5 Day Singita Kruger Safari - Land of Big Cats: Lions & Leopards - 5day Private Tour | Hotspots2c
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Singita Kruger Safari - Land of Big Cats

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Duration of tour
5 days

Trip Type

Private

Transfer Types

Mini-coach / SUV
Departure dates on request
Everyday

Overview

Over five soul-stirring days, you’ll discover iconic Africa – the smells, the sights, the sounds and the graceful felines that call it home. This is an unscripted adventure that’s worthy of a true African safari connoisseur.

Kruger National Park conjures up images of untamed nature and the name Singita is synonymous with conscious luxury, impeccable service and responsible style. Get ready to experience the very best of this wild, wild, world and for most, a life-changing experience. You may come for the safaris, the lion prides, the close-encounters with leopards and the decadence of Africa’s safari lodges, but you’re guaranteed to fall in love and never want to leave.

Your journey starts with a landing on one of the most unique airstrips in the world – deep in the heart of Kruger, one of the world’s biggest national parks. A private transfer to your luxury game lodge doubles as a game watch as drivers deftly navigate the dirt tracks and animal herds en-route to your end destination, Sabi Sands – home of one of the world’s best-protected leopard populations.

In these parts, there are no small, fenced-in camps, just 100% natural, untamed wilderness… and you.

Time moves at a slower pace and the setting sun turns the world fifty shades of orange. African legend tells how the sun turns into a rhinoceros at sunset, which is killed and eaten by the people in the west. They then threw the shoulder blade towards the east, where the sun turned into an animal again and started to rise in a never-ending cycle.

The analogy is fitting, as your evening sunset safari offers a glimpse of wildlife experiences yet to come. Birds rising in plume-like formations against orange skies; rustling in the bushes; elephants lowing around water pools, endangered black rhino graze in groups of two and telltale yellow eyes that stare out at you from trees, behind shrubs and from the very tracks you bounce along.

The next four days are a heady blend of Safari R‘nR; close-encounter safari experiences; intimate bush walks; luxury bush suites with contemporary twists and impeccable service; big cats and the rest of the Big Five; cool climate cellars with exclusive reserves and limited edition blends; and Michelin-standard food - all set against some of the most incredible bush backdrops. It’s an experience that will slake your senses and it’s delivered in such effortless style. Keep your cameras at the ready and enjoy this wild ride.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Start

Kruger National Park
End

Sabi Sand
 

view on map

Why You’ll Love It

  • Experience starry skies, African beats and the smell of food cooking on an open fire.

  • Wrap up warmly on the back of your Singita Lebombo 4x4 sunset safari.

  • Be treated to authentic African spa treatments at Singita Lebombo’s spa.

  • Set out at sunrise on a guided bush walk.

  • Be surprised by Singita Lebombo’s personalised wine & dining experiences.

  • Stargaze amidst the African bush, without any city lights to disrupt your view.

  • Enjoy a Singita Boulders pairing from the enormous onsite wine cellar and dedicated sommelier.

  • Sip on sundowners aboard a mesmerising sunset safari.

  • Make dining an experience under the stars in the Singita Boulders Boma.

  • Hear the fusion of local legends and modern astrology, stargazing at Singita Boulders.

  • Embrace the environment on an early morning bush walk.

  • Connect with nature – reconnect with yourself, at the Singita Boulders Spa.

  • Channel your inner photographer at the Singita Boulders Photography Lab.

Itinerary

This private tour itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to spend more time at the tour's highlights that interest you the most.
Day 1
Kruger National Park

Leave the bright lights of South Africa’s urban capitals behind for a landing in one of the world’s most unique airports, Skukuza Airport, and your gateway to Kruger National Park. Only ten bush-link flights a day touch down at this tiny, but thoroughly modern airport in one of the largest protected wildlife areas on the planet. Flight are not included in the tour.

Greeted with a firm handshake in the lobby and whisked off along bush tracks to the land of lions. In these parts, the journey is just as important as the destination. Local drivers navigate the dirt tracks of Kruger with ease on a leisurely three-hour journey – an unofficial game drive of sorts filled with kudu, impala and other bush dwellers – to your home-away-from-home in the heart of Kruger National Park, the Singita Lebombo Lodge.

