Africa Hotels Travel

Singita Sweni – The Lodge

This is part four 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

On our last day at Ebony, we woke up in the morning, had a quick game drive, did breakfast, and then our fabulous ranger and trackers Jon and Pete drove us over to the Singita Sabi Sand airstrip. There, we were greeted by our Federal Air pilot who informed us that we’d be the only ones on the flight! We had the entire plane to ourselves.

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All the Federal Air pilots looked like they were teenagers. And/or soap opera stars.

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The plane took off, and we waved bye to Jon and Pete who were waiting by the tarmac. It was quite hot so the air was a little shaky, I was a bit scared so concentrated on the beautiful terrain.

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A mere 20 minutes later, we landed on Singita’s airstrip inside of Kruger National Park where we were greeted by a staff member, Evidence. Here’s me very cheerily exiting – back on solid ground, baby!

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The Singita waiting area on their airstrip literally seemed like an oasis in the middle of wilderness – cool drinks, snacks and a sink while we waited to be picked up. Our lodge, Sweni, was about a 30-40 minute drive away.

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After a few minutes, Singita’s car came and took us over to our lodge for the next few nights – Singita Sweni.

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The car pulled in and we hopped off! This is where we met the Land Rovers every morning.

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As we headed into the main Sweni lodge, we could already see that it was a very different feeling and decor than Ebony.

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At Sweni, the lodges were much more green – shades of green and brown were everywhere and it blended in perfectly with its surroundings in Kruger. Sweni only has six individual lodges, so everything was on a more intimate scale than at Ebony.

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This was a more casual seating/eating area where we would take breakfast and lunch and enjoy the view.

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Here,  a more formal seated dining area where we took dinner each night. You can see that all the seating areas were completely open – when it got chillier the staff would swing shut ceiling to floor glass doors – equally stunning!

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Another large seating area along with the gym (never used by me), a few minutes walk away from the Sweni lodge.

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After we checked in at the main lodge (where we met the manager Angelique, the fabulous Lucky and our wonderful butler Beauty), we made our way over to our lodge. On the way there we passed by the pool.

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Again there were also monkeys all around Sweni – here they were much less shy, they were constantly scampering about and even peering down at you while you showered (more on that later).

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The entrance to our door. At Ebony there was a physical key we used, versus at Sweni where we had an electronic buzzer!

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I know I already used this word a lot but I’ll use it again – when we entered our lodge it was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Again there were bright greens and browns everywhere and the structure seemed to all meld incredibly well with the nature surrounding it.

The lodge was also huge – here are some shots of the living room and bedroom. Amazing!

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Fully stocked minibar, same as Ebony (with a slightly different variety of snacks and drink).

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Loved this stool and I still want one for our home!

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Some games that were left in our room along with pastels and paper.

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The bedroom – so different than our bedroom at Ebony and I adored the mosquito netting that was draped each night, very cool and utilitarian.

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The open bathroom and dressing area.

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I loved this bathtub! You could open the glass doors and be directly facing the trees and nature outside.

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Small details around the tub.

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Here was my FAVORITE aspect of the bathroom – the outdoor shower! There was both an indoor and outdoor shower,  right next to each other. It was so peaceful taking a warm shower outside on the deck, I looked forward to it each day.

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The view outside from the shower.

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Of course as always, there would be monkeys hanging around – you’d be hanging out in complete silence and then all of a sudden you’d hear scampering sounds! One day while I was showering I looked down and happened to see a larger baboon absconding with an entire loaf of bread.

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Finally, my overall favorite spot in our lodge was the outdoor balcony. This is where I would return to whenever we had a free moment in the room. It was incredibly relaxing to sit out here, enjoy the sun and read a book. It was the best feeling to take fall asleep on the daybed outside and feel little slats of sun on your face from above. Some of my favorite moments ever.

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In the evening when we returned to the room, we’d find that the mosquito net had been taken down so you could sleep under the stars.

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Such a magical place. I hope you enjoyed the first half of my review of Singita Sweni! Next time, like with Ebony, I’ll be covering a summary of our activities there in a “day to evening” format. Thank you for reading along!

