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.
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.
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 destinations in Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Greater Kruger National Park)
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.