Perched lightly on 33 acres of private reserve, Singita, or the Place of Miracles in the Shangaan tongue, has a mantra to conserve, preserve and protect. They should add another ‘p’ word to the chant – pamper. Singita is the largest of the famous Sabi Sand game reserves – home to one of the world’s best protected leopard populations - and a place that connects man with beast and modern conveniences with raw wild, and offers absolute freedom in nature.

These African sunsets have been inspiring writers and poets for centuries. And as the day draws to a close, the sky reddens, flocks of exotic birds trail like twists of smoke against the horizon, and your private sunset safari allows for intimate moments against the most spectacular of backdrops. In this land, lions reign supreme but leopard, rhinos, buffalo and elephant herds, hyena and hippos, cheetahs and wild dogs are usually spotted on the trails or dodging the vehicle’s spotlights. Here, animals have right of way and time slows to match their pace on the scrubby plains.

If the weather gods are smiling, tonight you’ll dine in the open-air Boma restaurant – ringed completely with stone – under the euphorbia trees. The ever-changing menu features perfectly barbecued African game and traditional flavours with the contemporary twists you’ll come to expect from Singita’s ultra-talented chefs.

And, when the dining’s done, another treat awaits. Singita’s contemporary glass-encased suites are perched like eagles’ nests on the banks of the N’Wanetsi River and put you in the box seat for prime wildlife viewing from the privacy of your nest. A chic nature shower completes the dreamy riverine experience and you can choose to gaze up to the heavens in your own open-air, netted star-bed on the private terrace before drifting to sleep.

 
 
 
 
Ways 2 Stay

Overnight accommodation included according to your selected stay package. Subject to availability.

Day 2
Kruger National Park

Late risers miss the colours of dawn in Kruger… a kaleidoscope of lilac and purples that finally give way to muted apricot tones and the start of a new day. There’s freshly brewed coffee for those in need of an extra kick-start before joining Lebombo’s famous sunrise bush walk. And then you’re off – single file, scout style – marching into the African bush following fresh tracks to see just what you can see over an action-packed two to three hours before returning to the enticing smell of breakfast.

In Lebombo, every dish served is a work of art and breakfast here is nothing short of spectacular. Picture a personalised spread of seasonal-driven produce and your favourites served in-situ at your dining table without any constraints of time. For those that prefer to graze, an elongated deli fridge provides sweet and savoury nibbles all day long.

Mid morning in this place is all about connecting with nature… from the privacy of your daybed and viewing platform or by grabbing binoculars and following the colourful flight path of buffalo weavers and other birds or by treating yourself to a spa treatment inspired by the bush. Skilled masseuses knead and massage away the last of the travel blues and ease the transition from traveller to bon vivant.

Tapas-style lunches can be served at the pool, bar or roof terrace, but Lebombo has a mighty reputation for the diversity of its wine cellar. Today chefs open it up for a bespoke wine and food pairing that heroes your likes and dislikes and showcases some of South Africa’s finest drops. It’s a leisurely affair that’s decadent, educational if you want it to be, and delicious.

The early afternoon is yours to enjoy as the mood takes you, ahead of the afternoon game drive. There’s something romantic about the open-air Land Rovers that hark back to Africa of old. This is lion country and the circle of life is apparent in the quality of the viewing all year round with the big cats and Africa’s infamous Big Five. But no afternoon safari is complete without a sweet treat and a cool drink, and Lebombo Lodge’s team magic up a feast every time.

Eat. Sleep. Safari. And even a relaxing swim turns into game viewing from the main lodge’s perfectly positioned lap pool.

Dinner, like lunch and the lodge’s extensive cocktail menu, is a work of art on the table and best enjoyed completely at your leisure. Singita boasts around 180 wines on the list and the Head Sommelier ensures sought-after allocations that aren’t easily available. If you like your wine, the sommeliers are well and truly at your service.

In stark contrast to the ‘stay inside after dark’ mantra of most African lodges, Singita’s custom-designed viewing-deck-cum-balconies are specifically added for an outdoor sleepover. By day, you sip a G&T on the comfy lounge bed and keep an eye out for wayward monkeys hell-bent on stealing the lemon garnish from your drink and, as dark falls, you’ve got the light of a million stars as your bedside nightlight.

