Review: Singita Lebombo Lodge Kruger Park

Filed Under: Hotel Reviews, Trip Reports

We were so sad to leave Singita Boulders after an incredible three days, though the fun wasn’t over, as we were then headed to Singita Lebombo, considered by many to be the “flagship” Singita property.

Booking Singita Lebombo

As mentioned in the previous installment, Singita properties are expensive (though oh-so-worth-it if you can swing it).

You can find the rates for Singita Lebombo Lodge here. The property has a total of 16 rooms, and 13 of those are suites with identical pricing.

As you can see, the rate is around 2,000USD per person per night (marginally more expensive than Singita Boulders), and that includes VAT.

Since we booked six nights between the two Singita properties (in Sabi Sands and Kruger), we received one complimentary night per person, plus a complimentary flight between the two properties.

As before, there’s no supplement for single occupancy. So even though we had two suites and my dad was staying alone, he paid the same per person rate that we did.

Singita Lodges Are All Inclusive

Again, this is just a reminder that while Singita lodges are really expensive, they are all inclusive. They include:

  • All meals and beverages, including premium wines, spirits, liqueurs, and more (the only thing excluded is French champagne)
  • Two daily game drives
  • Return road transfers between the airstrip and the lodges
  • Laundry service
  • Complimentary cigars and cigarettes

The only thing you’ll likely spend money on while at the lodge is spa treatments, purchases from the gift shops, and gratuities (see here for my understanding of appropriate gratuities at Singita lodges).

Singita Lebombo Kruger National Park Review

Now let’s get into the actual review of Singita Lebombo. I’ll follow a similar format to the previous trip report, first looking at how we got there, then looking at our suite, then the public areas, then the food and drinks, and then the service.

Getting To Singita Lebombo Lodge

I wrote a separate installment about our flights on Federal Air, which is the airline that Singita works with for flights to/from their lodges. You can fly with Federal Air directly from Johannesburg, but since we were coming from Singita Boulders in Sabi Sands, we just took the 20 minute flight from there.

From the airstrip that Singita uses it was about a 40 minute drive to the lodge. This drive was mostly on the paved roads of Kruger National Park, which are open to the public. That’s the case until you get to the private concession roads belonging to Singita Lebombo.

Public roads of Kruger National Park

This 40 minute ride also wasn’t in an open-air Land Rover or Land Cruiser, but rather was in an enclosed van.

Singita Lebombo Lodge Suite

Singita Lebombo has a total of 16 accommodations, including:

  • 13 suites
  • 2 two bedroom suites
  • 1 villa

We had two suites near one another. To give you a sense of the layout of the property, here’s a map:

We were assigned suites 10 & 11. The layout of Singita Lebombo is different than Singita Boulders, since Lebombo is built into the side of a hill. So even though our suite wasn’t that far from reception, there were lots of stairs involved in getting back and forth between the suite and main area.

The path also wasn’t lit, and at night you had to be escorted by one of the lodge staff when traveling to & from your room, given that you’re in the middle of the wilderness.

Walkway to Singita Lebombo Lodge suites

Stairs to Singita Lebombo Lodge suites

Ford and I were in suite 11, which was at the very end of the path. The style of the suite was completely different than the style of our suite at Boulders — here we felt like we were in a treehouse.


Stairs to Singita Lebombo Lodge suites

There was a big door at the entrance to the suite, though when you opened that door there was still an exposed outdoor area before you were actually inside, which required going through a second (glass) door.


Singita Lebombo suite entryway

Hanging in this area were some blankets as well as a bag, which could be used while on safari.


Singita Lebombo suite bag & blankets

Our suite was beautiful — it featured floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, so you really felt like you were in nature. There was one main room, with the netted bed at one end of the room.


Singita Lebombo suite

The bed was really comfortable, with a great mattress and high quality bedding.


Singita Lebombo suite bedroom area

Next to the sleeping area was a couch, and behind that was a desk.


Singita Lebombo suite living area


Singita Lebombo suite living area


Singita Lebombo suite desk area

Then to the side of the desk was another chair and a minibar.


Singita Lebombo suite sitting area

The room had a selection of coffee and tea, bottled water, complimentary snacks, liquor, wine, beer, and more. Everything was complimentary.


