Singita Castleton. Sabi Sands. South Africa
Why we love it
Singita Castleton makes you feel at ease as soon as you arrive. They seem to have the mix of pure Singita luxury with complete farmhouse relaxation just right - you can throw off your shoes and grab an iced tea and sit under a big ol' fig tree watching elephants and other game passing by. It's the ultimate villa, in that it feels like your own home. Kids would feel very relaxed here, and can even pop in to the kitchen to help the chef, and play in the pool, while watching buffalo drink. But its the 45000 acres of wilderness that you have come to experience, and the abundance of wildlife and superb guiding wont disappoint. Reknowned for Leopard, Lion and Rhino, the riverine frontage on the Sand River also delivers lazy elephant sigthings, large herds of buffalo and wild dog that breeze through the area, chasing their prey.
What to expect
The villa is made up of 6 individual cottages, sleeping 12 people. It is offered on an exclusive use basis only. The rooms are fresh and airy and beautifully decorated - all spilling out on to the vast lawns. The attention to detail is outstanding and we loved the use of natural wood the equisite botanical art print wallpaper. The camp is protected by electric fences, which makes it safe for kids to run about.
What to do
The emphasis is on dawn and dusk game drives, as well as guided nature walks. Guests can also make use of the gym, tennis court and the small spa therapy room for massages. Ask if you can vsiit their wine cellar.
Kids : This is a place where kids will want to live forever - giant trees and big lawns and a secret boma for dinners under the stars. The staff are excellent at keeping kids occupied while parents have a nap.
Best time to visit
The summer rains (usually short-lived thunderstorms) bring new life and exceptional birding from October to February, dry winters (May to August) make for icy mornings and evenings but phenomenal game viewing as animals head to available water sources and the grass is low.
How to get there
There is an airstrip where you can fly in directly from Johannesburg. Alternatively it's a two and a half hour drive from Nelspruit Airport, or 6 hour drive from Johannesburg