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“All I can say is WOW!!!”

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Singita Ebony Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Nothing I read of Ebony Lodge prepared me for the beauty and level of service there. Only the amazing game drives could tempt me away from the resort. Our suite was enormous and spectacular – words can’t describe it you need to go to their website to see it. The resort is on the Sand River and a hippo spent time in the river right in front of our deck, a vervet monkey stole rolls from me at lunch because I wasn’t fast enough with the slingshot, kudu freely roam the property, and impala, cape buffalo and elephant can be seen less than 50 feet away.

As I said, the service at Singita was fantastic. Every guest was treated like royalty, one’s every need was anticipated and fulfilled to the highest standard. I didn’t think there was anything more that they could do but I was proven wrong. I had scheduled the trip so that we would be at Singita on my birthday and apparently my travel agent had alerted them to this. We were the only couple on the night drive on the day of my birthday because, according to Sipho, the other couple decided not to go. As we approached the spot where we would stop for our sundowner (usually prepared on the hood of the vehicle) I noticed several people gathered at a table out in the bush. The resort manager and two other senior staff were there with champagne and canapés for a surprise celebration. The event was magical. There was a beautiful sunset (because of cloudy skies this was the only sunset we saw the entire trip) and a rhino walked across the field about 20 feet behind our table. Later that evening when we were being escorted to dinner, instead of taking us to the dining room we were taken to the gazebo where a private dinner had been set up. The gazebo was lit with dozens of candles and it was beyond romantic.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank EH10014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 - 143 of 204 reviews

Reviewed November 7, 2012

My new husband and I had an incredible experience at Ebony. The lodge has a grand old safari feel to it, picture big leather chairs, silver candlesticks and stuffed animals. But with no stodgy feel to it. The staff is exceptionally friendly and the rooms are outstanding.

Each room has a private pool, outside sitting area with oriental carpet and big comfy chairs, outdoor shower, an indoor library, big bedroom and modern bathroom.

The wildlife viewing was superb. We had come from Singita Sweni / Lebombo (which we also loved) but had better wildlife at Ebony. It depends on the time of year and the rains so that won't always be true. And all the animals were quite close to the lodge so we didn't have to drive far to see things. Sometimes they were too close to the lodge! We saw 4 male lions within 100 feet of the lodge. At the same time it doesn't feel like a zoo and you feel like you are in the wilderness which is exciting.

The staff set up special surprises for us and romantic dinners. We asked to do a wine tasting in their fabulous wine cellar which I would highly recommend.

We had a phenomenal guide at Lebombo and were less impressed at Ebony, though that didn't impact our overall experience. I'd recommend reading through the reviews here to see if there are guides people recommend and asking for those guides ahead of time. You stay with the same guide for the entire trip for a consistent experience.

Also, I didn't realize how different Lebombo / Sweni would be from Ebony in terms of landscape, so I would recommend going to both to experience that difference!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 3 which was great, but I think they are all about the same with nice views and com...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Shattuck004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Working as a Tour-Operator, I am travelling quite a lot around the world. I've seen so many hotels in different countries.... But "Singita" is just like "a love at first sight" to me.........
Everything was perfect, great accommodation, great Staff, great Food and great animal viewing..
I've been in so many private lodges in the Bush in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana...
But the only place that I always missing and would like to go back is "Singita"......

I am addict with Singita now... Once "Singita", always "Singita"....

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MultiCultiTante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

for an exclusive once in a lifetime experience Singita ebony lodge is a must to do for any
traveller-it is beyond any of your expectations.
The lodge is beautifully and tastefully done and the rooms are magnificent:4poster bed,seperate lounge,seperate beautiful bathroom-each chalet have there own heated swimming pool and outdoor shower.Management and staff are top quality and very professional,friendly and give a very personal service.Tom Rutherford lodge manager was outstanding and the "2Bretts" were great.Auto was our dedicated butler and met all our food and drink requirements-which is of a top class quality.meals are delicious andcarefully planned.Wines are of high quality and are specifically chosen for meals served.game drives are very well organised.Game ranger Tsepho and Spotter Christopher are very professional and knowledgeable about wildlife and the reserve.
book your Singita experience soon- I promise you will have time of your life.

Room Tip: rooms overlooking the river-all rooms are of a very high standard
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank tracey s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We went to singita for just one evening; if you are considering going to Singita i really urge you to go what an amazing dream trip. The lodge decor is beautiful, very tastefully done. The library is very welcoming and a wonderful relaxing place to sit for a quite spot. The wine cellar is so charming a nice place to go on a very hot day, It was very stocked with a wonderful selection. The room was huge and had everything you could ever need. The ipod docking station was a nice touch and they even had a painting kit if you were inspired to paint. The dermalogica toiletries were a great touch. The staff were all super friendly inviting and accomodating, they always went out there way to attend to our every need. Ricardo our ranger was very informative we loved the personal stories he told of his own experiences in the bush. A pleasant change from just the standard bush facts. Louis our tracker was top class we joked that he must have eaten huge amounts of carots as he could spot cammelions in the pitch dark. We have been on many safaris and were very impressed with Louis and his skills. I think the most impressive part of our trip was truly the food from start to finish it was sublime!!!!!!! So well cooked and presented. Each course was paired with a different wine, if you are a foodie i would reccomend Singita, it is a bush experience with a good food experience too. Pat our butler was friendly, charming and funny we enjoyed all he did for us. Overall it was a wonderful trip and i urge you to go see for yourself.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank dinasour_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We just returned from our honeymoon trip to South Africa! Our experience with Singita far surpassed my wildest dreams. We spent two nights at Singita Ebony and two nights at Singita Sweni. From the moment we chose to stay here the experience was full service. Their properties were 5 star, but the best part about it was the entire experience was comfortable and not snooty or stuffy. The staff at both lodges have thought of every comfort you could imagine. They are always a few steps ahead of your needs or what you don't even know you need yet! The personalized service is incredible.

