Africa Hotels Travel

Singita Ebony – The Lodge

This is part two of my travel series to South Africa. For the complete series, please see below:

Traveling to South Africa – South African Airways and Federal Air
Singita Ebony – The Lodge
Singita Ebony – Day to Night
Singita Sweni – The Lodge
Singita Sweni – Day to Night
Cape Grace
Cape Town – The Peninsula Tour and The Boat House
Cape Town – City and Winelands Tour
Cape Town – V&A Waterfront, Test Kitchen, Fork and Table Mountain
24 Hours in Istanbul

After our very long almost two days of travel from California, we finally landed in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. This is where our first safari lodge, Singita Ebony, was located.

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We have a few friends who are  safari regulars, and when we were planning our trip, they all shared the same recommendation in common – Singita. Singita runs four lodges in South Africa and we stayed at two on this trip – two down, two to go!

Singita Ebony was about a ten minute drive from the airstrip, and soon the vehicle pulled up and dropped us off at the lodge’s entrance to check in. Even as we were just walking up, we could already tell that this was going to be a special place.

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Ebony is described as having a very colonial decor, and you can see its influence all throughout the lodge. The main lodge, where we checked in, was absolutely stunning – beautiful browns, reds, and tans. You instantly were struck with a feeling that you could just sit anywhere and relax.

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All throughout the main lodge there were amazing pieces of decor. When we first entered I was a little taken aback by all of the animal product and taxidermy – by the end of our Africa trip though we were used to seeing these pieces everywhere! We even brought back a few of our own.

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Connected immediately to the main lodge was a bar seating area and then further in, an outdoor and indoor dining area.

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There was also very respectable wine cellar – I wish I had more time while there to try out more wines – Singita has the largest private collection in all of South Africa.

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From the main lodge level, you could walk down a small flight of stairs to a casual outdoor seating space – this is where we took our longer breakfasts and lunches. There was a great view of the river from here.

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You could often see animals like hippos, elephants in the distance while eating on this deck.

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But there were also animals that came much closer as well – hello, Bambi!

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After we checked in (during which I was served the single best and freshest lemonade I’ve ever had in my life), we were walked over to our individual lodge. On the way, we saw Ebony’s larger pool which was entirely empty during our stay, probably because each of the lodges had their own individual pools.

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Singita Ebony Room Entrance

By the way, a few times on this pathway we encountered monkeys! They are everywhere on the property and would immediately scatter when we came along. This one was one of the least camera shy!

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Okay, now back to our lodge. When we finally entered, I was speechless – everything was beautiful! I’ll be using that word a lot during this entire Africa series.

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The living room was like a mini version of the main lodge, with many comfortable seating options.

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There was a full stocked mini bar (all complimentary) with all kinds of food and drink. I loved the limoncello!

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There were also all kinds of lovely decor details in this area. I loved this book and magnifying glass.

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From the sitting room, you entered the bedroom on the right.

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Some details that I particularly loved, like the leather wrapping for the mosquito net, which would be open and draped when you returned in the evening after dinner.

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This full watercolor set and paper left on a writing desk in case you felt inspired – great for adults and children alike!

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There was also Nespresso and tea available in the rooms, along with a fresh jar each day filled with rusk – South Africa’s version of biscotti, made in house by the pastry chef.

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After the bedroom, you walked through into the bathroom. Our room had three sinks and two showers! I loved that the toiletries were dermalogica, and that lip balm was included because your lips do get really dry in the air.

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In the back of the lodge, there was a separate large dressing area with two closets and a big area to set your luggage down. There was also a large container where you stored your laundry each day – like many safari operators, laundry is free (you get dusty on safari!).

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Back in the main bathroom, there was also a beautiful free standing huge soaking tub with bath salts and candles to set the mood.

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Right next to the bathtub was the entrance to go outside to your private deck.

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Immediately to your right outside, was an outdoor shower.

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To the left was the rest of the deck – it was a huge expanse, basically two seating areas for two (plush chairs and also recliners), with a heated plunge pool!

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I loved coming out here to take naps and have a cup of tea. What was really wonderful was being surrounded by animals, even while outside reading on the porch.

