Luxury Safaris in the Kruger National Park

Luxury Safaris in the Kruger National Park

Africa Safari Expert Tanya Ellis started at Go2Africa way back in 2006, and to celebrate all her years in the safari industry she explored some of the top private reserves and lodges around the Kruger National Park, including Timbavati, Motswari and Singita’s private concession.

Tell us more about your itineraries? 

In September I enjoyed a quick 2-night stay in the Timbavati Nature Reserve where I stayed at Motswari Game Lodge and visited Geiger's Camp - a lovely, private, intimate camp highly recommended for small groups or families. Motswari, on the other hand, offers an intimate, elegant safari experience perfect for honeymooners and romantics. Then in November I ticked off two of the most beautiful Singita properties from my bucket list – Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni. These were my first trips after returning from maternity leave in June and absolutely loved being back in the bush!

The luxurious suites at Motswari Game Lodge are elegantly furnished and have beautiful views of the surrounding bush.The luxurious suites at Motswari Game Lodge are elegantly furnished and have beautiful views of the surrounding bush.
Geiger’s Camp is a home away from home that radiates old-world charm, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for an intimate safari experience.Geiger’s Camp is a home away from home that radiates old-world charm, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for an intimate safari experience.

We flew from Cape Town to Hoedspruit and then enjoyed a 90-minute road transfer to the lodge. Alternatively, you can fly direct from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) to the Motswari airstrip, which is situated just five minutes’ drive from the lodge. To get to Singita Sweni and Lebombo it’s best to fly into Satara airstrip, which is situated about 40 minutes from the lodges.

My colleagues and I shortly after we arrived at Hoedspruit.My colleagues and I shortly after we arrived at Hoedspruit.
Interiors at Singita Sweni are modern with bright pops of colour and plenty of natural light.Interiors at Singita Sweni are modern with bright pops of colour and plenty of natural light.
Singita Lebombo’s suites are refreshingly original with elegant loft architecture featuring glass and timber.Singita Lebombo’s suites are refreshingly original with elegant loft architecture featuring glass and timber.
A special touch is the ‘star bed’ that gets made up on your private deck every evening.A special touch is the ‘star bed’ that gets made up on your private deck every evening.

What were the highlights of your trip?

At Motswari I saw the entire Big 5 over a short 2-night stay! Something that I was very impressed with was that no more than two vehicles are allowed at a sighting, which made the whole experience very private and exclusive.

At Motswari the elephants often drink from the pool, allowing you to enjoy some game-viewing from the comfort of the loungers of the lodge.At Motswari the elephants often drink from the pool, allowing you to enjoy some game-viewing from the comfort of the loungers of the lodge.

Another special experience was Giraffe’s Nest – a lovely sleep-out deck under the stars situated in front of a waterhole at Motswari Game Lodge. This is an absolute must if you are staying at Motswari or Geiger’s Camp.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the African bush, watching the sun rise over the horizon at Motswari’s Giraffe’s Nest.Imagine waking up in the middle of the African bush, watching the sun rise over the horizon at Motswari’s Giraffe’s Nest.

Another highlight was the exquisite dining and service at both Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni. Of all the safari lodges I have visited over the years, the food and hospitality were of the highest standard I have ever experienced. Both lodges also have their own temperature-controlled wine cellars where staff offer personalized wine tastings for connoisseurs and casual tasters alike. At Sweni the glass-walled kitchen gave us the opportunity to interact with the chefs and watch them preparing each hand-crafted dish. Their breakfast smoothies were my absolute favourite!

Singita’s fresh take on safari dining offers guests a unique culinary experience with varying flavours and techniques inspired by the setting and style of the lodge.Singita’s fresh take on safari dining offers guests a unique culinary experience with varying flavours and techniques inspired by the setting and style of the lodge.
In terms of game-viewing highlights, we had a close-up cheetah sighting at Singita on our afternoon game drive.In terms of game-viewing highlights, we had a close-up cheetah sighting at Singita on our afternoon game drive.

What were your accommodation highlights?

Lebombo’s location on a hill had incredible views with lovely spacious relaxing areas and a tower where you can enjoy a private dinner and stargazing. The boutique-cum-gallery was a treat with such a lovely local variety of products to buy.

Having elephants swim and drink water right in front of the lodge at Sweni the last morning before we departed was a very special farewell.Having elephants swim and drink water right in front of the lodge at Sweni the last morning before we departed was a very special farewell.
Singita also offers a refreshing and interactive gin tasting session – perfect for those hot afternoons before a game drive!Singita also offers a refreshing and interactive gin tasting session – perfect for those hot afternoons before a game drive!

My top travel tips

Make sure you pre-book a night under the stars at Giraffe’s Nest if you are visiting Motswari. They also host informative talks which are very interesting and I would highly recommend these. The rangers sit with guests and discuss an interesting topic or answer questions guests might have about the day’s sightings.

I highly recommend combining either Singita Sweni or Lebombo with one of their sister properties in the Sabi Sands - Singita Ebony or Boulders.

Want to know more about combining Africa’s islands and incredible wildlife destinations? Sign up to our newsletter for insider info on African travel. If you’re ready to start planning your dream safari, get in touch with a friendly Africa Safari Expert today.