Singita Lebombo suite coffee machine & water


Singita Lebombo suite minibar

Singita Lebombo suite minibar


Singita Lebombo suite minibar


Singita Lebombo suite minibar

The bathroom could be accessed by walkways on either side of the couch, and it was huge as well. The main part of the bathroom had a sink, a vanity area, and a soaking tub.


Singita Lebombo suite bathroom


Singita Lebombo suite bathroom


Singita Lebombo suite bathroom


Singita Lebombo suite bathtub

Then in a partitioned off area to the far right was another sink and a toilet.


Singita Lebombo suite sink


Singita Lebombo suite toilet

Then to the left was the shower, which was really cool since it also had floor-to-ceiling windows (though on one side it wasn’t exposed).


Singita Lebombo suite shower

The one really poorly designed aspect of the room was that there was a glass shield between the shower and the toilet. I’m not sure who on earth thought that was a good idea?

Toiletries were in reusable bottles, and seemed to be pretty good quality.


Singita Lebombo suite toiletries

Also in the bathroom was a laundry sheet and bag, as laundry services are complimentary. You’d just place it in the bag, mark what you need done, and it would be taken care of in no time.


Singita Lebombo suite laundry

The outdoor deck had an incredible view of nature, including the N’wanesti River. Really you could go on safari without even leaving the lodge, given how many animals we saw from there. The deck had a table with two chairs, as well as a daybed.


Singita Lebombo suite patio


Singita Lebombo suite patio


Singita Lebombo suite patio

At night they’d set up the daybed so that you could sleep outside, if you wanted to.


Singita Lebombo sleep outside

Wifi in the room (and throughout the hotel) was complimentary and surprisingly fast, and there were virtually no outages.

I’d also note that our room was refreshed multiple times per day. For example, even on our morning of departure our room was cleaned while we were at breakfast.

All things considered, what an absolutely awesome suite with great views.

Singita Lebombo Shared Areas

I loved the shared areas of Singita Lebombo. I think they did a great job of making the resort super luxe while still feeling mostly authentic to the area.

As you walk from the entrance to the main lodge there are bathrooms to the left, and then straight ahead is the main meeting point of the resort.

Singita Lebombo entry walkway


Singita Lebombo entry walkway

This is a lovely open air area that has couches, chairs, a bar, and more. It also has great views, thanks to the fact that the resort is built into a hill.


Singita Lebombo main lodge


Singita Lebombo main lodge


Singita Lebombo main lodge


Singita Lebombo main bar

Singita Lebombo main lodge

At the back corner of this main lodge area are a few more amenities many guests may not otherwise find.


Singita Lebombo main lodge

There’s a library area, should you want to enjoy the air conditioning for a bit.


Singita Lebombo main lodge indoor seating


Singita Lebombo main lodge indoor seating

There’s also a separate panoramic outdoor terrace, where you arguably have the best views from the entire lodge.


Singita Lebombo main lodge observation deck


Singita Lebombo main lodge observation deck

Then there’s also a wine room of sorts, where you can do a wine tasting or just check out their selection.


Singita Lebombo main lodge wine room


Singita Lebombo main lodge wine room

Just a short walk from all of the above was the hotel’s main restaurant, which is an indoor-outdoor area. While it is indoors, it has sliding doors that can be opened to make it feel like you’re outdoors. While we dined at four different venues at Singita Boulders, we had all of our meals here, because the weather wasn’t cooperating.

Singita Lebombo restaurant

There’s also a cool fire pit outside.

Singita Lebombo fire pit

Singita Lebombo Pool

Right next to the main part of the lodge are Lebombo’s two pools. The pool at the top is 25 meters long, while the pool at the bottom is 22 meters long. What a gorgeous pool area, though I actually never saw anyone use it (in fairness, we were there in winter, and the weather wasn’t good during our stay, with the exception of the first day, when I took some of the below pictures).

Singita Lebombo pool


Singita Lebombo pool


Singita Lebombo pool


Singita Lebombo pool area


Singita Lebombo pool area


Singita Lebombo pool area

Singita Lebombo Gym & Spa

Singita has two properties in Kruger that are next to one another — Singita Lebombo Lodge and Singita Sweni Lodge. The two lodges share a gift shop, spa, and gym. While it would be easy to walk from the hotel to this area (it would only take a few minutes), due to the wildlife they ask that you let them drive you.

