolidated the land from his grandfather, he set about restoring it.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

In 1992, Bailes asked his old school friend, Mark Witney, if he was interested in taking time out from the city to open a new safari venture. He was. Soon after, Witney moved to the bush where he assumed multiple roles for many years – lodge manager, safari guide, maintenance man, and even relief pilot for the inter-lodge Cessna Caravan shuttle service – before employing an assistant lodge manager.

Twenty-two years later, Singita Ebony Lodge is set to reopen after an extensive reinvention, elevating the lodge to the same forward-thinking standard of innovation as the recently reopened Singita Boulders Lodge. The end result is a conscious departure from what may have been expected – or anything that has gone before. Instead, a quintessential safari aesthetic that captures the spirit and sentiment of the original while adding a youthful, relaxed charm, has been added.

Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa

Singita’s evolution from a single-lodge company to one that is now responsible for more than half a million acres of land, operating 12 lodges and camps in five wilderness regions across three African countries, has always been characterised by a pioneering spirit and a sincere desire to preserve wilderness areas for future generations. Its low-impact, high-value tourism model – fewer guests paying a premium for the privilege of experiencing vast open spaces – exists to sustain these wilderness areas and their resident wildlife, while providing an exclusive safari experience.

Singita Ebony Lodge stands on the banks of the Sand River in the heart of South Africa’s “big cat country”, beneath the leafy branches of the ancient and enormous trees for which it is named. The lodge is due to re-open in mid-June 2015; please contact our Reservations team to find out more.

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