Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is the ideal place to experience an incredible African safari and is undoubtedly the most exclusive private game reserve in South Africa. With breathtaking scenery, affordable and luxury accommodation and lodging, rich biodiversity and amazing wildlife encounters, Sabi Sand is the ultimate safari destination.   Sabi Sands is the ideal destination for your Honeymoon. Various luxury lodges have a romantic atmosphere and offer complete privacy.   There are also various family and child friendly accommodation and lodging available in Sabi Sand. These lodges offer lodging and activities suitable for the whole family.

Location   The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sands Game Reserve is located on the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park   The Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park and consists of various private game reserves.   There are no restricting fences between the Kruger Park and Sabi Sands Reserve and the wildlife roams freely between the two game reserves. Two perennial rivers, the Sabi and the Sand flow through this Game Park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area, which enjoys one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations of any area in Africa. Such is the integrity of the environment that there is consistently a year round population of animals that remain within the area. There is limited migration between this, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, ensuring genetic diversity with an integrated biodiversity within the entire 2, 7 million hectare protected area. This area is in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept and integration and the joining with protected areas in Mozambique and eventually Zimbabwe.

Sabi Sands Giraffe

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve dates back to the 1950’s when the landowners initiated the dropping of the internal fences and the sharing of a common environmental management programme. This association is administered by a Warden who reports to the Park Management Committee. Prior to this, there were a number of landowner pioneers in the 1920′ and 1930’s who initiated the conservation of the area’s wildlife. Today there are no less than six of these families who are now third and fourth generation landowners – a credit to the foresight of their forefathers who loved and cared for Africa’s dwindling wildlife. Their legacy is possibly the best area in which to view southern Africa’s extensive biodiversity.

Due to considerate game viewing practises where clients remain within the ‘profile’ of the open vehicles and the animals have priority, the trackers and game rangers of the various Lodges are able to offer exceptional game viewing of all the general game species, as well as the high profile animals. The success of viewing leopard within this area is legendary and allowing sufficient time in this area, such animals as elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species, may be closely observed within their own ranges. Many of the animals would most likely have never encountered a fence as they exist, free ranging, in this corner of Africa.

Cheetah in Sabi Sands

Leopards are a main attraction of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and are so accustomed to cars that they do not take much notice of them. Even when hunting, a leopard in the Sabi Sands will not mind a vehicle following it, even if this means following it off-road though the bush. Some of the best and most exclusive private game lodges in the country are in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the chances of seeing the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) are excellent.

 

 

 

 

Luxury Safari Lodges in Sabi Sands

    • Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is Sir Richard Branson’s safari lodge located in the Western sector of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and forms part of Virgin Limited Edition.

Safari Lodge is located beneath a canopy of ancient trees on the edge of a dry riverbed. Guests will have the sense of adventure as they cross rope bridges between tree house style rooms, with local wildlife passing by. The eleven rooms include a Treehouse Suite overlooking the nearby Xikwenga Dam and are split into Safari, Elephant and River Rooms, some of which have private plunge pools. The Treehouse Suite is located a 15 minute walk along a raised walkway from the main lodge. Overlooking the Xikwenga Dam, where hippos and elephants come to bathe, the Treehouse Suite is the ideal spot to get up close and personal with the animals and the perfect spot for those looking for a little more privacy and seclusion.

Safari Lodge can accommodate up to 22 guests in 11 rooms and suites.

Ulusaba, meaning ‘Place of Little Fear’ strikes the perfect balance between nature and nurture – as well as being an excellent place to observe the ‘Big Five’, it is also an ideal place to kick back and unwind. Ulusaba re-defines the rules of a safari lodge and taken a step away from the traditional colonial style by offering swimming pools, gymnasiums, a wine cellar, Aroma Boma spas with panoramic views, a Bush Observatory perfect for star gazing and tennis courts. With all of these facilities, you really need to plan your days so you can enjoy safari walks, moon-lit bush dinners and of course, the twice daily game drives.

Cliff Lodge is located a short walk from the Main House at Rock Lodge and features two magnificent suites offering guests the ultimate in safari luxury. Ideal for families and friends seeking an exclusive getaway, or couples wanting to enjoy those special occasions in pure privacy.

When booked exclusively, Cliff Lodge includes a private chef as well as your own game drive vehicle. Facilities also include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym and mini Aroma Boma Spa.

Ulusaba, meaning ‘Place of Little Fear’ strikes the perfect balance between nature and nurture – as well as being an excellent place to observe the ‘Big Five’, it is also an ideal place to kick back and unwind. Ulusaba re-defines the rules of a safari lodge and taken a step away from the traditional colonial style by offering swimming pools, gymnasiums, a wine cellar, Aroma Boma spas with panoramic views, a Bush Observatory perfect for star gazing and tennis courts. With all of these facilities, you really need to plan your days so you can enjoy safari walks, moon-lit bush dinners and of course, the twice daily game drives.

