Editors' Picks

Singita Lebombo Lodge

Remote, sexy, adventurous

Singita Lebombo Lodge, South Africa

+27 21-683-3424

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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 Lebombo Lodge is a hilltop lodge in a big cat­–rich corner of the Kruger National Park, with 15 nest-like lodges and a modern-organic look, that is a favorite for honeymooners (only children age 10 and over are welcome).

The Standout: Lebombo’s eagle’s-nest-inspired suites situated on a rocky hillside and featuring outdoor decks, stargazing beds, stand-alone tubs and partial outdoor showers Don’t Miss: Game drives on Singita’s private concession at Kruger (very near the Mozambique border) offer the chance to see prides of lions so numerous that at times they have become “mega-prides,” with 20-plus members.

Indagare Loves

  • Full walls of glass in suites means panoramic bush views
  • The chance to see one of the largest prides of lions in the Kruger
  • Oversize daybeds beside the skinny hilltop pool
  • The Singita School of Cooking, developed in connection with Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London, has made a great impact on the lives of local youths.


At the southeastern edge of the mighty Kruger National Park, a small-plane hop from Johannesburg, Singita Lebombo is part safari lodge, part contemporary art installation—and one unapologetic show off. The remote hideaway parades its exceptional location on a hilltop, or lebombo, overlooking the M’wantesi River from every corner of the property, and most impressively in the 15 glass-enclosed suites.

Designed by Andrew Makin, the suites appear like a group of avant-garde bird’s nests on stilts above the scrub, their all-glass facades camouflaging the standalone structures against the hillside and creating the illusion of sleeping al fresco in the African bush. An architectural trick indeed, because inside, the look is pure luxury in a successful mix of organic textures and mid-century modern accents. Beds are swaddled in Egyptian cotton and topped with mosquito netting, oatmeal shades add warmth to the retro-inspired furnishings and private outdoor viewing decks have both daybeds made for two and contemporary, single-mold armchairs. Lengths of bamboo conceal open-plan bathrooms from the outside, but views from the sunken tubs are left undisturbed.

Days here begin with a wake-up call before sunrise, a pre-breakfast snack and then the first game drive of the day. The region is known for its big cat viewing, and has unusually large prides of lions, plus black and white rhino, hippo, buffalo, cheetah and more. The hottest part of the day is spent back at the lodge, where you can choose from a raft of spa treatments, opt for an archery lesson or simply lounge next to the narrow pool with those same beautiful views. Meals are served on the indoor/outdoor terrace overlooking the bush, or in the modern poolside dining room and range from simple international favorites to inventive dishes of antelope or ostrich paired with South African wines from the lodge’s extensive tower. Lunch is often served family style.

Who Should Stay

Couples who appreciate a modern-cool aesthetic; wine lovers; eco-minded travelers with a fondness for modern comforts; Singita groupies

Written by Simone Girner

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