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“Amazing in every way” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Singita Ebony Lodge

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Singita Ebony Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa   |  
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San Francisco
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Amazing in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Perhaps more expensive than other Sabi camps, but well worth. The location, the facilities, the service, the food, all were simply amazing.

We divided and stayed 2 nights here and 2 nights at Singita Sweni in Kruger, a 20 minute flight away - definitely recommended.

If you can, flight straight into the Singita or other Sabi airport rather than Nelspruit, at least one of the ways. Nelspruit is a long 2-hour road trip away - interesting but tiring,

Room Tip: Any of the 12 rooms is awesome
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Ahmedabad , India
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

Singita is all about Service and Luxury , its not about Serious Game viewing or Authenticate Bush experience , if you are looking for Serious game Viewing and spending time in bush then you should select different lodge in Sabi sands ,
if you want SPA , or excellent food , and superior service then Singita is for you , Rooms are excellent and very comfortable , Pools are heated and super Location and so excellent views from there , Elephants are normally in river , what a sight , we saw one leopard and two cubs , and one male leopard , we could not see any other game , Leopard and cub sighting was super , she was very relaxed , use to cars and people , they also have shop , which is worth visiting , super collection and nice products , little expensive then other places , but super collection , Singita has 3 lodges and they are building one more , so many cars on property drive , its very common to find other guest and cars on same sighting , which is good and bed as its easy to find big 5 and bed as quality and time you can spend with animals is reduced , in short if you are looking for Luxury Bush Break then this is the place ,

Room Tip: Room number 1 or 2 , best view
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippines
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

Getting there, your options are : 1.) FLY by charter plane (but limited to soft side luggages). 2.) ROAD trip from Johannesburg for about 6-7 hours. or 3.) FLY (from Cape Town or Johannesburg 1 hour) AND ROAD trip (2 hours) from Nelspruit (Mpumalanga Airport). We opted for No.3 and booked our road transfers with Regent Safaris ℅ John and Ann Evans. Option 3 was obviously cheaper than flying by charter plane; allows you to bring your hard case suitcase; and Nelspruit (MQP) has flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg so you can opt to fly one way with SAA.

The Lodge is what you would come to expect from a Luxury Property (think more along the lines of Aman with Great African Hospitality). They do have bragging rights for the awards and accolades they have received. What to bring: Nothing! (except your clothing. Not too much since they do same day laundry services.) We stayed at the Lewis Suites which is slightly smallish and does not have a 2-sided fire place. But the advantage was, it was closest to the main lodge where meals are served and where you meet your Rangers for your scheduled game drive. Quite convenient since I was traveling with my mom who has trouble walking. The Food is exceptional. Apart from the fact that you can have Mimosas for breakfast and well curated wines for dinner, the lodge does highlight the exceptional taste of Contemporary South African Cuisine. Something I did very much appreciate. Tom and Monique Rutherford, the lodge's manager and manager's wife, will definitely make you feel welcome and at home.

The Safari, on the other hand, is truly unforgettable. I never thought 3 hours of game drive would feel like just 30 minutes. Time does fly if your game drive (you get 6 game drives for a 3 night stay) is done by Leon Van Wyk (our ranger) and Lawrence (our tracker). Leon's 18 year experience as a ranger and knowledge in interpreting "SPOOR" (Afrikaans for Game Track/Trail/Dropping) means that you don't drive around aimlessly. After 6 Game Drives, we were fortunate to see all 5 + more than what we had expected for. We consider ourselves lucky to have had them. They're the best. What to Bring: Long Camera Lenses and Huge Storage Space for Photos taken. What Not to Bring: Binoculars (they do have it inside range rovers) with wooly blankets and fleece covered hot water bottles.

3 Nights/4Days will fly so fast you actually would not want to leave. And when you get home, you'll be surprised to see that about 70% of your photos taken in your South Africa trip will be about Animals and the lodge.

If there's something that the lodge can work on is to improve the temperature of the heated pool. But I cannot really expect much since this is not an ONSEN near a Volcano.

Room Tip: The Lewis Suites are closest to the Main Lodge and ideal for people who do not want to walk too far.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

I would like to start by saying that i took my parents, my wife and sister to SIngita Ebony for 3 nights which included my wife birthday. Safari isn't on my wife wishlist as this was our third safari in Africa, but while leaving my wife said that she could come back to Singita again very soon:- which is a very very very big deal......Singita must be doing somethings right to get that comment out of my wife.....

Well, first i will have to start by saying a ton of thanks to Dylan and Reul for the amazing sightings that we had with them......I mean we saw lions feeding, leopard with cubs feeding on an Impala on a tree ........the list is endless and i think you should visit to see a few for yourselves....
The accommodations are extraordinary.... i loved the plunge pool, the fireplace(which we did use due to the cold and which was excellent experience coz most of the time you see a fireplace but never end up using it) .....the bathrooms are just fantastic.....we thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor showers....
The food was first rate, we are vegetarians and had a special menu for us 5, and let me say that not once over 3 days did we repeat anything in the menu.....which is brilliant...the bush breakfast was an experience which we will never forget.....
Dylan is an extraordinary person , very calm and truly the best Ranger/Guide i have had in my safari experience.....u know i can keep writing and writing but really its a place everyone should go to and live it to actually enjoy the wildlife in true style and luxury better than most hotels worldwide....
To sum it up,,,,,,Remarkably we were always late for everything even after getting up at 5:30am which is the standard time to get up at Singita in winters....i told Tom - the manager ....Please don't make such excellent facilities that we get lost in time enjoying them......
Thanks Singita ....see you again soon.....

