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“Best Game Lodge in South Africa - Honeymoon”

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Singita Ebony Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 August 2014

Singita Ebony was by far the most amazing and luxurious place my husband and I have ever stayed at. This truly is a gem. Everything was perfect - the game viewing was spectacular, food was gourmet and catered to your requests, villas were HUGE with a one of a kind colonial feel.

We (late twenties from Chicago) traveled in April and took advantage of a Singita promo - stay at 2 different lodges for 4 nights and get a 5th night comp. Reference Singita website for promotions - http://singita.com/promotions/. Our 1st 2 days were spent at Singita Sweni and our last 3 were spent at Ebony.

Ebony has more of a colonial African stately feel. The villas are HUGE which all, I believe, have private plunge pool, outdoor terrace overlooking the river and indoor/outdoor showers. It would be a thrill to walk to the main lodge in the AM and see monkeys and kudu watching you! Food was so exquisite and the management did a wonderful job of making our honeymoon special with intimate meals. The game viewing was outstanding with our tracker and driver having both a wealth of knowledge and answer to any questions we had about the animals.

This is truly a once in a lifetime trip. When deciding on the right game lodge - choose Singita and you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank ScootersJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 August 2014

We decided to visit Singita Ebony after extensive research on where to stay as part of our 18-day tour of Southern Africa. Ebony more then lived up to its reputation and exceeded our expectations. In fact it was the highlight of our tour.

From the moment we arrived we felt very comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful always looking for a way to make your experience more memorable. Service was very attentive and accommodating.

Food was delicious and plentiful. We loved the brunch after the morning game drives and skipped the lunch as we were stuffed. Best eggs benedict I ever had! Dinner choices included continental fare and also some local game options. Loved trying Kudu and the Impala tenderloin and the Ostrich sausages.

We also were treated to a private wine tasting before dinner one night. This was a really nice treat to enjoy some of the wonderful South African wines in Ebony’s cellar.

Our rooms were the Lewis suites located right next to the main lodge area. It was a great option for our family. The rooms were beautiful and spacious. Our girls loved the private heated pool and enjoyed lounging between game drives. Made for a nice break.

The girls went to the Spa and were delighted with the services provided. There is also a nicely equipped gym available for those who need to stretch their legs and get a bit of exercise.

The highlight of our visit to Ebony was our game drives. We spent 4 days here and every day was special. We had Coleman as our guide and Temba, as our tracker. These guys were fantastic. If you decide to visit and can request a team to show you Saba Sands these guys make a great team.

Coleman knowledge and experience was amazing. We learned so much from him. Coleman took the time to explain what were looking at, explained animal behavior and also answered all our questions. He also has a wonderful sense of humor and made the time together very memorable.

On our first day we saw the big five all in one day!

The highlight for the first day was watching a pride of Lions, 16 in total, fed on a cape buffalo. Coleman explain the social order of the pride and how they interact.

During our stay we also viewed elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, cape buffalos, hippos
, rhinos, kudus, sables, hyenas and a host of other mammals and birdlife.

For me, the highlight of our game viewing was watching the drama between a leopard and a hyena. The leopard made a kill and took it up a tree. Only problem was, the tree chosen, by the leopard was not stable enough to hold both the impala and the weight of the leopard comfortably. While the leopard rested, even “catnapped”, the hyena being the opportunists, walked below the tree waiting for the impala to fall. Luckily for the leopard she was able to leave the tree without causing her dinner to fall to the hyena. It was like watching a “live” National Geographic special. Something I will never forget.


We loved our four days here and would definitely recommend it and would love to go back

Room Tip: Lewis suites are a good option if traveling as a family
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank AdriaticSummer2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

The Singita Ebony Lodge, while expensive, deserves every bit of its stellar reputation. From the moment I got there till the day I left, I was blown away. I will briefly summarize below the many unique aspects of my experience which made my stay there a once in a lifetime experience. As context, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia and South America, so its not like I haven't been to some amazing places previously. While you will see great game in other reserves/locations (we also went to Tube Tree Camp in Botswana), what makes Singita special is the overall combination of services they provide. Pls read below if you want detail.

Room
- The room has gorgeous, large canopy beds. There are private outside pools in each room. There is both an indoor AND outdoor shower. Deck with lounge chairs makes for great outdoor hanging out and viewing. Sitting room. And the room has snacks/drinks (all complementary), if one needs them (you don't - read my food overview)

Food
- The food is wonderful and plentiful. We had a combination of vegetarian, dairy-free and nut allergy issues which they happily accommodated.
- Here is the daily routine. They serve a light breakfast at 7 am (before game drive), big breakfast at 10:30 am, lunch at 1pm (we skipped because we were full), tea/snack at 3:30 pm, snack/beverage on game drive at sunset, and then dinner around 8pm
- The quality of the food is brilliant. Its a mix of local and int'l cuisine cooked by good chefs
- You actually will gain weight if you go there; it's impossible not to

Service
- The service is outstanding.
- They do all the little things from providing hot water bottle for you to put on your lap on morning game drive to providing ponchos as well
- Another example is that my son liked their cookies, so a tray of cookies w/a note for him shows up at our room
- We had a birthday on our trip, so they went out of their way to help us celebrate that
- The manger (Matt) was awesome. We left our digital camera there, and he is sending us our memory card at no cost to us.

