Singita’s Lodges Are African Safaris That Offer Sustainability as The Luxury of Tomorrow

The epitome of the high-end luxury wilderness experience, Singita is leading the way in safeguarding the planet for future generations.

14 May 2024

Share this exclusive content from Saladplate

It would be interesting to know what James Fawcett Bailes would make of Singita, the ultra-luxury safari lodge brand that sprang from the patch of land in Lowveld, South Africa he bought and converted into a conservation reserve in 1925.

Today, Singita is as well known for its conservation as it is for the exceptional hospitality offered at 16 lodges across Africa. Here founder and CEO Luke Bailes carries on the purpose his grandfather, James started over a century ago — to preserve Africa’s wildlife for future generations to the benefit of neighbouring communities.

Photo Credit: Singita Lodges

After inheriting the Lowveld land in 1977, Singita was born in 1993 in the shape of a single property: Ebony Lodge. The brand has since gone from strength to strength with luxury lodges in Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

“I saw a chance to merge an amazing wilderness experience with a very high-end hospitality experience, at a time when there were very few world-class offerings,” Bailes said in an interview with Conde Nast Traveler.

Photo Credit: Singita Lodges

Income from the lodges goes towards purchasing and rehabilitating land to house and protect wildlife, contributing to anti-poaching efforts and community development projects.

“People will ask you: are we a hospitality company or a conservation company? Make no mistake, we are here for conservation. We are here to save as much flora and fauna as we can. If we’re smart, there’s no limit to what we can do,” added Bailes in the same interview.

Singita’s Kruger National Park | Photo Credit: Singita Lodges  

Singita’s luxury lodges provide an ideal retreat for guests, an inside-out experience of hospitality offered by exceptional hotels across the globe. (Singita’s Lebombo and Sweni Lodges in Kruger National Park were ranked 15th in the World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023).

Sustainability, environmentally conscious hospitality, and empowering local communities have been cornerstones of Singita’s success, winning them several Awards.

Most recently Singita Kruger National Park won the World’s 50 Best Inaugural Flora de Caña Eco Hotel Award, excelling across all three criteria: environment, society and sourcing.

 Photo Credit: Singita Lodges  

Food is a key component of a luxury getaway and Singita’s commitment to sourcing promotes quality and locality. As much as possible is sourced from local farmers, many of whom have developed their skills through a long-standing relationship with the company.

Photo Credit: Singita Lodges  

Meat dishes have been reduced on both staff and guest menus while local education programmes are looking into plant substitutes. Local herbs come from the garden built and maintained by the Guiding Team, where culinary school attendees gain practical farming experience.

But it’s not just about winning awards, improving the world around is a continuous journey. Ambitious goals Singita is set to achieve by 2025 include powering 80 per cent of off-grid lodges by on-site renewable energy, reducing water usage by 30 per cent, and sending less than 10 per cent of waste to landfill; not to mention purchasing 50 per cent of all fresh produce from within a 100km radius.

Guests directly help with offsetting emissions, paying a per-night carbon offset levy, with equivalent carbon credits purchased from a regionally accredited carbon credits provider. These funds are invested in projects that alleviate carbon emissions, providing guests with a carbon-neutral stay at Singita.

  Photo Credit:Wonderbag 

Carbon mitigation projects are underway in the kitchen too. Singita works with Wonderbag to help lower emissions from cooking with a clever invention that acts as a non-electric slow cooker. A boiling pot is placed in the bag and continues cooking for eight hours, without the need for an additional energy source.

At the operating heart of all their properties, Singita’s mission is for people to enjoy happy, healthy lives and their fair share of the earth’s resources, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness.

As dusk descends on the wild natural beauty of the savannah where endangered animals still roam free, no place on earth provides more of a stark reminder of the need to protect and conserve the planet’s resources – underlining why Singita’s mission is so important.

Photo Credit: Singita Lodges  

Author: Alison Marshall

Alison Marshall is a seasoned journalist, writer, and editor with over 30 years of experience in print and digital media across global markets covering sectors from hospitality to finance. A Brit by birth she has lived in Singapore since 2008, a country which continues to fascinate. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and cocktails and loves a local market wherever she travels.

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. Please read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy for information about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device.