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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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