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Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

For unrivalled game viewing, in particular the traditional, much sought after ‘Big 5’ safari, there is nowhere better than the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. A 65,000 hectare reserve, pioneered by local landowners in the 1950s, it is a small and exclusive concession within the world-renowned Kruger National Park, boasting the best wildlife viewing in South Africa, and possibly even the whole of Africa.

The 50 kilometre boundary between Sabi Sands and Kruger is unfenced, meaning that the animals can roam freely between the two. Wildlife in the Sabi Sands Reserve is well habituated resulting in extraordinary close-up encounters and prolific sightings, particularly of the elusive leopard and majestic lion, but there are also incredible opportunities to view the smaller, more endangered species such as African wild dog and cheetah. The game reserve contains two rivers, the Sabi and the Sand Rivers, further adding to the extensive bio-diversity; they attract a great variety of wildlife to drink there and sustain the bountiful flora and fauna.

Being a private game reserve, one can expect a number of quintessential benefits when staying here; there is no access to self-drive day trips for those staying outside the park, allowing a more peaceful, private and intimate experience; the private park has none of the restrictive rules that other national parks are forced to apply, such as not being allowed to drive off road when tracking wildlife; each of the lodges offer a high standard of ranger training, so you will be guided by highly trained guides and are guaranteed to return home more educated and respectful of the natural environment.

There are a number of lodges within the park, some quite affordable and some ultra-luxurious, but each one offers a range of game activities, most of which take place in the early mornings and late afternoons when the air is cooler, and the animals are more active in order to maximise your game viewing experience. You will soon find that the African bush can have a rather tiring effect on you, so for a dose of sophistication in a relaxed atmosphere, we recommend staying at Chitwa Chitwa, Singita Boulders Lodge or Dulini Game Reserve, and with the region’s scorching mid-day temperatures, refreshing swimming pools and a cold G&T are a welcome break in between game drives!

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So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
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