Safari in Style with Singita
South African company, Singita, operates game lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Rwanda. Dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality, sustainable conservation and empowering local communities, Singita is leading the way in sustainable game tourism.
We recently caught up with Grant Oliver, the General Manager of Singita Kruger National Park to find out more about their business model and how the company manages to balance running a successful tourism business with protecting the planet.
Singita Kruger National Park is trying to strike the balance of conservation, community development and ecotourism. Tell us more about your efforts towards these causes.
At Singita, conservation encapsulates an interdependent relationship between three critical components: biodiversity, community and sustainability.
Focusing on biodiversity conservation, wildlife management and meaningful community partnerships, as well as our strategic partnerships with non-profit funds and trusts, help us protect the unique ecosystems in which we operate. Big priorities of ours include recovering critically endangered species, ensuring no further extinction, benefiting neighbouring communities and reducing carbon emissions through our climate commitments.
We also support small and medium enterprise developments and livelihoods, such as smallholder agricultural cooperatives that supply our lodges, as well as local arts and crafts.
Our Singita Community Culinary School, based at Singita Lebombo, is a unique program that serves to fulfil a real need in the community, as well as for the South African hospitality industry as a whole. It offers a rigorous, Singita-crafted, professional cookery course aimed at young people from local communities.
Finally, our Singita Lowveld Trust manages a wide range of conservation projects in Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park, including anti-poaching initiatives, wildlife research and land management.
To what extent do you think more needs to be done across the continent to help preserve and protect Africa’s wilderness and ecosystems?
We need to bring awareness to the threat to our pristine wildlife areas and introduce more guests to the amazing work of our partner funds and trusts. Also, as an industry, we need to constantly look for ways to be more sustainable. We need to be far more concerned with climate change and do what we can to reduce our impact while working towards a sustainable future for Africa’s precious species, their fragile habitats and the vulnerable communities within.
Rampant biodiversity loss, driven by mankind’s unsustainable production and consumption patterns, has led to the planet losing nature faster than it can be restored. Singita’s sustainability efforts are fully aligned with global conservation goals for 2030.
What are the biggest challenges involved in running a successful business while ensuring the sustainability of your natural environment?
Our remote locations mean that some items from the lodge must travel a significant distance. Singita is guided by One Planet Living principles and we take this into consideration for every aspect of our operation, so we have worked through most of our challenges such as reducing sole-use plastic and implementing solar power in our lodges.
Sustainable operations play a major role in achieving our 100-year purpose.
Recently named on The World’s 50 Best Hotels list, what sets Singita apart from other luxury safari lodges?
Our beautiful and sustainably-designed lodges, as well as the warmth of our people and our wholesome and delicious food for a start, but most importantly the fact that we are a conservation brand with a 100-year purpose. The influence and support of Singita and its guests to conservation make lasting changes as well as protect and preserve the land.
It’s the story of a sustainable farm-to-table food journey that celebrates fresh, seasonal produce and traditional regional highlights that sets us apart, as well as our story of wellness that extends beyond conventional treatments. We emphasise true wellbeing, balancing body and soul; and the story of reconnecting with nature in meaningful ways. It’s the story of discovery, of shifting one’s perspective and of touching the Earth lightly.
When’s the best time to visit?
Every season is beautiful, so it depends on what you are looking for. I enjoy the cooler drier months, between May and September, because of the smells and crisp mornings. It is also a little easier to see certain animals because there is less grass and foliage on the trees, while the dry dusty soils make it a bit easier to follow animal tracks.
What are your favourite animals to see on a Singita safari?
Leopards are so exciting to see and so graceful.
What would you say to any of our clients who are weighing up whether or not to go on a luxury safari break during 2024?
Safari is always a good choice, especially for families or milestone celebrations.
A safari is a journey that opens your eyes and heart to new perspectives and restores your entire being – body, spirit and mind. Whether it’s moving wildlife encounters in the fresh dawn light or specially brewed herbal blends before bed, inspiring interactions with local artists, or finding stillness in personal yoga sessions – each moment is part of the overall meaningful experience that is a luxury safari.
At Blend Group we love everything Singita is doing. If you’ve been inspired to find out more about a luxury safari trip we’d be delighted to hear from you here. We are specialists at curating bespoke, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and can take care of everything, from travel requirements to additional experiences.