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

My wife and I just returned from Singita Ebony lodge in the Sabie Sands and to put it in a nutshell words cannot do justice to the beauty and brilliance of any Singita Lodge
Singita in general in my opinion have the best safari lodges in the world. I was lucky enough to stay at both Lebombo and Ebony lodge, both lodges are uniquely different but at the same time unforgettable, both having there distinctive features.
Back to Ebony Lodge, the lodge is set in a classic colonial style décor, which is breath taking, from the time you enter the lodge reception you are awed by the beauty and attention to detail that went into decorating the place, beautiful subtle and vibrant colours all cleverly arranged to catch your eye and grab your attention to smaller details.
The staff or should I say “extended family” are amazing, every one introduces themselves from General manager to room attendants and they all remember your name and when they see you in passing by they greet you by name, which I found to be amazing, because to me that made me feel welcome and a personal connection with everyone there.
Our butler Sandile was exceptionally amazing always anticipating our every need before we even ask, bringing us our favourite drinks without ordering, going the extra mile by going out of his way to make us feel comfortable and feel at home.
The rooms are to die for, heated plunge pool, fireplace, lounge, changing room, indoor shower, outdoor shower, pool deck, pool loungers, outside lounge and reading tables all overlooking the vast plains of wildlife and the flowing of the river, watch from your room as the animals come down to play and wallow in the river, the birds swooping down to catch fish and the animals grazing in the background. We saw hippo, elephants, buffalo, zebra, antelope all from our room and the quaint breakfast and dining area.
Every luxury that you can think of is the room and the special surprises (you have to be there to experience it) that they do are amazing, your mini bar after the first night gets stocked with your favourite drinks and stocked with your favourite snacks.
Our guide Francious and the tracker Sandile where amazing, ensuring the best game viewing possible. I have been to other private lodges but Singita comes out top for the game viewing, 100yards away from prides of lions, herds of elephant, rhino, packs of hyena and all other general game. They are patient and professional allowing you to decide on how long the sighting should be and constantly keep in touch with other guides to ensure optimal game viewing.
They see animal tracks on the road (that I can’t even begin to explain on how they do it), then follow them and eventually find the animals sometimes up to ½ a mile off the road. Sandile grabs his gun (protection only) and heads of into the thick bush, 30min to an hour goes by and he radios back to Francious and we head into the bush in the Landrover to find the Sandile and not too far off the pride of lions. These guys are soo skilled and knowledgeable it is unbelievable, no question goes unanswered and after every sighting you are left in awe.
For my wife and I who have been on Safari over 20 times, the best and most outstanding sighting was to see the resident female leopard and her cubs playing in there den. This for us was the highlight of our trip and something that we will never forget.
I can probably go on for hours possibly even days about Singita but my advice would be if you are looking to go on Safari anywhere in Africa or South Africa, you have to choose Singita, they exceed and surpass any possible expectation that you might have and go out there way to make you feel at home. Singita a African Safari MUST.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

My wife and I were lucky enough to spend 3 nights at Singita Ebony Lodge, in late March this year. What an experience!

I always enjoy planning vacations, usually without the help of travel agencies. Tripadvisor makes that an enjoyable chore. But, I quickly realized that planning a safari is complex due to the number of options. Also, realizing that a safari is expensive, I wanted to make my $ go as far as possible.

During my search I ran across Icon Expeditions out of Cape Town and was actually talking to them about Londolozi. I was told that Londolozi would be an excellent choice. I asked the Icon agent where she would go if she had one opportunity to go on safari. Without hesitation she recommended Singita. In looking at the expense of the trip, I ended up justifying Singita by telling myself it would probably be my 1st and only safari so why not splurge and make it special.
My wife and I have been fortunate enough to stay in many fine location around the world, but Singita Ebony is by a good margin the best travel experience of our lives!

We chose Singita Ebony over Singita Boulders, because Boulders was booked. For us that was a good thing, because Ebony has more of a traditional African flavor which we loved. We had lunch at Boulders and toured that properly one afternoon. We found it the be equal in quality, but more contemporary.

Our freestanding bungalo was amazing!!!! On our 1st afternoon, I was relaxing in our private plunge pool when I noticed a hippo in the river below our unit! A little while later I was sitting on the porch when a monkey appeared beside me and just sat there for a while before jumping to a tree off the porch! Africa is amazing!