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  • Sonya
    September 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Wonderful. Am really enjoying this series. Makes us more excited to start our Botswana adventure 🙂

    • Katherine
      September 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Thank you Sonya! Still very jealous that you are going to Mambo!

  • ChanelinBrazil
    September 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    OH wow!!!! I hope you come to my country one day, will love to see where you stay!

    • Katherine
      September 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I would love to visit Brazil one day, it is on the list 🙂

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    September 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Sigh…..it just sounds so magical. One day……

    • Katherine
      September 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Yes you have to go!

  • Amber
    September 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Wow it looks like you could touch those monkeys they are so close!

    • Katherine
      October 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Yes they were!

  • Adele
    September 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    The lodge looks amazing. I was always impressed with how luxurious they can make it for you on safari!
    Happy October Katherine xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  • Barslinger72
    October 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Katherine: which airline do you recommend we fly if we want to do Kruger from Europe? Looking at Business and First. Do you have an idea on SAA versus LH?

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I really enjoyed our experience on SAA but Lufthansa First cannot be beat there 🙂 If you’re flying biz I might still go with SAA unless Lufthansa now has lie flat in their business class

    • Ursula
      October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Barslinger, I fly to SA from Germany almost every month.

      My suggested order of priority:

      1. LH first – because their first cabin is the best option overall (but also the most expensive).
      2. SAA business – because they have lie flat, spacious seats, large screen, good entertainment, and good food choices.
      3. LH business – because LH uses the A380 on the Frankfurt-Johannesburg route… believe it or not, most of the A380s still have the old (“angle-flat”) business class seats with the small screens. It is definitely a very dated interior. The A380s are being converted, but it will take quite some time yet to complete the upgrade and chances are you will get the old configuration.

      Hope this helps you make a decision. Enjoy your travels!

  • G
    October 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Beautiful place! Is it salt next to the tub?

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Yes bath salts! I used some during our stay 🙂

  • Anonymous
    October 2, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I really love your travel posts!

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Thank you!

  • irugnotmis
    October 2, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Hi Katherine, love your travel posts! Can you do a post on the process of your travel research? Thanks!!

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Oh dear..it’s generally a bit messy (writings in my notebook) and then recommendations from friends, family. I’ll try to put together something on my more organized techniques however sometime!

  • Belen
    October 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I was thinking, the eating areas at Singita seem very open. Do bigger animals get attracted by the smell of food and maybe get too close for comfort?

    Also, a completely different topic: what is your opinion on those big Michael Kors watches? I was considering getting one, and then I started thinking maybe they’re just too trendy and as such will fade away. I’m torn.

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Belen, no never! Even if one did there are so many staff and also cameras looking I wouldn’t worry. We felt completely safe at all times.

      I still like the “men’s watch” look and I myself wear one…I just like it more and it’s easier to see the time too! I like how those Kors watches look, always have (but the ones without the diamonds). They have been around for a while and I understand what you mean about worrying about the trend. If you think you can get a few years continuous wear out of one, I might get it – it would be fun to look down and see your watch everyday. However, if you don’t think you’ll get at least 2 years wear…I’d keep the funds and wait.

  • Ava
    October 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Kat!
    As always, excellent post! And the previous one, too! I truly look forward to reading your blog, it is such a joy! Being a bit of a soap fanatic (collector) I loved the close up shot of the toiletries in this post! 🙂

    That said, a little cheerful pay back — just wanted to inform you and any of your devoted readers of a super secret Hermes sale starting tomorrow through monday at the Hermes in Manhasset, NY. It is one of my favorite Hermes sales and they have the most amazing items on sale and the doors open at 10am. It is a million times better than the VIP sale in the city.

    Hope you and your readers enjoy this juicy nugget of HOP info!
    🙂

    Ava

    ps- for those skeptics out there, I would never, ever lie about a Hermes sale. That would be just beyond cruel. 🙂 Worth the trek out of NYC proper for you manhattanites!

    • Katherine
      October 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Ava, thank you! You are so sweet for passing along that info, I wish I was in NY 🙂

      I always pay extra close attention to the toiletries too, I will try to remember to take photos of the soaps next time for you!

  • guest
    October 2, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    What kind of anti-malarials did you take?

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