The spa area was beautiful, and while I didn’t get any treatment, an hour-long massage cost 1,060ZAR (~70USD), which seemed reasonable.


Singita Lebombo spa

The gym here was excellent for a secluded safari property, and we tried to go there as often as possible (which, in fairness, was like once, since they keep you damn busy here).


Singita Lebombo gym


Singita Lebombo gym

Dining At Singita Lebombo Lodge

In my review of Singita Boulders I highlighted just how often they feed you while on safari, and Singita Lebombo followed a very similar schedule. It’s outrageous how much food and drinks they try to serve you:

  • You’re served a pre-breakfast before you go on your morning game drive
  • You’re served breakfast after you return from your morning game drive
  • Then you’re served lunch
  • Then you’re served afternoon tea before you go on your afternoon game drive
  • Then you’re served dinner after your second game drive of the day

It’s actually basically exactly like this:

The pre-breakfast and afternoon tea were served in the main lodge area, which is where we met up before each of our game drives. Then our three meals per day were served in the actual restaurant.

Singita Lebombo restaurant


Singita Lebombo restaurant

It rained quite a bit while we were here, so by comparison it was a bit disappointing that all of our meals were in the same place, but I guess there’s not much that can be done about mother nature.

Of course “disappointed” is way too strong of a term, but based on the standards that Singita Boulders set for us…

We were served all of our meals by the same person, who looked after us throughout our entire stay.

Singita Lebombo Pre-Breakfast

Our morning game drives started around 6AM, so we’d meet about 15 minutes before that for our morning cup of coffee, as well as a light breakfast, given that the real breakfast wouldn’t be for another four hours or so.

There were freshly baked muffins, yogurt, fruit, fresh fruit juice, and more.

Singita Lebombo pre-safari breakfast


Singita Lebombo pre-safari breakfast

Singita Lebombo Breakfast

When we returned from our morning game drives at around 10AM it was time for breakfast. The breakfast menu read as follows:

Their coffee drinks were excellent (especially their mocaccino with liqueur).

Singita Lebombo coffees

To start, some fruit, cereal, yogurt, and croissants would be brought to the table.


Singita Lebombo breakfast

I loved their mixed bean ragout.


Singita Lebombo breakfast

The omelets were great as well.


Singita Lebombo breakfast

Singita Lebombo Lunch

My favorite meal at Lebombo was lunch, because they have a tapas style concept. They have a rotating selection of six to seven options (plus dessert), and they always recommended just ordering all of them to share.

The lunch menu read as follows:

Service always began with some sinfully delicious focaccia, homemade butter, olive oil, and feta cheese.

Singita Lebombo lunch

Below is an example of the lunch selection one day — again, lunch was exceptional, and I appreciated the different format to the dinner.


Singita Lebombo lunch


Singita Lebombo lunch


Singita Lebombo lunch


Singita Lebombo lunch


Singita Lebombo lunch dessert

Singita Lebombo Afternoon Tea

At around 3PM, before the afternoon game drives, afternoon tea was served. This included a variety of dishes in jars, cheese, cold cuts, dessert, and more.

Singita Lebombo afternoon tea


Singita Lebombo afternoon tea

Singita Lebombo Dinner

After returning from our afternoon game drive we’d first go to the main bar area for a drink or two, and would then head over to the restaurant for dinner. The front of house staff at the bar were excellent, and whipped up all kinds of excellent and creative gin & tonics.

Singita Lebombo drinks


Singita Lebombo drinks

My dad also enjoyed one (or about 11) of their complimentary cigars.


Singita Lebombo cigars

The selection rotated daily, though here’s an example of the menu one day:

Service always began with delicious homemade bread, olives, and some dips.

Singita Lebombo dinner

Food was excellent across the board.


