You’ll find us in the 25-meter lap pool, the private villa, or on the star deck.
When Singita Lebombo opened in 2001 as one of the first lodges on a private concession in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, it redefined what a luxury safari could be.
Gone were the campaign-style colonial trappings, the tribal accents, the mounted and taxidermied hunting trophies. Thatched roofing and canvas walls? Strike those, too. Instead, guests found 15 contemporary glass-walled pavilions perched on the face of a rocky red cliff, their floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors and broad decks, elevated above the hippo-dotted N’Wanetsi River, offering long views of the Big Five-filled mountains and valleys beyond.
Now, after a four-month top-to-bottom redo, Lebombo has further upped the ante. Masterminded by designer Boyd Ferguson (Singita’s aesthetic force, who has created every property since the brand’s 1993 inception), the new Lebombo takes the modern look even further. The glass pavilions remain in place, but inside, Ferguson has mixed industrial and raw natural materials with a dash of classic safari—polished stone and rough-hewn wood, metal and glass, linen and canvas, rattan and sisal—mostly in warm grays and platinums, using furnishings with contemporary lines. Larger new additions to the resort include a second sun-soaked 25-meter lap pool, and a three story tower containing a library, media room, and wine studio for tastings. This is topped by a stargazing terrace with 270-degree views.
The open-air lobby and lounge now draws guests with an outdoor fire pit, long bar and grab-and-go mini fridges, plus the reconceived restaurant turns out menus overseen by Singita’s consulting chef Liam Tomlin, whose Chefs Warehouse is one of Cape Town’s top spots for diners.
Most notable of all, however, is the addition of two family suites with their own plunge pools. Each comprises a pair of one-bedroom/one-bath bungalows joined by a glass breezeway. When taken together, the family suites transform into a four-bedroom/four-bath villa whose pairs of suites are connected by a double-height indoor-outdoor living and dining area and kitchen. The villa has three separate pools set over the river and comes with a chef and butler, as well as its own tracker, guide and Land Rover for private game drives. Note: If you’re coming as a party of eight it’s actually cheaper to rent the villa in its entirety than to take four separate bungalows. Book it now, before the secret gets out!