Surrounded by some of the region's – and the world’s – most impressive safari experiences, Singita Sweni hotel balances rugged luxury with romantic seclusion in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Six river-hugging rooms overlook the Sweni River, providing an intimate homebase for your exotic wildlife encounters. Private decks, a free minibar and outdoor/indoor showers all give this hideaway a comfortable, upscale trim.
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 the lodge facilities until their departure.
Double rooms from $3642.34 (ZAR54,319), 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 all meals and drinks, two game drives a day, walking safaris and transfers to the airstrip.
At the hotel
The riverside rooms have air-con, fireplaces, a game-viewing deck, outdoor and indoor showers and complimentary minibar. Suites have iPod docks.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms are on the banks of the river with excellent views, but the ones furthest from the main lodge offer a bit more seclusion.
The pool is surrounded by sunloungers and shaded areas.
The hotel spa in Lebombo village offers a full range of treatments, including body polishes, facials and massages, all using Dermalogica products.
You should take anti-malaria precautions. Cold nights, particularly between May and November, means some warm layers are essential.
Safaris are conducted in six-seater Land Rovers but private vehicles can be booked on request for the duration of the stay (ZAR7,500 a day): families must book a private safari vehicle (free for four or more with at least one child under 10).
Welcome. Kids can stay in any room; cots can be added to all, and the Pool Suite and one of the Sweni Suites can connect. Kids under two stay free; two–16 year-olds are charged 50 per cent of the full rate when sharing with an adult or another child.
By the fire on the terrace, with a view over the river.
African fusion cuisine includes delicious game dishes, such as ostrich, to tempt the adventurous. Dishes make extensive use of local fresh fruit and vegetables. The wine cellar is also exceptionally good.
All drinks at the bar are complimentary, except champagnes.
There are no last orders but early starts make late nights a rarity; wake up calls are usually at 5am.
Always available; meals can be served in your room and the lodge endeavours to meet all guests wishes.
Federal Air (www.fedair.com) flies direct to Satara airstrip twice a day 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 eight hours away; take the N12/N4 to Nelspruit, followed by the R40 to Hazyview and then the R536 toward Paul Kruger Gate. Pay to enter, and then follow the H11 for 12km toward Skukuza before heading north on the H1-2 towards Satara. The exit is three kilometres south of Satara. Beware of the gate closure times: 5.30pm between May and July, 6pm between March and April and August and October, and 6.30pm between November and February. The closest towns are Hoedspruit and Skukuza (both two to three hours by car).
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, cycling or on a safari in a 4x4.