I wouldn’t mind going to Heaven if it was like Singita Lebombo. I have been here once before (Lebombo, not Heaven) but this visit had a more profound effect on me. The subtle change in décor, from touches of lime green and grey amongst a sea of white, to a palate of ripening corn through straw to old oak, sang to my soul. What can I say? There are things that can dramatically influence the way you feel and Singita Lebombo cosseted me in waves of harmony and tranquillity.
In a previously pubished review, I said that Singita Lebombo is like existing inside a magazine photo shoot. It’s cool contemporary design would not look out of place if were situated by palm-lined beach or in a sun-drenched city, but here it is in the heart of the African bush looking perfectly comfortable.
Singita Lebombo adheres to the Motto of “Touch the Earth Lightly” and as such, barely impacts on the ground at all. The buildings and loft suites – as they like to call the rooms – perch on the rocky hillside on a sort of scaffolding frame. Strengthened glass is used as walls and curving screens of rustic poles create shade and privacy. From the outside it looks like a makeshift building, but step inside and you’ll find nothing unresolved. Inside there is light and airy space decorated by the famous South African, Cecile & Boyd design team. The skill and imagination that goes into creating the ultimate living space (at least as far as I’m concerned) looks deceptively simple.
I just wanted to say in my loft and lounge around on the outside day bed, which can also be made up for a night sleeping outside. Views from the balcony stretch across the gorge and down to the river where binoculars help to identify hippos and crocs, fish eagles and other birds. Rains were long expected and the river had dwindled to large puddles of green algae which covered the hippos like moss on a stone.
By the time I visited Singita Lebombo I was at the end of a tiring trip and while others snooze, I am taking notes, snapping photos and trying to write my reviews.
Hence this photo of me working hard by the pool.
Ok, I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me, but to demonstrate just how tired I was, I fell asleep on a display sofa in The Singita Village – which is the wonderful shopping gallery between the two lodges Lebombo and Sweni.
An irresistible drowsiness came over me and I lay down for a few minutes and woke up as they were locking the shop for the night. My man had left me there! He said he’d tried to rouse me but I was ‘sparko’, so he thought I deserved to sleep.
I found him taking a rest of his own, sprawled out in the lounge as if he owned the place. Singita Lebombo has that effect on people and it was all I could do to leave when the time came. But not before indulging in Singita food. My previous review of Singita Lebombo safari lodge moaned about the barbeque food but this time I have no complaints. On the contrary, the food was superb and a whole team of chefs can be seen, heads down perfecting their creations, in the open-view kitchen.
News hot off the press: Condé Nast Traveller has ranked Singita Game Reserves amongst the best hotels around the globe, in both the British and American editions of its Gold List for 2009.
Perhaps I should create the SAFARI TART awards. What do you think? Leave a comment and tell me.