There are few things more memorable than one’s first visit to the bush – the sights and sounds never leave you and often spark a life-long love affair with the African wilderness. This is true even for those of us who were born and grew up here, and such is the case with Gugu Sithole, Singita’s PR co-ordinator. What follows is her account of her first safari; a trip to Singita’s lodges in South Africa:
For most of us, on a scale of 1 – 10, an African safari is right up there! And if not, I’m pretty sure it features somewhere on your bucket list. To be one with nature, to reach out and touch the wild, to taste and feel it, where the roar of it fills your very being with the sound of life. From the sands of the Serengeti to the remote and lush scenery of the bushveld, it’s a stir that lives within all of us. For both the first-time safari-goer and the more seasoned game viewer, there is something magical that awaits.
The game viewing begins before you even touch down on the airstrip as you spot elephants and giraffes from the sky. After a quick refreshment, you are whisked away to the lodge where every wish and whim is attended to. The first glance around your suite reveals accommodation beyond any expectation, and makes you wonder whether life gets any better. And then, it does, because all that other stuff is just the beginning.
Up close and personal game drives allow you to experience some of the world’s most beautiful creatures in their natural habitat – leopards cleverly camouflaged in tall grass, lions roaring as a reminder of who’s more fierce, herds of elephants chomping away at tree bark. At night you might even spot a spotted genet (see what I did there?).
There’s nothing quite like the bond you form with your guide and tracker and you’ll think of them often when you’ve returned home. Somehow, they manage to fill you with a sense of ease in this unfamiliar setting. They’re always right on hand to ensure you miss nothing, pointing out all the hidden gems. They add that extra bit of magic to an already unforgettable trip.
Even your culinary experience will leave you wondering exactly why it took you so long to visit. Morning and afternoon game drive bush stops feature delectable snacks specially prepared in the Singita kitchens, as well as the finest liqueur coffees, G&Ts, wines and champagnes. In fact, with seven specially designed eating moments throughout the day, including the guidance of charming sommeliers to ensure that perfect pairing, you may be forgiven for never wanting to leave. For those with a palate requiring a little bit of extra attention, fully customised menus are simply a request away.
And for the final encore, just before the curtain sets on your magical adventure and as you arrive back from yet another spectacular game drive, a very special surprise is just around the corner. An amazing lantern-lit food and wine experience awaits you on the airstrip, featuring the finest dishes prepared by Singita’s executive chef and paired with exquisite wines. Sit under the heavens as you soak up the final hours of your trip, gaze up at the beauty of a million stars and listen to the symphony of Africa’s wildlife just beyond you in the dark.
Singita Kruger National Park and Singita Sabi Sand, home to five of our lodges, together comprise 78,000 acres of South Africa’s most incredible and pristine land. Both concessions are renowned for high concentrations of big game, frequent leopard sightings and large prides of lion. Please contact our Reservations team to find out more about experiencing this carefully protected part of South Africa.