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Our view from the deck was also breath taking – on our first day, we settled in outside and right there was a parade of elephants. How great is that?

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All right – so there it is- the first half of my review of the wonderful Singita Ebony. Words can’t fully describe how beautiful we found it here, and how happy we were to be in such a place after our long days of traveling. Next time I’ll be taking you through a summary of our days spent at Ebony – a day to night piece covering game drives, eating and more!

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  • Modestine
    September 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Wow!!! This is aspiring!

    • Katherine
      September 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Thank you! It was amazing!

  • Caitlin
    September 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Would you consider this a place you could honeymoon?

    • Katherine
      September 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Yes! Perfect place for it!

  • Adele
    September 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    The lodge looks super cosy & well stocked with lots of goodies!
    Have a fab Thursday Katherine xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  • Belen
    September 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Wow! This is incredible!!!! I cannot believe the hippos and elephants and the picture with you in the porch. Wow!!!

    I want to know: Too many bugs? Big? Scary? I hate hate hate flying bugs (says the person that owns three reptiles and feeds them crickets every night). I know…

    Also: Do you set up a budget ahead for a vacation and try to stick to it? Or more like go with the flow? I usually set up a total amount and try to stick to it, but I think sometimes I go overboard.

    Can’t wait for the upcoming posts about this trip!

    And BTW, loved the jacket. I wish I had your sleeves problem, I have the opposite. My arms are way too long!

    • Katherine
      September 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      No major bugs, it was just the start of their spring/summer so not the height but the days were already getting quite hot (near 90 at their peak!).

      I usually have a bit of a budget in my head and yes…I usually spend more. Actually for most safari lodges you will end up paying for them beforehand in a deposit and final payment, and then they are basically all inclusive – food, game drives, everything. So helpful for setting a budget in that respect.

      Thank you for your kind comments on the jacket! Lucky you with long arms, you never have to struggle with T-Rex arms like me!! 🙂

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    September 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve never had the urge to visit Africa but after seeing these photos, I’m tempted.

  • Lara
    September 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I love elephants! I didn’t like the taxidermy though. You seem to be like my brother in that you frequently explore new places. I tend to go to the same familiar destinations over and over. I want to go here one day and see the elephants. Would you recommend September as a good month to travel there or would it be better when its cooler?

    • Katherine
      September 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you Lara! I go back to the same places too – probably most often are Hawaii/Paris and then HK/China/Taiwan. But I do like to try out different places if we can, I try to go to one new a year 🙂

      I found September to be a very good time! Most people recommend May – October for this area if you want a drier season 🙂

  • Lucy
    September 20, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Wow absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your adventures. I’ve never really had the urge to go to Africa or a safari but these images have completely changed my mind!! Can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip.

    • Katherine
      September 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Thank you! It was a blast, I think safari is for everybody!

  • Trang
    September 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Kat – Just emailed you some suggestions for South Africa. Love your travel posts. I can’t wait to read about what you discovered on safari!

    • Katherine
      September 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Hi Trang, your email is amazing. I should have emailed you before we left, I would have probably changed a few things once we were in Capetown. Thank you so much!

  • candace
    September 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    how wonderful. looking forward to reading the rest. thank you for sharing!!!!

  • Lamia
    September 22, 2013 at 9:06 am

    OMG !!!!!
    Lucky youuuuu
    Lamia
    http://ginger-chocolateandhoney.blogspot.com/

  • Marilyn
    September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Love your photos and descriptions of Singita Ebony. I’ve been to South Africa three times but have yet to stay at a Singita Lodge. Must put that on my list! Looking forward to the next installment.

    • Katherine
      September 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you! Yes you must! It was amazing 🙂

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  • Maira
    March 9, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Wow!! Beautiful pictures, amazing lodge!!!
    May I ask you how many days do you recommend in each lodge?

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  • Anonymous
    April 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Heading to Singita next week and really appreciate your detailed review! Most helpful one I’ve found so far!

    • Katherine
      April 10, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Have a wonderful time! I am JEALOUS!