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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Connected immediately to the main lodge was a bar seating area and then further in, an outdoor and indoor dining area.
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.
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.
You could often see animals like hippos, elephants in the distance while eating on this deck.
But there were also animals that came much closer as well – hello, Bambi!
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.
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!
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.
The living room was like a mini version of the main lodge, with many comfortable seating options.
There was a full stocked mini bar (all complimentary) with all kinds of food and drink. I loved the limoncello!
There were also all kinds of lovely decor details in this area. I loved this book and magnifying glass.
From the sitting room, you entered the bedroom on the right.
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.
This full watercolor set and paper left on a writing desk in case you felt inspired – great for adults and children alike!
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.
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.
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!).
Back in the main bathroom, there was also a beautiful free standing huge soaking tub with bath salts and candles to set the mood.
Right next to the bathtub was the entrance to go outside to your private deck.
Immediately to your right outside, was an outdoor shower.
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!
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.
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?
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!