Highlights of Singita Sweni Lodge
- Singita Sweni has an ultra-stylish modern design
- Intimate and exclusive feel with only six suites
- Suites are exactly the same as Singita Lebombo but with more neutral tones
- Singita Sweni has a bush palette of colours with close-up river views
- A contemporary yet authentic safari ambience
- Superb cuisine with wine-tasting on offer with a resident sommelier
Singita continues to maintain its worldwide repute as one of the World’s finest and most exclusive safari companies. Singita Sweni and its nearby sister camp, Singita Lebombo, are located in a private 15,000ha concession in the central Kruger National Park (and are collectively known as Singita Kruger). They lie in the foothills of the Lebombo mountains which form the eastern edge of the Kruger National Park.
Singita Sweni has a beautiful shaded riverside setting with exudes a sense of intimacy and seclusion. Kate loves Singita Sweni and even prefers it to its more glamorous and better known sister lodge. It shares the ultra-stylish and modern architecture and design, but with only six suites, it has a cosy authentic safari ambience. This is also due to its stunning river setting – you are right in the bush, nestled on the banks of the Sweni River with close-up animal and bird sightings.
The public areas all overlook the river with sounds of snorting hippos and birds ever present. There’s a sitting area with fireplace for the winter mornings and evenings and a dining room with moveable glass walls which can be left open, or closed in the evenings in the cooler winter months. To the side is the secluded swimming pool and pool deck with glorious river views. The six glass-enclosed suites at Sweni lodge are simply glorious. They are modern in style using soft safari colours and stylish furniture. There’s a decadent open plan bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers and a large game-viewing deck with your own day bed. Other amenities include air-conditioning, ceiling fan, minibar, safe and telephone.
Within walking distance of Singita Sweni is the Trading Post with its stylish African craft boutiques, art gallery, well-equipped gym and Spa. Huge glass walls bring the bush feel right into the gym and spa with its range of treatment rooms, steam room and outdoor shower. The Trading Post offers a perfect way to spend a couple of hours in between game activities. The cuisine at Singita Sweni is exceptional. Informal wine-tasting presentations are offered by Singita’s resident sommelier on request.
Game viewing at Singita Sweni
Singita Sweni offers excellent game-viewing with the emphasis placed on viewing large herds of plains game rather than on individual predator sightings. Singita Kruger is particularly known for its excellent lion sightings with two large prides in the concession. It offers a range of active activities as well as 4×4 game drives. Great emphasis is placed on bush walks with an armed ranger; you can try game-viewing on mountain bikes and archery is also on offer.
Given the varying terrain of this part of the Kruger and the private game reserves of the Sabi Sands or Timbavati, time and budget permitting you might like to combine two nights here with two nights at Singita Ebony or Singita Boulders.
Kate’s Trip report
Game-viewing was good at Singita despite the rain during our stay. It is of a different nature to the Sabi Sands. You see larger herds of animals – big herds of zebra, wildebeest, nyala, kudu, and there are two large resident prides of lion on the concession so chances of seeing lion are high. You may not see the leopard easily as it typically hides away in the rocks, unlike in the Sabi Sands where they are habituated to the vehicles. Given the varying terrain, I would recommend combining both areas if you have the time (and budget). 3 nights here would be ideal.
Unlike some other Kruger concession lodges, Singita sticks to game drives on its own concession, thus maintaining the aura of exclusivity. It is a huge concession of 15,000ha so you probably won’t even see another Singita vehicle on your drives. They are allowed to go off road for sightings but this must be carefully documented.
I loved the intimacy of the smaller lodge (six suites), the setting right by the river, the stylish airy interiors both of the public areas and the rooms.
The six suites fan out on either side of the main lodge and are simply glorious. They are modern in style but in a very approachable way. The rooms are completely made of glass but bamboo rods form a shaded back- and side- drop to the rooms and also give you the necessary privacy when showering etc. The colours are neutral with soft greens, beiges and browns but with a light airy feel. The bathroom is open plan with sunken bath, indoor shower and outdoor shower. There is good use of curtains to separate the room, both to create a sense of intimacy when its time for bed and also to offer privacy in the bathroom. Sweni also has a second toilet which is useful and a second indoor shower (which I thought was a bit of an overkill!)