Sabi Sand is located on Kruger’s south-western border and shares a 30-mile unfenced boundary with the park, enabling game to move freely between the two areas. With both the Sand and Sabie rivers flowing through the reserve, there is plenty of sustenance to ensure good game viewing all year round.
Sabi Sand is particularly famous for its leopard sightings. These are the most elusive of all the cats and the most difficult of the Big Five to find. In many game parks, visitors return with only sightings of footprints or an old kill left in a tree. However, in Sabi Sand leopard have become accustomed to vehicles and will allow you great viewing. Both the quantity of leopards in the park and the quality of the game viewing almost guarantee a sighting – indeed, many visitors have multiple leopard encounters.
The most famous lodges in Sabi Sand are Singita’s Ebony Lodge and Boulders Lodge. These have set new standards of luxury for safari and have picked up many traveler awards along the way. Londolozi is extremely popular too, boasting some very luxurious lodges, yet Sabi Sand offers also a full range of good options for most budgets. There is so much game at Sabi Sand that you don’t have to work very hard to spot the animals. While this is ideal for most visitors, some safari enthusiasts might prefer to have more of a challenge to feel that the experience is authentic!
Game driving, walking safari and night safari (only in certain camps). No fly camping.
TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL
Sabi Sand is a year-round destination and great to visit at any time. However, the best season is winter, July to mid-October. The climate at this time is dry and cool with little rainfall, making game drives more comfortable and game easier to spot due to less foliage.
November to March is the rainy season, with higher temperatures. There can sometimes be dramatic thunderstorms during the afternoon. This season is very popular for bird enthusiasts. It is also good for game, with the calving season taking place for most animal species. However, while the rains create stunning green growth and scenery, this does make game viewing slightly more difficult than during the winter months when the grasses and foliage are low.
Choosing where to stay in Sabi Sand is key. In our experience the best game areas are those bordering the main Kruger Park, due to the movement of game between the two regions. We have also found that the reserves on the rivers, particularly Sand River, have much better concentrations of game.