Singita Lebombo dinner


Singita Lebombo dinner


Singita Lebombo dinner


Singita Lebombo dinner


Singita Lebombo dinner

Singita Lebombo Game Drives

For our entire stay were assigned the same guide and tracker, Henry and Andrew. Both of these guys were awesome, and we felt very lucky to be riding with them. While Boulders had Land Rovers, Lebombo had Land Cruisers, since apparently the Land Rovers are no longer in production. While these could seat 10 people, we were all on our own the entire time.


Singita Lebombo Land Cruisers

The morning game drives took about four hours, while the afternoon game drives took a bit over three hours. However, we decided to call off two game drives due to the weather.

It was super windy and rainy, and those just aren’t fun conditions in which to be on safari. In many ways that was almost a good thing, since it meant we had a bit of downtime to enjoy the lodge.


Singita Lebombo safari

In the next installment I’ll talk more about the actual safari experience, and my thoughts on Sabi Sands Reserve vs. Kruger National Park.

To provide a quick rundown, personally I thought Kruger had nicer landscape, while I preferred the layout of Sabi Sands.

In Kruger National Park, Singita has a 33,000 acre private concession. However, you can also use the public roads if there are any sightings there.

Singita Lebombo Service

Service at Singita Lebombo was excellent. There’s literally nothing about the service I could fault, and it was Aman-level in every way.

Just about every staff member we interacted with seemed genuinely friendly, and the level of customization at Singita is phenomenal.

That being said — and I feel sort of bad saying this — I thought service at Singita Boulders was significantly better.

The reality is that service at Singita Boulders was so over-the-top, genuinely friendly, and filled with a passion for hospitality. The staff there had the X-factor that you simply can’t train. By comparison, the perfectly executed, by the book service protocol used at Singita Lebombo couldn’t quite compare.

I guess what it partly came down to is that at Boulders I feel like we developed a personal relationship with so many of the employees, because they were all so open and kind and did everything they could to foster those kinds of relationships. By the time we left Boulders we were hugging everyone, and I’m not usually a hugger. It felt like saying bye to family.

Overall I didn’t quite get that feeling with the staff here — the exception was Henry and Andrew, our guide and tracker. They had over 50 years of experience between them, and were both so kind, personable, and passionate, and by the time we left we were giving them hugs too.

Singita Lebombo Bottom Line

Lebombo Lodge is considered by many to be Singita’s flagship property. It’s modern, has beautiful rooms and public areas, and has spectacular food and drinks. It has beautiful views of Kruger, and the lodge’s private concession really gives you access to wildlife that you couldn’t otherwise get.

I’d recommend this property in a heartbeat, and I thought the combination of Boulders and Lebombo was excellent.

That being said, I do think I preferred Boulders to Lebombo. I preferred the huge suites at Boulders, and in a way I almost liked the more rustic decor a bit more, as it really fit into the surroundings.

What impressed me most at Boulders was the service, though, which was the best I’ve experienced anywhere.

The thing I preferred about Lebombo was the food, which I thought was marginally better.

So I’d highly recommend visiting both Boulders and Lebombo if you can swing it, though if you can only visit one, I’d recommend Boulders.  For what it’s worth, I asked two friends who honeymooned at both properties which of them they preferred, and both said Boulders as well.

If you’ve stayed at Singita Lebombo, what was your experience like? For those who have visited Boulders and Lebombo, which did you prefer?

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Comments
  1. I’d like to congratulate you on all your articles efforts and some “layout”, I know by experience how long this takes, but then you are now on cruising speed and this has become a natural way.

    Just a question : what is that seat at the front left of the rover ?
    to check if the road has no holes ?
    or kill an approaching lion maybe ?

  2. I’ve been to six different Singita properties and this is my least favorite one. The room spaces could be designed better — for example, the toilet area really lacks privacy (and when they redid Sweni they built a more private area with shower and toilet AND the “outdoor” one. The pathways up/down to the furthest out rooms also are showing a need for some maintenance. It feels like they’re really cutting back on their wine program and for all the bottles they have, the selections on the menus recommended are often just okay, with an emphasis on ‘cheap’. I would agree that Henry and Andrew are spectacular guide/tracker pair and deserve all the recognition they got.

  3. @ OneWorld — Thanks for the kind words! The tracker sits in the front, on the hood of the car. The logic is that they have the best chance of spotting animals from there, and also the best chance of looking for animal tracks, which is remarkably accurate in finding where the important animals are. However, when you approach any dangerous animals the tracker moves into the car, so they don’t startle the animals.

