Singita have been a brand synonymous with luxury and are well known across the globe for their extraordinary safari experiences at their 12 award-winning luxury camps and lodges that span 3 of Africa’s best wildlife rich countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Known for their unique safari camps and lodges surrounded by the vast wilderness of their reserves, bespoke travellers come from around the world because of its exclusivity (largely due to its ‘fewer beds in larger areas’ policy), and of course, some of the finest wildlife viewing in the world.
But did you know that Singita has also quietly been leading the way in sustainable tourism, and has done so for the past two decades?
Translated from the Shangaan word meaning ‘Place of Miracles’, Singita has indeed become one when it comes to its conservation efforts across the more than a million acres of pristine wilderness which make up its reserves. By focusing on community empowerment and education initiatives, anti-poaching campaigns (especially for their rhino populations), land rehabilitation, and wildlife reintroduction programs, this company has led the trend in conscientious travel with great success across its many regions.
Singita has also greatly reduced their environmental footprint by launching their ’One Planet’ initiative which has reduced plastic bottle usage by 64% and their reliance on generators by 75% to ensure that their lodges are now mostly solar operated and their operations as carbon neutral as possible.
Conservation At Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, Singita’s conservation efforts have largely been focused on the reintroduction of black and white rhino into the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Prior to 1998 when animals from Kwa-Zulu Natal were relocated to the reserve, there were no black rhino and only nine white rhinos left in the reserve. Highly trained anti-poaching and security teams were deployed 24/7 to protect these magnificent creatures and in the last decade, not one rhino has been lost due to poaching with both species thriving. So much so, that today both black and white rhino have been relocated to other reserves!
Singita has also launched a Community Partnership Program that sees 19,000 local school children receiving a nourishing morning meal each day, as well as other community projects which include beekeeping and poultry ventures that help support the community financially, as well as providing the Pamushana kitchens with fresh eggs.
Conservation in the Sabi Sand & Kruger National Park, South Africa
Even though South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve and the Kruger National Park rate amongst this continent’s most popular safari destinations, both Singita locations have managed to retain their exclusivity and made it possible for visitors to view the incredible variety of wildlife found here without the crowds often seen in the more popular reserves.
Through careful alien plant removal, erosion control and protection of sensitive areas, Singita has managed to restore the main water pathways for its many inhabitants. Species such as the blue wildebeest and reedbuck have been reintroduced into the area, and poaching has steadily declined due to Singita’s round-the-clock-seven-days-a-week dedicated anti-poaching units. They even deploy highly trained tracker dog units which are very effective at tracking humans and animals (even in the pitch-dark!) through their powerful sense of smell.
Once again, Singita have been at the forefront of community initiatives through their exceptional community education programs which include The Teaching and Technology program (supported by the European Space Agency) that provides nineteen local schools with state-of-the-art laptops and tablets, as well the Growing to READ initiative which offers ‘teacher training skills’ to both teachers and parents to encourage children to read. Singita also has a well established School of Cooking which has produced 50 professional chefs from local communities just in the past seven years.
Conservation At Singita Serengeti, Tanzania
The Serengeti is well known around the world for its annual spectacle of the wildebeest migration, incredible variety of predators and plains teeming with wildlife. The Singita Grumeti Fund was established in 2003 and took over the running of this pristine 350,000-acre wilderness which has just two lodges, three tented camps plus a private villa spread across it to minimise the human footprint and to foster Singita’s signature exclusivity. Since then a lot of positive change has taken place and the area’s reinvigoration has seen more than 1500 elephants returning to the area whilst giraffe populations have almost tripled and buffalo populations increased tenfold. The black rhino (which has been heavily poached in the past with only 800 animals left in the wild today) and wild dogs have also been reintroduced to the area with great success.
Skilled in-house, anti-poaching teams work tirelessly to ensure that there has been a significant decline in both illegal hunting and poaching with more than 500 poachers (in 16 years) being arrested, as well as re-education programs converting a further 100 former poachers into game rangers. Its Environmental Educational Centre provides further learning to 240 teachers and 1400 students where students are being taught both theoretical and practical aspects from topics ranging from soil and water management to tree planting and the role of humans within entire ecosystems.
If you want to make a difference and want your grandchildren to be able to see a lioness on the hunt or experience the majestic and quiet grace of an elephant ambling through the bush with its calf, then consider staying at one of Singita’s exceptional safari destinations where you can have a direct impact on protecting and preserving its captivating wildlife and fragile wilderness areas.