You don't go hungry here either! The food is delicious....snacks and drinks were around every corner. We really enjoyed trying the South African wine and trying some of the more local food.

Our safari guides and trackers were so knowledgable and patient. We saw the big 5, plus many more animals in both parks! Their skills, knowledge, and passion of the area is inspiring and contageous.

Both lodges treated us to romantic and special surprises. I won't spoil the surprises here for those that want to go, but it was truly unique and special.

I honestly could go on forever about this experience. I cried when I left both lodges. It was life changing. Thank you Singita for a very memorable experience.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Allison A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Singita Ebony is truly amazing. We stayed here for three nights while on our honeymoon in South Africa. My review of Singita Lebombo (where we stayed afterward) has a lot of details that also apply to Ebony -- rather than repeat these here, I'll just give a few examples of why this was an incredible experience.

Our meals were so well prepared with such fresh ingredients that we asked if they ever do cooking demonstrations with the chef (we had heard people do this at smaller, all-inclusive places like Singita). It turns out they had never done this before but were more than happy to accommodate. So one night, we helped prepare a dish as part of a tasting menu in the kitchen. The sommelier put together a great wine pairing as well -- we ate/drank in the kitchen while chatting with the head/sous chefs and watching them prepare food for us and the other guests. We had lots of questions on how they made many dishes since they tasted to great -- learned a lot.

At dinner on our first night, I ordered an older vintage bottle of wine (Rhone blend) from a cult South African producer. Tom, the general manager, commented on what a great bottle it was. I told him how much I had read about this producer and liked the wine style, but also how I had heard that the winery's production was so small and in such high demand that it was near impossible to visit the winery itself (in Swartland). The next day, the sommelier (Welma) told me she heard I liked this producer, so she had called him and was able to arrange a visit if we wanted while we were in the Cape Town area the following week. We jumped at this unexpected opportunity and were touched by Welma's thoughtfulness. In addition, she arranged private wine visits/tastings in the winelands area at other great wineries we really liked. So rather than being part of group tours at big production wineries, we had long, intimate tastings (including barrel tastings) with the winemakers themselves. Finally, Welma put together a fun wine tasting event for us one night in the Singita cellar that included some great bottles. For a wine lover/geek like myself, this was a big highlight of our time in South Africa.

Our room was complete with a private living room, rotating 360 degree fireplace, bedroom, terrace with private wading pool, and bathroom/changing area that is bigger than some NYC apartments I've lived in. Snacks and bar drinks in the room were replenished daily.

I bought a new manual camera for this trip and was still in the process of learning all the settings. Dylan, one of the tour guides and a serious photographer, hosted an informative photography lesson one afternoon that ended up being quite useful for the rest of our trip. See the Singita website for some examples of Dylan's safari photography.

Our favorite game viewing was parking underneath a nearby tree and watching a perched leopard devour an impala that it had dragged up there. Below the tree was a pack of whining hyenas and above was a swirling vulture. Very cool scene that had us mesmerized for something like 30 minutes. I must have taken almost 100 pictures of that scene alone.

The day before we left, we got back from an afternoon game drive and the boutique store was already closed. When our guide (Lisa) found out that some of the guests in our Land Rover were hoping to buy something, she called the store staff who drove back to the store and re-opened it. We ordinarily would have felt bad but everyone was so nice and friendly -- you really do get the feeling that Singita staff members genuinely want to contribute to guests having an incredible stay...

One last note on the game viewing. The landscape at Ebony is very different from that at Lebombo. The bush at Ebony seems much thicker and we didn't see the pure volume of animals that we saw at Lebombo (which is much bigger with huge open areas). To be fair, it rained most of the time we were at Ebony, which certainly impacted the number of animals roaming around.

In any case, I'm not sure how a vacation can get any better than our time at Singita. Thanks so much to Tom (general manager), Welma (sommelier), Lisa (game guide), Johnson (game tracker), and everyone else who made our time so memorable. Their warmth, friendliness, sense of humor, and attention to detail is simply remarkable...

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CDP5
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:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: $500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the original Singita lodge, Ebony stands steadfast amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Sand River in the heart of South Africa's 'big cat country.' The lodge takes safari design and style to a new level with a fresh and contemporary interpretation of the classic safari lodge, combining tented camp and bush lodge style. Guests are immersed in nature with huge open spaces and interiors inspired by a combination of local tribal culture and the animal kingdom. ... more   less 
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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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