If you’re looking for a Big 5 experience par excellence, then nowhere in the Kruger National Park offers as consistently spectacular a big game experience as the Sabi Sands, a 66 000 hectare private reserve bordering the Kruger’s south-western boundary and consisting of a number of individual reserves.
Every lodge within the Sabi Sands owns its own piece of land, creating a subset of private reserves within the prestigious Sabi Sands Reserve and several well-respected reserves have managed to completely outclass and outshine many of Africa’s safari destinations when it comes to game viewing and luxury accommodation. Some of these private reserves within the Sabi Sands are Mala Mala, Singita and Londolozi. Each of these private reserves has a number of lodges on their property, often considered the absolute cream in the African luxury safari experience.
Birthplace of the Luxury Safari
It was in the Sabi Sands that Mala Mala – the very first Kruger Private Lodge, was built. In the early years, only a few luxury lodges began operating in the Sabi Sands. These lodges offered an unparalleled luxury safari experience, the first of its kind in Africa. Nowadays, there are more than 30 private lodges in the Sabi Sands.
If you’re looking for a big game experience, the Sabi Sands is, without question, where you want to be. It’s not uncommon to spot all members of the Big 5 in the Sabi Sands in a single game drive.
At the very least a three-night stay is virtually guaranteed of having every major wildlife highlight – rangers can go off-road and conduct night drives to deliver matchless game drive experiences, and guided bush walks are also on offer.
The Sabi Sands is a land of extremes; extreme game viewing and extreme luxury typify a stay in the Sands. For the most part, Sabi Sands accommodation is of a five star luxury standard and the Sabi Sands experience is as exclusive as it is expensive. Travellers pressed for time in the bush, or those looking to end of a Southern African Safari in wild decadence will want to stay in the Sabi Sands.
When it comes to game drives most lodges in the Sabi Sands have a relationship with their safari neighbours. A limited number of their vehicles are usually allowed to cross onto a neighbouring private reserve (often referred to as traversing rights) and vice versa.
The more exclusive the lodge, the more exclusive their reserve. Some Sabi Sands’ lodges will share a traversing relationship with a few select lodges while safari giants like Mala Mala, simply have enough game-rich territory to simply have a no-entry-no-exit game drive policy to their reserve.