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What Is Singita Game Reserve?

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  • Written By: Mark Wollacott
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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The Singita game reserve is a series of safari lodges in the east of South Africa. They are divided between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. As well as providing luxury accommodation, the reserve is host to a wide range of animals, cultures, and landscapes. Singita Game Reserve also runs smaller reserves in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, where it operates conservation programs to help save the black rhino. The reserve also runs a number of local development and sustainability programs in the area.

Located in the east of the Transvaal Province of South Africa, the Singita Game Reserve borders both Mozambique in the east and Zimbabwe in the north. It covers a wide variety of landscapes. This includes the Lebombo Mountains, woodland around the Sand River and grasslands.

The Kruger National Park was originally formed as the Sabi Sand Reserve in 1898 by the Transvaal Republic. The area survived the Boer War and became the Kruger National Park in 1926. Around the same time, James Fawcett Bailes bought land that would become Singita. His grandson, Luke, began a project to restore the land in the early 1990s, based on 1930s aerial photographs. The first Singita Game Reserve lodge opened in 1993.

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Ebony, Sweni, and Lebombo lodges are located within the Kruger National Park while the Castleton Camp and Boulders lodges are part of Sabi Sand Reserve. All five are luxury hotels with a wide variety of services and activities. The Sweni and Lebombo lodges in particular have won a number of awards at regional and international levels.

All activities, including safaris, photography and bird watching, are designed to keep human impact to a minimum. The safaris can be organized tours or self-driven explorations, and include a number of big draw animals such as giraffes, crocodiles, hyenas, and zebras. They also include the "big five" animals, widely considered to be those that are the most difficult to hunt. The "big five" are the lion, the leopard, the cape buffalo, the rhinoceros — particularly the black rhino — and the African elephant.

Each of these animals is considered very dangerous, which is part of their appeal to some hunters. Of the five, the cape or African buffalo kills the most hunters and, according to some reports, more people in Africa than any other animal. With the exception of the black rhino, the animals can be hunted in many parts of Africa with a license. That said, only the cape buffalo has a healthy population and the others, especially the black rhino, are in danger of extinction.

As well as providing accommodation and activities for tourists, the Singita Game Reserve runs several outreach and community-based programs. This includes investing in protecting animals, particularly the black rhino. The reserve also helps to fund local schools, has worked to develop Justicia village, and funds local care centers.

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