Tucked away into the banks of Sweni River on the southeastern edge of the Kruger National Park, Singita Sweni Lodge offers the ultimate luxury safari experience. The lodge is located on 33,000 acres of exclusive concession land, offering some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in South Africa.
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We had an opportunity to spend a few nights at Singita Sweni Lodge during our recent trip to Kruger National Park and were blown away by our stay here.
This is definitely one of the most sustainable lodges we’ve had the pleasure of staying at, offering the ultimate eco-lux low-impact safari experience.
Check out the video below and read on to find out all about our stay at Singita Sweni Lodge.
About Singita Sweni Lodge
Singita Sweni Lodge is located in one of the most game-rich areas in Kruger National Park, a private Singita Concession Area on the bank of Sweni River, along the border with Mozambique. With only 7 suites, hidden in the canopy of trees, Singita Sweni Lodge offers an intimate setting and an opportunity for exclusive wildlife viewing without the crowds frequently encountered in Kruger National Park itself.
Close proximity to the river provides guests with an opportunity for all-day wildlife viewing and a chance to spot hippos, crocs, elephants, and lots of other wildlife on the banks of the river.
The open-air restaurant, lounge and pool offer great views of the river, so the opportunities for unique wildlife sightings continue well beyond the game drives.
The pool was our personal favourite!
Inside the Suites
Walk into one of the suites at Singita Sweni Lodge and you’ll forget that you are in Africa! Beautiful spacious en-suite units offer utmost luxury while blending with the surrounding.
The design features recycled timbers with elements of gold and bronze ore and polished mud. The vibrant colours add a touch of life and complement the neutral tones of the design.
Each suite features an open-plan layout with two bathrooms and a beautiful outdoor shower overlooking the river. The panoramic game-viewing deck is complete with an outdoor day-bed that can be set up for a night under the stars.
The suites also feature state of the art amenities, like energy-efficient AC, Bose sound systems, bean-to-cup coffee machines and a complete set of locally made toiletries.
We stayed in a regular suite, but later learned that Singita Sweni Lodge also offers a Pool Suite, that features a private swimming pool. This is the only unit that can be connected to the adjacent suite to create a massive two en-suite bedroom unit connected with a wooden deck.
A perfect set up for families or groups!
Food & Wine
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and the never-ending supply of snacks along with all drinks (including premium wines, spirits and liqueurs) are included in the daily date at Singita Sweni Lodge. Mealtime at Singita Sweni Lodge is an experience in its own right.
We really love Singita’s food philosophy. They recognize that high levels of meat consumption is detrimental to the environment and our health, so their chefs work hard to create mouthwatering menus that feature traditional cuisine and seasonal produce that entices guests towards a plant-based dishes.
Produce, meats and seafood at Singita Sweni Lodge are carefully sourced from local suppliers with over 80% of the fresh fruits and vegetables being sourced from a small farm just outside of Kruger National Park.
Our meals at Singita Sweni Lodge were superb, but for us, the highlight of every meal was the wine pairings. Singita is recognized as one of Africa’s most influential collectors of wine, and each one of their lodges features an extensive cellar with an amazing selection of premium South African wines, including some of the continent’s most sought-after private reserves, including exclusive release, limited single vineyard and rare auction wines.
Their staff are true wine experts, able to provide detailed tasting notes and pairing recommendations for every dish.
We’ve stayed in a number of luxury lodges and hotels through our travels, but this was the first time that we have come across this expert level of wine and food pairings.
Morning and afternoon game drives as Singita Sweni Lodge were, of course, the main activity during our stay. Game Drives at Singita are conducted in open Land Rovers, each accommodating a maximum of six guests, so the drives are never squishy and uncomfortable.
Our professional guide, Benj, and a spotter, Sunday, accompanied us on every drive and we were thoroughly impressed by their in-depth knowledge of the bush and the wildlife in the area. They didn’t just spit out the facts about each animal (we can’t tell you how many times we’ve now heard that the giraffe’s tongue is an impressive 45cm long), they shared intricate details of their behaviours, their habitat and provided unique observations that helped us further understand their day to day life.
Given that the Singita Concession is often considered one of the most game-rich areas of the Kruger National Park, we expected to see a fair share of wildlife on our game drives, but the sightings we had in just 2 days at Sweni Lodge far exceeded all of our expectations.
First, was a unique cheetah sighting – not just 1 cheetah, but 2 cheetah brothers graced us with their presence on our first-afternoon drive. The following day, it was an amazing sighting of lions with not just one, not two, but seven (7!!!!) little lion cubs.
It was serious cuteness overload!
On our last game drive, after many wonderful sightings of lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffalos, hippos, waterbucks, and other antelopes, we came across the most unique sighting of them all – a white lion!
It is said that this young male is one of the few white lions in the wild, so rare that a crew from National Geographic was sent to this area to document him. They had been looking for the lion for almost a week and were finally able to document him when we spotted him on our drive.
How amazing is that?
Sustainability at Singita Sweni Lodge
Aside from being a beautiful place to stay and a destination with some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities, Singita Sweni Lodge seals the deal for us with their strong focus on sustainability.
Singita’s ethos of “touching the earth lightly” is evident in every element of the lodge and in the safari experience. Their conservation efforts are supported through a number of projects focusing on biodiversity, community and sustainability.
One of the most impressive sustainability initiatives at Singita Sweni Lodge and its sister-lodge, Singita Lebombo Lodge, is their solar power plant that consists of over 3,000 solar panels and a recently introduced Tesla Powerpack system that provides additional storage capabilities.
Since the installation of the plant, the lodges have seen a 70% – 80% drop in diesel use in the generators and been able to save close to 1000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Another one of their notable projects includes their onsite Singita Community Culinary School, a unique program that provides exceptional culinary training to young members of the nearby community, who graduated from the school with highly sought-after skills and strong employment prospects.
Guests at Singita Sweni Lodge are treated with exceptional care and are given an opportunity to experience once-in-a-lifetime wildlife sightings. Our stay at Singita Sweni Lodge was a highlight of our trip to South Africa and one that will remain one of the most memorable wildlife experiences to date.
A stay at Singita Sweni Lodge is not a cheap affair, it’s a true ultra-lux experience. If you have an opportunity to splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience – this is it!
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Disclaimer: Big thanks to Singita for hosting us at Singita Sweni Lodge. As always, all opinions expressed in this article are our own.