Sweni is one of 12 properties owned and operated by Singita. This company specialises in running deluxe camps and lodges while working with non-profit funds and trusts to look after the local wildlife and communities. Sweni’s sister lodge, Lebombo , is also a YZ top pick. Both properties are among the most costly here, but we think their sheer quality is worth the expense. Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including three meals daily, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, expertly guided game drives and safari walks, transfers between the lodge and the local airstrip, Wi-Fi, and a laundry service. The lodge is open all year round.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via 45 minutes’ road transfer from Satara airstrip. It’s situated within Singita’s private reserve in the eastern region of the Kruger National Park, specifically on the tree-lined banks of the Sweni river.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of six standard suites and one pool suite. All are raised well above ground level, within structures made mainly out of timber and glass, to let in plenty of light. Each standard suite features a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, ample storage furniture, and a separate seating area. The décor is very vibrant, with splashes of colour and a rich variety of textures really boosting the aesthetic appeal. In-room amenities include air conditioning, overhead fans, direct dial telephone, tea-and-coffee station, mini-bar, digital safe, Wi-Fi, iPod docking station, and hairdryer. The washing facilities comprise separate flush toilet, twin washbasins, shower, and freestanding bathtub. There’s an outside shower too. Sliding doors lead out onto a private deck, where you’ll find a daybed, a couple of deckchairs, and, of course, spectacular views! The pool suite has its own plunge pool, and it can be linked with the next-door standard suite to provide a larger unit for a group or family.
The communal lodge at Sweni is accessed from the guest suites along wooden walkways. It too has a nicely elevated position, and it’s constructed mostly from wood and glass. The lounge contains comfortable sofas and chairs around coffee tables, a lot of greenery, and some intriguing artefacts. In common with the suites, it’s very colourful, and texture-ful too! In the dining area, chic individual tables and upright chairs are set up ready for delicious meals, including a superb selection of drinks from the well-stocked bar. Guests can also enjoy browsing for souvenirs, sculptures, and furnishings in Singita’s famous boutique and gallery. Gym facilities are available for keep-fit fans, while a good range of massages, facials, and other pampering treatments is offered at the on-site spa. Finally, there’s a swimming pool, with spectacular views of the river below!
Sweni provides an exciting assortment of activities. Expertly guided game drives take place during the morning and afternoon into evening, providing thrilling opportunities to explore not only Singita’s private reserve but also the immense Kruger National Park itself, guaranteeing numerous sightings of wildlife! The area is home to all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can expect to see lots of smaller predators and herbivores too, including cheetah, hyenas, jackals, wild dog, hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and oodles of antelopes, not least roan and sable. There are also over 500 types of bird, including some notable species such as bateleur, saddle-billed stork, Swainson’s spurfowl, and lilac-breasted roller. The lodge’s guided safari walks involve close observation of the birds of the Kruger region, as well as the plants and insects. Additionally, you can track much larger wildlife! Please note, Singita suggests a minimum age of 15 years for this activity, but the guides might let younger safarists join in. Everyone can enjoy cooking classes at the Singita Community Culinary School, in addition to archery and stargazing in the lodge grounds. And children can take part in the Mini Rangers’ Course, which offers animal tracking, bush survival techniques, nature quizzes, and more!