The highlight of our trip though had to be game viewing trips. Marc was our ranger and he was fantastic. We went on 6 drives and saw the Big 5 by the end of our 2nd drive. We saw 10 or 11 lions, 3 leopards(even one dining on an Impala in a tree!), several hippos, rhinos, elephants, giraffe, cape buffalo, and many more. We basically saw every animal we came to see, and many we never knew about.

Marc took my wife and I on a walking safari one afternoon. The next day he even took me on a mountain bike safari. Wow, it's a different experience to be on the ground with the animals. I always felt safe as Marc carried a rifle at all times. Many thanks to Marc! After the bike trip,when I returned to the lodge, he even arranged for me to be greeted with a cold Castle beer and ice cold towel!

Marc also treated us too a great star gazing opportunity one evening. I cannot imagine a better ranger.

The food was also incredible! We had 2 boma style dinners and 1 in the lodge. The food preparation and selections were beyond my expectations. From steak and seafood to wild game, the choices were amazing. The chef also goes out of her way to make your stay special.

Before dinner one night we had a private wine tasting with the staff expert who was truly an expert in wines. We then had our favorite wines, from the tasting, with dinner!

Hazel was our personal staff member while at Singita and she was very attentive and became a friend.

I cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful staff and total experience at Singita. This is an expensive vacation, but well worth it considering everything that's included. We thought this was a once in a lifetime experience, but we will be back!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

I was looking for somewhere special to take my wife for a major birthday (not allowed to say which!!) and spent quite a bit of time researching different options. We decided on a safari and like many first timers, were then bamboozled by the sheer range of choice. In the end, we chose Singota Ebony Lodge and was assured by the specialist travel agent that we would not be disappointed. I can safely say that while we have been lucky enough to stay at many fantastic hotels/resorts around the world, this was definitely one of the best experiences of our lives - Ebony Lodge was simply perfect in every way and was the perfect birthday present!

Journey: - Due to arriving late in the day from Zambia, we had to take a car transfer from Kruger airport to Singita rather than the usual 20 mins plane hop. We had been warned that this could take 2 - 3 hours depending on conditions and I was therefore dreading this journey after a long day of travel. In the end this took just under 2 hours but I wanted to note that we ended up really enjoying the drive. The driver was full of information and it is a very interesting drive as you get to see the changing scenery from manicured tourist airport surroundings, through towns, then countryside and finally the Kruger National Park. Despite the duration, I would therefore highly recommend doing this car journey on at least one of your legs to/from the Lodge as it gives you a very good feel for the country that you would otherwise miss if you just flew in. We did the short plane hop back to the airport on the return leg and while we enjoyed the view from the plane, we both agreed that the car ride on the way in was worth doing.

In terms of the Lodge, it was simply stunning. From the initial impressions of walking in on the wooden gangway, and then the 'african/colonial lodge' style of the lobby - you just get the feeling that you are somewhere special. The Lodge room then clinches the deal as you get shown a sumptuous bedrooms, a luxurious lounge with a fireplace, an outdoor plunge pool and luxury bathrooms (including indoor/outdoor showers) - honestly, you will not find anything better. To our delight, we kept finding little touches that show they have gone the extra mile to think of everthing - eg internaional electric sockets with spare adapters; Nesspresso coffee machines; bedroom torches; complimentary mosquito sprays/wipes; ponchos for warmth; free snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, jelly beans; coffee table books - the list is endless. All of this also comes with the most fantastic views of the surrunding landscape where you can watch the animals go by!

In terms of service, we were blown away by the genuine warmth and enthusiasm of ALL the staff. Everyone was highly trained and could not have been more helpful. You get assigned your main staff at the start - ie Butler(!!), Guide and Tracker at the start and at the risk of making this personal as I am sure they do not seek public kudos, we would like to say a huge and personal thank you to Marc (Guide), George (Tracker) and Linneth (Butler) who were superb and made our 4 days there some of the most special in our lives - a trip we will remember forever with a smile on our face thanks to their expertise, friendliness, warmth and good humour. I was looking for a treat for my wife and they made it an experience beyond our highest expectations!

Experience - this was our first safari and the folks at Singita put on an extraordinary experience. Everything was first class - from fantastic food, safari jeeps, informative commentaries as we drove on safari, staff shows, running hot baths on our last night, personal dinning treats, mid-safari food/drink breaks, star gazing on night game drives and free wi-fi! After eating like a King every day, I decided I had to go to the gym and was delighted to find it was first class - unlike most luxury resort hotels, it had a great selection of modern, well maintained equipment rather than the usual token multigyms. It had several cardio machines and all the weight machines you would want - so again, full marks!

In summary, I suspect this review reads like a gushing over the top review but in all honesty, this was simply some of the best 4 days of our lives and as my wife said to me as we waved goodbye to the folks who saw us off at Singita's private airstrip - it was like leaving a fairytale and we genuinely felt sad on departure, like we were leaving close family members! In summary, if you are wondering whether Singita Ebony Lodge is for you - don't hesitate any longer and just go, you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Singita Ebony Lodge

Address: Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Singita Ebony Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Singita Ebony Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Singita Ebony Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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