Game Drive
- Our guide (Dylan) and tracker (Temba) were nothing short of phenomenal.
- We saw all the biggies (except lions). We saw elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, cape buffalos and hippos
- Two special highlights were seeing a rhino in a glade (unbelievable) and seeing a leopard take down a warthog (live kill)
- They were thoughtful about explaining things vs. just driving us around
- I would recommend both of them in a hearbeat

Other
- They have a workout facility --- I kid you not!
- Great Wi-Fi access for those who need to work while on vacation

Overall Uniqueness
- One night, we had dinner on the private airstrip. It was a 5-star menu and they also brought in a local village choir to sing and dance (we joined in).

I hope I can go back some day.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Suresh B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We stayed in two Singita lodges during our trip, Sweni and Ebony and, although quite different, both were wonderful. Ebony is the more traditional of the two, but, like Sweni, the service and attention to detail was second to none. Our room was large and attractively furnished with a large terrace that overlooked the river and featured a good sized seating area, a small private pool, two sun loungers and an outdoor shower. The staff were all very friendly and went out of their way to make sure that we had everything we needed. The guide on our game drives was Andy, who was very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and, together with tracker Ren, managed to locate not only leopard, cheeta and lions, but also a rare sighting of wild dogs. A highlight of the game drives was stopping in the bush for morning coffee or sundowners and, on one memorable occasion, a five course meal was laid out for us to eat by flickering candle light. Singita prides itself on creating an experience for its guests and it certainly delivered for us. It is expensive, but well worth it and we certainly hope to return.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Optimusprime100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Having taken safaris before, we had high hopes for our stay in Kruger. Our expectations were more than met at Ebony. We luxuriated in the traditionally furnished suites with dark woods and soft furniture and the outdoor infinity type pool. The staff was considerate and attentive. The meals were taste treats, accompanied by beautifully chosen wines by Velma, the sommelier. But, even more important, were the superb opportunities to experience the animals, to gain more understanding of animal behavior. We were privileged to watch and listen to a leopard for several hours as she ate her impala kill, with a hungry hyena waiting for whatever she dropped; we followed a fourteen strong lion pride; and were on the scene as a handsome dark male lion roared (95 decibels) several times to contact his pride after roaming to extend his territory. I.hear.small animal group for several days and see a story play out. We can't say enough fine things about Ross, our guide, and Johnson, our tracker. Their understanding of the animals and of photography made the whole experience superb.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank yakherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

This is an absolutely gorgeous property with incredible staff. We loved it from the moment of arrival until departure. The staff create a magical environment and are so friendly (genuinely so) that you feel comfortable at all times. The food and wine are delicious and on the safari drives, we saw the Big 5 in one day! The massage I had was one of the best ever. The trend for massages in the States is an elbow in the back, which I really do not care for. However, strong hands at the Ebony made the massage most divine! Also, very good internet coverage here. Because Singita was so wonderful, when we come back to Africa, we will focus on Singita properties, as they really know how to run a lodge well.

Room Tip: We had a family room (room 1), which had 3 bathrooms! I believe room 2 also is a family room. Thes...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank gourmetwashington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

We stayed in April 2014

To say this was an unforgettable experience is to seriously understate it. We'd been to 4 other properties on our Africa trip and this was the last one before we headed home. We arrived late in the afternoon, missing the departure time for the afternoon drive. If we'd known beforehand we would have looked a taking a charter flight from Kruger International to the private airstrip and saved ourselves the car ride and arrived much earlier

That aside, which had nothing to do with Singita itself, this stay was a magnificent experience. The accommodation was first class, the service was excellent and the attention to detail was outstanding. Examples of this include hot-water bottles under the blankets on the seats of the cars when leaving on the morning excursion, spare binoculars for guests in the cars, padded rests for photographers to brace their cameras and "comfort packs" for female guests who might need to "go behind a bush" during an excursion. At one point during a drive,we had a discussion about different whiskeys. That evening when we came to dinner we found that the bar staff had lined up 5 or 6 different whiskeys for us to try. Very very impressive.

The restaurant could hold its head up high in any company, anywhere in the world. The a la carte menu was varied, tasted great, was professionally presented and I even had some local kudu steak which was delicious. All meals, drinks, wine and mini bar were included in the tariff.

Our driver, Andy and guide, Syd were very knowledgeable and accommodating. We saw lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, wilderbeest, warthogs, impala, kudu, zebra, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, a variety of birds and even cheetah which we tracked for two days before finally finding them.

I had the experience of sitting in an open vehicle, right next to the track, watching a leopard strolling down, and as it slowly walked past, less than 2 feet from me, it turned its head to look me directly in the eye and just continued on.....indescribable!!

The souvenir shop located a few minutes drive from the lodge was well worth the visit with a large and impressive variety of well made and interesting handicrafts, completely different from most other "mass produced" souvenirs you'd expect in other parts of the world. Make sure to visit - you won't regret it.

On the last night,the turn-down experience included running a hot bath, sprinkling petals into the shape of a heart next to a ice-bucket with a bottle of champagne and two glasses next to it. See my photos.

An amazing experience. Just go - you will remember it always!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank rl_1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Singita Ebony Lodge

Address: Kruger National Park 1242, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range: £377 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the original Singita lodge, Ebony stands steadfast amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Sand River in the heart of South Africa's 'big cat country.' The lodge takes safari design and style to a new level with a fresh and contemporary interpretation of the classic safari lodge, combining tented camp and bush lodge style. Guests are immersed in nature with huge open spaces and interiors inspired by a combination of local tribal culture and the animal kingdom. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Singita Ebony Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Singita Ebony Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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