Bush life goes on while you sleep; so don’t be surprised if a herd of elephants might wake you as they bathe in the river below.

 

Ways 2 Stay

Overnight accommodation included according to your selected stay package. Subject to availability.

Day 3
Sabi Sand

Life on a Singita Safari is not a scripted affair, but rather as fluid as the N’Wantesi River that dominates the landscape below. In Lebombo, you’ll wake to a chorus of bird and grey tree frog song, and bush smells wafting on the breeze. If you haven’t slept under the stars, your private deck is the perfect start to lounge and enjoy a round of early morning game viewing from under the covers or, if the mood takes you, from atop the purpose-built Land Rover on an early morning safari with the lions in Kruger.

Both breakfast and lunch showcase the partnership between food and wine and between traditional and modern. There’s time for a quick dip or a cool drink under the ivory-topped umbrellas or in one of the many sun-bathing nooks before you bid adieu to your lodge family and are swept off to a private airstrip for a scenic flight to Boulders Lodge, a striking Sabi safari property in Singita’s five-star stable.

When on safari, some like to sit back and soak in the view of a giraffe chewing its cud as it feeds from the treetops or a leopard sprawling across a branch and licking its paws. Others like to capture the moment for posterity and Boulders Lodge’s fully-equipped photography lab, complete with photography tutor, can ensure guests leave with the ultimate holiday souvenir. This full service centre has equipment and telephoto lenses for hire and a Mac with all the post-production gadgetry for those who want to improve on perfection.

Like Lebombo, Boulders’ philosophy is about fluidity and about celebrating the partnerships between great food and wine and impeccable service. You’re in leopard country now, and a sunset safari is a must to search out these elusive creatures. These big cats form an important part of the diversity in the area, and Singita’s guides and trackers – many of whom are trained locals – are super familiar with the various resident leopards that have established their territory near the Sand River.

Now your hunger is satiated with traditional, yet refined dishes in the open-air Boma Restaurant. The classic grill-house menu features specialities including venison, grass-fed beef and whole fish. The side dishes and vegetarian options take dining at Boulders Lodge to a whole new level.

Star-gazing sessions, with local guides, point out familiar constellations in the ultra-bright sky and African tales add a touch of mystic to the experience. And, when the viewing is done, crisp white sheets and a decadently decorated four-poster bed invite. There’s time to explore the beauty of the African-inspired room from its claw-foot bath and imposing glass walls to the bone and copper curios on display. Private balconies bring the outside in and, once on their timber decks, you’re instantly privy to the comings and goings along the Sand River.

 
 
Ways 2 Stay

Overnight accommodation included according to your selected stay package. Subject to availability.

Day 4
Sabi Sand

Luxe is a signature touch in Singita, and for an immersive nature experience Boulders Lodge suites open to the elements with glass walls that frame the bush to perfection. There’s a decadent contrast of a silky sheepskin run under foot and the natural flax of the bedframe. Here, in the heart of the bushland, rooms have an easy, breezy, almost-beach-like feel to them – a familiar, relaxed holiday vibe.

In these parts leopards don’t grow on trees, but they’re certainly easier to spot than anywhere else in Kruger National Park and they’re permanently in holiday mode too – it is paradise after all... With relaxed and happy leopards on site and guide’s that know the bush like the back of their hand, leopard spotting fast becomes a favourite pastime. An astonishing 9,000 sightings of 142 individual leopards were recorded in the Sabi Sand region last year alone!

For early risers, a sunrise walk through groves of acacia thornveld and marula trees – a favourite of the local elephant herds – and along grassy plains gives you a completely different perspective to your time at Lebombo Lodge. Sure, there are similarities – the ease at which you are greeted by your ranger and their superb knowledge of the local landscape – but there are noticeable differences in the flora, fauna and the smell of the veld. Oh, and the Picasso-inspired sunrises aren’t too bad here either.

