Experience Luxurious Conservation at South Africa’s Premier Eco-Safari Retreat

The beauty of Singita is that it’s one of those rare brands that actually cares. What do I mean by this? In an age of rapid expansion, growth, and money-making, Singita is the exception. The brand, from the very beginning, has all been about protecting and preserving  Africa’s wildernesses, a philosophy, founder Luke Bailes, has continued to grow and foster across each of Singita’s swish lodges and camps for the last 30 years. Sure, at surface level, it’s all glitz and glam, but beyond all the polished silver, luxe digs, and fancy amenities is a brand that works with a cobweb of regional not-for-profit conservation partners, researchers, local communities, scientists, and anti-poaching maestro across one million acres spread over six wondrous ecosytems. In short, Singita is the nexus; the pinnacle of an African safari experience that gives as much as it takes. It is, as I like to say, a prime example of luxe doing good. 

Out of the brand’s sixteen lodges, Boulders Lodge, tucked away in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, remains after almost three decades, one of the best. Unlike its next-door neighbour and sister lodge, Ebony, the vibe at Boulders is a little more demurer exclusive. That’s not to say it’s not welcoming…no, on the contrary, here, the vibe is to be as elusive as a cheetah meandering the bush. As per the Singita standard, its swish turn-of-the-century colonial chic set to a paired-down mood that oozes and epitomises the superfluity of the African safari experience. Think natural palettes of blacks, greys and vivid colour pops of reds, oranges and dusky yellows set against fossilised tree stumps, novel African art pieces and found objects.

As for the people that stay at this lodge, designer labels reign supreme on this well-heeled, well-travelled crowd. The location is just as eye-poppingly gaudy. Cabanas and decks overlook the boulder-strewn (hence the lodge’s name) Sand River, which is often visited by curious and thirsty game, from elephants to giraffes and the odd buffalo around the clock. 

Digs? Demi glass palaces (think LA pad in the bush) and villa 10 are the best. Views spy the river and rapids and offer plenty of chances to spot game day and night, and a mega bonus is that you even have your own turnstile for swish private access to your jeep come early morning safari. Plunge pool, private deck, sun loungers, and other nick-nacks in the form of sculptures and handmade shamanic-esque totems also give the suite that extra dose of African razzamatazz. 

On the safari side, it’s beautifully curated and tailored to what you want to see. My guide Andrew and expert tracker of 18 years, Lewis knew I was into photography, the Big Five, a moment under the Milky Way, cheetah spotting, and a chance encounter with a pangolin, one, if you didn’t know it, is part of nature’s so-called “impossible five.” As per the Singita way, we saw everything, bar the pangolin (it really is that impossible). Drives typically last three to four hours, depending on the season, but if you fancy staying out longer or all day, the guides will abide and show you everything the South African wilderness, from the game to the insects, has to offer. 

Grub? A sit down with Singita’s consultant chef Simon Orviss and head sommelier Luke Herholdt shines a light on the sorcery behind the lodge’s foodie magic. As expected, all the food is seasonal and sourced locally as per the brand’s commitment to a sustainable Africa. While you can order whatever you like, menus have been designed to exclude certain dishes to encourage guests to avoid adding to their carbon footprint. The result, local caught game from kudu to ostrich. The result is a creative medley of dishes that not only taste delicious but also save the planet in the process. Think tasty avocado mash-ups, lean game, and healthy salads without the food coma. 

Overall, while some come close, nobody competes with Singita. It’s everything an African safari should be: mindful, curated, and expertly passionate about preserving what makes this continent so very special: its flora, fauna, and beautiful people. 

Top Takeaways

Location: Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa 

Rating: Five-star 

The vibe: Eco-conscious modern safari chic with an unmatched conservation effort and mission to preserve the bush for Africa’s future generations. 

Food + Drink: You can order anything you want, but the deliciously well-curated breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus are designed to keep you going for longer, especially for those early morning game drives. 

Amenities: Restaurant; Bar; Outdoor swimming pool; Gym; Spa; Boutique on-site. 

Our Favourite Thing About the Hotel: The staff. They are exceptional and will do everything in their power to ensure you have the best time ever. 

Nearby Attractions: The bush! 

Rooms: 12

Closest Airport: Johannesburg. Transfers aboard Federal Airlines or private jets can be arranged via concierge or directly with Singita. 

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