Depart your Ellerman House villa with a wistful farewell for your flight to Johannesburg and the Sabi Sands concession. Your guide will meet you at the airstrip and take you on the short game drive to Singita Castleton. Formerly the family home of Singita’s founders, this gracious house is steeped in the pioneering spirit and history of this extraordinary place. Combining the atmosphere of a private safari camp with the rustic charm of a country farmhouse, Castleton is an idyll of a bygone era. With a staff complement that includes a private guide, tracker, chef and housekeeper, the experience is finely tuned to be in keeping with your every wish. The grounds feature a tennis court and a large outdoor sala with a swimming pool overlooking a waterhole where animals are often seen coming down to drink.
Being in a huge private concession bordering the Kruger National Park, you have the opportunity to enjoy a splendid variety of wildlife in privacy and seclusion. With your expert guide and tracker to reveal the signs of the wild, their knowledge and experience will give you a wonderful depth of understanding. The area has famously large prides of lions, a testimony to the abundance of prey that they enjoy. Encountering a pride in the late afternoon as they begin to stir and rouse themselves for a night’s hunting is a thrilling experience. Watching them stretch, yawn and playfully cuff and rub heads together in greeting, you imagine they are just like ordinary cats, although much bigger. Their hypnotic amber eyes and rippling muscles belie their extraordinary predatory power - they are the rulers of the night. Nothing can equal the spine-tingling sound of a lion’s roar and, multiplied a dozen times, it takes on a majestic quality that carries for miles across the wilderness.
It is one thing to experience the wilderness from a vehicle but a walk through the bush is exhilarating. You follow animal paths that might never have felt a human tread before, breathing in the aromas and feeling the hushed silence of nature. From this perspective you are able to notice and admire the smaller things around you: the hoof marks around a salt lick, a dung beetle rolling his enormous load, the fascinating world on the inside of a termite mound. Your guide will teach you the traditional uses of plants: which are edible, which are medicinal. It is a wondrous feeling to be on foot and at one with nature, with all of your senses actively engaged in the experience.