Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Sabi Sand Game Reserve

The Sabi Sand should be high on every guest's list as their safari destination of choice when visiting South Africa. This is the reserve historically most famous for leopard sightings, and today it lives up to that name. Although one can never predict the animal action in the bush, many guests visiting the Sabi Sand for 3 nights get to view leopard more than once, along with regular Big 5 sightings.

Sabi Sand Highlights

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve consists of a mixed bush savanna habitat and is dominated by acacia, marula and combretum trees, with tamboti and weeping boerbean on raised termite mound thickets. A narrow band of riverine forest lines the Sand River and its drainage lines.

These wooded habitats provide the ideal conditions for leopard, bushbuck and a variety of shade-loving birds. Rock outcrops (koppies) north of the Sand River support trees such as large-leaved rock fig and jacketplum. Two perennial rivers supply the game reserve with a valuable water source. The Sand River flows through the reserve for 50km, while the Sabie River flows on the southern boundary. The sustenance of these rivers ensures that this area boasts one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations in Africa.

Over 200 different species occur in abundance whilst the ever changing bird life provides even the most experienced ornithologist with rare finds. This sort of environment ensures that the wildlife remain in their territories all year round.

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Useful Information

Some of the best private game lodges in South Africa are in the Sabi Sand, located on Kruger Park's western border. It offers guests an opportunity to view the untamed African bush and all its indigenous wildlife in luxury lodges.

We recommend at least 3 nights in the Sabi Sand, and preferably to combine the Sabi Sand with another two to three nights in either of the Klaserie or Timbavati Private Game Reserves, which results in a more rewarding overall safari experience

View our suggested Kruger Park Tours for inspiration on safari lodges to visit in the Greater Kruger Park.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve offers a variety of camps and lodges to choose from. Although most of the safari lodges in the Sabi Sand are priced well over US$450 per person per night, Elephant Plains Game Lodge and Arathusa Safari Lodge offer superb affordable options.

A luxury safari option on the banks of the Sand River is Inyati Game Lodge while further downriver is the beautiful and eco-friendly and family run luxury Nottens Bush Camp .

For discerning travellers looking for exquist rooms, award-winning meals and guides at the top of their field, the Sabi Sand has many sublime lodges to choose from. Mala Mala Rattray's Camp is one of the oldest lodges offering a safari from a bygone era. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is an eo-friendly uber chic lodge, built into the surround bush. Exclusive bush villa's completewith privat electric vehicles delight guests at Cheetah Plains.

One of the most luxurious ways to experience this wildlife wonderland is from a treehouse. Lion Sands Reserve has 3 treehouse options, which cater for guests high up, out in the open.

Londolozi Varty Camp is considered to be one of the best safari destinations in the Sabi Sand and Londolozi is renowned for its progressive ecotourism practices and is one of the most sought-after safari destinations in Africa.

If you are looking for unadulterated luxury then look no further than Singita Ebony Lodge and Lions Sands Ivory Lodge

How to Get There

There are daily flights from OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg International) to various airports bordering the Kruger National Park, being, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, as well as Hoedspruit Airport (also called Eastgate).

We recommend that guests use KMIA for lodges in the southern section of the Sabi Sand Reserve and Hoedspruit Airport for lodges in the northern area of the Sabi Sand Reserve. Sun Safaris agents will book these flights for their guests.

Upon arrival at the various airports, guests will either take the car hire option, a road transfer to their lodge or a short air transfer or flight hop to an airstrip (depending on lodge location).

All the Sabi Sand Reserve safari lodges are accessible via self drive with a sedan rental car from anywhere in South Africa. To self drive from Johannesburg will take approximately 6 hours.

Sabi Sand Game Viewing and Activities

There are no fences between the Sabi Sand and Kruger, which mean animals roam freely in this pristine part of Africa. The reserve is regarded as one of the best wildlife destinations in South Africa, home to the Big 5, as well as an abundance of general game and prolific bird life. The reserve is also known for the best leopard viewing in Africa.

Impala are the most abundant antelope, with common waterbuck and grey duiker seen on a regular basis. Greater kudu, bushbuck and nyala prefer thickets and riverine forest, whilst buffalo herds graze in tall grasslands. Waterholes attract elephant, white rhino, giraffe and warthog and many other wildlife species during the dry season. Sabi Sabi hosts a remarkable 350 species of birds.

The reserve is divided by the Sand River, an important source of water and a dependable place of refuge for the animals' endless migration. This unique and unspoilt region promises guests a safari experience of a lifetime, which they will experience on 4x4 game drives.

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Sun Safaris

Sun Safaris organises African & South American safaris, holidays and honeymoons. We are based in Cape Town, South Africa. Both continents are specialized and complex, yet exciting destinations. For this reason, Sun Safaris aims to help you make well-informed travel decisions by calling on our extensive knowledge and first-hand experience, providing you with up-to-date travel information, and to ensure all your enquiries and bookings are handled efficiently.

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