Flight From Johannesburg to Singita Lebombo in Kruger Park

Good day,

I write this from the lovely Singita Lebombo and Sweni lodges based in the heart of the Kruger National Park. We flew with Federal Air and they did a great job of getting us here swiftly and safely. A tip of the hat to Mark who was our pilot for the final leg and let me ride shot gun. It reminded me of my time with my pilot friends in Tanzania, fond memories I assure you. Federal Air offers scheduled flights as well as charters like the one we took to Singita.  We’re here for two nights and will experience four game drives…

We’ve only been in the Kruger National Park for less than an hour and we’ve already seen buffalo, elephants and so many zebra it would make your head spin. Before we continue, this park is massive and a true asset to South Africa, it’s estimated to be roughly the size of New Jersey. The Singita Lebombo is a class eco-lodge and so tied into the surrounding hills that there aren’t even any gates. If you’re moving through different parts of the complex, they recommend you go with a porter and it’s a necessity at night. Its been about a year since I’ve been in Africa and on a safari, the feeling of being this close to nature is near impossible to describe in words so I won’t even make an effort.

Supposedly the game is “hot” right now and the game drives from this morning saw all of the “Big 5” which are lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. We may also see some wild dogs which are sadly, very near extinction. It is estimated that only 450 of them are left in the wild. Another animal that I’d like to see which is also sadly moving in the same direction is the cheetah, only 3000 left in the world. Also became aware of the poaching epidemic taking place here with the rhino. The horns are used as an aphrodisiac in China and Thailand and sell for $65,000us a kilo, the average horn is 3 kilos. So far 55 rhinos have been slayed this year, tragic.

Having only just arrived, it’s time to explore this place and rest up before our first game drive at 4pm after High Tea. The view in front of me is incredible and can only imagine what we may have the distinct pleasure of seeing over the next few days. I’ve lost my train of thought as the staff just brought me a delicious glass of home made lemonade. I’d continue but I realize our time on this planet is short, my time here infinitely shorter and I plan on making the most of it in typical SHABL style.

Have a wonderful day and stay tuned for a safari updates…

Tips hat,

P.S:  Look at this video…


  1. SJH

    February 20, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Rob, can’t wait for the report on the game drives. One of my best trips ever was three weeks in Tanzania back in 2000. Hit three parks, including the Serengeti, and it is truly impossibly to describe the feeling of being that close to things most people only see in National Geographic magazine, on their tv screen, or in a zoo.

    Sad state of affairs for some of the animals you mention. It may not be politically correct to say so, but it really ticks me off whenever I hear about “traditional Chinese (and other Asian cultures, to not single out the Chinese) medicine.” Come on, people. It’s the 21st century, you don’t need to grind up rhino horns or eat shark fin soup to help your love life. Rant over.

    Enjoy your days in Kruger, your loyal followers will stay tuned for more.

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Hello good sir,

      It is a sad state of affairs, saw some of those majestic creatures today. Also saw a leopard ripping a waterbucks face off from 6-9 feet.

      Absolutely amazing, amazing my friend!

      My last safari was at Lake Manyara, good times but nothing like this.

  2. Anthony @ Culture-ist Mag

    February 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I spent two weeks in South Africa a couple of years back and it was the most breathtaking and incredible experience of my life. Maria and I speak of our return regularly, but for now we’ll live vicariously through you. Looking forward to the updates! How long are you staying in South Africa?

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

      If I knew it was like this, would have opted to stay longer but have some business to take care of in the Caribbean. I had images of Tanzania, SO different.

      I am here until the end of the month, will be 2 weeks including travel. So far, trip of a lifetime and the game drive was out of this world, update COMINT after dinner.

  3. Vanessa

    February 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Hey Rob! I’d love to see a pic of cheetahs. That video was amazing… especially the part where the lion gets thrown in the air. And amazing how the lions were having a tug of war with the alligator. Are they alligators or crocodiles in S.Africa?

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Believe it’s crocodiles and we went to a place where they saw cheetahs this morning but saw nothing.

      Saw lots of elephants and rhino amongst other before a leopard eating a waterbuck, wow!!

      Will never forget that scene.

  4. Dana de Brito

    February 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Looks amazing Rob! Can’t wait to see what other animals you run into on safari…

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 11:08 am

      We ran into most of the big 5 and more, incredible and still have 3 game drives left.

  5. jamblo

    February 20, 2012 at 11:10 am


    I’m really looking forward to keeping up with your South Africa trip. I have been entertaining the idea of going there myself for some time, and your reports will probably influence my decision! Keep up the good work. Everything looks awesome!

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

      All I can say is that it is completely different than all my preconceptions. Hopefully my updates will give you a good feel of the place.

      Have a feeling I’ll be back and heard nothing but rave reviews about Cape Town.

  6. Tom

    February 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Damn I’m jealous.. this sounds like quite the safari. And wow look at you guys roughing it in those “lodges”. 🙂

    • Rob

      February 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      It’s tough Tom but someone has to step up to the plate and play ball. 😉

  7. Maryanne

    February 21, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Love the looks of that Eco-Lodge, very posh! Not so nice is the news of all the game kills – terrible. Are there any conservation efforts in the area for wildlife & species preservation?

    • Rob

      February 21, 2012 at 2:35 am

      The place is unreal. They are doing what they can but with one horn going for roughly $200,000, it’s hard to keep up.

      At those prices the poachers are very sophisticated, even using helicopters sometimes… It’s like the war on drugs, hard to keep up with the technology the criminals use as they are being paid so much.

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