Editors' Picks

Singita Ebony

Traditional Sabi Sand, family-friendly, African-colonial

Idube Lodge Access Road, Kruger Park, South Africa

(27) 013-735-9800

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Indagare Adored

At a Glance

If it can be said that East Africa is the birthplace of traditional safari, then South Africa is the original home of “stylish safari”—lodges with cutting-edge design and anything-you-want amenities. And for that experience, now widely popularized and copied, we have Luke Bailes, the founder of Singita, to thank. Singita has grown its portfolio to over a dozen properties in six ecosystems in four countries; starting in 1993, with the launch of Ebony Lodge, on land that was once his grandfather’s farm, Bailes did it—one wine cellar in the bush and one plunge pool overlooking elephants at a time. But the trappings were the bait to accomplish a larger mission: to save Africa’s animals, by preserving the continent’s land and improving the lives of its people. Singita’s original riverside camp in the heart of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, Singita Ebony offers just 12 suites, colonial-style digs and a family-friendly vibe.

**Don't Miss: **The opportunity to bring the kids; Ebony Lodge has a Mini Rangers program for all ages. Meeting the antipoaching scouts and dogs and donating to their work.

Indagare Loves

  • Knockout location overlooking the Sand River (and its inhabitants)
  • The area's dense leopard population
  • Family-friendly activities including a Mini Rangers’ course, archery lessons and visits to community schools
  • Colonial setting and homey ambiance reminiscent of a bygone era


On 45,000 acres of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, Singita Ebony is the group’s original safari lodge, with just 12 suites (two have a family-friendly two-bedroom set up) and a four bedroom villa, a spa, gym gourmet dining and a traditional, African-meets-colonial-era look. Game drives with expert trackers at dawn and dusk offer chance encounters with the Big Five, but Ebony’s location beside the Sand River means game viewing isn’t restricted to the comfy 4x4 jeeps. Instead, elephant sightings are common at breakfast, giraffes appear on the savannah plains over afternoon tea and grunting hippos often put on a show during sundowners on the tree-lined deck.

The airy main lodge echoes the natural scene it overlooks, with pitched ceilings in traditional thatch, standing beams cut from unfinished tree trunks and rough stonewalls. Into this rustic framework, interior accents add the warmth of a family home (dozens of mismatched cushions, wool throws, well-thumbed books and more) and the distinctive design touches of the colonial era (wing back chairs, oversize chests and taxidermy galore). In suites too, organic elements blend with stylized interior comforts, from grand four-poster beds draped in mosquito netting to polished stone floors softened by embroidered rugs. Light-flooded bathrooms were designed with romance in mind, done up with oversize picture windows, roll-top baths and alfresco showers. Outside, furnished terraces sport chaise lounges in sunset shades and private plunge pools for hippo-inspired wallowing.

International and regionally inspired meals are served on the outdoor deck overlooking the Sand River, in the cozy candlelit dining room, or, by special request, fireside in the bush. There’s also a swimming pool, fitness center and spa, where the pressure point massage administered with dried local Monkey Oranges is a favorite. Evenings end early with a nightcap chosen from the 20,000-bottle strong wine cellar, a dose of stargazing and a request for a wake up call before the next sunrise drive.

Who Should Stay

Families, traditionalists and first-time safari-goers looking for top-notch service and impeccable game-viewing.

Written by Nikki Ridgway

What's Nearby
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