Sabi Sands – experts tell us why it is so good for safari

November 15th 2016  |  South Africa, Travel  |  by  Richard Smith
Narina Lion Sands lounge with a view of elephants by the river, Sabi Sands, South Africa

Kruger National Park is famous as the South African national park that is the size of Wales. However it’s the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, bordering the national park, which is the country’s most prestigious wildlife area.

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Pool and sun terrace overlooking the river, Tinga Lodge, Lion Sands

This 65,000 hectare tract of prime safari wilderness is open to the national park and the private reserves to its north. Animals graze and hunt here over huge distances as they’ve done for millennia.

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Late afternoon drinks watching hippo at Tinga Lodge, Lion Sands

It’s an incredibly rich area for wildlife, boasting good numbers of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino (the Big 5) as well as many other classic African species such as zebra, giraffe, hippos and crocodiles. Sabi Sands is a year round destination. You’ll find lush bush and babies during the summer months and wonderful wildlife viewing as the leaves come off the trees and the grass dies back in winter.

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Leopards are possible to see in Sabi Sands, River Lodge, Lion Sands

Izak de Villiers works as the sales manager at MORE Hotels. In a previous life he managed and guided at their luxury Lion Sands Camp. He says of Sabi Sands

“It’s the oldest game reserve in South Africa which means the animals grew up with people and vehicles. They are relaxed and comfortable being viewed. The area is truly pristine as it has always been a conservation area – no previous farming occurred on these lands.”

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Naturalised swimming pool at Singita Ebony Lodge

Graham Kennedy is the Regional General Manager for Singita’s properties in the Sabi Sands area as well as those within the Kruger National Park itself. He says a lot of the success is down to the land owners and the unfenced border with the huge national park.

“The Sabi Sand has a successful conservation strategy that is driven by the various private land owners, sharing best practices as well as a common vision, for preserving Africa’s wildlife. It also shares a 30 mile unfenced border with the Kruger National Park which results in an open system and access to a far greater area of bio-diversity, for the park’s wildlife.”

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Lion pride at Singita Sabi Sands

A slightly different view is offered by Joss Kent, the CEO at &Beyond. He says

“The rich wildlife population in the Sabi Sands give guests an excellent opportunity to see the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino). This is only increased by the option of a night game drive when leopards are more easily spotted.”

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Walking safari watching elephants at Exeter River Lodge, &Beyond

Any of the lodges and camps in the Sabi Sands will ensure you see great wildlife and enjoy good guiding and hosting. The differences are in the style of accommodation and their suitability for different clients, for example: families, honeymooners or photographers. Call or email our team of experts and let them suggest the best Sabi Sands property for your safari holiday.

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