Ebony, the original Singita lodge and flagship, was opened to widespread acclaim in 1994. Set among huge trees on the banks of the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, it topped the A-List of best-dressed lodges for several decades. This, together with its setting and impeccable service, earned Ebony its high rank in bush lodge luxury, but it was due for an update. The resulting makeover, which was completed earlier this year, has kept the look intoxicatingly African yet simultaneously light and contemporary.
The revamp was steered by the creative nous of Boyd Fergusson of Cecile & Boyd, together with architect Sally Tsiliyiannis of GAPP. The fresh face of Ebony takes safari design and style to a new level, and injects new energy into what we have come to regard as the classic safari look.
By replacing exterior walls with floor-to-ceiling glass and canvas flaps, the designers gave the lodge a sense of direct access to nature which is normally only found in tented camps. This exposure to the wilds has been balanced with a feeling of steady reassurance emanating from the classic furniture and soft furnishings, with all the comforts implied in the traditions of a long-established bush lodge.
The traditional khaki tent canvas, stone walls and exposed thatch used in the physical structure blends effortlessly into a pallette of natural materials used in the furnishings. The neutral tones are offset by vivid points of colour from polished brass and touches of copper. The rooms are dotted with thoughtfully curated natural artefacts like seed pods and twigs, that sit alongside carefully selected art, and act in unison to pull the outdoors inside. The overall effect is a glamorous merging of the traditional safari lodge within a modern context.