Rock Lodge is perched high on the summit of a koppie and provides panoramic views over miles of bush, the wildlife roaming within and the beauty of the lowveld below. There are ten rooms and suites at Rock Lodge, all individually designed with the colours denoting a different African tribe or region. These include four Rock Cliff rooms, one Master Suite, two Makwela Suites with private infinity plunge pools and one two-bedroom Rock Suite.

Ulusaba, meaning ‘Place of Little Fear’ strikes the perfect balance between nature and nurture – as well as being an excellent place to observe the ‘Big Five’, it is also an ideal place to kick back and unwind. Ulusaba re-defines the rules of a safari lodge and taken a step away from the traditional colonial style by offering swimming pools, gymnasiums, a wine cellar, Aroma Boma spas with panoramic views, a Bush Observatory perfect for star gazing and tennis courts. With all of these facilities, you really need to plan your days so you can enjoy safari walks, moon-lit bush dinners and of course, the twice daily game drives.

Tucked away in a quiet corner in the west of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, andBeyond Exeter River Lodge sits in the shade of a grove of ebony trees right on the edge of the Sand River. Eight luxury suites spread out along the shady bank with dramatic close-up views of the river, all with generous spaces and elegant bathrooms. Cool off in the private plunge pool, while enjoying the sight of a herd of elephant drinking or timid bushbuck browsing the riverside thickets. The magnificently positioned guest sitting and dining areas overlook the Sand River and are filled with deep sofas perfect for whiling away the hours between game drives. A giant sausage tree provides shade for long, lazy afternoon lunches. Delicious meals, complimented by the finest selection of South African wines, are shared in the traditional open-air boma under a star-strewn sky. Romantic candlelit dinners in the African bush or on the decks of the guest suites offer memorable dining experiences.

The spirit of safari comes alive at historic andBeyond Kirkman’s Kamp. Step back in time into the gracious early Transvaal atmosphere of this original 1920s homestead and marvel at the spectacular views of the unspoiled landscape that surrounds the Sand River from each of the 18 guest suites. Rolling lawns carve out a niche in a wild and tumbling wilderness that host memorable game viewing in one of the most renowned Big Five wildlife regions in the world. Spacious sitting, dining and bar areas steeped in the colonial atmosphere of gracious style and luxury contain mementoes of a time long past, while the untamed wilderness outside whispers a promise of adventures not to be forgotten. A sparkling swimming pool boasts a magnificent view over the valley of the Sand River.

Jackalberry and leadwood trees lend their shade to just four spacious suites at andBeyond Leadwood Lodge, situated on a wooded bank of the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The suites are discretely distanced from each other to offer solitude and privacy. The lodge is a tactile blend of boldly expressed and contrasted materials – crushed stone, raw cement, dark meranti, rough granite and glass. Soft furnishings provide an inviting counterpoint to the textures and patinas of the structure. Each suite has a fireplace, sitting room and private pool, surrounded by a wooden deck. The ensuite bathrooms are spacious, with both indoor and outdoor showers. The elevated dining and sitting areas boast dramatic views out over the confluence of the Sand and Mabrak Rivers. The clever use of steps and levels creates intimate spaces for quiet game viewing or unwinding with a good book. Dinner is served in enchanting settings, adding romance to magical African evenings. Meals are shared on an open deck tucked beneath the boughs of a jackalberry tree or around a roaring fire in the open-air boma. Due to its intimate scale of just eight guests, andBeyond Leadwood Lodge is the perfect choice for a family or group of friends sharing a safari together.

    • Singita Lodges

Boulders Lodge is at the forefront of contemporary African style inspired by the geometry of the rough boulders amidst which it is built. Innovative design and natural hues accentuate a sense of space that flows in from surrounding vistas through floor to ceiling glass walls. Gloriously appointed in dappled shade on the banks of the Sand River. Open, organic fluidity in gentle, neutral and monochrome tones unites in and outdoors to create a comfortable Zen appeal.

Singita Castleton found in the heart of the Sabi Sand offers a new concept of exclusivity and lifestyle safari. A private and intimate lodge, Singita Castleton is designed as the ultimate customised rental, with accommodation in six individual cottages complemented by a swimming pool, wine cellar, gym, tennis court and spa. Castleton retains the inviting, soulful ambience and elegance of the original camp in a series of revitalised spaces that encourages relaxation, togetherness, and a deep engagement with nature.

Living spaces extend outdoors onto broad verandas overlooking a watering hole where animals gather to drink and a country style kitchen draws guests into the heart of the home. Reminiscent of an African farmhouse, richly detailed interiors in a neutral palette contrast with traditional tartans and classic prints creating an unbuttoned, lived-in appeal. Botanical art references, luxurious bedding, country furniture and flagstone floors add a nostalgic, time-honoured ambience to the whole.

In this idyllic lodge setting, gracious service from a staff that includes a private guide, tracker, chef, and housekeeper is finely tuned to the dictates and desires of each guest.

