For solitude and silence, wildlife and warm hospitality, look no further than South Africa's Singita Ebony hotel, overlooking the Sand River in the Kruger National Park. Vast plains and exotic animals surround the suites at this rustic-chic safari lodge, each decorated in a soft, stylish palate. The location may be remote but the quality is all luxury, with each room's private pool, open fireplace and private deck for viewing wildlife.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of South African wine; guests staying three or more nights get a South African wine tasting experience
11am, but guests may use lodge facilities until their departure.
Double rooms from $1726.99 (ZAR25,789), excluding tax at 15 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of ZAR55.00 per person per night prior to arrival.
Rates include airstrip transfers, all meals and drinks, two game drives a day and safari walks.
At the hotel
All rooms have indoor/outdoor showers, double-sided fireplace, air-con, a game-viewing deck and a complimentary minibar. Suites have iPod docks.
Our favourite rooms
The suites further away from the main lodge and restaurant offer additional seclusion.
Each suite has its own pool. There is a secluded and shaded main pool, too.
There are spa treatments on offer, such as massages, facials and body polishes. All use Dermalogica products.
Anti-malaria precautions should be taken. Bring a zoom lens for the best photos. You'll need warm layers for those chilly morning starts.
The is also a health spa, gym, library and a boutique selling safari gear and African artefacts. Private safari vehicles can be booked on request for the duration of the stay (ZAR7,500 a day).
Welcome. Under-2s stay free; 2–16 year-olds are charged 50 per cent of the full rate when sharing with an adult or another child. Families must book a private safari vehicle (free for families of four or more with at least one child under 10).
Breakfast and lunch are served on the lower deck overlooking the Sand River; eggs Benedict with biltong is delicious. In the evening the Shangaan choir and the warmth of the boma fire are the perfect backdrop to haute cuisine Africa style.
You can enjoy your drinks anywhere you choose. All drinks, except champagnes, are included in the room rate.
Dinner is normally served at 7.30pm after the evening safari. 5am starts mean late nights are the exception.
Meals can be served in your room and staff are on call to answer your requests.
Federal Air (www.fedair.com) flies direct to Singita Sabi Sand from Johannesburg’s International Airport. Kruger Mpumalaga International Airport can be reached with SA Airlink (www.saairlink.co.za). Private air charters are also available on request. Transfers from the airstrip are included.
Johannesburg is five and a half hours away; take the N12/N4 to Nelspruit, followed by the R40 to Hazyview and then the R536 toward Paul Kruger Gate. After 36km, pass Lisbon Store, then turn left onto a gravel road. After paying to enter at Shaw’s Gate, follow the signs a further 28km to the lodge. There is guest parking. The closest towns are Hazyview (an hour) and Nelspruit (one hour 45 minutes). v
Worth getting out of bed for
The Kruger National Park has spectacular scenery, with abundant wildlife to match. The south-western section of the park, around the Crocodile and Olifants rivers, is thickly wooded and home to white rhinos and buffalo. The plains in the eastern section of the park are favoured by giraffes, wildebeests, impala and zebras, which also makes the area popular with lions. After a few days in the park you would be unlucky not to have spotted the Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo and black rhino. Go walking, fishing, cycling or on a safari in a 4x4.