For a Big 5 safari experience par excellence, few African destinations can match South Africa's Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Adjacent to the Kruger National Park's unfenced south-western boundary, this 66 000 hectare reserve pioneered the luxury safari concept and is home to some of the continent's leading safari brands such as Singita, Mala Mala, Londolozi and Sabi Sabi.
The reserve is made up of individual, often family-owned unfenced reserves, each with lodges discreetly tucked away in prime locations and enjoying exclusive traversing rights for no-crowds game viewing. Many have reciprocal arrangements with neighbouring reserves to allow for greater freedom to track big game, and since the Sabi Sands is privately run, guests can expect added extras such as off-road driving, night drives and guided nature walks, all of which greatly enhance the game viewing experience.
And it's game viewing that the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve does best: nowhere in the greater Kruger National Park area offers as consistently spectacular a big game experience as the Sabi Sands. It's not uncommon to spot all members of the Big 5 in a single game drive, and several of the individual reserves have global reputations for leopard sightings.
Accessible by road and air from Johannesburg and with local Nelspruit Airport served by flights from Cape Town, the best time to visit the Sabi Sands depends on what you want to experience.
The cool and dry winter months between May and October offer the easiest game viewing while the summer rains between December and April mean beautiful green scenery, baby animals and sensational bird watching. Note that temperatures and humidity levels are very high during the October - November build-up to the rainy season.
You'll also need to choose your Sabi Sands safari accommodation carefully: some lodges cater for families with children and even include safari activities for the young ones; others specialise in super-romantic honeymoons while several aim to deliver a peerless luxury safari complete with gourmet cuisine, personal service and 5-star health and beauty pampering.
Talk to one of our African Safari Experts and they'll match the right lodge to your needs.
At a Glance
Long associated with peerless Big 5 game viewing, the individual private reserves of the Sabi Sands offer unforgettable safaris for families, honeymooners and adventure-seekers.