Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Situated adjacent to the world renowned Kruger National Park of South Africa is the Sabi Sands Game Reserve containing top safari lodge destinations and the ultimate luxury safari experience.

This private game reserve, often referred to as part of the "greater Kruger", is divided into several traversing blocks so that the rangers and trackers of specific safari lodges can also take guests onto neighbouring properties for game drives.

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve/Kruger National Park boundary is unfenced so animals can roam freely to and fro.

Game drives

The luxury safari experience is quite different from the Kruger itself. Day visitors are not allowed in the reserve and vehicles are limited to two per any sighting - so you could enjoy the antics of a mother leopard and her cub without your view being crowded by other tourists.

All game drives are done in open 4x4 vehicles, with a hop-on seat on the left front of the bonnet, from where the tracker scans the dirt roads and bush for signs and spoor of animals. All the time he communicates with the ranger who is driving and together they will lead the guests to large as well as smaller game.

Rangers within the various traversing areas are also in constant radio contact with one another, increasing their chances of being able to show you that pride of feeding lions or the rhino you have been wanting to see all safari long.

Good rangers (and most at the Sabi Sands lodges are) will not only show you the "big 5" - although they usually manage to do that across a few game drives - but inform you about the animals' behaviour, interesting plants and birds and even the night skies.

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is one of the best places in Africa to see a wild leopard. It's a very elusive animal and people can often only talk of fleeting glimpses of the spotted cat. Here, however, the cats have been habituated to the safari vehicles and they go about their usual business, allowing you to observe their behaviour for longer.

What to expect

The daily program at most of the lodges is similar:

  • Sabi Sands luxury lodge Wake just before sunrise and either have coffee in your room/on your deck, or enjoy it with rusks, muffins, croissants and the likes with the other guests on the central deck.
  • Off you go on the morning game drive which typically lasts about 3 hours and brings you back to the lodge in time for a leisurely breakfast.
  • Then you usually have the option to go on a guided game walk or just relax until lunch time after which it's back to relaxing.
  • Around 4pm everyone meets up for tea and cake, and then depart for the afternoon game drive. The ranger will select a scenic or special spot for sundowner drinks and some snacks, perhaps to the background sounds of hyenas calling. The game drive continues in the dark (using spotlights), with the chance to spot nocturnal wildlife.
  • Back at the lodge you have time to enjoy a bath or outdoor shower and then have dinner and finally, perhaps after a nightcap, go to your suite or luxury tent to dream of what the next day in the African bush might offer.

The lodges do vary according to their location, localised game, number of guests accommodated in total, accommodation and guest area layout and style. Service and personal attention at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve lodges are of the highest standards, so it is a challenge for them to keep coming up with that special touch to differentiate themselves from the rest.

Whether you're looking for a relaxed or colonial atmosphere, your own plunge pool or a central one, internet access, spa treatments, lazy afternoons in hammocks, reading interesting wildlife books in a beautifully decorated library, sleeping in a "tree bed" or booking a team building conference - it's all available, and more.

Getting there

By air

  • Daily shuttle flights operate from OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) to various lodges within Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Federal Air or arranged by lodge).

By road

  • Transfer service from either Johannesburg (OR Tambo) or Nelspruit (KMIA) airports (various operators or arranged by lodge).
  • Rent a car and drive there yourself - no 4x4 needed.

(Ask us to arrange your road transfer or car rental for you.)

Trip Reports

Sabi Sands Game Reserve reviews and trip reports of previous travellers.

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