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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.

Sun Safaris Says

The Sabi Sand should be high on every guest's list as their safari destination of choice when visiting South Africa. Although most of the safari lodges in the Sabi Sand are priced well over US$450 per person per night, Umkumbe Safari Lodge and Arathusa Safari Lodge offer superb affordable options.

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

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.

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.

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Safari Lodges within Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Cheetah Plains

Cheetah Plains is in the heart of the world-renowned Sabi Sand Reserve, which borders on the Kruger National Park. Cheetah Plains offer a luxurious and intimate safari experience for the discerning guest.

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Ulusaba Cliff Lodge

Ulusaba Cliff Lodge is a luxury safari lodge offering a sought after location in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. The lodge offers a true bush experience with a view from one of the tree houses in the heart of in the bush.

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Mala Mala Main Camp

Mala Mala offers a unique location and superb wildlife and safari experience that no other destination can compete with; the Lowveld's untouched wilderness is legally protected from human interference. Offers the greatest diversification of animal species in Africa.

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Londolozi Varty Camp

Londolozi Varty Camp offers one of the best Big Five safari experiences combined with incredible leopard viewing anywhere in the world. Guests will experience high quality guiding and trained and knowledgeable rangers and trackers will lead all game activities.

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Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Ulusaba Rock Lodge offers a magnificent setting on top of a hill in the game rich Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The lodge offers the ultimate in safari luxury yet offers a traditional wildlife and big five safari experience in a peaceful environment.

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Singita Ebony Lodge

Singita Ebony Lodge is luxurious yet cosy with sophisticated rooms offering a fusion of Egyptian and African flair; beautiful linen, antiques and modern luxuries. The suites are secluded and offer breathtaking views from the wooden decks overlooking the Sand River.

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Sabi Sabi Selati Camp

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp is an award winning safari camp offering an experience from a bygone era. It offers the ideal hide-away for guests looking for a romantic and luxurious big five safari lodge.

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Ulusaba Safari Lodge

Ulusaba Safari Lodge is a luxury safari lodge offering a sought after location in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. The lodge offers a true bush experience with a view from one of the tree houses in the heart of in the bush.

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Leadwood Lodge

Leadwood Lodge offers a peaceful location on the banks of the Sand River. The lodge is small and personal and offers only four suites in complete privacy. Added luxuries include a private plunge pool as well as a cosy fireplace in each suite.

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River Lodge

Guests at River Lodge can enjoy one of the finest big five safari destinations in Africa in the legendary Sabi Sand Reserve. The area is renowned for offering incredible sightings of the elusive leopard.

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Londolozi Founders Camp

Londolozi Founders Camp offers a superb big five safari experience in the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The camp is family friendly and welcomes children of all ages. The chalets are luxurious and offer magnificent views as well as private viewing decks.

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Rattray's on Mala Mala

Rattray's on Mala Mala promises a peek into an age old era from centuries ago where guests can experience the magic of true Africa in an elegant and sophisticated camp offering a unique safari experience.

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Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp is a luxurious safari lodge offering five star luxury in a private and secluded setting amongst the trees in the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve. Accommodation is elegant and sophisticated and is ideal for a family-safari.

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Simbambili Game Lodge

Simbambili Game Lodge offers first-class luxury in the untouched Sabi Sand Game Reserve. With its unique location among the trees along the meandering Manyeleti River; guest can enjoy a superb Big Five safari experience.

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Mala Mala Sable Camp

Mala Mala Sable Camp is an intimate safari camp accommodating only 14 guests; the camp may also be booked on an exclusive basis for the ultimate private wildlife experience. Game Reserve is situated in the eastern part of South Africa in the province of Mpumalanga.

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Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge offers luxury and charm in the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve and is the flagship lodge of Sabi Sabi known for warm hospitality and friendly and efficient staff. It is known to offer one of the best big five safari experiences in Africa.

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Kirkman's Kamp

Kirkman’s Kamp offers a magnificent location in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park; one of the most incredible game parks in South Africa. This enormous reserve of 65 000 hectares offers visitors a unique African safari experience.

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Savanna Lodge

Savanna Lodge is a luxurious safari lodge situated in the game rich Sabi Sand Game Reserve offering a fantastic wildlife and big five experience; the birdlife is incredible with over 450 bird species.

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Singita Castleton Lodge

Singita Castleton Camp is ideal for a luxurious family safari or friends travelling together looking for a private and exclusive safari experience in the heart of the legendary Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park.

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Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge

Chitwa Chitwa offers luxury and charm in the heart of the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Guests can enjoy an exclusive safari experience in a quiet and peaceful setting offering incredible views over the largest lake in the reserve with a nearby waterhole.

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Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge offers a spectacular setting on the banks of the Sabie River with beautiful views of the surrounding area and into the Kruger National Park. The Lodge is situated approximately 100 meters upstream of River Lodge.

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Londolozi Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp offers a traditional safari experience from a bygone era; steeped in history in a truly breathtaking and remote corner of Africa. Guests will have the privilege of exploring the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve with its abundance of game.

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Lion Sands River Lodge

Lion Sands River Lodge is the heart and soul of Lion Sands and offers a breathtaking location on the banks of the Sabie River. The lodge offers a warm and friendly environment with impeccable service and high standards.

