We had our first African Safari two years ago and, when scheduling this trip, we knew we wanted to end it at Singita Ebony, only this time, we wanted more days there. We were spending three weeks in Africa and ended with 7 nights at Ebony. It didn't disappoint!
Accommodation-wise, Ebony is fabulous. It is decorated in a more old-time, colonial-type flair in oranges and browns, as compared to Boulders, where we had lunch, and Lebombo, where my daughter had just returned with pictures, which appear to be more modern.
The service sets all of the places apart, of course. Everyone makes you feel like you are the only one staying and always calls you by name. A couple of people were still at the Lodge from 2012.
At the airstrip, we were met by our new Guide, Daniella and our new Tracker, Walter. What a great team! Tom, the Lodge Manager met us when we arrived at the Lodge. We talked about our last visit - did he remember or was he making us feel welcome? Didn't really matter - it made us feel great! Then, our butler from last time, Robert, and his wife, Linette, welcomed us. We had requested them and were glad to have them assigned to us again! We couldn’t turn around without either one or the other of them helping to make our time AT the Lodge perfect.
We then met additional staff that would help make our stay marvelous. Chantal, Cheri, even Velma, the Sommelier we had met the last time, came to talk to us. We were taken to our room (which happened to be the same one from 2012 - #6) and then we went back to eat the first of the best meals you could have on Safari!
The Safari drives are as would be expected at a reserve in eastern South Africa. You see the Big Five but that is not what the experience should be about. [IMHO] It is about the beautiful country and people and, believe me, neither disappoint!
The lodge is in an active wild animal area, a sign reminds you as you walk in every day. I saw a Black Mamba with his head in a hole on the walking path to lunch one day. Leopards have walked through the Lodge, even been born under the rooms. Sometimes you see kudu and nyala relaxing on the paths.
The Lodge is also in an active malarial zone. It is essential to start malaria pills before you leave home (if you come from the US) and continue until after you return. DO NOT EVER FORGET THIS. While we were there, we heard about a brother of one of the Trackers, an anti-poaching Ranger at Kruger, who had contracted malaria while we were there, and four days later had died.
I don’t say these things to scare anyone because we have never been afraid when listening to the staff, our Guides and Trackers and reading materials and signs. But to not pay attention is to be stupid.
- 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