A Typical Day on a Sabi Sand Safari
A Sabi Sand Safari requires an early start but it’s worth it: early morning is prime predator hour with big cats, hyenas and wild dogs on the move. You’ll be woken at dawn – sometimes before – with fresh coffee and biscuits and then head out on a game drive. In winter, some lodges serve an early breakfast before you go.
The morning game drive, punctuated by a tea and coffee break, ends mid-morning with a return to camp and a hearty late breakfast or early lunch. You are then free to catch up on some sleep or work on your tan next to the pool but late-morning guided nature walks are usually available. These are highly recommended for bird watchers. Depending on the lodge, afternoon attractions range from spa treatments and gym workouts to village visits and local tours. You could also settle back and watch the drama at the in-house waterhole from the comfort of the lounge or bar.
The afternoon’s game drive leaves after a traditional high tea and ends with chilled drinks and the African sunset. A spot-lit night drive returns you to camp before the evening meal, served in locations ranging from your private suite to away from camp and under the stars.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON A SABI SAND SAFARI
The Big 5 in the Sabi Sand Reserve
The Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – are resident in many African game parks but it’s on a Sabi Sand Safari that you have the best chance of seeing all of them with something approaching certainty. This private reserve is home to large populations of each animal – and its rhinos and leopards are among the easiest to see on the continent. Sabi’s highly experienced guides share information to ensure the best sightings, night drives are permitted, as is off-road driving. The result is that anyone staying for two or more nights in the reserve is more or less guaranteed excellent, close-up views of the Big 5.
Game Viewing & Other Activities
Game viewing in the Sabi Sand Reserve is enjoyed from the vantage of a specially designed 4X4 vehicle. Raised seating and open sides ensure perfect views for everyone on board, numbering usually no more than six guests plus guide and tracker.
Early morning and late afternoon drives are offered; the latter turning into a spot-lit night drive on your return to camp. You’ll also have the chance to go on late morning walking safaris with your guide as well as afternoon visits to local communities. Stargazing sessions and specialist bird watching are usually on offer too. Sabi Sand lodges all have swimming pools and game viewing/sun decks; other facilities range from gyms and tennis courts to health spas and more.
Safety on Safari
Travellers going on a Sabi Sand Safari are well looked after. Standards of safety, staff training and guiding are exceptionally high. Issues of crime are negligible in the reserve; the two concerns on most people’s minds are malaria and dangerous animals.
Generally speaking, malaria is a very low risk in this region. Furthermore, Sabi Sand lodges take preventative measures against it, including air conditioning, deterrents, regular spraying and mosquito traps. Nevertheless, precautions against malaria are recommended, especially if you are visiting during the rainy summer months (December through April). Consult a medical practitioner about the best course of medication before you leave on safari, especially if you plan to bring children. Pack long sleeved tops and trousers for evenings and early mornings when mosquitoes are at their most active. Mosquito nets and ceiling fans are standard in Sabi accommodations and insect repellent is usually provided.
In terms of dangerous animals, you are in the safe and capable hands of highly trained and experienced guides who are armed when guiding walks. A safety briefing is given on arrival and you will be escorted you back to your suite at night if required. Many Sabi Sand Reserve lodges are fenced but others aren’t and wild animals occasionally wander through the property. Lodges deal quickly and efficiently with potentially problematic animals.
Camps & Lodges
Travellers seeking the ultimate in safari accommodation need look no further than the Sabi Sand Reserve. Several of its lodges are among the most luxurious and sophisticated in Africa, featuring palatial suites and spa-boutique amenities. The natural intimacy of the reserve’s smaller lodges makes them perfect for honeymooners and privacy-seeking couples. On the other hand, several accommodations specialise in families with children, offering tailored activities, kids’ menus and child-minders.
And for travellers with more of a budget in mind, the Sabi Sand is home to several affordable lodges. You’ll still enjoy sensational Big 5 game viewing in complete comfort but without the added layers of luxury offered by the reserve’s top lodges.
What is Included in your Stay?
Sabi Sand Reserve accommodation includes two game drives a day (morning and afternoon/evening) as well as an optional guided walk. All meals are included too – breakfast/brunch, lunch, high tea and dinner. On morning game drives you’ll enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits; on afternoon drives you’ll have sundowner drinks and snacks. Most lodges include local drinks (beer, wine and spirits) but not premium imported drinks as part of the rate – ask us for more details.
Excluded are flights and transfers, your entrance fee for the Sabi Sand Reserve and items of a personal nature. Spa and beauty treatments are also excluded as are staff tips and gratuities. Most Sabi Sand lodges have boutiques with souvenirs, jewellery, books and clothing for sale.
SABI SAND SAFARI