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Londolozi Tree Camp

Londolozi Tree Camp is elegant and charming offering fine dining, warm South African hospitality and fantastic wildlife viewing; known as one of South Africa's leading luxury safari lodges. Expert guides will accompany guests on thrilling game viewing activities.

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Leopard Hills Game Lodge

Leopard Hills offers five star luxury in the heart of the African bush combined with incredible game viewing and close encounters with Africa’s notorious big five; elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard can frequently be seen.

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Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is a lodge like no other in Africa; a haven of peace and tranquility blending in perfectly with its natural surroundings. The lodge offers scenic views of the endless bushveld in the enormous Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

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Dulini Lodge

Dulini Lodge is charming and elegant and offers a traditional safari experience in luxurious thatched cottages on the banks of the Mabrak River; a peaceful setting in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park.

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Singita Boulders Lodge

Singita Boulders Lodge offers peace and tranquillity with large viewing decks promising breath-taking views and beautiful African sunsets. The lodge is built of natural stone, thatch and wood alongside a quiet pond.

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Chalkley Treehouse

The Lion Sands Chalkley Treehouse is a 10 minute drive from Lion Sands Ivory Lodge and Lion Sands River Lodge, and is completely secluded and private. The Field ranger does not accompany the guests at the Treehouse, as it is designed to be a totally secluded.

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The Kingston Treehouse

The Kingston Treehouse is located in close proximity of the main lodge within the Lion Sands Reserve and offers beautiful views of the area. The Treehouse is ideal for adventurous and honeymoon guests.

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Silvan Safari Lodge

Silvan Safari is an opulent, organic offering in the Sabi Sand on the Manyeleti River. There are 6 luxury suites, magnificently decorated and personalised, embodying the wild and tranquil beauty of the tall forests in the area.

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Jaci's Sabi House

Jaci’s Sabi House is a bright and welcoming exclusive-use safari villa in the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve sleeping just six guests in comfort and style.

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Idube Game Lodge

Idube Game Lodge is a luxury safari lodge offering a tranquil setting inside an indigenous garden in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The reserve is home to the legendary big five and guests can enjoy exciting game viewing activities.

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nKorho Bush Lodge

Nkorho Bush Lodge is a small and intimate safari lodge offering only 6 luxurious bush chalets with beautiful en-suite bathrooms and lavish stone baths. The sought after Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park.

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Arathusa Safari Lodge

Arathusa Safari Lodge is famous for offering traditional Big 5 safaris in the heart of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. Guests can expect a luxurious safari experience and the lodge is famous for its fantastic concentrations of wildlife.

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Inyati Game Reserve

With its superb location in the sought after Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Inyati Game Reserve promises a personal and intimate safari experience. Accommodation is luxurious and the reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five as well as an abundance of general wildlife.

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Djuma Vuyatela

Djuma Vuyatela offers guests a unique African safari experience; with the use of wood, thatch and bright African colours that enhances the safari-feel, guests can relax and unwind in complete luxury with interesting, beautifully decorated suites.

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Notten's Bush Camp

Notten’s Bush Camp offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa; located in the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Guests can enjoy thrilling encounters with the Big Five, elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.

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Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers a traditional safari experience where guests can enjoy close encounters with wildlife and experience the excitement of seeing the 'Big Five' at close range.

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Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Umkumbe Safari Lodge offers a rustic yet comfortable safari experience in the beautiful Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. The lodge is small and intimate and welcomes families. Children of all ages are welcome at Umkumbe.

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Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve on display

Top Destinations

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve offers a variety of camps and lodges to choose from. Umkumbe Safari Lodge is a very affordable safari lodge located in the southern part of the reserve. It is easily accessible from Kruger Mpumalanga Airport, and all the chalets overlook the Sand River bed.

Arathusa Safari Lodge, located in the north of the reserve is one of our guests' favourites. The lodge overlooks a very productive dam, allowing guests to watch wildlife from the comfort of their chalets. Nottens Bush Camp, another well priced lodge, is owner managed and run providing guests with a superb safari experience.

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.

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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.

Sabi Sand Seasons and Climate

The climate of the Sabi Sand is subtropical with hot, rainy summers and cool, dry winters.

Summer lasts from October to March. The days are hot and humid with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high, up to 32 degrees Celsius, followed by cooler evenings. The dry bushveld comes to life after the rains, however game becomes more challenging to find as numerous water sources fill up and the area becomes lush and green.

Winter is from April until September when it is dry and water is scarce. The days are warm and pleasant, however early mornings and evenings are chilly. Game viewing during winter is excellent and visibility is good, as the animals tend to gather around the water sources and guides know where to find them. Game viewing in the dry winter months is therefore considered the best.

Where to go icon Expert Travel Advice

Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

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We know a safari can be pricey, but we guarantee that we're giving you the best deal on your travel. We don't want your trip to Africa to be a once in a lifetime experience, we want you to do it again, and again! Through nurtured relationships with our suppliers, we can offer you the best deal they've got, and you'll never pay more than you should for your accommodation. If you find the same holiday for less, we'll confidently better the price.

Where to go icon Tailor-made Itineraries

Just like the spots on a leopard's back, each of our tailor-made itineraries is unique. Every journey has a personality, carefully designed to match the desires and expectations our clients bring to the table. Every element is taken into consideration to stitch together a personalised safari experience, grown from seed and cultivated to embody the perfect adventure. Our tailored itineraries are your safari dreams, defined.