Africa Safari Expert Tanya Ellis started at Go2Africa way back in 2006, and to celebrate all her years in the safari industry she explored some of the top private reserves and lodges around the Kruger National Park, including Timbavati, Motswari and Singita’s private concession.

Tell us more about your itineraries? 

In September I enjoyed a quick 2-night stay in the Timbavati Nature Reserve where I stayed at Motswari Game Lodge and visited Geiger's Camp - a lovely, private, intimate camp highly recommended for small groups or families. Motswari, on the other hand, offers an intimate, elegant safari experience perfect for honeymooners and romantics. Then in November I ticked off two of the most beautiful Singita properties from my bucket list – Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni. These were my first trips after returning from maternity leave in June and absolutely loved being back in the bush!

The luxurious suites at Motswari Game Lodge are elegantly furnished and have beautiful views of the surrounding bush.The luxurious suites at Motswari Game Lodge are elegantly furnished and have beautiful views of the surrounding bush.
Geiger’s Camp is a home away from home that radiates old-world charm, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for an intimate safari experience.Geiger’s Camp is a home away from home that radiates old-world charm, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for an intimate safari experience.

We flew from Cape Town to Hoedspruit and then enjoyed a 90-minute road transfer to the lodge. Alternatively, you can fly direct from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) to the Motswari airstrip, which is situated just five minutes’ drive from the lodge. To get to Singita Sweni and Lebombo it’s best to fly into Satara airstrip, which is situated about 40 minutes from the lodges.

My colleagues and I shortly after we arrived at Hoedspruit.My colleagues and I shortly after we arrived at Hoedspruit.
Interiors at Singita Sweni are modern with bright pops of colour and plenty of natural light.Interiors at Singita Sweni are modern with bright pops of colour and plenty of natural light.
Singita Lebombo’s suites are refreshingly original with elegant loft architecture featuring glass and timber.Singita Lebombo’s suites are refreshingly original with elegant loft architecture featuring glass and timber.
A special touch is the ‘star bed’ that gets made up on your private deck every evening.A special touch is the ‘star bed’ that gets made up on your private deck every evening.

What were the highlights of your trip?

At Motswari I saw the entire Big 5 over a short 2-night stay! Something that I was very impressed with was that no more than two vehicles are allowed at a sighting, which made the whole experience very private and exclusive.

At Motswari the elephants often drink from the pool, allowing you to enjoy some game-viewing from the comfort of the loungers of the lodge.At Motswari the elephants often drink from the pool, allowing you to enjoy some game-viewing from the comfort of the loungers of the lodge.

Another special experience was Giraffe’s Nest – a lovely sleep-out deck under the stars situated in front of a waterhole at Motswari Game Lodge. This is an absolute must if you are staying at Motswari or Geiger’s Camp.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the African bush, watching the sun rise over the horizon at Motswari’s Giraffe’s Nest.Imagine waking up in the middle of the African bush, watching the sun rise over the horizon at Motswari’s Giraffe’s Nest.

Another highlight was the exquisite dining and service at both Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni. Of all the safari lodges I have visited over the years, the food and hospitality were of the highest standard I have ever experienced. Both lodges also have their own temperature-controlled wine cellars where staff offer personalized wine tastings for connoisseurs and casual tasters alike. At Sweni the glass-walled kitchen gave us the opportunity to interact with the chefs and watch them preparing each hand-crafted dish. Their breakfast smoothies were my absolute favourite!

Singita’s fresh take on safari dining offers guests a unique culinary experience with varying flavours and techniques inspired by the setting and style of the lodge.Singita’s fresh take on safari dining offers guests a unique culinary experience with varying flavours and techniques inspired by the setting and style of the lodge.
In terms of game-viewing highlights, we had a close-up cheetah sighting at Singita on our afternoon game drive.In terms of game-viewing highlights, we had a close-up cheetah sighting at Singita on our afternoon game drive.

What were your accommodation highlights?

Lebombo’s location on a hill had incredible views with lovely spacious relaxing areas and a tower where you can enjoy a private dinner and stargazing. The boutique-cum-gallery was a treat with such a lovely local variety of products to buy.

Having elephants swim and drink water right in front of the lodge at Sweni the last morning before we departed was a very special farewell.Having elephants swim and drink water right in front of the lodge at Sweni the last morning before we departed was a very special farewell.
Singita also offers a refreshing and interactive gin tasting session – perfect for those hot afternoons before a game drive!Singita also offers a refreshing and interactive gin tasting session – perfect for those hot afternoons before a game drive!

My top travel tips

Make sure you pre-book a night under the stars at Giraffe’s Nest if you are visiting Motswari. They also host informative talks which are very interesting and I would highly recommend these. The rangers sit with guests and discuss an interesting topic or answer questions guests might have about the day’s sightings.

I highly recommend combining either Singita Sweni or Lebombo with one of their sister properties in the Sabi Sands - Singita Ebony or Boulders.

Want to know more about combining Africa’s islands and incredible wildlife destinations? Sign up to our newsletter for insider info on African travel. If you’re ready to start planning your dream safari, get in touch with a friendly Africa Safari Expert today.