– Safari Review by Klein Companions, Jonathan and Sophie Ellaby
Lavish African style, superb game viewing and amazing hospitality – we pop across from nearby Boulders for lunch and we’re hard pressed to decide which we prefer…
Located only a few minutes’ drive from Boulders Lodge, Ebony Lodge feels like entering a different world. Here the decor is full-on African theme but with a contemporary, classy feel. In the lounge a buffalo trophy hangs over the fireplace and bold African textiles set in warm yellow, red and orange tones compliment the majestic furniture.
We walk along the wrap-around upper deck that gives access to the library and bar and stop to admire the large jackelberry tree (the African Ebony that so rightly has given name to the lodge) growing out of the deck below us. Ebony Lodge literally overhangs the Sand River – and from the lower deck, where we enjoyed a delectable three-course lunch, there are uninterrupted views of the river and bushveld. During lunch we chat to head ranger Mark Broodryk who gives us the 411 on the impeccable guiding quality on offer at all Singita lodges.
The thatched suites at Ebony Lodge are smaller and less exorbitant than Boulders Lodge, but nonetheless with the same stylish feel. From the private plunge pool there are superb unraveling views of the river and you stand a good chance of seeing large herds of elephants or antelope close by. All the perks are identical to what’s on offer at Boulders Lodge – a fully equipped air-conditioned gym, a tranquil spa with steam room, a common pool, and of course a Singita wine cellar, albeit a tad smaller than the one at Boulders. Guests staying here are always welcome to visit Boulders for a distinguished wine tasting hosted by leading sommelier François Rautenbach.
As we wait for our 5-min. transfer back to Boulders Lodge, we chat to Debra, who epitomizes the essence of Singita’s level of service and hospitality. The staff at Ebony Lodge are loyal and everyone takes great pride in his or her work. Throughout the last 15 years Debra has worked her way from being a housekeeper, then a butler to now running the reception with a steady hand. I will never forget her smiling face! When staff members stay that long, they’re happy and when the staff is happy, so, inevitably, are the guests.
Good for: Families especially, but we’re quite sure that anyone will enjoy Singita’s oldest lodge.
Not so good for: Hmmm…
What we liked best: The location right on the river, with even better views than Boulders Lodge.
Our verdict: Simply stunning in all respects, but style-wise (in our opinion), Boulders Lodge is a cut above
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