The Top 25 Sabi Sand Game Reserve Lodges, South Africa

Sabi Sands covers 660 km and a special place as it has a lot of running water in two rivers which is a rarity in most parts of Africa. The Sabi and Sand River traverse the game reserve is named after the rivers. The Kruger Park and reserve merge seamlessly along a 55km border. The reserve lies 550 km east of Johannesburg & 220 km west of the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo.

  • The reserve is adjacent Kruger
  • The Reserve has the highest concentration of big cats in the world
  • Reserve is one of South Africa’s oldest game reserves
  • The reserve lies 520 km from Johannesburg
  • Reserve is home to the Big-Five’: lion, leopard, Black & White Rhino, Cape Buffalo and African Elephant
  • The reserve has over  66 000 hectares
  • More than 355 species of birds

Sabi Sand is home to the Big Five in over  66 000 hectares wild African bush.  This paradise on earth as there are large amounts of plains game such as Impala and with coming large number of predators making for the biggest concentration of big cats in the world. Not only does the park have large number predators but some very rare ones to like King Cheetahs and White Lions.

The Sabi Sands Bush is so rich and diverse that this is probably your place in the world to spot in the to view free-roaming lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant. You may also get an opportunity to spot cheetah, wild dog and more than 200 other animal species which are indigenous to this area.

Game drives in Sabi Sands are done very early in the morning and late in the afternoon and into the early evening. The reason for this is that it is too hot in the mid-day sun and animals seek refuge from the heat. Game ranchers and their highly skilled tracker will help you get the best picture possible to take home with you. Please don’t forget to ask you ranger about hundreds of birds and reptiles such as tortoises which live in the park.


The Sabi Sands reserve is located in the Lowveld on the flat plain which runs from the base of the Drakensberg all the way through to the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. It is warm all year round with the area experiencing hot and humid summers with long dry Winters. Winter is the best month to visit as the grass is lower making for better visibility and animals tend to stay close to a water source making them easier to track.


The Sabi Sand shares an eastern boundary with Kruger National Park and animals are free to roam unhindered. The conservancy has a variety of habitat types ranging from river thickets to open savannah. The Sabi Sand Reserve is an association of landowners who manage commercially active safari lodges. They all believe in a common sharing of the environmental management program. The reserve is administered by a warden who in turn reports to an executive committee. The association of the reserve was started in 1948 and many of those families now three generations on land still maintain the love of the land.

Items to take on Safari

The following articles are very useful to have when going on Safari and can be used as a general checklist:

  • Sun hats ( the bigger, the better 🙂
  • Sunglasses
  • Cameras
  • Video cameras
  • Spare batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen & lip sun protection
  • Insect spray
  • Light cotton clothing for the daytime
  • Warm insulated jacket, scarves & gloves for the winter night drives

Anti-malarial prophylactics are essential all year around. We kindly advise you to consult your doctor in regards to the malaria prophylactics.

Travelling by road

There are three entrance gates into the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Access to the four various camps and game lodges is as follows:

Shaws Gate:

  • Lion Sands Game Lodge
  • Sabi-Sabi Game Lodge
  • MalaMala Game Lodge
  • Exeter Kirkman’s Camp
  • Notten’s
  • Londolozi Game Lodge

Newington Gate:

  • Exeter Game Lodge
  • Idube Game Lodge
  • Inyati Game Lodge
  • Leopard Hills Game Lodge
  • Savannah Game Reserve
  • Singita Game Lodge
  • Ulusaba Game Lodge

Gowrie Gate:

  • Arathusa Game Lodge
  • Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge
  • Djuma Game Lodge
  • Elephant Plains Game Lodge
  • Nkorho Game Lodge
  • Simbambili Game Lodge

Shaws Gate: 5 and a half hours drive from Johannesburg

Newington Gate:  5 and a half hours drive from Johannesburg

Gowrie Gate: 7 hours drive from Johannesburg.

An entrance fee per vehicle into the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is applicable. The Gates open at 5 am and close at 10 pm times are subject to change.

Driving regulations:

  • Travel directly to your destination.
  • Do not leave the roads.
  • Do not leave your vehicle.
  • Keep your distance from wild animals.
  • Remember that all wild animals are dangerous.
  • Do not exceed the speed limit of 40 km.
  • Do not feed the animals.
  • Retain your receipt as proof of entrance and have it stamped at your destination.
  • Do not litter.

Travelling by Air

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is an approximately 1-hour flight from Johannesburg. Most of the game lodges in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve have their airstrips or use the facilities offered by an adjacent property. Daily scheduled flights operate to the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport KMIA/MQP and the Hoedspruit Airport HDS utilising the services of South African Airlink / Express and Nationwide Airlines. Direct flights to the KMIA Airport are available from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Transfers by private charter or by road directly into the reserve you have chosen in the Sabi Sand are available.


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