For two decades, Singita lodges have been a destination for the world’s wealthy to experience an African safari in the lap of luxury.
So naturally Wall Street has taken notice.
With 12 different safari experiences at five lodges/camps over half a million acres in four countries — South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique — Singita promises equal parts adventure, relaxation and cultural experience.
One high-powered hedge fund manager told Business Insider its Pushamana Lodge in Zimbabwe was the nicest place he’d ever stayed.
That’s saying something.
“Our guests are looking for exclusivity on many different levels,” says Jason Trollip, Tourism Executive at Singita. In addition to world-class cuisine, he says, the lodge offers “exclusive access to some of the most pristine areas of land without bumping into other vehicles or feeling rushed at animal sightings.” It’s also known for its extensive learning and conservation programs.
This is what your day looks like when you’re on safari: You wake up at sunrise, eat breakfast, pile into a vehicle and head to the bush with your guide. That’s when the show starts. Depending on which camp they’re visiting, guests can spot elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, buffalo, and more. Sometimes they’re in herds.
Leapords play at the Singita Sabi Sand
Singita Grumeti in Tanzania offers a safari on horseback for seasoned riders. For eight days it’s just you, your guide and your horse — with daily stops at Singita’s luxury lodges along the way. The wild animals have gotten so accustomed to seeing horses around that riders can get extra close.
Of course, all of the nature comes at a price. A five-bedroom tent at villa at the luxurious Pushumana Lodge will cost you over $US8,200 per night. For a plain old double suite, each adult needs to shell out $US1,800 per night.
Compared to Singita’s South African camps, though, that’s not so steep. A family suite at the Singita Sabi Sand costs $US36,500 per night for 1-3 people.
Wildebeests wade in the river at Singita
Increasingly, the safari vacation is becoming a popular yin to the urban-dweller’s constant yang. Companies like Wilderness Safaris send clients to quiet retreats from Namibi to Seychelles, Zambia to the Congo. After coming back from camps like DumaTau and Chitabe in Botswana, high-powered New Yorkers tell Business Insider they feel like the ringing in their ears has been silenced.
So more and more of the jet set are getting out of their comfort zones and into Africa.
Well-known hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson has his own bond with Africa. He lived for 3 years in Tanzania as his father worked in developing and running education programs. Last year, Tilson amused many in Wall Street circles by sending out a mass email asking if anyone wanted to rent his parents’ beach home in Kenya — $US500 per adult per night, during the holidays. It includes access to “deep sea fishing, swimming with dolphins and dhow cruises,” according to Tilson’s parents’ website.
Increasingly, luxury vacations are about customisations. Singita is no different. Guests can build the experience they want, including going on safari by hot air balloon.
“Spotting a pride of lions or some cheetah from the balloon is a treat! Low flying over the tree tops is an incredible experience, as you can almost touch the earth, and its creatures below,” Singita’s Trollip says.
A lot of guests head to Singita because they’re interested in conservation. They go through education programs on wildlife, sustainability and protecting animals from poachers.
Others like to go into local villages and check out how Singita supports communities through The Singita Community Development Trust. Over the years the trust has worked with governments to create a wide variety of programs.
At the Castleton Camps in South Africa, the Trust has established the ‘Growing To Read’ program. It helps local teachers hone their skills in the classroom. The Singita School of Cooking, at the Kruger National Park lodges in South Africa, is a competitive program that prepares eight to ten for a career in the culinary arts. Singita also has an environmental education centre for local kids at its Sasaskwa and Faru Faru lodges in Tanzania.
“Africa changes every day, and it changes you,” Trollip told Business Insider. “Having access to this luxury of space resonates with our guests who are seeking meaningful, life-changing experiences rather than just a vacation.”