Four decades ago, two visionaries, Hilton and Jacqui Loon, began a journey that would see the birth of a remarkable legacy which endures as the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – one of the most exclusive and respected game reserves in Africa.  The Sabi Sabi Story (Volume One) – written by their son, Rael – was published in 2013, as a tribute to his parents’ legacy.

The Sabi Sabi Story Volume Two is an update of the content and a personal collection of some of the inspiring impressions Rael had growing up with the broader Sabi Sabi family and its animal inhabitants.  The exceptional collection of superb photography, all taken while on safari at Sabi Sabi by some of the leading wildlife photographers in South Africa and Sabi Sabi Rangers, is evocative, beautiful and informative.

It is now forty years since Sabi Sabi’s inception and there have been dramatic changes to the lodges – they have transformed from an initial cluster of rustic huts to 5-star, all-suite masterpieces, all acknowledged by National Geographic as Unique Lodges of the World.  What has remained unchanged is the magnificent bushveld which surrounds the four luxurious lodges and Sabi Sabi’s commitment to conserving this reserve and all of its inhabitants.

This richly woven story is a testament of the success of four decades of conservation.  The rich wildlife, a team of dedicated and passionate individuals – past and present – who have contributed to the amazing legacy, and indeed the guests who have visited this special place since its inception, all form part of the history of this pristine wilderness environment. Conservation can only be successful if balanced with sustainable ecotourism and community efforts.  With this in mind, the Sabi Sabi Foundation was established in 2019, as a commitment to growing custodians of our natural heritage through education, employment and conservation.  Sabi Sabi’s involvement with neighbouring communities is eloquently captured in the book, showcasing how lives have been transformed for the better through the upliftment of these communities.

In this digital age where most wildlife photographs are consumed online, paging through this exclusive edition, filled with vibrant and enthralling images takes the reader on a commemorative journey that is insightful and emotive.  A necessary addition to any nature lover’s collection, The Sabi Sabi Story Volume Two inspires conversation, lets you relive your visit to Sabi Sabi and is an authentic gift from Africa.

“Sabi Sabi is ultimately about safeguarding the wilderness.  The wilderness is vital to mankind for in the wilderness we strengthen our bonds with the earth and find peace with ourselves.  It is our duty to protect the wilderness, to make it a sanctuary for flora and fauna, for wildlife, guests and future generations.  By creating stable employment for local communities through ecotourism and sharing our respect and love for the wilderness with our guests and staff, we will achieve this vision.” – Hilton Loon, July 1980.

Observe the remarkable evolution of Sabi Sabi since its humble beginnings 40 years ago, into what is today one of the finest game reserves in Africa.  The Sabi Sabi Story Volume Two is available from the boutique stores at our lodges or by placing your online order at [email protected]

Some reviews of Volume 2 from some of our past guests and friends:

Matt Preston is a very active columnist in Australia’s Taste & Delicious publications, has written several cooking books, is a highly acclaimed food critic and food journalist as well as being a loved television personality…”Wow, flicking through the lush, evocative photo-heavy pages of this book takes me straight back to one of the world’s most special places. The flat dry heat, the sounds of hippo down at the waterhole and days and nights of sighting after amazing, up-close sighting. And then back to the lodge, an oasis of luxury and calm in the bush, and the promise of an ice-cold gimlet. Sabi Sabi is like an old friend overseas; beautifully familiar, achingly missed.”

International best-selling author Tony Park has published many novels set in Africa and is a keen supporter of wildlife and people in Africa…” Informative, thought-provoking and beautifully presented, the Sabi Sabi Story is a treasure trove of natural wonder, history and factual information for the visitor who wants to learn about this iconic African destination. An excellent guide to the reserve’s wildlife and the rich culture and traditions of the local people, this is also the moving, at times deeply personal story of a family committed to the protection and conservation of one of South Africa’s greatest natural assets, through generations of commitment and passion.”

Les Aupiais has over 30 years of experience in the South African media sector having an illustrious career in television, radio, and media relations… “There is something irresistible about a book that begins with maps. They speak to the explorer and adventurer in us, of plans to make, routes to retrace. We follow author Rael Loon’s childhood journey in this volume, and in doing so, are reminded that there is no other place on earth like Africa. Illustrations, photography, new and unfamiliar indigenous words to savour and the history of Sabi Sabi, remind us that if we are to leave our children this legacy, we must play our part in saving it.”


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