  4. @ Jeff — Great point about the toilet and shower having a glass shield between them, added that to the post. Out of curiosity, since you’ve been to six Singita properties, how do you rank them? Happy you had a great experience with Henry and Andrew as well.

  5. @OneWorld

    It’s for the tracker. They sit up there for all game drives, looking for animal tracks and/or animals. It’s sketchy when you’re with lions and they just sit up there at the front

  6. There’s been a 3 year gap in production of the Land Rover Defender (that’s the LR variant you were being driven in). It was launched in 1948 and, fundamentally, was unchanged until production ceased in 2016. The Queen us a fan and drives them on her private estates.

    The new LR Defender was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show a couple of weeks ago. Completely different, it looks awesome. And I say that as a non-car enthusiast. They go on sale in 3 or 4 months.

  7. @Jodi
    Apparently lions are so dumb they don’t realise they can attack people who are in open cars. I was assured of this by a biologist friend who spent a year on an African project observing lions from an open-back LR. Personally I’d be reluctant to put it to the test.

  8. I just don’t understand why you tipped and you should have not been expected to, like I get your an American and you tip everywhere but when I’m spending $2000+ per night at a hotel no matter where in the world it is you can be damn sure that I am not tipping even is the service is so good they sacrifice themselves for me (ok maybe then) it already should be that good at that price point. I just can’t understand how you justified it and where would you draw the line as a point of comparison North Island Seychelles is $9K – would you tip there? I understand Uber rich Americans stay here hence the tipping culture but as an Australian I just don’t understand why you tip in this situation. That’s something I love about places like Japan and other countries in Asia I am never solicited for a tip and tipping is considered rude which makes sense to me. I tip when I am provided with good service at restaurants even in Australia on rare occasion, but for $2000 at night per person surely they didn’t pressure you into tipping , interested to hear your take.

  9. @ The nice Paul

    Lions may know also that “human” animals taste so bad compared to other four legs one.

    Why bother to attack them, no ?

  10. @Morgan
    During my safari, we stayed at Kirkman’s camp Sabi sands. They provided envelopes specific to tipping. I know it is an American thing, but I would like to point out that they kind of make it obvious that you should tip regardless of nationality. One of the guides at a camp in the Okavango delta told us how much we should tip (because a European couple in are 4×4 asked)

  11. @ Morgan — I don’t disagree with your sentiment at all. However, the expectation is that you tip when on safari. This isn’t just limited to Americans and their desire to tip for everything, but if you ask any property for “guidelines” on tipping your guide and tracker (and perhaps other lodge staff), they will provide it. I was informed that about 95% of guests tip, and I didn’t want to be part of the 5% that wasn’t tipping.

    I agree on one hand it feels a bit odd to be paying $2,000 per night and then to tip someone about 1% of that. But at the same time, if that’s the expectation/what everyone is doing, then I’ll do it. These people do an exceptional job, and they expect tips based on the precedent that has been set.

    There are lots of aspects of the tipping culture that I don’t get, but my goal is to simply follow the local customs, and on safari the custom is that you tip.

    Totally respect if you feel otherwise, but that just provides a bit of background on how I feel. I’d love to see a property hike rates by another $100 per night and have a non-tipping policy, but it doesn’t seem like any lodge has that.

  12. I stopped reading half way through because the ads have become too aggressive. It kept taking me out of the immersive moment. I’d recommend offering an ad free subscription option for your loyal readers.

  13. @ Mark G — Appreciate the feedback on the ads! We are in the process of testing a new mobile ad system, so you may see different sizes and density of placements while we test and configure everything.

    To share a bit of background, for the past 3-4 years we’ve made essentially nothing on the mobile site, with mobile ad revenue being less than 20¢ (yes, cents) per thousand pageviews. Earning less than a dollar for every five thousand times the blog is read obviously isn’t sustainable, and as more and more of our traffic shifts to mobile, we’re having to make adjustments.

