We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Jacksonville...
Level Contributor
10 posts
66 reviews
SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Is there anyone out there who has stayed at both of these properties?

My husband and I are in our late thirties and planning our first trip on safari. There certainly is a lot out there about Singita. For some reason, there is very little about Mateya, but I have heard some say that it is right on par with Singita... I do like how they only have 4 people to each vehicle.

Can anyone offer some information on what makes these different/alike, or personal opinions?

Thank you!

SOUTH AFRICA
Level Contributor
2,603 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Hi there! I stayed at both Mateya & Singita Boulders earlier this year. First of all, let me assure you that they are both EXCELLENT lodges, and no matter which one you go to, you will have an amazing time!

Both lodges offer excellent and very luxurious accommodation. The cuisine at both is also excellent. Based on my experience, I would rate Mateya a little higher in this department. The chef even came to speak to every single guest during breakfast, to find out what he can make them for lunch!! You could literally choose anything (within reason, keeping in mind that you are out in the bush!) that you felt like, and he was happy to prepare it for you! This meant that every guest's lunch was prepared individually according to very specific orders.

Location - Singita Boulders overlooks the Sand River, while Mateya overlooks a plain with a waterhole. Here my vote would go to Singita Boulders, as every suite has great views of the river.

Game viewing - with Singita Boulders being in the Sabi Sands and Mateya being in Madikwe, the variety of wildlife to be seen differes slightly. At Singita you will have excellent chances of seeing all of the big 5, while leopard sightings in Madikwe are not yet as frequent as in the Sands. In Madikwe you have excellent chances of seeing the endangered wild dog, while chances of seeing them at Singita are smaller, as Singita is open to the Kruger National Park, and not fenced off as Madikwe is. Wild dogs traverse very large territories, and though they may pass through Singita, chances at Madikwe are still better. In Madikwe I have seen both brown and spotted hyena, while Singita only have spotted hyena. Singita shares a game viewing traversing area with Londolozi, which is also a beautiful property, offering excellent game viewing.

As you can see, in my experience, both these lodges are exceptional, and to recommend the one above the other, is very difficult! Please feel free to ask more questions!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Jacksonville...
Level Contributor
10 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Thank you so much for your help! It is reassuring to know that either decision will be a good one. They both really do look exquisite.

I am booking for Aug 2010. I have heard that it might be a good idea to wait 2 months or so to book my land arrangements, as prices may go down when venues realize that after the tourist surge with the world cup there might be a slight lull in business in the month or two following. Do you think this is a valid consideration?

kentucky
Level Contributor
5,896 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Emmy--I just returned from Mateya. I have been all over the world w/airline spouse and:

not having been to Singita, I can only tell you I have never stayed in a finer lodging in my life. My review is forthcoming but it is pure bush POSH. great drives, great game viewing, excellent food, staff is so caring and efficient and warm and accommodating. It was so much more than I imagined and I had very high expectations!! We had only the two of us on most drives--the other 4 had their own ranger and tracker.. I conme from a science/biology background and our ranger was very very knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile or hour to get the most out of a drive.

No pretense whatsoever--in any category--we dined in the wine cellar and it was so relaxed and natural and pure delgiht. PM if you want more details. Cheers!!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
166 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Hi, I've only stayed at Singita Boulders, but I can guarantee you that they are deserving of all the national and international awards they have won (which are A LOT). I just took a look at the aug 2010 rates for both lodges and unless I'm mistaken, Mateya is R5,500 pp/night and Singita is R10,950 pp/night. I know Singita charges a premium due to its name, but I find it difficult to believe (in my biased opinion) that Mateya could be on par with Singita in every way when Singita charges twice as much. The rooms at Singita are absolutely unbelievable. They are over 1000 square feet of pure luxury and each deck is enormous. The game drives were incredible. We did see two different packs of wild dogs (one pack had 11 dogs and the other had 3) within 3 days. It would be difficult for any lodge in S. Africa to guarantee a wild dog sighting because of the amt of land they can traverse in a day. We saw the big 5 in one day and leopard sightings happened every day (different leopards). We saw different feedings of leopards and lions, plus we saw a cheetah. You have a personal butler at Singita and the food is just incredible. I can't say enough good things about Singita. We also stayed at Londolozi Granite Suites during the same trip and would highly recommend that, too (same price range as Singita). Londolozi is AMAZING!!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
166 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

One more thing. No vehicle had more than 2 different parties (4 people). I don't think it's something that is guaranteed at Singita, but the lodge was full when I was there and they still maintained the small groups.

kentucky
Level Contributor
5,896 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

mateya has 5 suites, smaller than singita (as I noted from their site has 12)so the lodge population is limited to 10 at mateya

max 4 people/vehicle

bubbly is included (not at singita according to their site) but singita private pools are heated

considering one recent TA reveiwer who has recommended singita found their guide to be "annoying" and said it's hard to justify returning due to the prices, I'd likely agree on the cost alone. spending 12+ hrs in a gorgeous suit for twice the price of mateya which was gorgeous as well, with excellent guides, service and food is a hardly a tough choice to me

$2700 per night seems excessive. I cna think of better ways to spend that kind of dough--3 more nights at Mateya!!

we paid so much less than half the price of one night at singita.

good luck with your decision--it's always tough to compare 2 very different safari regions.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
166 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

That was me that posted that review about the annoying guide and not returning back. I still gave them 5 stars and the title of the review was "Amazing." I've been reading about Singita in Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler since I was a teenager. It's been rated the #1 hotel in the entire world for so many years by both publications, so it's been my dream to go there since I was 15. Yes, my guide was a little annoying (still super knowledgeable), but I spoke to lots of other people at the lodge and they all loved their guides, so either I have bad luck or I get annoyed too easily. I can't go back because I can't afford to go back. I don't make a lot of money (I'm only 30) and it was a stretch to begin with. I still believe that it was the best hotel I've ever stayed at and if you can afford it, you should stay.

kentucky
Level Contributor
5,896 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

I didn't cross-reference the review and your notes, kim.

I have to say--good for you being able to go for the gusto on the luxury level!!

We hope to epxerience the "wet" safari vs desert. We liked our first at Tuningi(Madikwe) and have some issues w/anti-malarials so we'll stick with off season and drier for the most part. I really need to get rid of this "safari bug" I caught on the initial trip--I fear it's INCURABLE!!

Jacksonville...
Level Contributor
10 posts
66 reviews
9. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Wow! It is great to hear all of this fabulous info. I am just sad that my trip isnt next week instead of August! Thank you all so much.

South Africa
Level Contributor
63 posts
1 review
10. Re: SIngita Boulders or Mateya?

Singita Lebombo - just the best

Get answers to your questions about Singita Private Game...