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5-Day Sabi Sand Safari Tours

Some people visit Sabi Sand Game Reserve to experience the peerless bush luxury offered by legendary game lodges such as Londolozi, Singita and Sabi Sabi. For others, the main attraction of this privately managed reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the world-famous Kruger National Park, is the absolutely superb wildlife viewing. Either way, Sabi Sands is probably South Africa's most prestigious safari destination, and also arguably its finest. The main specialty is leopards, which are very easy to see here and incredibly relaxed around vehicles. But all the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino) are likely to be seen well on a 5-day Sabi Sands safari, along with other African safari icons such as cheetah, giraffe and hippo.

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1-20 of 25 Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve 5-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

6 Questions About 5-Day Sabi Sands Safaris


6 Questions About 5-Day Sabi Sands Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

Is 5 days an ideal length to visit Sabi Sands?

“We would regard 5 days as the ideal length for a Sabi Sands safari. If the safari is dedicated solely to Sabi Sands, it means you will spend 4 nights there, which allows plenty of time to soak up the bush ambience in a leisurely manner. Over 5 days, wildlife-lovers are more than likely to enjoy close-up sightings of all the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), and much else besides, and to come back with some great photographs. When you book a 5-day Sabi Sands safari, do check whether it focuses solely on Sabi Sands or combines it with the Panorama Route, Kruger National Park or other private reserves in Greater Kruger. A combined safari isn't necessarily a bad thing – some people quickly tire of being on safari once the novelty wears off and will appreciate the change of scene. But it does mean you’ll most likely spend only 2 or 3 nights in Sabi Sands.”


Which animals am I likely to see?

“Animals in Sabi Sands are free to roam as they please, and there are few guarantees when it comes to wildlife viewing on any African safari. Having said that, few places anywhere on the continent match Sabi Sands when it comes to quantity and quality of leopard and lion sightings. You can expect to see both of these big cats regularly on a 5-day safari. Other near certainties include elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, warthog, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and several types of antelope. Over the course of 5 days, you also stand a pretty good chance of seeing cheetah, African wild dog, white rhino, black rhino and smaller carnivores such as genet, mongoose and African wild cat. A mind-boggling variety of birds ranges from the dazzling lilac-breasted roller and white-fronted bee-eater to the mighty African fish eagle and ostrich.”


What activities are available on a Sabi Sands safari?

“The main activity for any safari in Sabi Sands will be guided game drives in customized open-sided 4x4s. Most lodges offer two game drives daily, one leaving at the crack of dawn and the other departing around 2 hours before sunset. These hours might sound strange to first-time safari-goers, but they maximize your chances of seeing predators on the move. They also mean that you tend to be out and about in the best photographic light and back at the shady lodge in the midday heat. Afternoon drives usually incorporate a stop for sundowner drinks, then continue for another hour or so to search for nocturnal animals by spotlight. Some lodges might offer guided game walks, which focus on birds, invertebrates and other smaller creatures.”


What is the best time of the year for a 5-day Sabi Sands safari?

“Wildlife viewing in Sabi Sands is most rewarding during the Dry season (May to September), when animals gather around the rivers and the bush thins out. At this time, there’s also less chance of rain and fewer mosquitoes, and the low tourist numbers in South Africa generally mean that lodges often offer discounted rates. However, since the experienced guides are usually able to locate big cats at any time of year, Sabi Sands is less seasonal than most safari destinations. There’s no truly bad time to visit. In terms of temperature, the Dry season coincides with winter, which means it is comfortably warm by day but often very chilly at night and on early morning game drives. In contrast, nighttime temperatures are very pleasant during the summer months of October to April, although it can be incredibly hot in the middle of the day, especially from December to February. Summer is by far the best time to be in Sabi Sands if bird watching is a priority.”


Can I combine Kruger National Park with Sabi Sands on a 5-day trip?

“Yes, you can, and plenty of tour packages do exactly that. An advantage of a combined Kruger and Sabi Sands safari is that it should work out more cheaply than spending the same amount of time in Sabi Sands alone. Also, given that Sabi Sands is smaller than Kruger and game drives tend to cover limited terrain, you might welcome the change of scene associated with a combined itinerary. There are two main negatives of a combined itinerary. Firstly, it will involve more driving from A to B than sticking to one game reserve. Secondly, wildlife viewing in Kruger can be quite hit-and-miss by comparison to any private reserve, so it may disappoint anyone who comes there fresh from Sabi Sands. For this reason, we recommend that any combined itinerary starts with Kruger. This way you can familiarize yourself with the more common wildlife before crossing into Sabi Sands for the challenging task of locating the likes of lion, leopard and rhino.”


How much does a 5-day safari in Sabi Sands cost?

“The cost of a 5-day Sabi Sands safari starts at US$1,200 per person and ranges all the way up to US$5,000 per person. A number of factors will affect the price of any given safari. These include the quality of your lodge, the size of your group, whether you visit in high or low season, and whether you book on a sharing or non-sharing basis. When comparing safari prices, look at whether they include or exclude costly air and road transfers from Johannesburg or elsewhere. Another point of comparison is whether the safari is dedicated solely to Sabi Sands and other private reserves, in which case it is likely to be much more costly than a safari that includes time in Kruger or on the Panorama Route. All tour packages should include accommodation, guided activities and meals, and some may also include drinks.”


Sabi Sand Reviews

4.7/5 75 Reviews
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Big Five Bonanza

Flanking the unfenced western boundary of the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is Southern Africa’s most exclusive and famous wildlife safari destinations. It is also one of the oldest private nature reserves and the...

Full Review

Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Classic Big Five safaris, with superb leopard-watching

Sabi Sands delivers the classic safari experience on a plate. It’s a prime chunk of wildlife-watching territory tucked up against the southern section of Kruger National Park, with no fences between the two. This feast doesn’t come...

Full Review

Alexandra Banulescu  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Jan 25, 2024

Very experienced spotters that make sure you have the best experience. If you want to see big 5 up close, the Sabi Sand Private Game Reverse does an amazing job of seeing them up close, however due to their focus on the big 5 you might...

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Daniel Muller  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: May 22, 2023

It was the best safari I have been on and I have been to Kenya, Tanzania and Kruger before. (not been to Okavango Delta yet, which is probably the pinnacle), but it is the first time I really experienced interaction between all the animals...

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Sonia  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Dec 15, 2022

Incredible sightings everyday, beautiful landscapes, saw big five, up and close with the animals on every drive! Part of the greater kruger area and not fully enclosed reserve, with antipoaching efforts underway making it a great choice...

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David Gryzick  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Oct 9, 2022

We not only saw all of the animals but we also saw babies of almost all the animals! And our safari drives were not long or arduous. We generally saw a lot of animals on every 3 hour drive. Sabi Sands weakness was they did not have lion...

Full Review