Singita Sweni Lodge has the distinction of being situated on one of the only private concessions within the boundaries of the Kruger National Park. The exceedingly stylish lodge nestles amongst hundreds of trees next to the Sweni River. All meals, safari activities and drinks (including premium wines, spirits and liquers) are included in the rates. Children of all ages are welcome, and activities can be tailor-made to suit the needs of guests.
The 13 000 ha concession area is home to four distinctly different habitats and some of the densest concentrations of Big Five wildlife within the park, which guests can view on the twice-daily game drives. The splendidly luxurious rooms are surrounded by the rocky cliffs and banks of the river, and give guests the choice of sleeping under the stars by rolling the bed out onto their private deck. With just 12 guests at any one time, everyone is assured of royalty treatment. The lodge has a huge host of top-end facilities and memorable activities ranging from bush walks, mountain biking and cultural experiences, to signature spa treatments and wine tastings.
Situated on the border with Mozambique, in one of the most untouched and game-rich regions of the Kruger National Park, Singita’s concession is richly diverse in both habitat and wildlife. The terrain varies from the rocky slopes of the Lebombo Mountains, to the vegetation-draped stretches of the Sweni River, savannah plains and woodland copses. The four large lion prides within the concession are one of the main attractions. Ample numbers of Big Five wildlife, along with all of Kruger’s other iconic animals, are also present. The concession was granted in 2001 in recognition of Singita’s heartfelt commitment to conservation and its ideology of balancing this with community development, ecotourism and a minimal environmental footprint.
The fertile banks of the Sweni River allow majestic indigenous trees to grow in proliferation, and the lodge is built sensitively into this idyllic bushveld setting, in adherence to Singita’s a ‘touch the earth lightly’ philosophy. The décor is highly contemporary and attractively stylish, but has been designed to echo the colours and textures of the natural surrounds. A particular feature are the floor-to-ceiling windows which can be found in the suites, as well as an overall open-plan feel, allowing the bush and river to be constantly visible. The six suites are incredibly spacious and hold King-size beds, air conditioning, hairdryers, private decks that hover amongst the trees, lounge areas and bathrooms with large baths, indoor and outdoor showers. Each suite can accommodate an extra bed for children.
During down-time, guests can enjoy a dip in the large swimming pool, signature treatments at the bush spa, shopping at the boutique or a session in the gym. The lounge area, bar and dining room are beautifully appointed and set a perfect scene for relaxation and decadent African-inspired meals. The lodge’s temperature controlled wine cellar is a highlight, housing over 200 labels that can be sampled through wine tastings led by experienced sommeliers.
The excitement of a day at Sweni Lodge starts at daybreak, when the morning game drive leaves the lodge. The guide and tracker will lead you through the beautiful concession area in an open Land Rover, pointing out the striking Euphorbia trees and animals such as lion, leopard, elephant, hippo, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, sable and everything in between.
Guided walks are also on offer for those who want an insight into the smaller nuances of the bush, while guided mountain biking with provided bikes is available too. The morning activities should build the appetite for an extremely varied and generous breakfast.
Well-deserved relaxation can be enjoyed in the hotter hours of the day, which is a perfect time for swimming in the pool or kicking back on the deck of your suite to enjoy the tranquillity of the African wilderness. The spa treatments are African-inspired indulgences which will completely disperse any stress you may still be feeling.
The second game drive of the day departs in the afternoon. By the end of the day, a vast array of wildlife would have been ticked off, and the night safari allows the nocturnal creatures and spectacular night sky to be seen as well. Another feast greets guests on their return to the lodge. A number of activities will keep the little ones thoroughly entertained, including an exciting Mini Rangers’ Course and baking with the lodge chefs, while babysitting services are also available.