    We’re committed to finding a balance that doesn’t negatively impact the overall experience. Previously there were basically no ads on mobile (the majority of ads on the desktop site are in the sidebar, which on mobile doesn’t display until after all the content and all the comments, so was almost never viewed), so we know it’s going to be an adjustment regardless. But you won’t see pop-up ads, auto-play videos, things that float and are hard to close, etc. — those types of ads are much more lucrative, but they’re also annoying.

    So we’ll get this dialed-in, in a way that is hopefully not too obnoxious, and very much appreciate your patience and feedback in the meantime. Nothing has changed on the desktop site, if that helps.

  14. Tipping your guides is a must as most guides get paid peanuts. My nephew works in a large 5 star resort down by the Cape and he told me what he makes and it’s alot less than you would think. On the other hand he gets to live his life in the bush. Usually, your closest relationship on safari is with your guide and they don’t earn alot so try to tip them well. I usually do R100 per drive.

  15. Great pics. I’ve only stayed at Boulders. Curious why you weren’t driven in open vehicle from airport to Lebombo for better animal viewing?

  16. That focaccia bread and butter is all I noticed! Yummy. Otherwise, that’s just too much food as I survive on two meals daily only. I am surprised that French Champagne is not included! Really, there is no other champagne if not French and, frankly, that’s all I drink on vacation trips.

  17. Champagne extra cost? No caviar? $2,000 per person per night? Thanks, not interested.

    What happened to miles and points blog that shows us how to get five star hotels and first class flights for “free”?

    Anyone can get a hotel paying full price. I don’t see any value in these reviews. It would be totally different if you showed how to get this with points!

  18. Dear tiffany,
    Thanks for clarification regarding the Ads. I understands. Its just very weired to read about Safari in Krugerpark and get Air-Malta or Womens winter-clothing advertisements in between:-)

  19. It’s great to read articles like this. After all, not everyone comes to your blog looking for freebie hotel stays (that would be nice too but not a must). It’s good to have a variety of posts that caters to people who are looking for free/upgrade flights, and/or free/upgrade hotel rooms, travel news, etc.. I have not been to this particular Singita and appreciates all the pics and reviews so I can decide if I want to plunk down 2k per person per night with this lodge.

  20. Blog is great as always. I am enjoying the safari blogs a good deal.

    Appreciate the talk about the reasoning behind the adds. My main issue with the mobile adds is that they show up in amongst the pictures so it is very jarring. Cognitive dissonance.

  21. The ads are out of control. The ad photos are the same size as the trip photos and it is jarring to scroll through safari pictures with photos of dining, engagement rings, and beaches interspersed.

  22. Lucky, cannot recall how I found your site but love it. The depth of your reporting is impressive to such an extent I wonder if you have much fun with so much time and focus spent on photography and data gathering! Many thanks for all the travel experiences you bring to us.

  23. Love the reports. No offense but I’ve enjoyed the advice and info posted in the comments of both lodge reviews almost as much . For those complaining about ads you’ve heard of ad blocking apps or software, no? They work on almost everything and are unobtrusive.

  24. @Morgan contrary to popular belief, the US isn’t the “only” tipping culture in the world. South African service and hospitality workers largely rely on tips to make a living as well. When I was on safari in South Africa, or at a restaurant, I tipped because local customs and culture say to do so. As I do in the US. Not tipping because you “don’t agree with it” just further cements the fact that most Australians are culturally close-minded. Whether or not you like it or agree with it, it’s still customary. And this is coming from a fellow Aussie.

  25. Thanks for the post.
    The pics of the septic tanks that I saw 3 times in the post, was it something special in the lodge worth highlighting or just an annoying ad?

  26. Yikes these ads are terrible

    If the blog owner is booking two rooms at a $2,000 a night hotel And flying 3 ppl in revenue first on Air France, I’d think the blog was pretty profitable without the need to cram down so many more ads now. Your revenue is primarily cc based, so you are being greedy by killing the reader experience for a few extra bucks

  27. @Tiffany — about ads on desktop site
    From your reply to @Mark G: “Nothing has changed on the desktop site, if that helps.”
    From the article: “It’s actually basically exactly like this: …”

    I’m viewing this report from the desktop site and, for the first time, saw an ad (for “Great British Air”) embedded directly below the report line at “It’s actually basically exactly like this: …” This got me a bit confused, as the report was talking about dining at that point.

