Visitors to all of Singita’s lodges and camps are treated to a daily feast of locally-grown produce and inspired traditional fare from our industrious kitchen teams. Our elegant cuisine is no doubt one of the highlights for our guests, but another common talking point among them is the spectacular table settings at each meal.
Taking pride of place among these are exquisitely hand-crafted wire underplates, expertly created by a group of Zulu weavers in Durban, South Africa. These talented ladies work with Singita designers to develop unique designs and colour palettes for each lodge that echo the distinctive style and environment of that property. These designs are then interpreted by local crafters who create these striking, handmade objets d’art which are also available for sale at each of the Singita Boutique & Galleries.
Behind these beautifully woven objects is a story of hope and inspiration, and a shining example of one of the many successful community partnerships that are central to Singita’s philosophy of giving back. We hold a series of workshops to teach unemployed women from both urban and rural areas how to weave the underplate designs, that are both modern works of art and practical to use at home.
Our signature tableware line is continually growing by utilizing the skills of these Zulu weavers who also create napkin rings, bread baskets and drinks coasters. Singita table accessories are manufactured to the highest quality standards, are eco-friendly and fairly traded, ensuring sustainable incomes for more than 350 home-based craft producers in four different communities.
Find out more about our community projects by reading these blog posts, or visiting the Community section of our new website.
It was a proud day last week when students graduated from the Singita School of Cooking 18 month training programme in the Kruger National Park. Well qualified to apply for a Commis Chef position in a professional kitchen at a Singita lodge, or any other safari lodge or hotel, six enthusiastic students now head out to take kitchens in the area by storm.
Chef Skills Developer at the Singita School of Cooking, Oriel Mbowane, himself previously a Sous Chef at Singita Sweni, was actively involved in the Graduation activities and is pleased with the student successes achieved at the school.
What distinguishes this school from similar training institutions, is the opportunity it offers for trainee chefs to practise their craft in the kitchens of Singita’s award-winning lodges. Students during the programme were supported by professional chefs employed at Singita who voluntarily shared their culinary and service expertise with the young talent.
Caroline Burke, General Manager Singita Kruger National Park says: ‘In remote, rural areas equipping even one person with a good job and sound prospects, has a burgeoning effect on members of their immediate family, as well as the broader community. Besides providing a much-needed income, these young people also provide inspiration, energy and leadership to their peers in under-developed areas’.
The school is a living example of Singita’s inspiring approach to ‘giving back’ at each of its 10 different lodges in four destinations in Africa, and of its modern conservation model that recognizes the need for a finely tuned relationship between wildlife, tourism and local communities.
We’re looking forward to the next intake of students – the fifth intake at the school – to commence their training as budding chefs this month. Follow this space.
Further information on how you can become involved in this exciting community development programme can also be obtained from Pam Richardson, the Singita’s Group HR and Community Development Manager: Pam.firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Singita we don’t stand apart from the environment, we immerse ourselves in it.
We aim to create sustainable experiences; and we believe that in order to do this we need to develop long-term relationships with the communities surrounding our nine lodges and camps. We continually work at empowering these communities in tangible ways.
To date we’ve realised a number of successful projects and these include: building schools, supporting agricultural initiatives, financing small businesses, developing feeding plans and extensive training in the areas of conservation and luxury hospitality.