Into the Wild in South Africa (part 1)
After our brief stay in the gorgeous city of Cape Town in South Africa (which I wrote about in detail here), we were more than ready and brimming with excitement to move on to the second leg of our African Adventure!
The next part of our trip consisted of us going through the quintessential African experience – the Safari! This is where the wild adventure begins. Our journey started with the Hubby and I literally being thrown into the wild, in the middle of nowhere, propelled into a luxurious camp in the midst of the African wilderness. Here, we found ourselves face-to-face with some of the world’s most beautiful creatures, as well as the land’s most menacing ones. This part 1 of my post details more about the wonderful experience we had in our very own Safari camp.
From Cape Town, we flew a small jet to get to our next stop, the Kruger National Park. This Park is considered to be one of the largest game reserves in the whole of Africa and is also touted as South Africa’s most exciting Safari destination.
Upon landing, we were soon transferred to an even smaller chartered plane to fly next to our Safari camp, which is called Singita Lebombo Lodge. (Now, you must know that The Spoiled Mummy is not really a big fan of small airplanes, so riding this 8-seater was really a nerve wracking adventure for me! :))
Singita Lebombo is located in the eastern south central region of the Kruger National Park, and is situated between the boulders of the Lebombo Mountains.
So we finally landed safe and sound at the smallest and most rural airport strip I have ever seen! When I saw the drastic change in scenery, I knew right then and there that we had indeed arrived in the wild!
This was the real Africa as I had always imagined it to be. Upon arrival at this makeshift airport, we were immediately met by our very own personal butler from our Safari camp.
He instantly made us feel welcome and showered us with delicious African delicacies and cool refreshments, the gesture serving as a glimpse of the kind of attentive, luxurious service we would be receiving at the lodge.
As we drove our way to the camp in our own private car, I found myself feeling excited but very nervous. The Hubby and I could already see all sorts of wild animals along the road, with nothing to separate us from them but the window of our car! We were surprised to witness all these creatures roaming around so freely in their element so early on in our trip!
Just a few snapshots of some of the animals we saw, like these impalas, as taken from inside our moving car.
A tall and graceful Giraffe chewing away!
And Zebras prancing around so gracefully!
Finally, we arrived at our Safari camp, the world – renowned Singita Lebombo Lodge, which served as our home away from home for the next couple of days. One great thing about this camp is that it is located right at the center, right at the heart of Kruger National Park itself.
This lodge has been a consistent winner of prestigious hotel and travel awards worldwide since its inception. That includes the highly coveted World’s No.1 in the Top 20 International Hideaways and Best Hotel Spa in Africa & the Middle East by Travel + Leisure magazine. It also won the No. 1 hotel in Africa amongst the 500 Best Hotels in the World, aside from being the recipient of the Hotel of the Year award in Travel Awards, among many others. All these aside from the fact that Singita Lebombo has always been voted Best Hotel in the World for over 15 times now by various international travel authorities and reader surveys, convinced us that this is the best place to stay in the wild!
Our first glimpse of the hotel: it has a gorgeous, open lounge area at the main lobby exuding only warmth and serenity.
Singita Lemombo Lodge has a very wide, free – flowing, rustic outdoor grounds which provided for an even more authentic African feel.
After finally checking in, we were brought to our suite – one of only 15 suites that the lodge had to offer. They only accept a maximum of 30 guests at a time to ensure the guests’ privacy and exclusivity.
A closer look at our glass-walled suite from the outside. Notice that our room was perched atop a rugged cliff!
And as soon as we entered our room…the Hubby and I were ecstatic to find ourselves in our very own luxurious space in the wild! There was free flowing champagne and a beautiful piece of cake to welcome us and make us feel at home right away! (Of course, how can The Spoiled Mummy say no to that heavenly cake? :))
Our room had a very modern but rustic look inside and had all the luxurious amenities that we could think of. It was indeed such a stark contrast to the rugged outdoors surrounding us!
The room made us feel like we were staying in an ultra-lavish camping tent in the middle of nowhere. And yet knowing that just a few steps away from our safe space lay the vast unknown was absolutely thrilling (and nerve wracking for me!) 🙂
The outdoor view from our bed…we were in a constant state of awe as we gazed at all the dramatic scenery and pristine wilderness that surrounded us.
There were no doors or walls inside the suite. The layout of the room was very free – flowing. The toilet, bathtub, indoor and outdoor shower were just a few steps away from our bed. And from anywhere in the room, you have a 360 degree view of the African wilderness.
Each suite had a private deck too outside with a day bed and a couple of lounge chairs, where guests could just unwind and relax or go star-gazing at night.
After having a full day outside, and when it was time for us to return to our suite at night, this is what we would find… down to the sweetest, most thoughtful details, everything at this camp was really well-thought of.
Even our laundry was carefully packed and artfully assembled with African cotton paper and tied with a twig. To The Spoiled Mummy, the littlest details such as these are what counts and what makes your stay in any place unforgettable.
Our days at the lodge would begin bright and early. We would get up at around 530 am to see the breathtaking African sunrise. Remember, when you are in Africa, you must make it a point to see the sun rise!!! 🙂
The African sunrise is one of the reasons why people come to this part of the world. It is simply breath taking. It is what they say, nature’s most spectacular show!
Here are just some snapshots of the lodge during sunrise…Everything just looked even more beautiful awash in the day’s first light.
The whole place would turn golden when beautifully illuminated by the first light of the African sun…It was simply magical.
The swimming pool area and the outdoor deck of the lodge looked even more breathtaking than usual. Sunrise really does render everything anew.
It is in this outdoor deck where we had some of the most delicious breakfasts ever. For those who don’t know it yet, The Spoiled Mummy is a big fan of breakfast food (as I’ve written about here)!
Whole wheat cinnamon pancakes with fresh strawberries, chopped pistachios, with cream and honey on the side.
Pancakes with caramelized bananas and crispy bacon.
Open – faced omelette with arugula, sundried tomatoes and brie.
And here’s my favorite breakfast food of all time, Eggs Benedict! 🙂
Those were just some of Singita Lebombo’s beautiful and well – prepared dishes, with their breakfasts particularly memorable to me, as I am a big breakfast lover 🙂 I have always loved waking up to a good, hearty, well-prepared breakfast every day.
The food at the lodge was always divine! Every dish that we had from breakfast to lunch to dinner to all our snacks in between, were gastronomically superb. We were so spoiled here, since the lodge provided the best food and wine pairings too, prepared by their award-winning chefs.
Staying in this camp was probably one of the best decisions we have ever made.
But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg… Up next are the real stars of our Safari experience : the wild animals we came face-to-face with!
See you then!