    Was this a leakage of an ad on the desktop site? Or what was that about?

  28. @Tiffany

    Thank you for the reply. I do enjoy the blog and will be patient while you figure out your ad strategy. Keep up the good work.

  29. @Morgan I completely agree with you 1000%. As a Brazilian who has travelled extensively around the world and lived both in the US and Europe, it is appalling to me how Americans have influenced places with their ridiculous tipping practices. I am 100% against tipping culture and to me it is absolutely ludicrous that when paying so much for a hotel, you are expected to go around throwing singles to staff. However, I very much appreciate and respect Ben’s explanation and his point of view, and I agree that when traveling we should try as much as possible to follow the local customs regarding things. The good news is, tipping is optional, and no one is forcing you to do it, and if the staff is professional, they will go above and beyond and treat you exceptionally regardless if you tip or not.

  30. Ben, another terrific review, I just wanna applaud your extensive and detailed articles, you’re one of a kind. Fantastic content, as always.

    and for those complaining about mobile ads, if you can, just read the articles on your laptop/computer. The experience is much better anyway.

  31. @Tiffany – not to make it personal, but Ben is reviewing a 6-night safari vacation that cost him $30,000 for lodging alone. So it’s hard to fathom that y’all have had trouble monetizing the website.

  32. @ Eric: Once again, no one gives a crap about your pretentious whining about fossil fuels and how they supposedly “damage” the environment. And, once again, this blog isn’t an environmental nutjob website, so why should Lucky address it? I bet that even if he does get around to it, you’ll be one of the first self-righteous jerks to blast him in the comment section if he makes a small mistake while trying to address a topic that isn’t his expertise.
    Dude, enjoy the content or get lost. It’s really that simple.

  33. @Jesse: As far as I know you were not made a moderator for the comments on this website, so as long as Ben (or whoever he delegated that to) approves the comment, Eric is free to write as he wishes. Why don’t you reduce your carbon footprint by holding your breath until you turn blue

    …and by the way, it’s not some “environmental nutjob website” but rather the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that says we should change our course

  34. @Sven: On another post, one commenter referred to Eric as a “douche nozzle.” I found it quite hilarious. The same can be applied to you, since you implied that I should go kill myself. Very classy. But, I’d wager that my education level and title significantly outweighs yours, so I’m not too fussed about you.
    Again, if I cared about my carbon footprint then I would go to a website dedicated to discussing the massive lie called “global warming.” However, this isn’t one of those sites, so, again, bugger off with the self-righteous, pretentious comments. No one here wants to be force-fed that rubbish just so a few millennial crusaders (who probably are in debt up to their eyeballs) can control the narrative.

  35. @Jesse (or should I say Endre, because you come across just as pompous and self aggrandizing as he does) You are still not promoted to a moderator for comments here, so as long as it’s accepted by the website owners we can both write what we like.
    I didn’t imply you should kill yourself, we both know that it’s totally impossible to hold your breath till you die. You on the other hand referred to other commenters as nutjobs and liked when they are called douche nozzles. Is that classy?
    As you seem to deny scientific consensus I am really astonished that you even set foot on planes as it’s physics and science that keep planes in the air. Global warming isn’t a lie, it’s a fact. It might appear disputed in a country where 8 in ten people believe in angels, but for the rest of the world and at least 95% of climate scientists it’s a fact.

  36. @Sven — “As you seem to deny scientific consensus … Global warming isn’t a lie, it’s a fact … at least 95% of climate scientists it’s a fact.”

    Ad hominems aside, there seem to be a *lot* of people who are *ignorant* and also *naive* and totally *gullible* to the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) *Lies and Propaganda*! Notice that I said AGW! Climate has always been changing ever since the Earth came to be … but those who espouse that *Man* is *the* cause of Climate Change are totally Misguided and love to conflate Pollution, Weather, and Climate!

    Everyone is *against* Pollution, which are local/regional phenomena, unless referring to the global catastrophe of micro-plastics Pollution that now pervades every corner of our vast oceans worldwide. Weather, as we know, is what we experience daily and even on a seasonal basis annually. Climate change, on the other hand, spans many decades (80+ years) and into centuries and millennia!

