At this time of year, Singita Sabi Sand is lush and green.

Ebony Lodge | Sabi Sand game reserve Luxury South African Safari Lodge

Explore big-cat country at Ebony Lodge, located along the Sand River in an exclusive reserve within South Africa‘s Sabi Sand game reserve. Experience the warmth of a family home combined with uninterrupted views, delicious food and game drives with the freedom to go off-road at any time for up-close action.

The place

I float in our heated plunge pool, thrilled to be able to swim in the early evening with nothing to disturb the silence and solitude other than the ever-present burble of the Sand River. The moon is bright, lighting up the giant knobthorn and jackalberry trees that surround Ebony Lodge and the private land on which it’s based. We’re in the Singita Sabi Sand, more than 18,000ha of protected land within the Sabi Sand game reserve, adjacent to South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park.

I float in our heated plunge pool, thrilled to be able to swim in the early evening with nothing to disturb the silence and solitude other than the ever-present burble of the Sand River. The moon is bright, lighting up the giant knobthorn and jackalberry trees that surround Ebony Lodge and the private land on which it’s based. We’re in the Singita Sabi Sand, more than 18,000ha of protected land within the Sabi Sand game reserve, adjacent to South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park.

The room

I rinse off in the outdoor shower, wrapping myself in a towel and then heading inside our elegant thatched-roof suite. It has a spacious colonial feel, aided in part by its well-polished ebony and mahogany woods, antique furniture, animal-print fabrics and sepia-toned photographs. One of 12 dotted along the Sand River, our suite has walls of canvas and glass, which lets the silvery moonlight in and makes the most of the views of the Sand River below. My partner is firmly tucked into the Egyptian cotton sheets of our four-poster bed, immersed in a book and clearly not ready for dinner!Quickly changing, we walk the short distance to the main dining area. Apart from the lounge, dining room and outdoor boma, the lodge has its own extensive wine cellar – and we’re keen to try out some recommended pairings by the in-house sommelier. Though the dining room is elegant with large chandeliers, it has a warm fireplace and a long table that invites conversation, making us feel like we’re at a dinner party with old friends. On warmer nights, dinner can be served on the terrace overlooking the river, or at any number of romantic locations – including the airstrip!After this delicious culinary experience, we lie in bed gazing out at the endless wilderness, feeling privileged to be here.

I rinse off in the outdoor shower, wrapping myself in a towel and then heading inside our elegant thatched-roof suite. It has a spacious colonial feel, aided in part by its well-polished ebony and mahogany woods, antique furniture, animal-print fabrics and sepia-toned photographs. One of 12 dotted along the Sand River, our suite has walls of canvas and glass, which lets the silvery moonlight in and makes the most of the views of the Sand River below. My partner is firmly tucked into the Egyptian cotton sheets of our four-poster bed, immersed in a book and clearly not ready for dinner!

Quickly changing, we walk the short distance to the main dining area. Apart from the lounge, dining room and outdoor boma, the lodge has its own extensive wine cellar – and we’re keen to try out some recommended pairings by the in-house sommelier. Though the dining room is elegant with large chandeliers, it has a warm fireplace and a long table that invites conversation, making us feel like we’re at a dinner party with old friends. On warmer nights, dinner can be served on the terrace overlooking the river, or at any number of romantic locations – including the airstrip!

After this delicious culinary experience, we lie in bed gazing out at the endless wilderness, feeling privileged to be here.

What sets it apart

There’s something special about Ebony Lodge. It’s probably a combination of things: how the staff embrace you as part of their family; the exceptional guiding and tracking that allowed us to see a pack of wild dog, lion on the hunt and a leopard trapped in the bushes by a troop of baboon; and the incomparable connection with nature you feel wherever you’re in the lodge. It might also be how our suite’s outdoor pavilion deck feels like it’s hanging in the trees! We indulged in luxurious spa treatments and swam in our heated pool, feasted on gourmet cuisine, and thoroughly explored our exclusive concession. Here, we had the added freedom of going off road at any time to experience more intimate sightings. A village tour allowed us to support some of the community projects that Singita is involved with firsthand – from the building of schools and the Growing to Read programme to anti-poaching and conservation training. Catering for the eco-conscious customer looking to connect with nature, Ebony Lodge is the epitome of comfort in the wilderness.

There’s something special about Ebony Lodge. It’s probably a combination of things: how the staff embrace you as part of their family; the exceptional guiding and tracking that allowed us to see a pack of wild dog, lion on the hunt and a leopard trapped in the bushes by a troop of baboon; and the incomparable connection with nature you feel wherever you’re in the lodge. It might also be how our suite’s outdoor pavilion deck feels like it’s hanging in the trees!

We indulged in luxurious spa treatments and swam in our heated pool, feasted on gourmet cuisine, and thoroughly explored our exclusive concession. Here, we had the added freedom of going off road at any time to experience more intimate sightings.

A village tour allowed us to support some of the community projects that Singita is involved with firsthand – from the building of schools and the Growing to Read programme to anti-poaching and conservation training. Catering for the eco-conscious customer looking to connect with nature, Ebony Lodge is the epitome of comfort in the wilderness.

At a glance

  • Exclusive lodge on a private concession in the Sabi Sand game reserve, with swimming pool, spa, gym and guest boutique. Accommodation options include 12 canvas-and-glass guest suites, each with heated plunge pools (including two family suites).
  • Family-style hosting, private butler, flexible schedules, private dining available and private vehicles available (families of four get their own private vehicle, otherwise it’s an additional cost).
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, mountain biking, cultural visits (additional cost), stargazing, archery, spa treatments (additional cost), gym and swimming.
  • Children of all ages are welcome with two family suites and triples on request. Babysitting services available.

  • Exclusive lodge on a private concession in the Sabi Sand game reserve, with swimming pool, spa, gym and guest boutique. Accommodation options include 12 canvas-and-glass guest suites, each with heated plunge pools (including two family suites).
  • Family-style hosting, private butler, flexible schedules, private dining available and private vehicles available (families of four get their own private vehicle, otherwise it’s an additional cost).
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, mountain biking, cultural visits (additional cost), stargazing, archery, spa treatments (additional cost), gym and swimming.
  • Children of all ages are welcome with two family suites and triples on request. Babysitting services available.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is the Southern Hemisphere summer and autumn. In the Greater Kruger area, this means higher temperatures and most of the year’s rain. Rainfall tends to be short and sharp rather than prolonged, with exciting electric storms. A cool, post-storm afternoon game drive is a genuine highlight: with the dust knocked out of the air, the light has a limpid quality, and trackers are in their element, with a blank canvas to work from. When it’s green like this, the bushveld at its prettiest, and full of new life.

The cooler winter months are almost entirely rain-free. This means that the vegetation dries and becomes sparser, making it easier to spot wildlife. Short grass and bare branches let the Greater Kruger safari guides use their spotting skills to the fullest. Game begins to concentrate at dwindling waterholes, and this attracts the predators. Be prepared for spectacular sightings, but also pack a safari wardrobe that can cope with both the very fresh early mornings (especially on an open game-viewer) and then warm days peaking at around 23°C.

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