Today you can do as little or as much as you like. Slip into an optional spa treatment with the decadence of Kalahari melon-infused body butter; slide into the main lodge’s infinity pool or your very own private rock splash pool. Sip on an exotic cocktail, perhaps an Amarula-inspired creation that’s made from the fruit of the Marula tree; or snooze on a day bed and while away the hours surrounded by the wild air.

As always, an afternoon safari drive sets out to see what’s happening in the African bushveld… and characters from Africa’s Big Five and Small Five generally make an appearance. Eagle-eyed guides can spot the smallest movements in the bush or the tip of a horn above the tree line and happily point out everything in their wake during the golden hour, where the lighting is just right to take safari snaps.

A safari drive can work up an appetite. Michelin-standard meals are served up on crisp white plates and, seem almost too beautiful to eat. Sommeliers are on hand to make the food pop, by recommending the most interesting of wines to accompany the meal – the ultimate in bespoke food and wine pairing and super decadent in safari surrounds.

No light pollution ensures the night sky pops and a spot of armchair astronomy is encouraged. Knowledgeable staff know their angry-man-on-the-moon tales from Milky Way folklore… it’s the ultimate African bedtime story before you turn in for the night.

Ways 2 Stay

Overnight accommodation included according to your selected stay package. Subject to availability.

Day 5
Sabi Sand

Wake to the slight earthy smell from the traditional roof thatching that mingles with the sweet, sweet perfume of the flowering wild African potato bush that wafts in around the lodge’s main common areas. Flight times determine the order of the day, but for many there’s a chance to relax, take a spa treatment or just soak in that incredible view of the Sand River for one last time.

Breakfast is a relaxed affair, thanks in part of Singita’s food philosophy of no set meal times and to the freedom that comes with having your own personal buffet of seasonal-driven delights served direct to your table.

Time slows down in the African bush. A day here feels like a week, and Singita staff pride themselves on seeing their guests leave refreshed and rejuvenated. Chances are, you’re already planning your return. When the packing’s done, guides will collect you at a pre-arranged time for your approximate three hour transfer. There’s time for a quick stop at Hazyview – a quaint farming town that’s famous for the hazy-mist that settles over it in summer and for the hippo give way signs that grace the roadside before you arrive at the Nelspruit Airport.  

As you take-off, take one last glance at this beautiful land of lions and leopards and the thrill of trying to game spot from the air for one last time, before you turn tail for the bright city lights.

 
 

End your tour with a private airport transfer to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.

 

Included

Private

This trip will run exclusively for you.

Local Guide

Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.

Transport & Charter Flight

Road transfers between activities and charter flight between lodges.

Accommodation

4 nights accommodation according to your Ways 2 Stay package. 

This package is quoted per person sharing. Private single rooms can be requested with a single supplement charge.

Meals & Drinks

Most meals, non-alcoholic and most alcoholic beverages included - except premium wines & French Champagne.

Included Activities
  • Singita Lebombo 4x4 Safari
  • Singita Lebombo Boma Dinner
  • Singita Lebombo Wine Pairing
  • Singita Boulders 4x4 Safari
  • Singita Boulders Boma Dinner
  • Singita Boulders Stargazing
  • Singita Boulders Guided Bush Walk
  • Singita Boulders Wine Pairing
  • Singita Boulders 4x4 Safari
  • Singita Boulders Stargazing
  • Singita Lebombo Bush Walk or Cycle
  • Singita Lebombo Wine Pairing
  • Singita Lebombo 4x4 Safari
  • Singita Lebombo Stargazing

Excluded

Optionals

Optional activities can be paid and booked during your journey.

  • Various Spa Treatments
  • Singita Boulders Photography Equipment Hire
Travel Insurance

You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance. 

Flights

Other local and international flights are excluded.

FAQ

Need more information?
Contact me if you have any questions.
Benita Stroebel
Tailor-Made Tours

Since the beginning, working as a guesthouse manager 13-years ago, I have been involved in creating personalised experiences for people in the travel industry. It has grown into my work passion and I love being able to create tailor-made experiences for people that they will remember for the rest of their lives. In between doing that, I create my own memories and experiences by spending time with my family (usually on the beach), attending festivals and capturing it all with my camera.

ask me

Terms & Conditions

Click terms for more details.

