User Reviews – Sabi Sands

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Everyone should visit here at least once in a lifetime
Overall rating
5/5

What an amazing time we had in Sabi Sand. It was our first time on safari and wow, what an incredible experience we had! We did not expect to see so many beautiful animals so close up. We loved the off-roading too tracking cheetahs, leopards and lions. What an adrenalin rush that gives you! It was the springtime when we visited so it was very easy to spot the animals. The river beds were dry and we enjoyed our morning bush mix stops there with the vervet monkeys and baboons overhead in the trees. One night we watched the sun set on the river whilst the elephants played in the puddles. Early one morning we tracked a hippo moving from one water hole to another. So many wonderful memories of the most beautiful animals will be forever imprinted on our minds. We have already booked to return again as four days did not seem enough!

Unforgettable Experience
Overall rating
5/5

Everything about our stay at Nottens was superb. We saw so many different animals every time we went on a drive. Both our driver and spotter were really good. The food was amazing and so much of it. The camp itself was lovely, especially our rooms with candles and hurricane lamps, so much nicer than electric lights. We couldn't fault anything about this safari, as it was everything we wanted and more. The staff were all lovely and very helpful.

The best game reserve experience I've ever had!
Overall rating
5/5

Within 24 hours we had seen the big 5 and within 48 hours we had seen the big 7 including a wild dog kill. What more could you ask for?
The accomodation was absolutely stunning with an outdoor shower and a huge dining area that looked out over the water hole.
Each game drive consisted of coffee & rusks in the morning and G&T's in the evening as we watched the beautiful African sunset go down.

The wildlife was absolutely incredible with new things to see around every bend. Being able to see these wild animals up close, in their natural habitat was a once in a life experience that cannot compare to anything else. The beauty of Sabi Sands is that it's a huge area that enables the animals to cross over from other parks, but it isn't crowded at all. In our total time there (one week) we probably only saw two or three other tourists.

I cannot recommend Sabi Sands highly enough!

Sabi Sands - An Amazing Experience
Overall rating
5/5

I stayed at Mala Mala for four days before volunteering on a Primate and Leopard project through Earth Watch. It was a fantastic experience. I was hoping to see Leopards in Sabi Sands, and I was please to have sighting every day we visited. We also had some great sightings of lion, elephant, endangered rhino, zebra, girafe, and more. I wanted to see a snake and our guide was nice enough to point out a cobra slithering into its den.

Our guide was knowledgable and passionate about wildlife and consideration. He was interested in making sure we all were seeing the kinds of things we were interested in and generally having a great time. Everyone in the truck with us were the lovely people; everyone got along and were respectful of each other.

I have been to Africa three other times. The one things I will say about South Africa and Sabi Sands in general is that it is more focused on driving out, seeing animals, returning to camp, eating. Repeat. I have taken longer walking safari trips where we had an opportunity to meet more people who live in the area and see the countryside as well as see the animals. In those instances I got to learn about the history of the country, the geography of the land, the different cultures that lived in the area, and the different wildlife. It was a much more holistic experience.

I would recommend stopping in Sabi Sands or similar for an opportunity to get a good look at all the different animals on a short stay, but would also urge anyone with an interest in Africa to take more than 5 days and really experience the country and all it has to offer. As mentioned, I paired four days in Sabi Sands with an Earth Watch volunteer program.

Also note: Sabi Sands is really expensive. It is great because you really get to see the animals in without feeling completely packed into a truck. The lodges are small and everyone is already really nice and helpful. That kind of thing will cost you, so I think it is a personal choice. Many people I know have self driven through Kruger and enjoyed it.

