Iconic African Safaris – a Bucket List in Luxury Travel

“Whether in an exclusive tented camp or a designer game lodge - a luxury safari in Kruger Park is often seen as the ultimate African journey. For those who like to experience the good life, two of South Africa’s most iconic and exclusive Safari brands, Londolozi and Singita boast the ultimate in game viewing and top-end hospitality. Our two Directors Richard and Christina tested them for you – spending a long weekend checking out how to safari in style.”

“Whether in an exclusive tented camp or a designer game lodge - a luxury safari in Kruger Park is often seen as the ultimate African journey. For those who like to experience the good life, two of South Africa’s most iconic and exclusive Safari brands, Londolozi and Singita boast the ultimate in game viewing and top-end hospitality. Our two Directors Richard and Christina tested them for you – spending a long weekend checking out how to safari in style.”

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We all have a bucket list! And for many international guests arriving in South Africa, a big 5 safari in the world famous Kruger Park is a top contender for a once in a lifetime travel experience. With 19,633 square kilometres of reserve and housing some of the world’s most famous game lodges one is spoilt for luxurious choices. Whether in an exclusive tented camp or a designer game lodge – a luxury safari in Kruger Park is often seen as the ultimate African journey.

For those who like to experience the good life, two of South Africa’s most iconic and exclusive Safari brands, Londolozi and Singitaboast the ultimate in game viewing and top-end hospitality. Our two Directors Richard and Christina tested them for you – spending a long weekend checking out how to safari in style.

First stop was Londolozi made up of 5 adjoining but individual lodges along the banks of the Sand River, in the Sabi sabi reserve. Ranging from the uber exclusive private Granite suites to the Founders lodge, and the more African authenticity of Tree Camp, Pioneers Camp and Varty Camp, all the lodges are beautifully appointed and give great views of the river and the animals that come down to drink.

The game drives were some of the most exciting, authentic safari experiences to date and having lived in South Africa for almost ten years and spending a great deal of time in the bush, a leopard sighting has so far alluded Christina and Richard. But with the Londolozi brand almost synonymous with the word Leopard the weekend was to change that spectacularly and how!

Just twenty minutes into their first drive a male leopard was spotted lazing atop a termite nest, the next morning they spent two amazing hours watching a female and her two young cubs playing close to the river and later the rare sight of two leopards mating for over an hour. All the big 5 are plentiful in the reserve with many coming down to the river in full view and inquisitive antelope species were spotted up close and personal in camp.

Said Richard: “It really was a remarkable and emotional experience. Apart from the unforgettable game drives, Londolozi delivered on so many fronts, the history, the setting and comfort. But for me the stand out was the unbeatable ambience they create, the true welcoming, homely approach really makes you feel part of the Londolozi family. From the game rangers to management and service staff, the people energy and interaction is very special”

The following morning the journey then took Christina and Richard three hours North and East by car to the more remote region of the greater Kruger Park reserve and the opulence of Singita Lebombo. Situated right on the border with Mozambique, it boasts a lofty location, high on a rocky outcrop, with views out over a gorge and the hills beyond. Lebombo’s reputation is just as lofty, as much for its design, décor and signature Singita service as for its game experience, in both regards it certainly lived up to that reputation.

Said Christina “Visually Lebombo is just spectacular and consists of 15 loft style impeccably designed suites. The look is very contemporary, with lots of steel & wood, designer pieces and use of organic materials – with each lodge encased in a glass surround and perched on the side of a steep hill. The attention to detail in the rooms is nothing short of sensational – with ipod station, Nespresso machine, a sun hat and high-end cosmetics – as well as complimentary chocolate bars.”

We slept on the veranda outside under a mosquito net listening to the noise of the bush and the disconcerting roars of lions in the distance.

“As well as the luxury setting, Lebombo also encompasses all the other key Singita ingredients” says Richard “the service is impeccable and you are pampered from the moment you arrive, although service is very discreet with a focus on privacy. Fine dining, a famous wine cellar, knowledgeable sommeliers, swimming pool, spa and gym are all part of the Singita exclusivity”

Continued Richard “again the game drives for me were particularly memorable. Not that the animal sightings were hugely different from other experiences, but more this sense of isolation and space. We didn’t see another vehicle the whole time and felt like we had the reserve to ourselves”

With other Singita lodges like Pamushana their ultimate secret in Zimbabwe and the Grumeti lodges on the plains of Tanzania, the Singita portfolio reaches out across the rest of Southern and Eastern Africa.