Caring for hundreds of thousands of acres of vast wilderness is Singita’s core vision; a commitment to preserve and protect these fragile ecosystems for future generations. The 12 lodges and camps in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe support this vision by funding ongoing conservation projects and community development initiatives, and are a stunning example of sustainable tourism in action.
Singita’s Conservation Committee convenes regularly in order to share best practice between properties, as well as knowledge and experience between members. The committee’s annual conservation report highlights the work of the hands-on conservation teams at each property, who put Singita’s principles into practice. Here is a summary:
Conserving biological assets
The levies paid to the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and Kruger National Park for Singita’s concessions in those regions help to fund their important conservation efforts, such as game censuses, fence maintenance, anti-poaching and snare patrols. The same is true in Tanzania, where Singita Grumeti pays concessions fees and works alongside government authorities to implement wildlife management policies and practices. Singita also manages Singita Pamushana Lodge on behalf of the non-profit Malilangwe Trust, with all proceeds from the lodge benefitting numerous conservation and community outreach and development programmes. Each property employs an environmental team to, amongst other projects, maintain the road network, combat erosion, remove alien vegetation and perform controlled burns.
Anti-poaching and security
The alarming increase in rhino poaching throughout Southern Africa is of critical concern to the conservation teams who work with dedicated units at each property, including highly trained tracker dogs who perform an invaluable function apprehending and deterring poachers. The anti-poaching team at Singita Sabi Sand is further assisted by South African National Parks, South African National Defence Force and the South African Police Service; a co-ordinated effort that aims to secure the safety and preservation of the species in the reserve.
Wildlife monitoring and research
Restoring and conserving the biodiversity of each reserve through wildlife management is one of Singita’s most important roles as custodian of these wilderness areas. Ongoing scientific research helps to determine how each ecosystem works and results in activities that ensure natural functioning of the key ecological processes. This is achieved by recording daily wildlife sightings, especially of key species, like leopards at Singita Sabi Sand. In fact, the daily sightings data and records have been kept since the inception of Singita Ebony Lodge more than 20 years ago, making it one of the most comprehensive continual studies on wildlife to date.
Reintroduction and restocking of locally extinct or vulnerable fauna
Helping to increase numbers of dwindling wildlife is another important function of Singita’s conservation teams. At Singita Serengeti (Tanzania) and Singita Pamushana (Zimbabwe), the focus is on rhinos, and a 15-year-old project in the latter region has achieved substantial increases in population numbers of both black and white rhino, to the extent rhino are being relocated to restock other conservation areas. At Singita Serengeti, a reintroduction project is underway for the East African sub-species of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli).
Caring for the land
The process of environmental care is incredibly complex and includes maintaining the integrity of the reserve’s plant-life and wildlife, fire management, the prevention of erosion, water management, the building of roads, and ensuring minimal impact caused by the presence of the lodges. Alien plants are eradicated, infected flora is controlled and roads are realigned to reduce impact and avoid effects such as erosion.
Environmentally conscious hospitality
All Singita properties support low-impact ecotourism with a policy of having ‘fewer beds in larger areas,’ and ‘touching the earth lightly’; a concept that plays a major role in the way our lodges operate. Singita Grumeti partners with Bioregional, an award-winning social enterprise which champions a better, more sustainable way to live with the One Planet Living programme. The installation of a new solar power plant at Singita Kruger National Park has been a major milestone in Singita’s sustainability journey, as well as the excellent progress being made to reduce the volume of single-use plastic bottled water.
Conservation lives hand-in-hand with ecotourism and community development at Singita. We believe it’s the responsible way to maintain and extend the sustainability of our wildlife reserves. You can find out more about Singita’s vision on our website.