Tag Archives: Empowering Local Communities

Sustainability is Thriving at Singita Grumeti

November 12, 2015 - Community Development,Cuisine,Singita Grumeti,Sustainable Conservation

One of the most successful ongoing community development projects at Singita Grumeti is the Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society (GHOMACOS), supplying the lodge kitchens with a constant flow of high-quality, freshly harvested, locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. Lodge guests are often surprised at the freshness and diversity of the juices, salads, vegetables, desserts and sorbets on the menus at Singita Grumeti, given the remote location of the five lodges and camps. Many guests are also appreciative of the fact that the food they’re enjoying is locally grown, benefits small-scale producers, and hasn’t clocked up unnecessary transport miles.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Launched in January 2010 with a handful of vegetable farmers and an annual turnover of around $74,000, GHOMACOS’s membership has grown to 53 small agricultural businesses active in eight local villages in the local communities. Business has grown dramatically since then, with last year’s turnover totalling more than a quarter of a million dollars; income that flows directly into local households.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

GHOMACOS’s members are predominantly fruit and vegetable farmers, but also include pig, cattle and poultry farmers, egg producers, and bee-keepers. There is a dedicated GHOMACOS market place in the village closest to Singita Sasakwa Lodge, where members can display and sell their wares during the week. Here, drivers from each kitchen arrive to collect orders, and often the chefs themselves pay a visit to peruse the produce, checking quality and offering constructive feedback to the farmers.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Not only does this type of successful small-scale farming keep the lodge kitchens amply supplied, it has stimulated the local economy, provided self-sustaining jobs and, from a conservation perspective, reduced the community’s reliance on bush meat and illegal hunting by providing alternative sources of food for families. For many of these rural communities, the gradual shift from subsistence farming to practising farming as a business has been life changing.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Singita Grumeti provides support and training to all members in areas such as farming techniques, sourcing the best seeds and understanding the importance of quality, packaging, and timely deliveries. Training extends to administrative, financial and marketing skills, and Singita Grumeti also funds an annual financial audit.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Singita’s vision has always been to protect and preserve conservation areas in iconic wildlife destinations through the interrelation of ecotourism, community development and conservation. GHOMACOS is a great example of a sustainably run project in partnership with a local community. Members of GHOMACOS are experiencing tangible benefits from living in close proximity to the reserve, as Singita Grumeti pays premium prices for their goods. In turn, this encourages the local community to support the protection of wildlife, habitat and natural resources in one of Tanzania’s most iconic safari destinations.

Grumeti Horticultural and Marketing Co-op Society

Singita Grumeti’s other community development projects in the region include the Environmental Education Centre; a scholarship fund for local schoolchildren; and improved access to fresh water. You can read all about these projects here.

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Wonderful Zulu Weaving at Singita Boutique & Galleries

May 01, 2013 - Community Development,Lodges and Camps

Traditional Zulu weavers create beautiful underplates for Singita's lodges

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.

Traditional Zulu weavers create beautiful underplates for Singita's lodges

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.

The hand-woven under plates in the dining room at Singita Ebony Lodge

Hand-woven wire underplates at Singita Pamushana Lodge

Find out more about our community projects by reading these blog posts, or visiting the Community section of our new website.

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Graduation Day at Singita School of Cooking

April 18, 2012 - Community Development,Events

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.r@singita.com.

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Singita and the Community

April 23, 2010 - Community Development

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.

Singita and the Community

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.

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