With a rich heritage that blends an eclectic, romantic mix of European collectables and antiques, African artefacts, historical books and photographs; Singita Ebony Lodge welcomes visitors to unwind in an ambience that typifies the much-loved home of a seasoned traveller.

This is where it all started, back in 1993, when this lodge opened its doors as Singita’s flagship property. Today, it stands steadfast amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Sand River in the Singita Sabi Sand reserve – an area fondly known as ‘Big Cat Country’.

Singita Ebony Lodge may be described as one of the finest lodges in the world, but its essence evokes a feeling of familiarity. With the stylish character of a bespoke northern hemisphere home, the influences of English countryside florals mix beautifully with the bold colours of Africa. The vivid green shades of the bush-veld, the earthy tones of the riverbed, the deep ochre of the sunset, the fiery-tinged reds of the exotic plants and multiple hues of the trees that fringe the lodge are reflected throughout.

This is the idyllic rendezvous and retreat from the outside world in which to enjoy precious hours of quietude. In between game drives, lavish meals and a variety of activities, lies a great opportunity for some real rest and reflection.

Most days, as they relax on the deck of the dining area that seemingly hovers above the river, guests are rewarded with spotting a variety of large and small animals prior to setting off on a time-honoured safari in an open Land Rover.

Here, evenings take on a magic of their own and the senses are honed to absorb every moment of this genuine adventure. Outside each room on a private deck, guests can soak in the nocturnal sounds and scents of nature and take a dip in the plunge pool to cool down after a hot day in the African bush.

    • Lion Sands Lodges

Lion Sands is a place that enriches one’s soul and promises life-changing moments and opportunities that will leave you with memories of unforgettable experiences. It is an extraordinary gift passed down over generations and even for those of us who have known its sweeping landscapes since birth, it remains a place of overwhelming beauty and discovery.
Our family is one of the most fortunate in the world to have the privilege of being the custodians of one of Africa’s truly unspoiled wilderness areas. In the heart of the game-rich Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, we have created an iconic destination, which is as close to perfection as any place in Africa can take you. At Lion Sands you have the opportunity to view spectacular wildlife whilst preserving the balance of our “bushveld”, and the privilege of being in the company of people with an insatiable enthusiasm both for the bush and for the people who come out to visit us.

The international award winning Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is ultra luxurious, yet simple and uncluttered. The lodge is about overriding exclusivity with complete privacy, where each suite is operated as a private villa. Neither word nor photograph can capture the sense of the pure beauty which is breathed in when opening the carved wooden doors leading into this private recluse – arguably the worlds finest suite.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge was awarded third best hotel in the world by Tatler Magazine in 2006 and has been included in their “101 Best Hotels in the World” 2006 & 2007 listings. Ivory Lodge is also a proud member of Virtuoso, the largest exclusive by invitation only travel network group in the world.

The public areas at Ivory Lodge offers guests the following: a private bar with fireplace, a library lounge , well stocked wine cellar, wooden viewing decks, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, Africology Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air (Boma) dining area.

River Lodge is the soul of Lion Sands and has been built on the banks of the Sabie River, positioned on a site with trees dating back 800 years. Facing due east, the lodge catches the sun as it rises over the Kruger National Park. Hosted by a family of staff that make it feel like home away from home, the lodge is about spirit, warmth and nature. Here you are invited to relax and experience African hospitality at its finest.

The public areas at River Lodge offers guests the following: a private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, 2 swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird hide, a magnificent River Deck built on the river, a conference room, Africology Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air (Boma) dining area.

 

Value for money Sabi Sands Experiences

    • Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers comfortable style and affordable luxury.

This owner-run lodge accommodates a maximum of 24 guests, which ensures personal service and a warm, friendly atmosphere. The lodge caters for the discerning traveller, offering a variety of accommodation options, varying from Rondavels and Luxury Suites to the Manyeleti Honeymoon Suite.

Elephant Plains is world-renowned for excellent game viewing and guests can enjoy two game drives and a bush walk per day. Facilities include two swimming pools, a spa, gym, conference centre, small library and games room.

    • Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is one of the most affordable lodges located in the heart of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger. The reserve is about 65000 hectares and shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park.

Accommodation is growing and will soon sleep 30 people at capacity. Rooms have two single beds, ensuite bathrooms and private patios, while each is fitted with an air-conditioner. Some of the chalets are connected via an inter-leading door, making them ideal for small groups and families. During the heat of summer guests can relax around the swimming pool, which overlooks the Sand River and the open wilderness.

Dining in a traditional boma around a roaring fire is one of the most enjoyable African bush experiences. After dinner, rangers may even take guests out on a night drive to view the nocturnally active wildlife.

Umkumbe is in a prime position and there is almost always game to be seen from the deck and the main guest areas. Elephants, buffalo, antelope, baboons are regular visitors, while a pair of breeding fish eagles nests just in front of the lodge.