    When referring to so-called “Climate Change,” as induced by Man, there haven’t been consistent *specific* records that have lasted 80+ years in duration to even begin to make *credible* judgements about human “causation”! So what goes on, instead? Everyone relies on computer models to “predict” what might happen if this, that, or the other events ensue! This is the core problem — those hundreds of climate models have all *failed* to reflect *true* atmospheric behavior to be able to correlate itself with past historical climate behavior! And then the pro-AGW crowd intentionally *manipulates* the input data to try and *coerce* those *failed* models into trying to correlate! But we have a saying in the reality-based computer modeling profession —

    Garbage In ==> Garbage Out

    Why is this the case? The pro-AGW crowd loves to pin the culprit of AGW on Greenhouse Gases, but especially CO2! However, the *true* scientific *fact* is that CO2 is *not* the dominant Greenhouse Gas, anyway! What is? Just look up at the sky … see those puffy white billowy “things” called clouds? H2O is many multiple times *more* prolific than CO2 and has a much more *direct* effect on Earth’s atmospheric temperatures than CO2! Is it hotter on a sunny day than a cloudy day? You can actually *feel* the difference in temperatures from clouds (5+ deg F), whereas the computer models-based “best guess” at the effects of limiting CO2 is projected to be somewhere around 0.5-deg F over many decades!

    Actual satellite temperature measurements across the Earth have most recently revealed that the global temperatures are actually cooling, rather than rising, anyway! Yet such totally *flawed* computer models are being used to perpetrate *insane* AGW regulations upon everyone worldwide, under the *Fake* threats of Extinction of Mankind! And now the *shameless* pro-AGW crowd has even resorted to engaging in Abuse and Exploitation of children (ie, Greta) in their Desperate attempts to *brainwash* the public about the purported dangers of Human Extinction from AGW! Totally Despicable behavior!

    As for that overly abused concept of “Consensus,” the pro-AGW crowd always conveniently forget that Nature is what it is, and does *Not* adhere to Anthropogenic “Consensus!” Recall what “Consensus” used to say about the Earth being “flat”? Or that Earth is the “center” of the universe?

    Furthermore, you understated the “claimed” percentage of so-called “scientists” who believe in this AGW *Hoax* — that figure is most often pegged at 97% instead of 95% (as you stated)! But let me give an illustration about how statistics can also be *manipulated* to totally *Lie* to the public —

    Let’s say that you have 1000 scientists at a conference and the pro-AGW crowd decides to conduct a “survey” about how many support AGW … there are 100 pro-AGW “scientists” in this group of 1000 scientists … they decide to interview 100 “scientists” (10% sampling — very statistically significant!) … so they include 97 of their 100 pro-AGW fellows and 3 others from the anti-AGW group … 100 samples and 97 of them are pro-AGW so, therefore, 97% of “surveyed scientists” agree that AGW is a real phenomenon! Surprise! The other (900-3) anti-AGW scientists got totally ignored! Reminds us of how political surveys are conducted before elections?

    Additionally, the former Chief-of-Staff for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), perpetrator of the so-called “Green New Deal” (GND) Insanity, recently *Confessed* that the whole AGW/GND movements have *Nothing* to do with Earth/Climate, but is merely a *Mechanism* through which to Consolidate Power and Re-shape World Economies through Wealth Re-Distribution!

    Finally, does anyone believe that Al Gore and Barack Obama are worried, in the least, about AGW and another of its “Lies” about rising ocean levels, when they both purchased multi-$Million mansions on the ocean fronts of USA’s west and east coasts, respectively?

    Starting to understand *Reality* yet?

  37. @Sven: The Endre comment was an epic comeback Unfortunately, I’m not “worthy” to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, as I don’t “only book paid, full fare first class” as he claims to do 😉
    I’m definitely not that arrogant, I was just making a point 😉

  38. @Tiffany – the new mobile ads scheme works perfectly on my iPad, to the point that I didn’t even realize there were ads! I had to go back and search for them.

    @Ben – I stayed at Sweni, which I remember specifically choosing over Lebombo but can’t remember now why I made that choice – maybe all the stairs? Did you consider Sweni?

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