March 2024

Setting off solo – the rewarding possibilities of a personal safari

in Experience
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Setting off solo – the rewarding possibilities of a personal safari

As we continuously observe shifts in market demands, solo travel has emerged as a significant trend, one that is growing and which spans genders and generations, with independent travellers seeking life-affirming adventures without waiting for anyone else’s permission to do so. But whether guests are embarking alone or travelling in groups, our team at Singita is committed to creating soulful safaris in exceptional places.

Solo travel is all about stepping away from your comfort zone in search of connection and ditching limiting, old-school travel stereotypes. So, what does that mean for solo travellers planning a safari to Africa? Singita’s Strategist, Lindy Rousseau, says, “We’re seeing an increased confidence in solo travellers; they simply want to slot into the rhythm of the experience on offer.”

Being in a luxury safari lodge is quite different from being in a city hotel, says Lindy and is extremely nurturing for guests travelling solo. "Life is laid back in the bush and a lot less regimented. There are so many activities for guests and our team is also incredibly warm and caring, so someone travelling on their own will just become part of the wider Singita family."

The bush is a nurturing place to travel solo, and our teams welcome individual guests into the Singita family

Nurturing spaces & encounters

In a recent Condé Nast Traveler article on 'The Best Solo Vacations to Take in 2024', Mary Holland highlights gorilla trekking in Rwanda and staying at Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House as an ideal trip for adventurers who are travelling on their own. She writes, “You don't have to worry about having enough travel companions in a group because regardless of whether you're alone or travelling with friends, guests are divided into groups of eight (dependent on their fitness level) where guides take them into Volcanoes National Park to track gorillas.”

Rwanda appeals to independent travellers because it’s the kind of destination where you can travel alone without feeling alone. The destination is all about solitude, beauty and 'otherworldliness'. As one of our guests said: just walking from the main lodge to her suite felt like a healing journey – the smell of the earth, the sounds of birds chirping, frogs croaking, the lush greenery and the sense of nature all add to that feeling of possibility and aliveness – that doesn’t need an audience.

Our properties in Rwanda are about the little details that make the difference for the solo traveller. The suites at Kwitonda are the perfect environment in which to relax without feeling isolated – with an in-room bar-deli and private plunge pool, and nooks for guests to enjoy a quiet drink or read a book.

An ideal experience for a solo traveller, gorilla trekking in Rwanda centres on peaceful reflection, and Singita's properties here are calming spaces perfect for solitude

Leaning into learning

Exploring and learning new things is an integral part of any Singita travel experience, and our Conservation Rooms at Singita Kwitonda and Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe provide interactive learning spaces where guests can discover more about wildlife and connect with our conservation experts and each other. A third Conservation Room is being built as part of the updates to Ebony Lodge in Singita Sabi Sand. Caring for wildlife and the planet is at the heart of the Singita story.

Wanting to make a positive impact drives an increasing number of travellers, and another drawcard for solo women travellers to Tanzania is the annual Serengeti Girls Run, a multi-stage, three-day run across our concession in the Grumeti Game Reserve. The event offers a wonderful way to give back to the community, and the spirit of camaraderie results in meaningful friendships that last long after the event is done and dusted. We have recently announced the inaugural Wagora MTB Ride, a new and exciting opportunity to participate in an iconic event while supporting the work of our non-profit partner in Tanzania – the Grumeti Fund – and its anti-poaching Scouts.

Purpose and adventure-driven travel allows guests to connect with others from all over the world around common interests and passions

A soulful solo safari

Wellness is an integral part of the Singita experience and one of the drivers of solo travel. But it's not about being formulaic and ticking off activities like yoga or meditation on a checklist; it's part of what the team refers to as 'wholeness'. The idea is to create a space of awareness and wonder – whether you are going on a bush walk, reflecting next to the N’wanetsi River, enjoying some stargazing while on a game drive, or soaking up a sound bath on the beautiful lawns at Singita Castleton.

While research has shown that more female travellers opt for solo travel than their male counterparts, Lindy Rousseau says it all depends on the individual and what they seek from the experience. “We have a guest who comes every single year and spends six to 10 days with us on his own. He stays at Singita Lebombo and spends his time walking in the bush with one of our guides. He is a successful businessperson, and this is his way of relaxing.”

She also points out that it’s not a case of one size fits all and that, as a brand, Singita is all about curating incredible safari experiences – and that solo travellers don’t need to be treated any differently. “Our staff is very intuitive. We aim to ensure that every guest staying with us has a memorable and, hopefully, life-changing experience.”

With no one-size-fits-all safari, we strive to make sure each guest's experience is meaningful, whether travelling solo or in a group

Denise Slabbert
By Denise Slabbert
Author

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