The lodges in Singita Kruger National Park were built on the promise to “touch the earth lightly”. This commitment has been manifested in the way the lodges were constructed; how they operate today; and how guests experience the wildlife and the natural habitat. The company’s impact on the land is regularly monitored both internally and externally by the Kruger National Park and Singita strives for continuous improvement in this field. Singita Kruger National Park’s concession area is managed by the Park and Singita operates in accordance with the Park’s strict wildlife and environmental requirements, while playing an important role in preserving this precious asset. Singita Lebombo suites have been designed around the concept of an eagle’s next, allowing for elevated views over the Kruger National Park , the rocky outcrops of the Lebombo mountains, and the area’s trademark Euphorbia trees. Singita Sweni, on the other hand, lies close to the Sweni River. This tranquil sanctuary is built on stilts with decks of dark timber, giving it a grounded feeling of being integral to nature.
One of the first protected conservation areas in the world was the Kruger National Park, which was formed in 1898. 6.4 million acres in size, the park has, for over a century, taken care of an extraordinary diversity of wildlife within its vast and wild expanse. In 2001, in order to ensure its future sustainability, the Park decided to release approximately 3% of its more remote areas to concessionaires for periods of 25 years. These concessions generate funds, via sustainable tourism, to help ensure the continued protection of the Park and its wildlife. Singita was awarded one of these concessions and permitted to construct lodges, accommodating a maximum of 42 guests, as well as 150kms of private road in this unexplored part of the Park. Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges were the result of this agreement and so it comes as no surprise that their design and construction abided by a “touching the earth lightly” philosophy.
The “touch the earth lightly” concept plays a major role in the way the lodges operate and every effort is made to respect and protect the area, so that it will be conserved for future generations. In keeping with our philosophy of “fewer beds in larger areas”, and efforts to minimize the lodges’ footprint, there are just 21 suites in the entire 33,000 acre private concession. Our respect for the environment does not mean, however, that we have sacrificed anything in terms of guest service or comfort. Both Lebombo and Sweni lodges are consistently hailed for excellence in service, including accommodations, meals and general comfort, and in the experiences offered in this remote and pristine wildlife area.
Sustainable tourism has proved to be a massively effective way of generating revenue and support for conservation measures. The fees that Singita pays for the use of its private concession play an important role in supporting the conservation efforts underway in the Kruger National Park.
Assistance in the protection of biological assets
Singita’s concession within the Kruger National Park is protected by SANParks (South African National Parks), SANDF (South African National Defence Force) and the SAPS (South African Police Service) to protect the wildlife and enforce anti-poaching measures. The fees we pay for the concession greatly support these efforts and we facilitate with all procedures where and when required.
Land conservation and maintenance
Our team’s responsibilities, in conjunction with the Kruger National Park, include co-ordinating the combating of erosion, protecting highly sensitive areas, clearing alien invasive species, doing controlled burns and maintaining the roads.
Monitoring of the vegetation resource, large mammal populations and aquatic systems is on-going.
Singita Kruger National Park supports the Ground Hornbill Project by giving regular updates and GPS co-ordinates of sightings to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), as well as recording all raptor nests and supplying this information to EWT.
Low-impact ecotourism is supported by our policy of having ‘fewer beds in larger areas’. Our lodge is due to be 52% powered by renewable solar energy from March this year. We recycle a large proportion of our waste produced as part of a community programme, whereby it is sorted and sold. We have eliminated the use of plastic bottled water on the property. A closely monitored resource usage report is produced each month, and external environmental audits are conducted twice a year, with consistently high scores.
Sustainable tourism is what allows Singita to be able to carry out this important work. Each guest represents a valuable contribution towards conservation measures in the reserve. Not only does the revenue from tourism support conservation initiatives, but just by coming to see this place, putting value on it and sharing the beauty with others, it inherently makes a world of difference.
For guests seeking to make a larger contribution, donations are accepted and welcome. Please speak to our Singita Lebombo or Sweni Lodge Managers if you would like more information or contact Singita's Group HR and Community Development Manager Pam Richardson at 27 21 683 3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.