Payment Policy: Requires 25% deposit to reserve
  • 25% deposit is required to reserve a booking request upon acceptance of the quote for custom tours.
  • Full payment is required at least 60 days before the departure date to confirm the reservation.
  • Deposits are non refundable and will be set as cancellation fee.
Cancellation / Refund Policy: Easy cancellation - 60 day 75% refund
  • If you cancel 61 days before arrival, there is a 25% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 60 days of arrival, there is a 100% cancellation fee.
Child Policy: Singita allows children 10 years and over
  • Singita Lemombo and Singita Boulders can accommodate children of 10 years and older. 
  • Singita’s activities can be tailored to suit the interests and desires of each family and babysitting services are available
  • In the interest of safety, participation of children in any game activities is at the discretion of their guide.
Standard terms apply

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Know Before You Go

 what to expect

 

South Africa

  

11 official Languages Spoken

Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa

How to say hello?

Molo – Xhosa

Sawubona - Zulu

Hallo - Afrikaans

Dumela - SeSotho

 

Electricity – Volt & plug

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.

Measurements 

Metric System

 

WiFi/Internet Access on tour 

WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.

 

When to go

South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.

Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.

Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather. 

Best time to go

Jun-Jul = Safari 

Jan-Feb = Beach 

 

Public Holidays

With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.

1 Jan   New Year's Day
21 Mar   Human Rights Day
30 Mar   Good Friday
2 Apr   Family Day
27 Apr   Freedom Day
1 May   Workers' Day
16 Jun   Youth Day
9 Aug   National Women's Day
24 Sep   Heritage Day
16 Dec   Day of Reconciliation
17 Dec   Day of Reconciliation Holiday
25 Dec   Christmas Day
26 Dec   Day of Goodwill

 

Visa & Travel docs

Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).

Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

 

What to pack

We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:

  • For the summers, bring clothes that are cool and comfortable, along with an umbrella or rain jacket, as this is when most of the country gets rain. A light jacket or wrap is a good precaution. Don't forget a swimming costume.
  • The winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But we do get some days when temperatures plummet, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg (some nights go below 0ºC), so be prepared with jerseys and jackets. If you are going to the Cape, rain gear will be needed in this season (your average here will be between 10-20ºC).
  • Always bring a hat - the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sunblock a firm part of your skin care kit.
  • Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
  • For game viewing, a couple of neutral-toned items will be useful, but there's no need to go overboard and kit yourself out like David Livingstone, out to explore Africa for the first time.
  • For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route. If you are simply going out to get a bite to eat, a general “no shirt, no shoes - no service” rule applies, so as long as you are fully clad, your attire should not be an issue.
  • When travelling with Hotspots2c we encourage reasonably sized bags for multi-day tours and we are able to accommodate bags that are on average under 20kgs. For one and two day tours, a light backpack is encouraged. 

  

Health & Safety

There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.

The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.

South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.

 

Getting Around 

South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.

There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.

From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.

 

Money 

Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping. 

Tipping

  • Restaurants and Bars - Tipping in restaurants is the norm and is customarily kept at 10% of the total shown on the bill. Many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to a bill if the number of guests exceeds six or ten.
  • Petrol Stations and Car Parking - Petrol station attendants may be tipped a few Rands if they wash the windscreen, and offer to check oil and water and the tyres. Car-guards or parking-attendants are usually given R2 - R5. Car parks and areas around many popular tourist spots are populated by locals in day-glo yellow vests who offer to direct you to a space or to "look after your car for you." They are not threatening and you do not have to pay them, but giving them a few Rands may stop them from turning to petty crime. Cape Town has recently instituted a more formal parking attendant system in the downtown area, where uniformed attendants with handheld machines take payment for parking.
  • Tour Guides and Drivers – Tipping on tour is neither expected nor compulsory, However, should you wish to tip, the recommended tip is usually R10 per person on a day tour and R15 per person per day on multi-day tours. For private tours, R50 per person per half-day tour and R80 per person per day for a full-day tour is the norm.
  • Hotels - At hotels you may choose to leave money for housekeeping, this is often between R10-R50 per person per day but is in no way compulsory. It can also be done at the end of your stay
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