A dream come true; the place I left my heart.
Overall rating
5/5

My fiance and I stayed at one of the luxury lodges in Sabi Sands Game Reserve and it was way more than we could've ever expected. I've been a life long animal lover, watching National Geographic and all sorts of wildlife shows and documentries since I've been at least 4 or 5 years old. South Africa has always been a dream of mine; specifically to see elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, african wild dogs and hyenia. We were lucky enough to see all of those, along with hundreds of other mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Coming from New Jersey (northeast United States), the weather was perfect - during the time we stayed the temperature ranged from 60-80 degrees; even though it did rain one day, I still enjoyed every minute in the busch. Our accomidations were absolutely amazing - in fact, our lodge over looked a waterhole where hippos and crocs hung out all day and night - in fact, you could hear the hippos grunting all night. Our ranger Stefen, and tracker, Rodney quickly became like family to us - in fact, it was a teary goodbye for me at the end of our trip. It was as if we had known them for our entire lives. The highlight of our trip was the siting of about 50 elephants who surrounded our safari vehicle, including babies, young elephants, young adults and older females. Two of the females even approached our vehicle to check us out - the one was about a 3 feet away and looking straight into my eyes. Also, one of the local prices of lions (Tsalala Breakaways) were 4 lionesses about 3-4 years old who recently broke away from their mother's price (Tsalala's); we saw these beautiful girls almost everyday. The day we left was bitterswweet - I could finally say that my dream came true but it was heartbreaking to leave such a paradise. I may live in NJ, but I left my heart in Sabi Sands. Until we meet again :)

The African bush and wildlife like nature intended.
Overall rating
5/5

We spent three nights within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Our first taste of the real African bush. It was, without doubt, the highlight of our 2 week South African holiday. We opted for the drive from Nelspruit Airport to the lodge we were staying at. This was a great opportunity to see a bit more of the real South Africa. Our main purpose of the trip was to experience Africa's wildlife in their natural habitat. Well Sabi Sand Game Reserve didn't disappoint. During our stay we saw the Big 5 numerous times as well many other animals, including the elusive wild dog. My personal favourite - the elephant: from individuals to babies to breeding herds these were in abundance. The early morning wake up calls were never a problem as we were already up and ready to see what the day had in store for us - never knowing what you might encounter on a game drive. Our guide and tracker at the lodge were fantastic - extremely knowledgeable and you can tell they love what they do. Our lodge's facilities were beautiful and comfortable, and the food plentiful. Not a day goes by when I don't think about our time in the African bush.. always dreaming of the day we return.

Once in a lifetime wildlife experience
Overall rating
5/5

In June, 2012, my Dad and I visited Notten's Bush Camp in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. We had an incredible time on our bush drives. Notten's provided two drivers per day, one in the early morning and one in the early evening, so as to allow for prime sunrise and sunset viewing. During our time there we saw everything we could have ever hoped for, and so much that we never even expected. Wild dogs taking down an impala, lions with a cape buffalo kill, a leopard with her cubs supping on an impala (one of the cubs came right up to our jeep too!), elephants, warthogs, giraffes, zebra, rhinos, wildebeests, and some beautiful birds, including a very tiny owl, among many other animals. We also went on several bush walks and two jogs out in the bush (with a guide of course). The guides and trackers at our lodge were knowledgeable and extremely skilled, and Notten's was extremely luxurious (but not overly so—the little lodges/cabins have no electric lights, so it's a bit rustic, in the best possible way). Incredible food too. My Dad was able to sample a wide variety of traditional South African food, which he loved, and they also had delicious, fresh vegetarian and vegan options for me. Everything about the trip was perfect. I would love to get to go back someday. I felt utterly transformed by the experience of being in the presence of so many incredible wild animals.

Big 5 in two game drives!
Overall rating
5/5

Sabi Sands is a great private park to spend your dollars. The rangers are really good en you can go off road and see all the animals up close! We stayed here for three nights and did 6 game drives. The first 2 game drives we saw the big five! We stayed at Cheetah Plains for 2 nights and 1 night at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge.
It is a shame it's nog easy to go from one lodge to another through Sabi Sands. We had to go out via de Gowrie Gate, drive south en go back in via Shaws Gate. That took us 4 hours! Tip: Book your safari experience at one lodge!

Overall rating
5/5

You will never get an experience like this almost anywhere else in the world. Off roading that gets you side by side with the wildlife!

Overall rating
5/5

Large variety of birds and animals, pretty scenery, high level of hospitality.

Average User Rating

  • 4.9/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 58
  • 4 star 4
  • 3 star 0
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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